How do you define success? Minds smarter than ours have come up with some great definitions, such as American author Gene Fowler, who said that success is ‘a toy balloon among children armed with pins,’ or Woody Allen, who said it is ‘80% showing up’.
Alexander Graham Bell said that ‘preparation is the key to success,’ and for businesses looking to reach their digital marketing objectives, this may be the quote to be inspired by.
Preparation is key, and no matter what your digital marketing objectives are – more website traffic, lead generation, lead conversion, sales – preparing a strong marketing funnel to bring your target market from visitor to customer and even promoter of your product or services is what will bring that success.
There’s no point in building a bridge over a river but leaving one fifth of it missing, or ready to crumble, and similarly there is no point in building, for example, a really strong website optimisation strategy full of killer content that brings in traffic if there is nowhere for those visitors to go once they get there. All parts of your sales funnel must be strong, and all must work towards providing the right content to the right people at the right time in their customer journey.
So how do you know if each part of your sales funnel is strong? How do you measure it? And how can you best prepare it to be practically perfect in every way, or to put it simply, to have maximum efficiency and effectiveness? Let’s take a look.
First things first – you want traffic coming in to your website. This is right at the top of the funnel, the TOFU as we call it. If you don’t have this, the rest of your sales funnel will resemble a barren wasteland. You need to make sure your content is optimised for organic search, bringing in people who are looking for the solutions you provide. You need it to include keywords your target market is likely to use in search, and you need it to be relevant, informative and helpful.
There are many facets to optimisation, and you can take a look at what you need to do here.
The next thing you need to measure is the click-rates on your Calls To Action (CTAs).
While having lots of people come to your website is great, it’s only the beginning. Just as a store that sees thousands of people browse around the aisles but never manages to sell anything won’t last, you need your visitors to do more than just take a look around. You need them to convert to customers. That’s where your CTAs come in, and you need to measure which ones work. Do people click on them? Are you getting the right information from the landing pages they are directed to, to turn them into leads?
Find out about the basics of a good CTA here.
A COS like the HubSpot portal allows you to analyse the important metrics that will show you the number of clicks you get, the percentage of views that lead to clicks, and the percentage of clicks that lead to the submission of forms that give you leads.
See CTAs that aren’t working? Replace them with those more relevant to the blog posts or web content they feature in.
Consider using smart CTAs. These are a great way of personalising and optimising the visitor’s experience on your website. Remember the part about giving the right information to the right people at the right time? If you segment your CTAs based on where the visitor is in the customer journey, you can provide the offer that is most relevant and helpful to them at their stage in the sales funnel, rather than simply offering the same CTA every time they visit.
Ok, so you’ve taken a look at the top of the funnel. Now it’s time to go to the Middle, the MOFU, where you need to measure whether you are meeting your objectives by channelling your leads further along the customer journey to become qualified leads.
Are you providing the relevant content that turns a visitor into someone interested in further information? How many people are becoming qualified leads? Are they engaging in the workflow you have set up to channel them through their journey? Are they clicking through and downloading more specific information, and giving you more information about themselves on effective landing pages in return? If not, you need to look at where the funnel is breaking down, and tweak the workflow and the CTAs, offers, etc, you are providing there.
The bottom of the funnel, the BOFU, is where we want our leads to be. In an ideal world, people would visit your website, know what they want, and purchase it, but life is never that easy. You have to work at getting them to the stage where they are ready to make a purchasing decision, and the last thing you want is to put all that time, effort and resources into channelling them through the customer journey, only to fall at the last hurdle (like this poor lady).
Bottom of the funnel also relates to bottom line. You have made potential customers sales-ready, so how many of these actually led to sales, how much it cost to get them there, and therefore, how much value you have gotten from the whole process.
Look at the content that produced the most conversions and brought most sales, and focus your digital marketing efforts on these, but also try to use what was effective in these in the weaker content to enhance them.
There is no clear-cut path to success, but setting out the objectives that will allow you to measure what works and what doesn’t will at least help to point you in the right direction.
Get more great tips on creating great content to increase lead generation by downloading our Lead Generation Survival Kit: