When managing a digital marketing campaign, there are many challenges to overcome.
- Are we reaching the right audience?
- Are we focusing on our product\service features that really matter?
- Are we creating compelling, actionable copy?
As we know, people in marketing are no longer marketing “gurus” but data scientists. When optimizing our campaigns, there is so much data to take into account that at times even coming up with a yes or no answer can be difficult.
In many cases, however, marketers may risk choosing the “simple way out” of a problem, simply increasing the advertising budget for a campaign.
The logic is that, even if there may be a few issues here and there, by increasing the volume traffic to a landing page, more people will buy our products, even if the conversion rate is not fully optimized.
This “easy fix” is actually a little problematic, because it may suggest that advertising and paid media can be a workaround for any campaign issue. As a result, you may end up spending a lot more money in paid promotion without actually building up a stronger and efficient sales funnel.
To help you run a more extensive review of your marketing campaign, and to help you figure out where the real issues may be found, in this post, we’ve listed 5 steps to go through to make sure you’re looking at a “broader picture” when it comes to optimizing your digital marketing strategy.
With no further ado, let’s dive into the topic.
#1 Assess Your Customer Journey
The starting point of your campaign review is a thought experiment. You need to figure out what pathway leads your customers to you.
Your customers don’t wake up one morning wanting to buy your products, neither they’re likely to make a purchase just because of a fancy ad. Customers build their purchase intent over time, through multiple online searches, conversations, and shopping experiences.
In order to optimize your sales, first, you need to conduct a customer journey analysis and identify where and how your customers may hear about your products for the first time. How do they become aware of your company? Usually, this is done through content marketing, but there are many other ways in which this can happen.
Next, you need to think about where they can compare and contrast your offers and promotions with the competition, This usually involves social media, and their ability to build a “voice” for a brand.
Finally, you need to think about where it may be fun and efficient for them to buy. How do they find their closest retailer, do they buy online? What ecommerce platform provides the best customer services?
Only once these three steps in the customer’s journey have been identified you can understand how you can find the opportunities to trigger your customers’ desires with the right promotional messages. These messages will not only say the right things, but will interact with your audience at the right time, reinforcing their desire to buy, or overcoming objections.
If on the other hand, your advertising reaches cold traffic, your chances of converting a passer-by even with an amazing offer will still face unforgiving odds.
Now that we’ve charted a clear game plan, let’s start optimizing, from the bottom of the funnel up.
#2 Start from the Bottom: Optimise Landing Pages
Contrary to common belief, sales funnels need to be converted from the bottom up.
If you were to simply drive more traffic to the top-of-the-funnel, you’d be increasing the volume of traffic to an inefficient funnel. This is why you need to take care of your conversion pages first.
Make sure your checkout works seamlessly, that sufficient payment options are provided, that the right value reinforcements are part of your sales copy.
Make sure you run A/B testing and see what layout, color palette, headline converts best for each audience.
This is hard work, but when it comes to optimization of landing pages, a small fix can yield a huge difference.
We want to fix the bottom of the funnel first because, at this stage, customers have already decided they want to buy your product, but a small issue in the checkout process can completely undermine their desire to buy and have them bounce back.
#3 Move to Social Media, Fix Bad Reviews
Once our landing pages have been fixed and thoroughly reviewed, it’s time to move to our social media pages.
This is the so-called “ consideration stage “ of your customer journey and it allows customers to test the brand promise, through the experience of other customers.
This, in particular, is what we call the “Zero Moment of Truth” whereby users are able to see if a product is right for them, before buying it, through the reviews and opinions of other buyers.
If you’d like to read more about “moments of truth” in marketing, here’s an article where we discuss the topic in more depth.
What you want to do at this stage, is to make sure that your social media presence and your brand reputation can sustain the pressure of undecided, skeptical customers who may come to social arenas to test your brand’s word-of-mouth advertising.
By setting up a “listening program” through social media management software you can find out when a user mentions your brand name or some of your branded hashtags.
You can then decide how to intervene if you’d like to celebrate a successful customer or activate your customer service to help a client who needs assistance.
Again, most customers go to social media to see if a brand actually has that functional, social, and emotional value that is advertised, and unless your social presence is able to give confidence to your customers, ads will have a much harder job to do in persuading your leads to buy.
#4 Now Look At Organic Content: What Kind of Keywords Does It Attract?
Only now, once our landing pages and social media profiles are fixed, we can move to the top of the funnel and develop strategies to increase the traffic that is sent to our website.
Before we talk about ads, there is one more thing to do, and it consists in creating top-of-the-funnel content that organically attracts your customers.
Developing a large-scale content marketing strategy can take a lot of time and effort, but the upside is that by looking at low-competition keywords that are connected to your value proposition, you have a chance of building a strong foundation of organic traffic.
Not only that, but those same keywords, can help you down the line to target niche customers in your paid campaign as well.
Conducting keyword research to identify pockets of value that drive profitable traffic is an important component of building a digital presence, and in this sense, it is a long-term investment you may want to consider in order not to completely rely on paid advertising.
If you’d like to read more on the topic, here’s an article where we discuss the topic in greater depth.
Now we’re finally ready to move to your paid ads.
#5 Finally, Look At Your Advertising Campaigns: What Value Do They Offer?
Once all of these 4 steps have been completed, we can take a look at our advertising campaign and design a promotional strategy that is now much more aware of the challenges your customer may experience along his\her journey.
Your targeted keywords and headlines are going to be better as you may now know more about what makes your products stand out, how they meet the industry’s points of parity, and how they add interesting points of difference to your unique value proposition.
Because of this increased focus, if you do decide to spend more money on your promotion, you can at least focus on a more focused keyword strategy, also knowing that your inbound traffic may be “warmer” in the first place.
Advertising is a trigger, which will bring to the “front” of the customer’s mind all the great associations that you have built and attached to your brand.
However, unless those associations have been linked to your products from the beginning of your customer’s journey, there is little emotional drive that can be gathered, even with the most compelling copy.
Great! Now that we’ve touched on all 5 steps, it’s time to draw our conclusive remarks.
There you have it! In this post, we’ve looked at a simple 5-step strategy to help you think more broadly about your marketing campaign, avoiding the risk of spending too many of your resources on paid advertising.
If you’re looking for more information when it comes to building strong sales funnels, here’s a book we recommend reading: Demand: How to Build a Smarter Sales Funnel So You Can Turn Down Better Business.
Moreover, don’t hesitate to check out our blog, where we’re providing a wealth of information on digital marketing and sales.