A Guide To Using Different Types of Digital Marketing In all Parts Of The Buying Funnel

Types of marketing at stages of buying

We wrote a blog before on what a marketing funnel is if you are not quite sure. But in the simplest form whether conscious or unconscious there is a funnel that happens to someone buying your product or service.  At the very top of the funnel, they might not have any need for your product or service at all, but you are making an impression on the potential buyer. When they do need you, they will remember you and if your marketing hits the right emotion with messaging, they will use you.

Most business owners want to be at the very end of the funnel where someone needs your service now.  This is where everyone wants to be and therefore is the most expensive place to play.

If you had marketing at the top of the funnel then the marketing at the bottom of the funnel becomes less expensive because your consumers are more likely to convert. 

Before we go into the types of digital marketing you can use for the parts of the funnel let’s also cover the number of marketing messages needed to move someone down a funnel.  Most consumers need to see the brand message up to 7 times before it sinks in. Back to the above where most of those watching the bottom line want to play is bottom of the funnel marketing, they also like it because it’s easier to measure the results.  It’s fallacy in marketing though at the greatest where we give credit to the last form of marketing that someone saw and do not give credit to all marketing.

So let’s talk about all the types of marketing you need. You will notice that some types of marketing can fall into multiple parts of the funnel depending on how you use it.  The message that is used can determine more than the actual platform choice for where it falls.  But there are certain platforms that lend themselves to a certain part of the funnel.

This is yet another reason why using only one type of marketing or platform can be a big mistake.  You are potentially leaving someone at one part of the funnel without moving them to the next step.  Another way to think of it is in terms of sales.  Old school, the first cold call swing of the door often is not the closing factor unless you are selling widgets.

It takes many, many conversations.  That is what marketing does for you.

The difference is offline real-world sales you often “hear” what the objection is to your purchase.  In digital marketing, you answer the question before they ask and thereby draw them in!

Types of Digital Marketing

TOF of the Funnel: Content Marketing

Without content marketing, you have nothing to market.  TOF the funnel content marketing is written, audio, video, or image content that starts with the “what”.  Usually, at this stage of marketing, your consumer is unfamiliar with what your product or service is.  It’s a great place to start with a description of the service.  Sometimes this content lives on what we call structure pages or what exists in your navigation.  From there, you have internal linking to content that also sits at the top of the funnel.  Content marketing is the crux of all SEO, without it’s highly unlikely you will show in search results.  Think of content when people are just becoming aware of who you are and how you help. The promotion of all content is through social media posts, email blasts, and live events both online and offline. TOF of funnel content can also be attending events, both online and offline but you are only talking about the basics of whatever it is that you do.

Middle of the Funnel: Content Marketing

A large portion of your content marketing will be in the middle of the funnel.  They already know who you are but they have tons of questions.  This is an excellent place where we will ask what are the common questions/objections that potential clients have about your product and service. Each piece of content can start broad and work its way down to being more and more specific. There are great online digital marketing resources that can also help you generate the questions people are asking online that you are not thinking of. Remember this content can be in podcast, written, or video content. We like to do the trifecta and cover all three types of content with posts that we do so you can enjoy it however you like!

Bottom of the Funnel: Content Marketing

The bottom of the funnel content is the content that answers why someone should choose you.  What makes you better and the right choice?  Think of testimonials, case studies, and any proof you can solve other problems.  You can go into detail about how to actually do it at this point.  Some might gawk at the shock at the thought of giving away how to do it but this is a false alarm.  Most consumers are curious about how it works but they won’t want to actually do the work, they just like to be informed of what they are purchasing.  We are after all in the age of information. We are doing that right here with a guide to using different types of marketing at all parts of the marketing funnel.

Content Strategy
Content Strategy

TOF of the Funnel: Content Marketing

Without content marketing, you have nothing to market.  TOF the funnel content marketing is written, oral, or video content that starts with the “what”.  Usually, at this stage of marketing, your consumer is unfamiliar with what your product or service is.  It’s a great place to start with a description of the service.  Sometimes this content lives on what we call structure pages or what exists in your navigation.  From there, you have internal linking to content that also sits at the top of the funnel.  Content marketing is the crux of all SEO, without it’s highly unlikely you will show in search results.  Think of content when people are just becoming aware of who you are and how you help. The promotion of all content is through social media posts, email blasts, and live events both online and offline. TOF of funnel content can also be attending events, both online and offline but you are only talking about the basics of whatever it is that you do.

Middle of the Funnel: Content Marketing

A large portion of your content marketing will be in the middle of the funnel.  They already know who you are but they have tons of questions.  This is an excellent place where we will ask what are the common questions/objections that potential clients have about your product and service. Each piece of content can start broad and work its way down to being more and more specific. There are great online digital marketing resources that can also help you generate the questions people are asking online that you are not thinking of. Remember this content can be in podcast, written, or video content. We like to do the trifecta and cover all three types of content with posts that we do so you can enjoy it however you like!

Bottom of the Funnel: Content Marketing

The bottom of the funnel content is the content that answers why someone should choose you.  What makes you better and the right choice?  Think of testimonials, case studies, and any proof you can solve other problems.  You can go into detail about how to actually do it at this point.  Some might gawk at the shock at the thought of giving away how to do it but this is a false alarm.  Most consumers are curious about how it works but they won’t want to actually do the work, they just like to be informed of what they are purchasing.  We are after all in the age of information. We are doing that right here with a guide to using different types of marketing at all parts of the marketing funnel.

SEO

Top of the Funnel: SEO

For the sake of less confusion we have broken out technical SEO from content marketing but the reality is they are both parts of SEO.  TOF the funnel SEO is your website and the layout of content, more specifically the home page.  When a consumer gets to your homepage it should be abundantly clear what you do and how you help. In technical terms, this is your site map or site architecture starting with the home page.  The navigation should clearly speak to the top-level topic of your industry. If you look at our website you will also see that there is an order from “about” to “careers”.  We have built a funnel left to right in getting to know us and “who we are” to “do you want to join us”? It’s typically how someone thinks about a business.

Middle of the Funnel: SEO

The middle of the funnel for SEO is going to be all of your blog content and helpful resources.  Just like we described above, this is where you are answering all the questions someone would have about your product or service.   We will also through in some technical SEO here such as properly during each page with title tags, H1 tags, URL structures, and so forth.  You need to make it clear to the consumer and Google what you do. This is where the technical SEO tech and a designer will fight, “make it pretty”, “make it functional” and back and forth.

Bottom of the Funnel: SEO

The bottom of the funnel SEO is your proof that you are worth showing in search engines.  This is going to be gathering links (properly) because your content is so good, that people want to link to it. This is also ensuring you have all your listings and profiles done, often seen with local SEO.  You might also think of types of content that show a comparison of your product or service compared to your competitors.  Another form of content at the end of the funnel is the FAQ’s of your product or service.  Lastly, we would mention reviews and awards at this stage to show it’s not just you that thinks you can do it.

Top of the Funnel: Organic Social Media

Organic social media is mostly top-of-the-funnel marketing. This is due to its social nature. you are there to socialize not be sold.  You need to build your organic social media calendar to plan your content and only push a product or service maybe 10% of the time.  Now with reels and TikTok though, short-form video content has pushed out to another stage where we are now reaching those who don’t necessarily follow us so times are changing. But, we still believe that being pushy and only saying “buy”, “buy” and “buy” with your content only speaks that you are about your business and not the consumer you are helping.

