Build your funnel from the bottom up
To keep your business thriving, you’ve got to continually attract and nurture relationships with potential customers.
The thing is, not everyone’s a potential customer. So trying to drop as many people as possible into the top of your sales funnel isn’t the best way to do it.
Here’s Alex Birkett, Growth Marketing Manager at HubSpot:
All your lead generation efforts should start from the bottom of the funnel: with the people who pay for your product. They’re your target audience, your ideal customer, and people most important to your business.
Not sure who your ideal customer is?
- Run a persona survey or interview existing customers. This helps build a data-driven persona that you can use for all kinds of marketing decisions.
- Talk to your customer success team. They have the closest relationships with your customers, so they know who they are, what they want, and who sticks around. If they don’t know those things, do them a favor and pass them this guide to customer success.
Got someone in mind? Good. Never take your eye off that person—that long-term customer. They’re going to guide everything else you do. Including what’s coming up next.
Be memorable at every step of the journey
Once you know who you’re after, it’s time for them to get to know you. Because if you’ve got your eyes on someone—but they don’t know you exist—that’s called stalking. And nobody likes a stalker.
“The single biggest predictor of whether people will purchase is whether they’ve heard of you before.”
Great quote, but how do you do that? Brand awareness.
In the old days, this meant setting up booths at trade shows, blasting mass emails, and interrupting dinners with telemarketer calls. With a bit of luck, maybe you found a few people to pass onto your sales team.
But things have changed. Nearly 80% of us check our phones within 15 minutes of waking up. And we go on to spend over 10 hours a day looking at screens.
This always-on, information-everywhere world has given birth to a new type of person: the self-directed buyer.
Today, people research the brands and products that interest them long before they reach out to you. In fact, Forrester Research estimates that buyers are 70-90% of the way through their buying journey before you’ve even made an approach.
This has transformed lead gen into a full-funnel strategy. What’s at the heart of this strategy? Content.
It’s part of the “inbound marketing” method, where you produce content to inform and entertain your target audience at every stage of their journey.
That’s what lead generation is all about. Starting relationships with potential customers by giving them value—for free. So when the time comes to pull out the pocketbook, they’ll already know who you are and what you can do for them.
But just creating content won’t cut it. Every interaction with them needs to make a difference, and every moment they spend with your brand should flow like a snowman in the microwave. To achieve that, you’ve got to live inside your target’s brain.