Every stage of a customer’s buyer’s journey is an opportunity for you to strengthen or weaken that customer-brand relationship.
To reach and retain your ideal customers, it is imperative to understand where they are and how to engage them with a robust digital marketing strategy – one that includes both sales and marketing tactics.
One may think sales and marketing are interchangeable terms, but they have different approaches with the same goal. When the two are integrated, they can create a strong, competitive edge over your competitors.
Let us share more in-depth about how digital marketing strategy works with sales and marketing efforts to keep your prospective customers in your sales funnel, and ultimately, to convert.
Digital Advertising Tactics for the Awareness Stage
Awareness is half of the battle. The key to staying competitive in your industry is to create a clearly visible brand name in your market space using a combination of methods.
Search Engine PPC
Utilizing SEO and search engine PPC is one of your most powerful plays in creating a digital presence that can help your brand cut through the noise of the market.
PPC stands for “pay-per-click.” PPC is an advertising method where you place an ad on a search engine platform like Google, and you pay the host (Google, for example) each time someone clicks on your ad.
The purpose of this ad is to guide your potential customer to click through to your website or landing page to take some kind of action (request quote, purchase a product, download something, etc.). This is a widely used tool because search engines will show your ads to people looking for a solution if those search engines consider your service or product offering relevant to the searchers’ needs.
For that reason, Google Advertising is an excellent option for marketers to consider to engage their potential customers in the awareness stage. PPC tactics are useful if you are in a market with higher competition, like retail. Consider using the budgets recommended by Google to help you climb up in the search results ranking.
Additionally, utilizing branded advertising around your company, products, or services plays a role in informing your customers of your solutions to their pain points, which is what customers are looking for in the awareness stage.
Make sure to assess and analyze your target customers’ behaviors to develop branding audiences and branding ads. You can use an analytic platform (typically Google Analytics) that shows you the interests of those who interact with your website.
This helps identify audience segments you can target on Facebook, Google, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Branding ads help your brand gain exposure and get in front of your ideal audience before they are in the market for your product or service, so they make a great option for the awareness stage.
If you miss the customers at the awareness stage, you likely won’t get them back during their consideration and decision stages. So make sure not to cut corners!
Digital Advertising Tactics for the Consideration Stage
The consideration phase is the stage where many fail to meet their customers and lose out on business. It is important to continue meeting your customers in your sales funnel by creating strong touchpoints for the consideration phase of their buyer’s journey. Stopping with SEO or PPC strategy is often not enough.
While customers are searching for and considering your product, brand, or service, they are likely to come in contact with your competitor. In this consideration stage, customers are researching and comparing prices, services/products, online reviews, and much more. Fulfill your customers’ needs in this stage by providing the information they’re looking for. You’ll increase the chance of winning them over your competition.
How to Create Digital Marketing Touchpoints for the Consideration Stage
Creating a touchpoint at this phase of the journey requires an honest brand assessment. Ask questions like:
- Are your prices competitive for your market?
- Do you have more inclusive services compared to your competitors?
- What differentiates you from your competitors?
- Are you highlighting clear benefits to your customers?
- And more.
Meeting your customers where they are in the consideration phase can look like anything from email automation, text automation, digital retargeting ads, follow-up calls, or other marketing methods, depending on your industry and audience.
Retargeting and automation are practical approaches to fulfill the customers’ needs in the consideration stage to continue leading them to the next phase of their buyer’s journey.
First, take a step back and consider how your customers will need your brand. If you were the customer in need of your company’s product or service, how would you search for it? What information does your website have about your offering? What information would help you make a decision to purchase?
These answers will inform you how you meet your customers during the consideration stage. Focus on creating and distributing valuable information that will help your customers make a decision.
Make sure the information on your competitive differentiators is available to your customers. They will already be considering multiple brands, a.k.a. your competitors, so highlighting why they should choose you instead is key to engaging them in this stage. Differentiators could be price, outstanding services, fantastic customer reviews, or anything else that sets you apart and is essential to your customers.
Once you have selected your differentiators, it is time to choose where you will be advertising. Platforms like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others offer different targeting tools to make finding your audience easier. Refer to your customer persona to find key audience behaviors and assess if the platforms you are considering can target those key behaviors.
Digital Advertising Tactics for the Decision Stage
Conversion is the ideal result of your efforts during the awareness and consideration stages. The average number of necessary touchpoints vary by businesses and industries, as some require more than others before the target customers convert. In such cases, add more digital touchpoints between the consideration and the decision phases to support conversion.
Assess your customers’ behaviors and choose a platform that can match those behaviors closely. This step can be search-based, educational branding, or retargeting efforts. No matter which platform you choose, be sure to continue your content marketing efforts to educate your audience on your brand’s differentiators, benefits, and relevant promotions.
Digital Advertising Tactics for the Retention Phase
Retention is an excellent opportunity to build relationships with your customers. Keeping them engaged with your brand through updates, industry news, and promotions are some of the ways you can support your digital retention. If possible, take a step further and automate this process to create a more consistent and cost-effective approach to engaging your customers.
By now, your customer has found the solution to their problem, so there are no additional touchpoints you need to create at this point. But don’t stop there!
Continue Improving Your Targeting Strategy
Continue to revise and strengthen your touchpoints by assessing your sales funnel. We recommend using CRM and analytics tools to analyze your customers’ experience and use that information to keep improving your targeting strategy.
CRM is a great tool to analyze your customers’ journeys from their first contacts through the points of conversion or drop-offs. Google Analytics can also show you the paths they took, including their first contacts, engagements, conversions, drop-offs, and more. These tools can give you a lot of insights into understanding your audience better, equipping you to help your audience feel more connected to your brand and create a more substantial customer experience for them.
In summary, it is essential to remember that your customers are always in different stages of their buyer’s journey. That means you have to engage them using appropriate strategies for each persona and stage. Knowing how to reach your customers at the right time with the right message will be the game-changer for your business’s online performance.
Before you go, we’ve prepared a downloadable infographic with the key points from today’s lesson as well as an ultimate guide to digital advertising. Make sure to take them with you to refer back to whenever you need them!
Need help with digital advertising to reach and engage your ideal audience? Visit element212.com to learn more.