Middle of the Funnel: Organic Social Media

This is where your informational content comes in and posting it to your organic channels.  In the middle of the funnel of social media marketing, you are trying to be helpful with as much written, audio, and video content as you can. Written content is blogs, audio is podcasts or audiograms, and video are regular sized, and yes those Reels and Tiktoks! You are looking to answer the questions they have that your product or service might answer. You can refer back up to the content section above.  It’s social media, so you have to think of how to be fun and entertaining.  You need to show some personality of your brand at this stage.  Most people can struggle with this as it takes some creativity, time, and thought to come up with this type of content.

Bottom of the Funnel: Organic Social Media

Bottom of the funnel organic social media content is about pushing the sale.  What offers do you have? You are directly asking for them to take action on something you have.  Maybe it’s to sign up for a webinar, live event, or actually purchase. 10% of all of your organic social media should contain this type of marketing push.

Organic Social Media
Organic Social Media

Top of the Funnel: Organic Social Media

Organic social media is mostly top-of-the-funnel marketing. This is due to its social nature. you are there to socialize not be sold.  You need to build your organic social media calendar to plan your content and only push a product or service maybe 10% of the time.  Now with reels and TikTok though, short-form video content has pushed out to another stage where we are now reaching those who don’t necessarily follow us so times are changing. But, we still believe that being pushy and only saying “buy”, “buy” and “buy” with your content only speaks that you are about your business and not the consumer you are helping.

Middle of the Funnel: Organic Social Media

This is where your informational content comes in and posting it to your organic channels.  In the middle of the funnel of social media marketing, you are trying to be helpful with as much written, audio, and video content as you can. Written content is blogs, audio is podcasts or audiograms, and video are regular sized, and yes those Reels and Tiktoks! You are looking to answer the questions they have that your product or service might answer. You can refer back up to the content section above.  It’s social media, so you have to think of how to be fun and entertaining.  You need to show some personality of your brand at this stage.  Most people can struggle with this as it takes some creativity, time, and thought to come up with this type of content.

Bottom of the Funnel: Organic Social Media

Bottom of the funnel organic social media content is about pushing the sale.  What offers do you have? You are directly asking for them to take action on something you have.  Maybe it’s to sign up for a webinar, live event, or actually purchase. 10% of all of your organic social media should contain this type of marketing push.

Video Ads

Top of the Funnel: Video Ads

When we think of TOF Video marketing we think of Youtube ads and now TikTok.  These two platforms and quickly others are following video-only type platforms.  The videos being mode though follow the same format as talked about above with content marketing.  Video marketing while actually a form of content marketing we felt deserved a separate discussion.  Now there are organically posting your content and there are paid resources.  While posting on the actual platforms is great, don’t forget to bring that content back to the hub of your marketing, the website. This means it should not just live on Youtube.  How can you incorporate that video into existing content?  We know harder than it sounds, but tie the marketing funnel and types fo marketing together and don’t leave someone stuck at a stage of the funnel.

Middle of the Funnel: Video Ads

Video marketing at the middle of the funnel is content that is no different from the content marketing listed above. But it is more personalized.  It’s a human talking with body language and tone added to the content.  Well, we guess you could have an animated video and there is nothing wrong with that but human interaction is going to be the better format.  It really can personalize and humanize your content.  The other item is it creates authenticity in your marketing. Today’s consumers do not want corporate America, they are looking for the cause and the impact you are having on society.  Your video can showcase that emotional attachment that is being looked for.

Bottom of the Funnel: Video Ads

Be sparing here with bottom-of-the-funnel video content as far as doing nothing but promoting a product.  Video testimonials though are another story.  How powerful is it to have someone talk about your business, you know the answer! With today’s technology and software like Zoom, it’s really easy to record the screen on a desktop, and heck we all have a little computer in our pockets called phones. This is also a great opportunity to add tone and excitement to special offers with a video! Between Youtube shorts, Reels, and TikToks it’s a lot easier to create that video content you need! YouTube also has audience segmentation for remarketing to run remarketing display or search ads to anyone who has viewed a Youtube video! You can provide links inside any Youtube video content, but if you serve them display ads across the internet because they saw a video and meet them where they are in the funnel, you will have success.

