It can be incredibly frustrating to know you’re doing your best… but just aren’t seeing results. So, what can you do? The first step to improving your results is re-evaluating your marketing funnel.
The Three Parts of Any Marketing Strategy
Usually, when a business is investing a lot of time and effort into marketing but isn’t seeing results it’s because they are missing a step in their marketing journey.
There are three core pieces to any marketing strategy, and you need all three to get results.
First, people need to be aware your business exists. Then, you need to convince them that you’re a good fit for the job; that is, that you can successfully solve a problem they have. Finally, you need to convince them that they want to solve that problem now, and badly enough to spend money to have you help them fix it.
- Attract: The first step in the digital marketing funnel is to attract people to your website. This is where social media, SEO (search engine optimization), and even your business cards come in.
- Convince: Then, since people rarely buy on their first visit to your site, you want to create content that convinces them to trust you enough to leave their contact details — usually for an email newsletter.
- Convert: Finally, you need to actually stay in touch and gradually convince them to give up their hard earned money and pay you to do what you do best. That’s where your awesome copywriting comes in.
In order to successfully market your business you need to move people smoothly between these three steps.
How Each Step in the Marketing Funnel Works
Think for a moment about the last purchase you made. Where did you make it? Why? What led you to buy that specific product or service?
Most likely, the answer is complicated.
Maybe you were in a rush and forgot to grab your coffee on the way out the door this morning. You stopped at the coffee shop down the street after dropping your kids off at school, before heading to your first lesson of the day.
Maybe you have a new puppy but need to go out of town without them. After a long search, you finally found a boarder or dog sitter you loved enough to commit to.
Maybe you’ve got a chewer and are looking for a new dog toy that can hold up to strong jaws and sharp teeth.
The first step is making them aware you exist.
In each of these cases, “you” had a problem and then needed to go looking for a solution.
In the case of the coffee shop, you probably pass it on your way to teach often, so the location means you see the storefront often, which made you aware it existed. For the puppy, you likely asked around for recommendations, or looked up reviews of different businesses online. When searching for a dog toy, maybe you typed “tough chew toys” into Google.
The key takeaway here is that there are LOTS of ways people learn about businesses and products or services that they then decide to buy. But you, as a business owner, can’t possible do all the things. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.
That means you need to make some choices. Where are the best places for the people you want to work with to find out about you and your business? Where does it make sense to invest your time and money?
…Then you need to build trust and keep in touch.
Once you’ve determined where you’re most likely to get your business in front of the right people — whether that’s Facebook, dog events, or something else — you need to realize that most people don’t buy the first time they meet you, anymore than they would get married on a first date.
You probably didn’t buy coffee at that local shop the first time you passed it; you didn’t immediately book the first boarder you found; and you probably at least read a few reviews before buying that dog toy.
That means as a business you need a mechanism for collecting information from people who are exposed to your business and then staying in touch with them until they are ready to buy.
Finally, it’s all about staying in touch.
Once you’ve got someone who has expressed interest, consistency and staying in touch become crucial.
While people may not be ready to buy the first time they “meet” you or come across your business, if they have a problem (even if that problem is just wanting higher scores in the obedience ring or lower times in agility), at some point that problem will become bad enough that they decide to do something about it.
When that happens you want to be the first person they think of — and the first place they turn to try and actually solve the issue.
From there, it’s a matter of measuring your results, tracking the right things carefully, and weaning out which things work…and which things don’t. Then you invest in more of the first and less of the second.
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