If You're Confused and Overwhelmed, You Are NOT ALONE.

There is no question about it: the advent of digital technology and real-time, internet communication has been among the greatest advances in marketing. However for many business decision-makers, marketing has become more frustrating than ever. 

With countless digital channels, targeting options and means to communicate, how can one NOT feel confused and overwhelmed? From blogs to videos; from Facebook to Twitter; from traditional highway billboards to hyper-focused, internet display ads that seem to follow you wherever you go (BTW...it’s not in your head—they ARE following you!), Digital Marketing can truly cause ANALYSIS PARALYSIS in the best of us.   ​

If this is you, you're not alone. Yes, it's overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be. The key is first to step back, and look at the big picture, and how all those multiple moving parts (digital and otherwise) fit together.

Marketing Your Business Can Be as Simple as...

It all Comes Down to a FUNNEL.

Of course, we all know the kind of funnel used for liquids. But in sales and marketing, the funnel is simply the structure your business uses to guide your leads and prospects through the process of becoming a customer (and ideally, staying a customer).

While sales and marketing funnels can take on countless iterations for different business models, they typically follow three fundamental stages (some models you see may break these stages up further, but if you look closer, they are likely “sub-stages” that fall under one of these three). Bare in mind that these stages can also overlap.

As you can see, it follows the timeless, all-too-familiar formula of KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST. Here's a very quick summary (followed by greater detail):

  1. “KNOW” - Promoted content captures attention of cold, but targeted audiences, building interest and awareness. Engagement begins, and this is where your market starts to know you. 
  2. “LIKE - Audience members interact with your brand through your content and your people. Engagement grows...segmentation begins. Indeed, they start to like you! 
  3. “TRUST” - Conversion occurs through a purchase on a small or large scale. Conversions cycle upward as customer relationship grows, fueled by trust, nurtured through value that is delivered on a consistent basis.

Now let's take a look at how each stage works in a little more detail.

This first stage is where we introduce our business to a cold, but (usually) targeted audience. This can be done with all media: print, audio-video and electronic. On the digital front (where targeting can become hyper-focused), this is where blog articles, short informational videos and other forms of content marketing come into play. For example:

  • An auto service company might publish short car-care tips, either in a blog or video format.
  • An insurance agency or company might publish advice on insurance or other forms of risk management.
  • An IT consulting firm could publish timely information about the latest trends in computer technology, or the latest safety tips to avoid being hacked.

Bottom line: at this first stage, our audience may fit our desired profile (i.e. if your market is women in their 20s, they are indeed women in their 20s, and you have targeted them accordingly in your media channels). However, other than that, they are still COLD. This is the stage where we introduce ourselves–ideally by delivering some form of value–and in turn they get to KNOW us. ENGAGEMENT BEGINS.

TOP of Funnel Services & Deliverables

TRAFFIC CAMPAIGNS: Online (PPC, SEO, SEM) and Offline (Direct Mail, Print, Broadcast, etc.)

  • Value Proposition Development
  • Customer Personas
  • Blog Articles (per Editorial Calendar)
  • Short Informational Videos
  • Testimonials & Reviews
    ("Social Proof" - text or video)
  • Social Media Posts
  • Online Quizzes
  • Video Spots
  • Infographics
  • SharpSpring Marketing Automation
  • Prospect & Flourish™ Beginner Training 

Once an audience member begins to know us, now it’s time to get them to LIKE us! How do we do that? Well, simply put, continued engagement is how they interact with our brand through our people and/or our content (this process began in the first stage):

  • Do they engage in any form of conversation (like asking questions), either online or with a staff person in real time?
  • Have they subscribed to our blog, YouTube channel or Facebook page?
  • Have they opted in to get our newsletter?
  • Have they actually shared any of our content with other people online?
  • Have they “opted in” (i.e. surrendered name and email) to receive a free download or other type of lead magnet?

Remember, prosperous relationships are based on delivering value–which means our task to deliver value of some kind continues through the engagement process. If we are successful, she doesn’t just know us…she LIKES us!

At this stage, engagement grows, and segmentation can also begin (through which you gain a clearer insight on the specific interests of the individual.

MIDDLE of Funnel Services & Deliverables

Much from the TOP, plus...(much of this would be considered “gated” content... accessible by completing an opt-in form online):

  • Lead Magnets
  • Webinars
  • Email / Snail Mail “Touches”
  • Newsletters
  • Product/Service Demonstrations
  • Books (Electronic or Print)
  • Engagement Scripts
  • SharpSpring Marketing Automation
  • Prospect & Flourish™ Intermediate Training

Okay, from KNOWING and LIKING us, there needs to be some measure of TRUST developed, which manifests itself in some form of transaction. This is when an order of some kind is made–and that order need not be a big ticket or full priced item! It can be a simple trial order, or other low-cost, low-commitment purchase (that can ultimately lead to something bigger).

Statistically speaking, once a prospect becomes a customer (even with a low-end purchase), they are ten times more likely to buy again! Trust itself grows, and with it, the customer relationship (through ongoing, and often larger purchases).

BOTTOM of Funnel Services & Deliverables

Much from TOP and MIDDLE, plus...

  • Low-dollar “Tripwire” offers
  • Customer Remarketing
  • SharpSpring Marketing Automation
  • Prospect & Flourish™ Advanced Training

It’s All About Structure….What’s Yours?

There is a saying: structure determines behavior. Energy in all forms…elements like water, electricity, and yes, even people, move and behave in accordance to an underlying structure

Whether it’s for liquids or for sales, a FUNNEL is just such an example. This begs the question: does your business have such a structure in place to easily move people through the buyer’s journey?

That’s a conversation we would welcome to have with you. Feel free to click below to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Got Questions? Got 15 Minutes?

Schedule a quick teleconference get them answered!