In marketing, there will always be good and bad ways of engaging with your customer base, and telling them apart can often be tricky, especially when looking at a constantly evolving e-commerce landscape.
Understanding the different steps a buyer goes through in their head before committing to a transaction—usually referred to as the buyer’s journey—should be one of your top priorities if you aim to engage your audience and effectively market your products and services.
In this piece, we’ll be looking at some of the most important tools and strategies to use when looking to strengthen your marketing funnel’s consideration stage—from general strategies like market research and advertising to convincing informative content like case studies and explainer videos.
But first, let’s get on the same page about sales funnels and the customer’s journey!
What is a marketing funnel?
A marketing funnel represents the basic structure and order in which you’ll want information to reach your customers. For marketing purposes, it’s how you will try to push a potential buyer from not knowing about your product or service to engaging in the desired purchase.
What are they made of?
There are many ways to build a marketing funnel, and different takes on it will have a varying number of phases, aspects, and layers.
However, there are commonly agreed-upon characteristics for the different stages, so we’ll be talking about a generalized version of the marketing funnel.
Awareness. This first stage consists of drawing your audience in and making sure they learn about you on your terms. Marketing campaigns and advertising are used to ensure your online presence is as strong as possible at persuading potential buyers to look again with a more willing-to-buy approach. A solid social media presence, along with well-made video content such as teasers, product demos, and compelling animations, can be very effective at this stage.
Consideration. This stage is what we’ll be focusing on today. Once the seed has been planted, you’ll want to nurture your customers’ interest and have them learn more about what you can offer them and how it will affect their lives. This stage is about engaging with your audience actively and driving them forward to a decision.
Purchase. Finally, your customer will decide if they want to purchase. When they do, it’s essential to be there for them and guide them through the process to ensure they’re not scared away and can finalize it correctly. It’s important to understand that this step is not usually handled by a marketing team but rather a sales one.
Now that we know our stages let’s look into which of the many online tools at your disposal you should be using to generate more leads.
Turning consideration into intent
The consideration stage could be described as nothing more than communicating to your customers how and why they should engage in a purchase—which is why you’ll probably notice that all of the following tricks are about making that deliberation process smoother and more accessible for them.
Inform your customers
Customers that get to the consideration stage will already be interested enough to start looking at your offers with a more in-depth look. This is why you should have every piece of information they might need at the ready.
Informative content, such as explainer videos, tutorials, case studies, and showcases, can teach viewers and readers about a product’s benefits while also helping them understand its pros and cons, allowing you to show honesty and transparency in your marketing.
Know your audience and solve their problems
Your customer base needs to know that every purchase they make will help them meet a need or solve a problem they’re having. You should be making sure your products and services are your client’s best available solution.
To properly market yourself as such, your best tool will be researching your audience and finding out what your average customer’s like, and what their most consistently present needs and wants tend to be.
Respond to this information by accommodating your presentation and updating the way you market products accordingly.
Offer free trials and discounts
Special offers can often win over a potential buyer.
Discounts and limited-time bonuses will often convince buyers that they’re getting a better deal than they expected, while a free trial can help a skeptical customer gain confidence in what you’re offering.
When implemented timely, these incentives can easily prompt a potential buyer on the fence to provide their information in exchange for a tangible benefit, not only to bring them closer to a purchase but consolidating them as a solid lead.
Make use of targeted content and email campaigns
During the consideration stage, many users will initially decide against buying for one reason or the other. They can, however, be brought back if exposed once again to the right marketing strategies.
Targeted content, such as an email campaign that looks to promote your brand, is usually made around the concept of an ideal buyer persona. An imaginary representation of your perfect customer created to be the fictional target of your content.
Using the “ideal subject” — tailoring your campaign to them from its inception — can help you visualize and project their reactions and judge the viability of your approach. Then, by focusing on what would most likely result in positive responses and adjusting your strategy accordingly, you can convince more people to return to their consideration or outright convert.
Leverage SEO strategies appropriately
Now, strictly speaking, SEO strategies are not usually an exclusive inclusion of the consideration stage of a funnel.
However, how a customer finds out about your site —and, by proxy, your products, and services— will have a strong influence and immediate repercussions regarding how they approach engaging in a more proactive way towards a potential purchase.
So, you should take advantage of essential SEO elements, such as keyword management, effective backlink usage, and both off-page and on-page optimization specifically aimed at customers in the consideration stage. For example, campaigns aimed at targeting keywords your audience would be researching or optimizing pages with the right type of CTAs… not necessarily to buy outright but to provide their contact info in exchange for some benefit.
An approach like this can help more potential customers find your online presence and act as another part of your consideration stage conversion funnel.
Before you go!
Remember that, by design, marketing funnels are about trying to make the most out of the number of potential buyers you engage with. It is unrealistic to expect every customer to make a purchase, but you should still treat everyone like they could.
Remember that our version of the marketing funnel might not be like some others you’ll read about. However, these tools are universal to every version you will find and will help you fine-tune your own funnel, increase your leads and keep growing your business!