What is a B2B marketing funnel and how can it benefit your business? If you’ve heard the term before but have no idea what it’s all about, here’s your guide to getting started. We will discuss exactly what a B2B marketing funnel is, the benefits of using one and outline strategies on how to best develop an effective marketing funnel that’s relevant to your business. If you want to know how to create a B2B marketing funnel that converts traffic into dollars, read on.
- What is a B2B Marketing Funnel?
- What are the stages of a B2B Marketing Funnel?
- Why You Need a B2B Marketing Funnel
- Benefits of a B2B Marketing Funnel For Your Business
- What Are Some Strategies to Consider for Each B2B Marketing Funnel Stage?
- Final Thoughts on the B2B Marketing Funnel
What is a B2B Marketing Funnel?
A B2B marketing funnel is a comprehensive strategy that’s designed to target different stages of the customer journey as it relates to awareness, consideration and purchasing. It’s an effective marketing tool for businesses, utilised by 87% of marketing experts. A B2B marketing funnel is a reliable and effective way to draw your target audience towards your business, and convert them into customers and ideally brand evangelists. By providing well-crafted content that answers the most pressing questions of visitors at each stage of the funnel, you can also establish yourself as an authority in your field.
Compared to other sales pathways, a B2B marketing funnel takes more time but yields longer-lasting results. You can customise your marketing to a prospect’s position in their buyer’s journey, with the aim of moving them down the funnel towards making a purchase. The process is slower and more nuanced but it is very effective for the long-term success and growth of your business.
To help guide potential buyers through the buying process, we can divide each funnel stage into three distinct categories: Top of the Funnel (ToFU), Middle of the Funnel (MoFU) and Bottom of the Funnel (BoFU). Each segment is designed to meet different customer needs with a precise combination of content types and marketing strategies.
What are the stages of a B2B Marketing Funnel?
There are three stages of a B2B marketing funnel, which are:
- Top of the Funnel (ToFU)
- Middle of the Funnel (MoFU)
- Bottom of the Funnel (BoFU)
The content provided at each level of the funnel (top, middle or bottom) must meet the needs of your potential buyer and also serve to build an ongoing relationship with them.
Now, let’s take a closer look at what each stage entails as well as how each one benefits your audience and your business.
Top Of The Funnel (ToFU)
Awareness, attention & initial interest
Appropriately, the first stage of a B2B marketing funnel is known as the top of the funnel (ToFU). The goal here is to promote awareness of your brand and cast a wide net in terms of marketing strategies. These can include content marketing, SEO, social media posts, video and influencer marketing and traditional paid advertisements. This is not the place to upsell anything, instead, it’s all about education.
With this in mind, the primary goal should be to create educational content that responds to your audience’s most basic inquiries and highlights how your product can help them resolve their issues. It’s important to cover a range of topics that provide valuable and relevant information here, and answer as many questions as you can for your audience. ToFU marketing content should therefore focus on highly sought-after keywords with large search volumes.
If you can speak confidently about the product or service you deliver while providing detailed resources for your audience, you begin to build your brand authority in the field. When done well, ToFU strategies drive more website visitors than any other stage of your marketing funnel.
Middle Of The Funnel (MoFU)
Attraction, consideration & lead-generation
After you’ve successfully created brand awareness and drawn attention to how your product or service solves the problem, you’re in the mid-section of the marketing funnel. The middle of the funnel (MoFU) is all about promoting desire, by sharing specific information to pique the interest of your prospects even more.
A key part of this stage is to offer content in exchange for signing up as an email subscriber. Once you have a prospect in your email list and have gained consent to market to them, you can continue to develop a relationship with them over time. Examples of MoFU content or lead magnets include free trials, educational articles, webinars, testimonials and case studies. Remember, the aim here is not to promote your offerings. Instead, emphasise the benefits of what you offer by educating your audience, which will help them see the value in their future investment.