Top of the Funnel: Display Ads

Display ads are the ads you see on websites that usually run along the top or within articles.  You can think of them in old-school terms as billboards.  They often sit at the top of the funnel due to their lower CTR rates often less than .05%. This doesn’t mean they aren’t effective though. They often have punchy messages and/or very little area to make an impact to get you to the next steps. Think of display ads as an introduction to your brand.  They can be placed in areas where your clients are likely to hang out with both contextual (the content of the page) and are related to your potential clients or audience targeting in which regardless of the content your audience on that content is in your target market. There is one more, but will get to that.

Middle of the Funnel: Display Ads

To use Display ads in the middle of the funnel you need to adjust your targeting.  You are able to with most display ads create audiences who perhaps have been to your website before but perhaps didn’t spend much time on your website.  It could be that they got to your website from the wrong audience targeting or perhaps the messaging they saw didn’t hit.  Maybe they weren’t able to effectively navigate your website to what was their hot button. You can use Display ads for people who spent little time on your website to bring them back. Another way you can do this is to divide up your content into different parts of the funnel and create those audience segments of those who saw your middle-of-the-funnel content and send display ads to them with the next logical piece of content.

Bottom of the Funnel: Display Ads

At the bottom of the funnel, display ads are often used in remarketing.  This is where you have identified individuals show have been to your website before and have seen certain pages or did certain actions such as “a long time on site” that would place them at the bottom of the funnel. With this use of display ads, you need to use messaging that conveys they are ready to buy and you have the possible reason to take that next step. At this stage, you are less concerned if they are on contextually relevant content because you have identified no matter where they are on the internet they are potentially ready to buy.

Display Ads
Display Ads

Top of the Funnel: Display Ads

Display ads are the ads you see on websites that usually run along the top or within articles.  You can think of them in old-school terms as billboards.  They often sit at the top of the funnel due to their lower CTR rates often less than .05%. This doesn’t mean they aren’t effective though. They often have punchy messages and/or very little area to make an impact to get you to the next steps. Think of display ads as an introduction to your brand.  They can be placed in areas where your clients are likely to hang out with both contextual (the content of the page) and are related to your potential clients or audience targeting in which regardless of the content your audience on that content is in your target market. There is one more, but will get to that.

Middle of the Funnel: Display Ads

To use Display ads in the middle of the funnel you need to adjust your targeting.  You are able to with most display ads create audiences who perhaps have been to your website before but perhaps didn’t spend much time on your website.  It could be that they got to your website from the wrong audience targeting or perhaps the messaging they saw didn’t hit.  Maybe they weren’t able to effectively navigate your website to what was their hot button. You can use Display ads for people who spent little time on your website to bring them back. Another way you can do this is to divide up your content into different parts of the funnel and create those audience segments of those who saw your middle-of-the-funnel content and send display ads to them with the next logical piece of content.

Bottom of the Funnel: Display Ads

At the bottom of the funnel, display ads are often used in remarketing.  This is where you have identified individuals show have been to your website before and have seen certain pages or did certain actions such as “a long time on site” that would place them at the bottom of the funnel. With this use of display ads, you need to use messaging that conveys they are ready to buy and you have the possible reason to take that next step. At this stage, you are less concerned if they are on contextually relevant content because you have identified no matter where they are on the internet they are potentially ready to buy.

Native Advertising

Top of the Funnel: Native Ads

Native ads are at the top of the funnel almost naturally by design and often are seen as display ads but they are different.  Native ads are ads that are designed to not look like an ad but besides a piece of content and look like it’s supposed to be there.  It’s like product placement, it’s there but you don’t realize subliminally being brought into a funnel of marketing. You will most often see this content at the bottom of an article, where you think you are getting to the next piece of content but it’s actually a native ad.  You need to think of taglines to encourage someone to follow through with a click. This type of marketing is inexpensive and sometimes hard to track with its billboard-type effect of not always clicking through.  Your click-through rate is usually less than .05%. It’s really just another type of display ad, just in a different format. It has all the same kinds of behavioral, interest, and contextual targeting.  Your content should funnel the same funnel as display ads.

Middle of the Funnel: Native Ads

There won’t be much of an audience difference between top and middle-of-the-funnel-type native ads.  The difference just comes in with the type of messaging and ad creative that you use.  This person has been to your website before and is engaged but maybe they have only been once or twice.  Maybe they only looked at a page or two.  Use this type of marketing to again educate them with your content.

Bottom of the Funnel: Native Ads

At this point, we likely will sound like a broken record but most native platforms like Outbrain and Taboola all offer the ability to create remarketing audiences. But given that Native ads are blending in with the content, the nature of the messaging is less to the point of offers and specials  There are just subtle differences in what you use for creative at this stage.  They are highly interested or should be in the ways you can segment and create these audiences.

Top of the Funnel: Connected TV Ads

Connected TV ads are going to mostly sit at the top of the funnel due to the nature of you watching a commercial on a connected device or TV.  This means there is often nothing to click on but perhaps a QR code. This is unique in nature where you can scan a QR code from connected TV ads and be brought to a website.  This can all be traceable with UTM’s!  But the content itself could be just like mentioned before an introduction of who you are and what you stand for.  Connected TV ads are often used to build your brand and what you stand for, evokes an emotion. A surprise to most thought is that the targeting available with Connected TV can also lead to those who don’t know who you are being able to target by interest, online behavior, and much more! This lands it right at the top of the funnel.

Middle of the Funnel: Connected TV Ads

Connected TV ads have a unique feature for the middle of the funnel that regular TV ads do not have.  They can target past purchasers of your product or service.  This means you can use this type of marketing to introduce new types of services to the products you offer. The targeting with connected TV ads rivals regular digital marketing that you’re used to, with the power of traditional TV ads on your consumer’s screen.

Bottom of the Funnel: Connected TV Ads

Yes! Connected TV ads can do remarketing, sequential ads, and competitor targeting landing them right at the bottom of the funnel.  Get those offers and the reason why you are better out! Imagine being able to target those who have seen your competitors connected TV ads, what a rivalry! You will awaken a beast with this type of connected TV ad.

Connected TV Ads
Connected TV Ads

Top of the Funnel: Connected TV Ads

Connected TV ads are going to mostly sit at the top of the funnel due to the nature of you watching a commercial on a connected device or TV.  This means there is often nothing to click on but perhaps a QR code. This is unique in nature where you can scan a QR code from connected TV ads and be brought to a website.  This can all be traceable with UTM’s!  But the content itself could be just like mentioned before an introduction of who you are and what you stand for.  Connected TV ads are often used to build your brand and what you stand for, evokes an emotion. A surprise to most thought is that the targeting available with Connected TV can also lead to those who don’t know who you are being able to target by interest, online behavior, and much more! This lands it right at the top of the funnel.

Middle of the Funnel: Connected TV Ads

Connected TV ads have a unique feature for the middle of the funnel that regular TV ads do not have.  They can target past purchasers of your product or service.  This means you can use this type of marketing to introduce new types of services to the products you offer. The targeting with connected TV ads rivals regular digital marketing that you’re used to, with the power of traditional TV ads on your consumer’s screen.

Bottom of the Funnel: Connected TV Ads

Yes! Connected TV ads can do remarketing, sequential ads, and competitor targeting landing them right at the bottom of the funnel.  Get those offers and the reason why you are better out! Imagine being able to target those who have seen your competitors connected TV ads, what a rivalry! You will awaken a beast with this type of connected TV ad.

