It’s so often the case we feel we have to make this decision for our business:
Should I spend money on radio, television and print ads? Or should I move more money into digital marketing?
A well-formed marketing plan has elements of both advertising and marketing. However, the key is to understand how these all fit together.
Stuck in One Domain?
When many people think about marketing for their organization, they often get stuck in one domain: advertising. While critical, advertising or traffic generation is only one aspect of a complete strategy. This top-of-funnel strategy is used to get interested prospects to take some action. In most cases this action is a phone call or a visit to a web page.
What about Other Tactics?
Well, before we get to the next parts, we have to realize several other top-of-funnel strategies exist in the digital domain. Banner advertising, email blasts to a new targeted mailing list, pay-per-click advertising on search engines and social media, and organic search are all top-of-funnel tactics.
Can These Tactics Really be Called Digital Marketing?
Well, they can, but more accurately they should be called digital advertising. After all, these tactics target a party who has not yet shown interest and is being enticed to take a simple action, a call or web page visit.
Digital Marketing Is Actually More
If we use the funnel metaphor, the traffic generation activities are at the top of the funnel. These activities emphasize the authority of the advertiser and provide enough value so the consumer of the advertising wants to learn more. However, it is very rare that this interest is immediately converted into a sale.
The Nurture Phase
The middle of the funnel is a nurture phase. This phase is designed to create content consumers (consumers who accept and view your content). During this phase, you will:
- Demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in your industry or niche
- Build authority with prospects
- Earn the trust of your prospects
How Do I Do That?
- Deliver well-written content recipients find valuable and immediately useful to some aspect of their professional or personal lives.
- Content can include articles, blog post, videos and emails, all created with the intent to provide free information.
During this phase, you are not trying to sell or promote your product or service outright — this phase is about demonstrating to your content consumers you are willing to share some of your knowledge free of charge in exchange for their trust and respect.
Ultimately, this process moves the content consumer into a prospect.
The Prospect Phase
By now, you’ve established your authority and earned the trust of your prospects, so you can present them with an offer.
The offer, often called an engagement offer, is usually for something inexpensive that would naturally lead to a later purchase of the core product or service. As the recipient elects to move from a content consumer to a prospect, we get into the bottom part of the funnel.
The Sales Phase
The last section of the funnel is the sales pipeline. So often when reading books on sales, the entire funnel is drawn as the sales funnel. Hopefully, as you can see, this is just one aspect.
Advertising and nurturing will always precede the sales pipeline.
During the sales pipeline, phone calls are made, proposals are written, sales orders are created and prospects are converted into customers.
Now, to do everything right, you must measure each conversion phase. Tying top-of-funnel advertising with a digital nurturing and sales conversion will give the marketing key metrics. This will enable you to answer questions such as:
- What is my average cost-per-customer when using radio?
- Do my billboards produce higher sales than my Google ads?
- What is the lifetime value of a customer obtained through radio vs. through print direct mail?
- Are Facebook ads bringing in leads that convert into customers?
- Which one of my top-of-funnel advertising mediums brought in customers who have the highest lifetime value and provide the best referrals?
The Digital Strategy Is Critical to Measuring Results
It is also the key to automating content-based nurturing strategies. However, this digital strategy can also benefit heavily from traditional traffic sources.
Take some time and review your implementation of the funnel:
- Is anything missing?
- If so, how will you integrate it?
- Are you measuring the conversions from phase to phase?
- Do you know the best place to put your advertising spend because your analytics tell you?
If you answered “no” to any of these, take a look at ContentFirst.Marketing. We put this all together for you!