Bottom Of The Funnel (BoFU)
Intentional action & conversion
Now we’re at the pointy end of the funnel. The bottom of the funnel (BoFU) is about capitalising on the time, money and resources you’ve put in so far with your marketing strategies. Here is where you use a call to action (CTA), effectively closing in on the sale.
There are various ways to do this. Traditional and long-form sales pages are essential when it comes to making conversions. Additionally, email sequences help in boosting the effectiveness of a company’s conversion rate.
A common tactic used in the BoFU stage includes clever email sequences that underpin the value of your product and persuade consumers to make a purchase. Another great technique is building audience anticipation, creating a sense of exclusivity if they commit, or capitalising on the fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) aspect of consumer behaviour. All of these are innovative strategies that can encourage a prospect to jump over the line and become a customer.
After you’ve successfully converted your traffic into sales, it’s also important to grow and nurture your customer base with loyalty programs and continued education. Here’s where you roll out thoughtfully curated onboarding email sequences to welcome your customer and show them how to get the most out of their purchase. Also, you can make further product recommendations as it pertains to their business goals, use surveys and incentivise your customers to refer your business to others.
B2B Marketing Funnel: Post-Purchase Marketing
But wait.. there’s more
A well-rounded marketing funnel doesn’t just end at the point of sale. In fact, the very best marketing strategies include elements that foster an ongoing meaningful connection with their target audience.
The reality is, from start to end, the marketing funnel process can take months, or longer. So, it makes sense to maximise what you’ve worked so hard to attain and continue to engage with your customers. After they’ve finalised their purchase, you should keep your customers in the loop with new products, updates or improvements to your offerings.
Why You Need a B2B Marketing Funnel
There’s a range of ways that B2B marketing benefits your business. First, let’s look at the overarching themes of marketing and why they’re important.
The driving forces of consumer behaviour are complex, therefore having a systematic approach to advertising, tracking and encouraging sales is important for any business. When you have a deeper insight into what propels people to make a purchase, you can leverage this information and tailor your marketing strategies accordingly.
Also, whether a consumer decides to make a purchase or not can hinge on whether they’ve had a positive customer experience. Incorporating a comprehensive strategy to understand and monitor the behavioural patterns of customers is an essential part of any business’s marketing plan.
B2B marketing funnels allow businesses to automate processes, making your marketing efforts more effective with a dedicated plan in place. You’re not guessing, nor are you wasting valuable time and resources on marketing strategies that don’t take a holistic approach.
Benefits of a B2B Marketing Funnel For Your Business
To get down to brass tacks, here are the main objectives of a B2B marketing funnel and how it can benefit your business. B2B marketing funnels help you:
Build Brand Strength
The relationship you build with your audience from the start is paramount when it comes to growing your business in the long run. This is because people want to buy from trusted, credible brands that demonstrate their authority on the product or service they’re selling.
With the aid of content that is thoroughly researched, detailed, and relevant to all stages of the B2B marketing funnel, you can quickly become regarded as an authority in your field. A solid reputation is essential to successfully selling your product. The better people know you, the more likely they are to invest in what you have to offer.
Capitalise on Permission-Based Marketing
A marketing funnel serves as the ultimate tool to attract website visitors and convert them into email subscribers by offering a free training video, eBook or any other type of lead magnet. Establishing an email subscription allows you to continue engaging with your users through informative and promotional emails.
This is where the power of a B2B funnel truly lies, it provides you with endless opportunities for nurturing relationships via email marketing. Utilise this channel to teach prospects about your product, spotlight customer success stories, send special discounts or anything else that will draw in potential customers.
Boost Your SEO Influence
Generating traffic is one of the most crucial components of running a successful business online, and search engines are by far the best way to do so reliably and scalably.
The truth is, organic searches on search engines like Google are the most prominent source of trackable internet traffic. If you combine SEO optimisation with a robust B2B marketing strategy, you’re going to double your revenue as a business.
Establishing a successful B2B marketing funnel can help you uncover highly-relevant long-tail keywords for all your potential customers. Use this data to craft SEO-optimised content, which drives thousands of visitors to your website and business.
