Last updated on November 18th, 2010
Anyone with a cursory knowledge of marketing is aware of the AIDA funnel – Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action.
Even in the age of SEO and social media tools like Facebook, this marketing funnel is still extremely relevant although some slight modifications are required. Each section of the AIDA funnel represents an important component of your marketing process. They help you set expectations and even determine metrics to measure your goals against.
Continue reading for a breakdown of this marketing funnel along with some additions in the new age of social media.
Awareness is the bread and butter of any social media channel – whether it is Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or any of the minor networks. Rather than being your point of sale, they’re more like your communications and outreach tools…think of them as the spokes of a wheel that lead back to the hub. The hub in this case is your blog, landing page(s), shopping cart and other places designed to convert visitors into customers.
Conversation frequency, increased mentions and sentiment are a few of the metrics to consider with awareness. Remember, you have to let people know you’re out there and that you can solve a problem they have.
Once you have their attention, you have to pique their interest. You can do this by offering something special like buy one, get one free, free shipping or some other offer. Provide compelling reasons as to why you’re better than the competition and how you can solve the visitor’s problem. If you’re talking about a specific product or service, link to a specific landing page rather than a homepage.
Click-thru rates (CTR), retweets/Facebook status updates and conversations about your products are a few of the metrics to consider.
Social media can also help build desire for your products and services. However, your corresponding site needs to be easy to use in order to carry that desire all the way to the end. If your site is hard to understand or navigate, then you’re likely going to kill any desire your visitors may have. Move your customer from interest to desire by having a clean, navigable site with lots of information.
Bounce rate, time on site, pages viewed and incoming links are some of the metrics you can use to determine the effectiveness of your efforts.
At this point, your site is the primary tool. You’ve built the desire so all that’s needed from here is for you to close the deal…social media isn’t going to have much influence here. Therefore, like desire, you’re going to have to be sure you have a usable site that’s easily navigable.
Metrics like conversion rate and ROI will give you a full picture of how well your efforts are working…and the ones your boss will be most interested in.
Two More Levels to the Marketing Funnel – Loyalty and Advocacy
Loyalty and advocacy are two components that should be added to the AIDA funnel to better reflect the realities of social media and marketing online. Maintain loyalty by thanking customers through Facebook and Twitter and let them know you’re always available to answer questions or address concerns.
Advocacy is another important component of social media marketing, and the most desired. Customers who are happy with your products/services will let their friends know. But to make this happen, you need to make it easy for them to share your brand. “Like” and “Retweet” buttons in convenient locations are a great way to help this along.
The AIDA funnel certainly isn’t perfect and not all of the steps are required. You don’t need to live and die by this funnel…people can skip a level or go through multiple levels at once.
But it’s important to factor the AIDA funnel into your online marketing strategy. It should help you focus and prioritize your efforts for success.