You want to make sales, right? Just direct traffic to an offer and people will buy? Well, yes, maybe but there is such a large element of luck, and for that matter, wastage involved in that simple process. What you need is a well thought out online sales funnel to drive the right people to your offer, keep them coming back and not losing them when they have left your page.
The online market is increasingly competitive and you can’t just fire random prospects at your offer in the hope that they will buy into your product or offer; you need to retarget and remarket as much as you can.One commonly suggested statistic is that a prospective customer needs at least 7 encounters with your brand before they will make apurchase. You can use the methods in this blog to get those customers over the line.
1. The world is your oyster – getting traffic.
Marketing online? So who are your customers? The internet as a whole? Fishing Enthusiasts? Gamers? Knitters? Ok,so I’m guessing that if you are reading this guide that you have a fair idea of your target market. What you may not know is exactly how to target your marketing and advertising so that these potential niche customers can find you. After all, if you put a website up, how is anyone going to know about it? Traffic, as it is commonly known, can be obtained using media in three main categories: Earnt, Paid and Owned, and the intersection(s) of these three main categories. (see diagram, digital marketing trifecta) Why is this useful to know? Well, the interaction and potential snowballing effect of these powerful traffic driving forces really can drive your offers and lead to more conversions. I will explain these traffic sources as follows;
Owned: this is traffic such as organic visits to your website, or facebook group. The ‘owned’ means literally you own the web real estate- you can make changes and advertise however you like.
Paid: This is advertising and traffic you pay for; such as Google Adwords advertising, boosted Facebook posts or Instagram Ads. Paid advertising opens a Pandora’s box of possibility as it short circuits the need for SEO. The downside is, as it’s name suggests, that it is not free.
Earnt: This, again as it’s name suggests, is the hardest one to get but also often the most lucrative – it really can make for good conversions. By earnt we mean Facebook page likes and shares, positive reviews leading to more traffic, people linking to your site.
The intersection of these media types can be where the real magic happens, in the diagram shown. So, now you’ve learnt some basic marketing theory, and you want to know how you can use it. I have listed below some of the best sources of each type of media- some of the list items lead to some of my other blog pages on the particular type of media and advertising.
Website / Mobile Site
Social Media Channels
So, if you’ve checked out the above, you’ve got a good idea where to get some traffic. Personally I think the one worth mastering, strangely enough, is paid traffic- what you’ll find with this source is that you can turn trafffic on and off just depending on how much you want to spend.
2. Into the funnel.
The customer journey is a really important concept to think of at this stage. By now the prospect, having visited your offer through one of the above traffic methods, has become aware of your product. What you want to do now is subtlely move the closer and closer to buying your offering. Remember, customers are wary these days to cheap sales tricks – you always need to give them value to keep them interested. If it’s obvious that you are selling something, you will not make a sale. Now that the customer is aware of your product,
you are in the consideration stage – where the customer will do research on your offering, leading to the all important buy or not to buy decision. In this stage several things are important, as it is unlikely awareness alone (say for example, in the form of a website visit after clicking on a Facebook Ad) will be enough to secure a purchase.
One of the most critical factors in modern online affiliate marketing is the collection of leads, for example the collection of emails from people who visit yoursite. But how on earth do you get an email from someone who visits your site? Easy- offer value, something free like an ebook or pdf guide in exchange for the prospect’s email address. This is how you can push (or more realistically encourage) customers down the sales funnel, with emails that encourage interaction with your owned media (website, social pages and groups) and build and engender trust with you as a marketer.
This is where personal branding can really help. If you are able to really pour out some of your humanity into your online presence, you will find that people will relate more with you and be more inclined to trust and therefore buy from you. There are a number of ways to personal brand, such as blogs, reviews, but by far the most effective is giving value in video on a platform such as youtube. You may not realise it but Youtube is the second largest search engine on the internet- making it a valuable source of free traffic for your brand. Not comfortable on camera? A service such as those available on Fiverr can save you the hastle of creating your own material. I will be creating a few blogs on personal branding and youtube video ranking, stay tuned for those.
3. Buy, buy, buy
Ok so a prospective customer is now considering your offer, and you have several ‘touchpoints’ such as personal branding youtube videos to engender trust, insta or facebook posts and ads, emails adding value, but how do you tie these together? There is a key ingredient that’s a bit more technical, and it’s called remarketing. Remarketing is where the gold is. Remember earlier I said it took around 7 encounters with your brand / offer for someone to take it up? This is where remarketing comes into play. There are a number of platforms that allow remarketing, which in essence is basically taking people that have visited your website or clicked on one of your links, and resending them more advertising on the same product (ever wondered why ads follow you around when you are web surfing?) Remarketing is really positive and necessary for increasing your conversion rate. Two of the most common remarketing networks that come to mind are Google via Adwords and Facebook retargeting. They both require the injection of some code on your website (more information on that coming soon) but even technophobics will beimpressed with the possibilities tht cookie-based remarketing opens up.
Another oh-so important and under valued skill is the ability to write copy and sales text. You can lead a horse to water but unless they are thirsty they will not drink- this is a simple analogy, butdemonstrates that story telling and writing are most under utilised skills. Basically you will be using copy in most cases to finalise a sale – make it good copy, those leads are hard to get.
4. Respect Loyalty
So you’ve made a sale. Job Done. Right? No. From a purely mercenary perspective it’s important to realise that existing customers are more likely than any new customer to buy from you again. So loyalty is really important – and this is where after sales follow up emails, tracking where your prospect is in the customer journey are crucially important. You can use tools such as Aweber, MarketHero or a CRM such as Agile to help you out here.