Audio Ads

Top of the Funnel: Streaming Radio Ads

Streaming Radio and Podcast ads can be used at the top of the funnel with the great ways you can target your audience. Do you listen to heart radio or pandora or even a podcast while you work? Just like with native and display ads you can target both by interest/behaviors and contextually.  Imagine placing an ad on a podcast that speaks directly to your target audience with their content. The repetitive nature and frequency capping available can ensure your message is heard just the right amount of times for brand effectiveness. Your message is going to be punchy and short with usually only 30 seconds.  So be quick to produce who you are and get them down the funnel with a call to action to your website or phone call!

Middle of the Funnel: Streaming Radio Ads

With a middle-of-the-funnel podcast or streaming radio, you can help to answer common concerns someone might have with your product.  With some retargeting, you can follow up with a paired display ad that leads them to blog posts and all of your other middle-of-the-funnel content.

Bottom of the Funnel: Streaming Radio Ads

Bottom the funnel streaming radio and podcast ads are very typical with offers to get someone to try a product or service.  With the invention of the streaming radio, the metrics you can track often leave you unable to track if someone actually heard your radio ads.  This is where a special offer is only done with the type of marketing that can make it more trackable and get a potential client to to pull the trigger.

Top of the Funnel: Podcasting

Podcast-type marketing almost always sits at the top of the funnel with the nature of it being like talk radio.  Subjects are chosen based on questions that individual often asks about a subject.  Sometimes the marketing is done in a solo form, team member form, or having podcast guests. Because you often listen to podcast after podcast the best place to put podcast marketing next is the middle of the funnel. Don’t forget to incorporate and weave podcast marketing into your website within correlating blog posts and not just a separate page.  We believe this is one of the simplest forms of marketing to do because all you have to do is talk!

Middle of the Funnel: Podcasting

To keep podcast marketing in the middle of the funnel you must be consistent with your release of episodes.  Some will record an entire season and release them on a timely basis while taking breaks in between seasons.  While others will just continually release content on a schedule.  Most expect new episodes every week but getting started is more important than the space between episodes.

Bottom of the Funnel: Podcasting

Lastly, at the end of the funnel be sure to tease coming episodes and actions you would like them to take off the podcast such as visiting your website for an offer. Don’t forget to get those testimonials for the podcast to keep them coming back and showing up in podcast search results.

Podcasting Services
Social Ads

Top of the Funnel: Social Ads

Top of the funnel social ads is where are marketing agency should spend 75% of your total ads budget.  In this stage, you have identified interest, behaviors, and targeting of those who are likely to want to buy your product but they haven’t necessarily shown interest.  They are on social media to be entertained.  So your message at this stage needs to be about making them aware you exist, evoking emotion in a problem they have, and quite frankly just getting them to stop scrolling.  There are types of ads to run ad this stage that make it economical to run such as video ads to remarket to those who watch the video.

Middle of the Funnel: Social Ads

At the middle of the funnel for social ads, you have a segment of your audience that has engaged with your ads or post but has not quite made it to the actual website.  They are somewhat interested, but what was said before wasn’t enough.  This is a great place to start talking about the features and benefits of your products and answering the questions that people typically ask about the products.  We will ask you to take a survey in the office, what consumers ask about your product most often will get us started!

Bottom of the Funnel: Social Ads

At the bottom of the funnel for social ads, they should be ready to buy, how do we push them over? At this stage, we are often serving up testimonials, and offers, creating a sense of urgency, overcoming all those reasons why they are not buying!! Almost all social media platforms allow you to create these segments of consumers who have been to your website but have not purchased yet.  We can segment them out from the time that there were last on your website to give different messaging. We want to make sure though we have a large enough audience to segment that way.

