Digital Strategy Resources & Links: Pre-Funnel, Funnel, & Post-Funnel

This past spring, Barry gave a keynote presentation at the Lilly Youth & Theology Network (here are the slides). As a bonus for the event attendees, we created a list of digital marketing resources for building out a strong digital funnel, as well as resources for before and after the funnel. Since these are valuable resources for any organization looking to build a better funnel, Barry and I decided to share them here.

Most of the resources and tools listed in this post are things we use every day. Some of them are training-oriented, teaching you how to use a product or create an ad. Others are tools or services that we use and love.

If you’re getting started with digital marketing, you may also want to check out our Digital Communications Glossary of Terms.

Pre-Funnel Resources

First is an infographic from QuickSprout: the Anatomy of a High-Converting Landing Page.

high converting landing page

Installing the Facebook Pixel

The Facebook Pixel is something we immediately recommend all of our clients set up. It’s a basic tool that any organization with a digital funnel should be using.

And it’s easy to install. Read Facebook’s official guide to installing it, here: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/952192354843755

Image Resources

High-quality graphics are essential for several parts of a digital strategy, from blog posts, to social media, to emails. Here are a few free resources you can use to create your own copyright-free, high-quality graphics in no time:

  • Canva: Designed for quick and easy quote graphic creation. It’s like a simplified version of Photoshop, but web-based and free (and a lot easier to learn!)
  • PicMonkey: An alternative to Canva. Also allows you to quickly and easily create graphics.
  • Unsplash: One of my favorite websites ever! Thousands of completely free, no-copyright, do-whatever-you-want images. The death of stock?
  • Pexels: Another do-whatever-you-want image site. Has a wider selection than Unsplash.
  • LightStock: If you’re a church or faith-based organization, LightStock has a ton of high-quality, non-cheesy stock images for you. It’s not free, but many of their images are worth the price.

Example KPI Spreadsheet

When we build a digital funnel for a client, we often use a KPI sheet. KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator and is basically a way of tracking our progress on important metrics. On our version, you’ll find things like time on site, bounce rate, email addresses, and more. Download the template below.

View the KPI Spreadsheet Template

USP Worksheet

We created a short guide to help you develop a Unique Service Proposition for your organization. Read it here.

Funnel Resources

Email Marketing Services

If you’re even thinking about building a community online, an email management system is a good place to start. Here are three of our favorites:

  • Aweber: Barry’s favorite EMS by far – offers great functionality starting at $19/month.
  • ConvertKit: My personal favorite, slightly more expensive ($29/month), but amazingly simple and easy to use. The ConvertKit team is in the process of adding even more powerful features to make this platform rival even CRMs like InfusionSoft.
  • Mailchimp: If you’re looking for a beginner EMS, Mailchimp is free up to 2000 users. It does have some limitations, but it’s a good option if you’re just starting out. I started several lists on Mailchimp before I moved to ConvertKit.

Email Nurture Sequence Guide

Here’s a guide Barry and I wrote which will walk you through creating your own email nurture sequence. Click here to read it.

Surveys

Surveys are an essential tool for building your audience, as they allow you to receive feedback and pivot your strategy according to what your community wants. Listening to your audience is essential for success in the digital marketing space, as explained in one of our favorite books.

We’ve used SurveyMonkey with great results – they have a free plan that gives you a lot of flexibility, and paid plans for even more control over your surveys and data.

Podcasting Tutorial

Podcasting can be a great way to expand your organization’s reach and influence online. If you’re thinking of doing a podcast, there’s only one man to learn from. Click here to watch Pat Flynn’s podcasting tutorial.

Live Video

In 2018, live video will only gain more traction as a go-to engagement technique. If you’re serious about a social media presence, you can’t ignore live video. Here’s a Forbes article making the argument for live video in your marketing plan.

The Definitive Guide to Guest Blogging

If anyone knows how to guest post – it’s Brian Dean. Guest posting was an extremely popular tactic a few years ago in the internet marketing world, but it’s still effective as long as you understand its limitations. Brian Dean shares how effective it can be.

Creating Videos With Your Smartphone

When it comes to video as part of your digital strategy, quantity is far more important than quality. You don’t need to have a professional 3-camera DSLR setup with perfect lighting to create a quick video for Facebook: you can do it with your iPhone. Tai Lopez is a master of this.

Using a smartphone can actually be beneficial – your audience will connect more with a casual smartphone video of you, rather than something highly produced and edited.

Here’s a Social Media Examiner guide on how to do it.

Facebook Ads

Our favorite! At Bright Salt Media Labs, we love Facebook Ads. A lot.  We think you should too. The ROI as compared to traditional advertising is phenomenal.

Ready to try them out for yourself? Here’s an excellent guide from HubSpot.

(Of course, you will want to make sure the rest of your funnel is built out as well.)

Post-Funnel Resources

UTM Builder

What did digital marketers do before UTM tags? We have no idea. If you’re not using UTM tags in your social media posts, emails, etc. – you’re missing out on a ton of data you could be collecting about your audience.

UTM tags allow you to tag a link with keywords, which you can then view in Google Analytics. So instead of just seeing that /about had 100 visitors, you can see the breakdown: 30 of them came from my Facebook post, 50 from the email list, and 20 from YouTube. UTMs are useful for measuring the effectiveness of your organic social media efforts – and they are indispensable if you decide to run a paid traffic campaign.

Click here to use Google’s URL Builder for UTM tags.

Landing Page CRO

Want to know how exactly to optimize your landing page for the best possible conversion rate? This guide will tell you everything you need to know.

View Qualaroo’s guide to Landing Page Conversion Rate Optimization.

Summary

In our years of digital marketing experience, we’ve found these tools are the ones we use over and over. Start with these resources, and you’ll be well on your way to digital funnel mastery.

Do you have any favorite digital funnel resources? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author: James Trent

As Lead Designer at Bright Salt Media Labs, James is passionate about creating meaningful digital experiences. He likes making things, from shooting photographs and videos to designing and coding websites. James was honored to be the 2006 TIME Person of the Year.

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