Every marketer wants to bring more qualified leads to sales, and ultimately drive more conversions from these leads. In fact, if you’re in marketing, success in your role is likely dependent on this key metric. So how do we get more of these “Bottom of Funnel” or purchase-ready leads through the door? It turns out they may be closer than you think, but before we dive into how and where to find them, let’s take a step back and look at the big picture.
You’re probably familiar with the marketing funnel, which is quite simply a visualization for how visitors become contacts, contacts become leads, and leads become customers. The funnel is an appropriate diagram as we all know that not everyone who has an experience with your brand, or visits your website, will ultimately become a customer. This means you most likely have a lot more contacts at the wide “Top of Funnel” who have just initiated contact with you in one way or another, but aren’t ready to get a call from sales, and certainly not ready to make a purchase.
The top of the funnel will most likely always contain the highest volume of contacts. Your goal as a marketer is to engage these contacts using a variety of strategies and determine which contacts are ready to move down the funnel. As a contact moves down you will ideally learn more about them, which includes demographic information, but also specific behaviors, pain points, and interests. If you’re using the right strategies, contacts will continue to flow down the funnel, and though it narrows due to a decrease in overall volume, lead quality should increase and you will be able to determine which are ready to buy.
Segmentation, engagement, and the buyer's journey
If you can’t tell by now where this is going, let’s be up front. If you’ve done the work to gather a sufficient amount of top-of-funnel contacts through detailed segmentation and thorough audience engagement tactics, then your bottom-of-funnel leads are most likely right under your nose. Now the question becomes, how do we move these contacts down the funnel? In short, content is king. HubSpot, an industry leader in inbound and content marketing, turns the sales funnel on its side and recommends looking at your contacts on the continuum of the Buyer’s Journey.
There are essentially three stages to the Buyer’s Journey that roughly correspond to the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel designations. Identifying these stages and providing relevant content at each step is your best strategy for getting more leads at the bottom of your funnel. Contacts begin in the Awareness state, where they realize they have a problem, but may not actively be seeking out solutions. At this stage they are not ready to hear how your company can solve their problem, they need to be nurtured with content that fits their stage. Perhaps a blog post, or ebook that is informational and helpful to their role is the best place to start. The idea here is to build your brand as a trusted source of information.
Moving to the next stage
If you’ve done your research, you know the common pain points and issues that your contacts face. Based on their engagement with awareness stage content, and the information you’ve gathered through form submission data, you can begin to nurture this relationship with targeted middle-of-funnel content. This may include things like ROI calculators, whitepapers, explainer videos, or other content that helps them solve a problem. This content may also bring in new leads through organic search or paid promotion who are already in the consideration phase, and are actively seeking out a solution.
Finally, if you’ve been serving up consistent and relevant content to move contacts through the Buyer’s Journey, you should start to generate more bottom of the funnel leads. These decision-stage leads are ready to hear about your product and how your solution has impacted others in their sutation through customer reviews and tailored content like case studies, detailed whitepapers, or webinar invites that lead them to you as a solution. Snapapp.com produced a great list of bottom-of-the-funnel content, as well as considerations for creating this material you can use a reference.
Take a look at your contact database, are you nurturing your top-of-the-funnel contacts with enough useful content to move them through the buyer’s journey? Just remember, all of your qualified leads started out knowing very little about your brand. Make sure your content and messaging is highly targeted and useful at every stage to ensure the early-stage contacts stick around long enough to discover how amazing you are.
Interested in learning how you can utilize customer-generated content to attract more bottom of the funnel leads? Check out our eBook "Deconstructing the Perfect Marketing Cocktail" to breakdown how customer reviews can impact your marketing strategy.