Top of the Funnel: Email Marketing

Email marketing that is used at the top of the funnel is for those who have not bought your product or service.  So how did we get their email? Well, there is such a thing as buying list, which can be risky and ban your whole domain from being able to send emails at all but there are other ways.  Think of downloads, quizzes, webinars, free trials, or content that someone would find valuable to give up their email in exchange for valuable content. What you build from here is a series of emails using email automation to guide them down the path of purchase of your product or service.  There is a lot to think about here such as how many emails and how often.  Be careful in how often you send and make it valuable content to get someone to the next step but not have them unsubscribe.  It’s often said though if you don’t have unsubscribes you are not being risky enough.

Middle of the Funnel: Email Marketing

Email marketing at the middle of the funnel is often the most common.  At this stage, they are likely already a client and you are just staying top of mind with consistent emails.  This often is called a newsletter where you gather the latest company updates, blog posts made, and well anything new with your company. Be helpful, not pushy at this stage. If you are doing your job by producing consistent content then you have plenty to talk about at this stage.

Bottom of the Funnel: Email Marketing

Bottom of the funnel marketing is for those offers, special events, or announcements of new products or services.  In these types of emails, you create a sense of urgency to take action now.  It’s not that you can’t do that upstream in the email marketing funnel, it’s just advised to not be too pushy. But with these emails you want action! Go for it and show the value of your product or service.  Think about how to get them to feel they are missing out if they don’t take action.

Email Marketing
Email Marketing

Top of the Funnel: Email Marketing

Email marketing that is used at the top of the funnel is for those who have not bought your product or service.  So how did we get their email? Well, there is such a thing as buying list, which can be risky and ban your whole domain from being able to send emails at all but there are other ways.  Think of downloads, quizzes, webinars, free trials, or content that someone would find valuable to give up their email in exchange for valuable content. What you build from here is a series of emails using email automation to guide them down the path of purchase of your product or service.  There is a lot to think about here such as how many emails and how often.  Be careful in how often you send and make it valuable content to get someone to the next step but not have them unsubscribe.  It’s often said though if you don’t have unsubscribes you are not being risky enough.

Middle of the Funnel: Email Marketing

Email marketing at the middle of the funnel is often the most common.  At this stage, they are likely already a client and you are just staying top of mind with consistent emails.  This often is called a newsletter where you gather the latest company updates, blog posts made, and well anything new with your company. Be helpful, not pushy at this stage. If you are doing your job by producing consistent content then you have plenty to talk about at this stage.

Bottom of the Funnel: Email Marketing

Bottom of the funnel marketing is for those offers, special events, or announcements of new products or services.  In these types of emails, you create a sense of urgency to take action now.  It’s not that you can’t do that upstream in the email marketing funnel, it’s just advised to not be too pushy. But with these emails you want action! Go for it and show the value of your product or service.  Think about how to get them to feel they are missing out if they don’t take action.

Search Ads SEM PPC

Top of the Funnel: Search Ads

Here we are with Google and Bing search ads that are by no mistake often at the bottom of the funnel but can be at the top with the keywords chosen and their intention.  The intention of the keywords and context with search ads is what it’s all about.  A slight change in words before or after a search query can change the whole context of the search.  For us personally, we would let TOF keywords be served with SEO content and leave PPC to the BOF of the funnel.

Middle of the Funnel: Search Ads

With middle-of-the-funnel PPC ads, you can do a unique type of audience-level targeting called RSLA.  With this type of layering of audiences, you are targeting those who have been to your website before and are searching again.  They don’t have to be searching for the original keywords that they put in a search bar, they could be searching for similar products or services.  Because they have been to your website before they are more available. You could also remarket to those searching for your product an services again. Think about different messaging to use at this stage with your ad copy.

Bottom of the Funnel: Search Ads

The bottom of the funnel is where search ads are most often used since someone is directly searching for what you have to offer. Google and Bing ads allow you to bid on keywords, however, they are moving more towards the Google Performance Max Campaign where you no longer target by keyword.  The keyword has been diminishing with Google removing match types, hiding actual search terms, and much more. The space is highly competitive due to the nature of almost direct leads.  What can make PPC ads more affordable is ensuring you have ads up the buying funnel so when they do see you in the moment of truth, they know how you are. 

