When putting together a marketing plan for your business, make sure you think through each segment in the metaphoric marketing funnel. What is a marketing funnel you ask? Well, picture an oil funnel. It is exactly that but sliced in a way that has different steps that you must take in order to have a successful marketing campaign and business.
Let’s go through each slice. First, the top of the funnel (the widest part) is basically the awareness section of your marketing campaign. What are you going to do to get a consumer aware of your brand/product and get them to your website? Is there a humorous message that you can create? Can you create polls or fun and interactive banners? Is there a specific celebrity or fictional character that you can use? How about creating a random sweepstakes or offering exclusive content attached to your product? Etc…..Please note that you don’t necessarily have to promote your actual product, but can think of ways to get people to think about your brand.
Next, is the consideration slice. Once you have the consumer to your site, how do you keep them engaged and want to consider your brand? Is it a specific message? Is it the creative? The one thing to note is that you need to make sure you do plenty of landing page testing to get the most optimal landing page for the success of your business. Do not send someone to a page that is cluttered with copy and images. If you are offering a product that costs a good some of money, you may want to thing through how to present that information to a user – 14 day free trials, easy payment, money back guarantee etc…
After the consideration slice, is the conversion area. With this, you need to make sure that every step of the sign up process is easy and clear to understand. If not, then you are risking a user from dropping off and not coming back.
Once you have a user converted, it does not stop there. You need to come up with ways to make a user loyal to your site. For example, create a series of email communications that show appreciation through out the experience Or, you can simply come up with a referral program or loyalty program. For more on this, please go to the loyalty marketing section of this blog.
Lastly, there is the advocate slice. You need to make sure you have a plan in place to monitor the marketplace in order to see what your customers are saying about your brand. These conversations can take place anywhere from a simple forum board to Twitter. There are tools out there that can help you monitor it. Some can be costly, but at the end of the day is well worth it.
For those that are speaking negatively about your brand, make sure you have a quick response back. You don’t have to answer every single one of them because this can lead to more of a headache then you actually want. For example, if someone users profanity, this may be a sign to avoid them in fear that they will answer back harsher then the first time. As you keep doing this, you will learn the negative responses that you need to address versus the ones that you don’t.
For those that are speaking positive about your brand, you may want to thank them or reward them with some type of item.
Marketing Funnel Illustration: