The Consumer Funnel and PPC Campaigns

The Consumer Funnel and PPC Campaigns

With a quick Google search for Consumer Funnel you will find a bunch of results that look like these:

The Consumer Funnel is a model that was created by marketers that is based on consumer behavior throughout the purchasing process. There are many different ways that a consumer can find a product, learn about it and then purchase it. The process that they go through for each purchase is unique to both the consumer, as well as the business that gains the new customer.

For PPC Campaigns, the model that I found to be the most effective for explanation and strategy creation purposes is this one:

Let’s take a look at each part of the consumer funnel and how they help you target your ideal customer.

Top Funnel

In the top part of the funnel we have the awareness phase. Whether a consumer is in market to purchase a product/service or not, getting your product or service in front of your target audience is essential. Brand/Product/Service awareness is a very valuable, overlooked element of the consumer funnel.

The companies and individuals who understand this, usually end up getting the sale by the time the consumer is ready to purchase. In fact, a lot of times that the consumer makes a purchase, it’s because the company that they purchased from raised the awareness, provided the research data and gave them an opportunity to purchase it at every step of the way.

Mid Funnel

In the middle part of the funnel we have the Interest and Research phase. When a consumer is made aware of a product or service that you offer, their interest instantly leads to the research process. This is where they will research the product or service that they are looking for. They will compare brands, prices, reviews, etc.

What they are looking for is:

  • What brands/companies offer quality products and services?
  • What brands/companies can they trust?
  • What brands/companies have the highest credibility based on the data that they offer potential customers?

This is why blog posts, articles, infographics and videos are so important to have on your website. These creatives aide in the decision making process. We will go into more detail about these later on in the course, but for now, it is important to keep this in mind.

Bottom Funnel

Once a consumer has evaluated the product or service, they will be ready to make a purchase. In this stage, if the product or service has competition (as most do), typically, the consumer will go with the company that has built the most trust and credibility at this point with them.

Yes, price is a factor but usually quality is the main decision factor that consumers base their purchasing decisions on. 

Need proof?

Even on Amazon, the item with the best reviews is more likely to be purchased over a cheaper item. In today’s market, value and consumer trust wins.

How to Apply the Consumer Funnel

Now that you understand what the consumer funnel is and how each part fits into it, let’s create an outline for your business. We will use my ocean conservation passion project Aquapparel for an example to help you better visualize how it will work for your business.

A quick overview of my company:

Growing up in South Florida, I grew an affinity for marine life and ocean conservation. In 2011, I decided to create a brand that I could grow over time with the goals in mind of:

1.) Showcasing the watersports and marine life lifestyle while educating this target audience on conservation issues

2.) Doing what I can for conservation efforts and documenting my projects and progress

3.) Ultimately, I wanted to create something that people who care about our environment could wear and inspire others to help make a difference.

Essentially I wanted to create a brand that practiced what it preached.

When I first started the company, I quickly learned that a t-shirt/apparel company is not the easiest thing to do without a building an audience to sell it to first. Unless you have millions of dollars of course – which like most people in their 20s, I did not have. I did however, know how to make videos and post them on YouTube. I knew a little bit about growing a social media presence as well, although most if not all of my work at my full time job at that point was PPC related.

Within the first year, I sold a bunch of shirts and started to build up an audience. I made videos ranging from aquariums to wake boarding to a new, innovative shark interactive program in The Florida Keys.

This picture was taken at Theater of the Sea in Islamorada, FL while filming a video of their shark interactive program.)

In between now and then, I have rescued and relocated about 30 sharks, I was a part of a 2 year long project where we bred thousands of endangered species of Seahorses in an aquaculture facility, and I recently started doing a lot of trash cleanups locally.

So what started out as a t-shirt company turned into a social media/socially responsible brand which is a fun project for me to work on in my free time and give back. The more people that my content (videos, pictures, stories, etc.) reaches, the more of a positive impact I can make. With that said, the main objective right now is to grow a social media presence in order to reach as many people as possible.

First, I need to organize the content that I already have so that I can create my campaigns.

Top Funnel

For someone who has never heard about Aquapparel before, how can I get their attention? Let’s answer the following questions by organizing my current content and products:

1. Why would someone want to subscribe to Aqupparel’s YouTube channel and follow Aquapparel on social media?

  1. They are interested in sharks and want to learn about them
  2. They want to learn about different species of marine life
  3. They are aquarium hobbyists and like to watch videos about anything related to aquariums
  4. They want to see what the dive sites that we film look like
  5. They are interested in following Aquapparel’s story in the pursuit of rescuing sharks and cleaning up the ocean

2. What can I promote to someone who is going to hear about Aquapparel for the first time that would peak their interest?

  1. The Shark Interactive Program video
  2. An educational video about Dolphins, Sea Turtles or Coral
  3. Any of the tank tour videos
  4. Any of the scuba diving videos 
  5. Any of the Aquapparel’s Story videos

Mid Funnel

Now that I have a potential new audience member or shirt customer’s attention:

  • Why should they subscribe to my YouTube channel?
  • Why should they follow me on Social Media?

At this point in the funnel, the new subscriber and/or social media follower are interested and are going to start their research process. Any ads that I create at this point need to further back up my Top Funnel awareness campaign and really show this person what Aquapparel has to offer them.

For example:

  • My YouTube Channel is unique in that my content is not easily duplicated. Over the years I have formed relationships with marine mammal facilities, I scuba dive, I live near the water, I have adopted some of the sharks that I have rescued, etc.
  • Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are a great way to check in and see what the Aquapparel crew is up to. We post a lot of educational content as well as some really cool pictures that we take while we are filming and working on projects.

Bottom Funnel

Ok, so now they are aware of Aquapparel’s existence and they have learned a little bit more about it, let’s convert them into either a YouTube subscriber and/or a social media follower.

At this point in the consumer funnel, I am either going to reach them with a Retargeting campaign that leads to either my YouTube Channel Trailer or my Facebook/Instagram profiles so that they will follow me.

I have created a Free Template for you to download and fill out for your business here:

Once you have completed the worksheet, let’s define your Personas.