Top of the Funnel: Shopping ads

At first blush, you wouldn’t think that shopping ads can be used at the TOF but here we are with the top eCommerce sites converting 2.5% of their traffic that visits the website.  The stats get worse when you look at cart abandonment with an average of around 69%, it’s in their cart! Now certain shopping sites such as Amazon, Etsy, Pinterest, and even TikTok post some good numbers on converting traffic with ads. But let’s face it, consumers like to shop around and online shopping makes it easier.  Look for the cheaper traffic here and look to move it down the funnel. Some platforms though really block those capabilities such as Amazon ads.  All marketing lives and breathes in the Amazon space.  It’s good for them, but bad for you the business owner with heavy fees.

Middle of the Funnel: Shopping ads

With middle-of-the-funnel shopping ads, you can target those who have viewed products before with dynamic remarketing.  There will only be a slight difference here in messaging between here and the bottom of the funnel shopping ads.  This is all going to spend on how large of a purchase this is.  Does your consumer often take more time to purchase? If it’s a quick low priced item, the middle of the funnel can often be skipped. 

Top of the Funnel: Shopping ads

Back to creating the sense of urgency with limited supply, offers that expire and all of the sorts to get that purchase.  Most ad platforms outside of Amazon ads have the ability to target those who have items in their cart but have not checked out.  Can you make an offer, and provide some clarity on shipping or returns? Because you know they are already showed interest there is a reason it’s still sitting in the cart.  You can time messages with most ad platforms to how long ago they left their item in the cart.  Whether that be 1 day, 7 days, or longer but don’t wait too long! Create those funnels of ads with messaging to hit all aspects of why they could be saying no.

Shopping Ads
Shopping Ads

Top of the Funnel: Shopping ads

At first blush, you wouldn’t think that shopping ads can be used at the TOF but here we are with the top eCommerce sites converting 2.5% of their traffic that visits the website.  The stats get worse when you look at cart abandonment with an average of around 69%, it’s in their cart! Now certain shopping sites such as Amazon, Etsy, Pinterest, and even TikTok post some good numbers on converting traffic with ads. But let’s face it, consumers like to shop around and online shopping makes it easier.  Look for the cheaper traffic here and look to move it down the funnel. Some platforms though really block those capabilities such as Amazon ads.  All marketing lives and breathes in the Amazon space.  It’s good for them, but bad for you the business owner with heavy fees.

Middle of the Funnel: Shopping ads

With middle-of-the-funnel shopping ads, you can target those who have viewed products before with dynamic remarketing.  There will only be a slight difference here in messaging between here and the bottom of the funnel shopping ads.  This is all going to spend on how large of a purchase this is.  Does your consumer often take more time to purchase? If it’s a quick low priced item, the middle of the funnel can often be skipped. 

Top of the Funnel: Shopping ads

Back to creating the sense of urgency with limited supply, offers that expire and all of the sorts to get that purchase.  Most ad platforms outside of Amazon ads have the ability to target those who have items in their cart but have not checked out.  Can you make an offer, and provide some clarity on shipping or returns? Because you know they are already showed interest there is a reason it’s still sitting in the cart.  You can time messages with most ad platforms to how long ago they left their item in the cart.  Whether that be 1 day, 7 days, or longer but don’t wait too long! Create those funnels of ads with messaging to hit all aspects of why they could be saying no.

As you can see most marketing can be used at all parts of the funnel.  Almost all ad platforms specifically give you ways to create segmented audiences to target them with messages tailored to where they are in the buying funnel.  What you might also notice with this blog post is that it takes all forms of marketing and getting someone from just knowing who you are to actually making that purchase is a journey.  One platform or type of marketing is not going to be the best way to keep your leads flowingMarketing also is not just a facet you turn on and off and that’s why you should always be doing it!

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