Grow Link-Building Opportunities
After delivering high-quality, SEO-friendly content, generating backlinks is the next essential step for a successful ranking in search engine results. In fact, not getting backlinks from authoritative sites is a missed marketing opportunity. According to Ahrefs, the more backlinks you have, the more visible you are on Google. This directly translates to more organic traffic to your site, which has downstream benefits for your business.
It’s also common for software as a service (SaaS) businesses to assume that getting backlinks to their homepage is as simple as reaching out and connecting with other high-ranking sites. This rarely works because after all, no online business would link to your site unless it benefits them in the long run, too.
You need to create valuable, well-researched and engaging content in the first instance that serves your audience and answers their most-asked questions. Research, infographics and scientific articles are also critical elements of compelling content that encourages organic outreach from other authoritative sites.
You’ve now got some high-quality link-worthy content that other sites can use as a reference to make their own content more valuable. Once you have this mastered as part of a B2B marketing funnel, even the highest-ranked websites will be compelled to link back to yours.
Build Earned Media Assets
Constructing a B2B marketing funnel is the most effective way to expand your brand’s earned media assets and create more opportunities for growth. Earned media is when authoritative publications or journalists cite your company or link to your content, completely voluntarily.
This is similar to building backlinks, in that most media outlets won’t want to mention your work unless they get something in return. Offer something valuable, work on developing your pitch to media publications and you’ll be on your way to growing your earned media assets. There are many benefits to capitalising on this aspect of B2B marketing. It’s a powerful tool to help establish your brand as an authority that audiences can trust in order to make informed buying decisions.
Maximise The Returns of Paid Advertisements
A B2B content marketing funnel offers a greater ROI for your paid promotional efforts, rather than an independent marketing campaign alone. If your website features valuable content for every stage of the marketing funnel, all you need to focus on is directing traffic to your landing page using a paid marketing campaign.
When your landing page’s opt-in form captures a customer’s contact information, you then get direct access to their email inbox and can communicate with them freely. This presents an excellent opportunity for nurturing a relationship with your audience with no pressure to make a sale on your initial contact.
Instead, you can drive leads to your most captivating blog content, distribute informational emails and documents, or invite them to an informative webinar in order to establish your brand as a leader in the space. Not only that but also share reports and whitepapers for those who may be further along the customer journey.
Then, you can use articles on your site for retargeting campaigns via Facebook or Google Ads. The more content your site features, the higher your chances are of tracking users through retargeting.
What Are Some Strategies to Consider for Each B2B Marketing Funnel Stage?
- Content Marketing: high-quality content such as blogs, informational articles, FAQ pages, backlinks, and pitching to media outlets.
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): Intrinsically linked to content marketing, use SEO tools to rank for target keywords and improve ranking on Google.
- Pay Per Click (PPC): Use Google and Facebook Ad networks to direct traffic to your website and optimise retargeting campaigns.
- Email Marketing: A crucial component of a marketing funnel and is important in sales conversions. Utilise lead magnets, product launches and other campaigns to market to your audience.
B2B Marketing – Frequently Asked Questions
What are the differences between B2B and B2C marketing?
B2B simply means business-to-business and describes a marketing method that companies use to sell to other companies directly. This differs from B2C (business-to-consumer) strategies which target consumers directly.
What are the differences between a B2B sales funnel and B2B marketing funnel?
A B2B marketing funnel is slower and more deliberate in its methods and application. It involves developing touch points for prospective buyers, answering their highly asked questions or ‘pain points’ and includes nurturing a long-term relationship. A B2B sales funnel is simpler and more-action oriented, driving a sale in a quicker time frame.
Final Thoughts on the B2B Marketing Funnel
A B2B marketing funnel is a comprehensive tool to help businesses target their audience, generate leads and develop ongoing relationships. When you incorporate a strategic model to understand your customer’s journey and what factors motivate them to make a purchase, you have invaluable insights that will benefit the success of your business in the long term.