Advertisers who are looking to add new channels to their mix should keep in mind that it generally requires multiple touchpoints to influence a consumer’s purchase decision. In other words, it’s essential to understand how to keep your audience engaged all the way from the top of the marketing funnel to the bottom.
According to a recent study by AudienceProject, consumers are bombarded by ads that they feel are irrelevant to them. To help you avoid being that company, we’ll explore the different stages of the marketing funnel and how native advertising can help you not only form an initial connection with new customers, but also reengage with them on a deeper level as they go through the purchasing decision process.
Top Funnel: It Begins with Interest
At the top of the funnel, the goal is to raise consumer awareness with compelling content. Simply put, this stage is all about creating brand visibility and turning people into potential customers. This stage of the funnel is the realm of brand advertising and content marketing, such as podcasts, banner ads, blogs, e-books, etc. Such content can be used in conjunction with native ads to drive traffic to your desired landing page and generate initial interest in your product. In this sense, content marketing materials like a downloadable e-book can serve to both raise awareness of your product, and to generate leads at the same time. Native ads can be suitable for top funnel marketing, since they’re designed to match the style of a given website and are thus more approachable for new consumers. It also helps that native ads can work on a CPM or CPC basis, so you can manage your campaign as either a brand campaign or a performance campaign based on your goals.
Middle Funnel: Time to Nurture Your Leads
Once you’ve raised awareness and piqued consumer interest, it’s time to move your leads deeper into the funnel. This stage involves educating consumers about your product’s value as it relates to their life, with the goal of increasing purchase intent. This is when advertisers may choose to further refine their key audience and create new content that speaks directly to a specific audience subset. As in the “Top Funnel” section, your marketing content here can also include a good variety of useful materials like educational e-books. Native ads are flexible enough that you can continue using this format to drive traffic to your new, lead-nurturing content. With MediaGo, you can directly purchase MSN placements, and select from MSN’s wide range of sister pages such as Shopping, Health and Lifestyle. This provides a degree of customizability for advertisers, helping ensure that your native ads reach the right audience.
Bottom Funnel: Let’s Convert
The final part of the funnel is the most rewarding, signaling that all your hard work paid off — when your leads convert. Assuming you’ve built trust throughout the various steps of the funnel, consumers will be receptive to clicking on your product landing page or following a direct call-to-action in your native ads. This final step of conversion occurs when customers can visualize your product fulfilling a specific need or solving a problem in their actual life. Another attribute of the bottom of the funnel is loyalty — consumers begin to feel like they’ve entered a lasting relationship with your company or product (we’ll cover post-purchase relationship management more in a future post).
Connecting with customers at every stage of their journey is essential, and navigating the marketing funnel can be a challenging but rewarding process. With the help of MediaGo, we hope you approach the marketing funnel with confidence and lean into the different opportunities that native advertising presents.