I shared a simple strategy from Forbes yesterday on our social networks.
Today I wanted to dive a little deeper based on our experience with these types of funnels. The trick to any funnel is to test, measure, tweak … again and again until you have the highest possible conversion you’re going to get. Then test again because online, nothing stays the same. What works well on social one day doesn’t the next (algorithms change, tools change and your audience and industry are constantly changing) so a part of your simple sales strategy process must be test, measure, tweak.
Let’s look at the funnel itself:
- Create awesome content.
- Run targeted awareness ads introducing people to your brand or service.
- Retarget and get them to engage with your brand by offering them something of value.
- In order to access the free content, ask the prospect for their contact information.
- Follow up with people who opt-in, remembering your objective is to provide value.
- Retarget and refine if they don’t convert.
- Repeat from step 1
1. Create Awesome Content
In order to create awesome content you need to know exactly what questions your target audience is asking. What problems and frustrations are they struggling with that you’re able to solve? Talk to your clients on the phone or face to face, ask them to give you their insights in a survey or questionnaire, listen to what they are saying on social media.
Create an editorial calendar for what, when and how you’ll be sharing content on social media, newsletters and emails based on this market research. You want to be relevant, focused and adding value for your audience every step of the way.
Your editorial calendar should align with both your buyer persona and buyers journey. Provide content that engages with your clients at the awareness, consideration and decision phases of their journey.
TO DO LIST:
- Market Research
- Create a buyer persona(s) and journey
- Plan your editorial calendar
WHAT TO MEASURE: At this stage of your funnel we want to know what content is being engaged with, what types of content are attracting your audience further into your funnel.
2. Run Awareness Ads
This is a long term strategy but an often overlooked one. An effective brand awareness campaign shouldn’t run for less than 6 months (we recommend 12) with at least 10% of your total ad budget committed.
Video works best, you can relay a lot of information into a short amount of time and are easy for your audience to consume.
Having done your research in point 1 above, you’ll be able to identify the hyper-responsive prospects in a target market which makes your return on ad spend a viable long term strategy.
Benefits of brand awareness ads are:
- you’ll stand apart from your competition, allowing you to price yourself at a premium
- you’ll convert prospects into clients easier
- consistent awareness creates recall meaning you’ll be top of mind when you’re prospects are ready to purchase
Features of a brand awareness ad are:
- No promotion
- No call to action
- A memorable tagline
TO DO LIST:
- Create 2 different awareness ad campaigns on the social media platform where your prospects are most active.
- 1 campaign will be to split test your content
- 1 campaign will be to test your audience
- Change both campaigns 1 aspect at a time (i.e. the colour of a heading, the wording of a heading, placement of your logo, image, captions …) based on your measurements.
- Continue refining until you have 2 high performing ad campaigns.
- Measure and refine your campaigns on a regular basis.
WHAT TO MEASURE: Choose the KPI’s that make sense to you and track these in a spreadsheet with your other funnel stats. This article from Facebook walks you through how to determine your ad performance.
3. Retarget with an Offer
If you’re not retargeting you’re missing a huge opportunity. Show everyone who’s engaged with your content (social posts, website, videos, ads) a lead magnet which solves a problem identified in point 1 above. If you have more than 1 persona you’ll have more than 1 lead magnet.
TO DO LIST:
- If you haven’t already, add Facebook and Google pixel/tracking codes to your website and landing pages.
- Create your lead magnets (webinar, eBook, templates).
- Create your landing page, thank you page and email sequence.
- Promote your lead magnets using retargeting ads.
- Measure each variation (initially daily) and continually split test based on these analytics.
WHAT TO MEASURE: In your spreadsheet measure each part of your lead magnet sequence which would include (for each A/B test variation):
- Landing Page: traffic, conversion
- Thank you Page: clicks on your call to action buttons
- Email Sequence: open rates, click through rates, unsubscribes
4. Ask for Contact Information
The landing page for your lead magnet sequence asks your audience to give you their contact information in exchange for the value you are offering. This is then used to nurture your relationship using your email sequence (above).
How you do this has changed with GDPR which you need to be aware of and tools like Mailchimp make GDPR compliance easier to manage. Here’s a good checklist for managing your compliance.
A tip with your landing page opt-in is to ask for as little information as you can at this initial stage. The more fields you have in your form, the less likely they are to share their information. We suggest name and email address only.
5. Follow up with Opt-ins
We talked about your email sequence being part of your lead magnet funnel but there’s a lot more you can be doing to compliment your emails. Follow your subscribers on social media and engage with them or be present in the groups and channels they spend time in. The more touch points you have at this stage the better, remembering you are there to add value (not to sell to) and build relationships.
TO DO LIST:
- Delegate finding and following each subscriber on social media channels you are active in.
- Be active where they are active.
- Direct message where you can add value (i.e. articles and resources)
WHAT TO MEASURE: In your spreadsheet in a different tab list subscribers for your various lead magnets (or if you’re using a tool like Infusionsoft, Hubspot or Ontraport this can be done automatically) and tag or categorise them as they engage with and ultimately convert.
6. Retarget and Refine
At each stage of this strategy we are tweaking. At least monthly put aside some time to go through your stats and pause split test variations that aren’t performing, create new variations for those that are performing.
Touch base with random subscribers and ask for 5 minutes of their time for their feedback, in 9 cases out of 10 people are more than happy to help you. Ask them what resonated with them, what triggered action, what part of your message needs to change and what content do they want to see from you. In essence is your content adding value? If not, what can you do better?
On a monthly (at least) basis look at:
- your audience targeting
- traffic, conversion rates, open rates, click through rates
- your return on ad spend (how much is it costing you for each lead and each conversion)
- your engagement rates on social media
- traffic to your website (demographic, source, conversions, entry/exit points)
This strategy is a long term one, you won’t get fabulous results overnight. But if you stick with it, be consistent and present and test … test and test again, you’ll have a long term strategy that performs at a consistent and efficient return on your investment. At the end of the day we’re looking to attract clients we want to work with who will love what we do … this strategy will deliver that result!
I’ll go into more detail into the landing pages, email sequences, lead magnets and other aspects of this funnel in my next posts. For now I wanted to give you an overview of what to do and what to expect. Now, go forth and attract!