Sales Funnels are integral tools in Online and Social Media Marketing
If you've been browsing many articles and videos online on how to achieve your Social Media Marketing goals, you'll find that most of these sources will show a sales model to help you build relationships with prospective customers in order to win their trust that they'll buy whatever goods or services you're selling online. This model is called the Sales Funnel.
Sales Funnel is a buying process companies use to lead customers into buying their products. The end goal is to build long-term customer relationships based on trust that will shape customer loyalty that they'll keep buying whatever product or service you re-market to them. It's designed in a step-by-step basis with the intention of finding a common ground with a customer, whether through problems or interests, and build on that foundation to form a relationship. While Sales Funnel models varies in the amount of steps included, there are nonetheless 4 aspects based on AIDA Marketing - Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action.
However, one integral concept missing on many of these models is the incorporation of the company's steps in relation towards the customers - as models are based around customers' changing perspectives and attitudes towards a product/service:
Consider what companies do in each Sales Funnel's step...
With the presence of internet and social media today, it has become much more easier for companies to base their online Marketing campaigns on each Sales Funnel's step. It has also changed companies' approach in utilising the model in terms of Sales and Marketing due to increased online customer engagement:
Sales Funnel's implementation online is different from traditional marketing
With the combination of corporate and customer perspectives as well as new approaches to using Sales Funnels, companies can create a comprehensive and in-depth online marketing strategy to promote their goods to target audiences based on each stage:
1) Awareness - This is the stage where customer becomes aware of your brand's existence and the products/services you're offering. Customers are exposed to a plethora of brands online, and because there are no specific targeting yet (customers haven't acted in following your ads), a simple browsing can bait a prospective customer's attention to your business.
As a business, you can implement basic actions like display ads on search engine results, pop-up advertisement videos, SEO (Search Engine Optimisations) results and social media post (provided your ad campaigns are marketing to your target audience) to pique their interest.
Step 1: Awareness - brand exposure to customer's recognition and acknowledgement
Your success depends on whether the customer will accept to buy your offer or not..
4) Action - The "final" stage of Sales Funnel and by this point, only a few of your persuaded customers are committed to buy your offered goods. Their inquiries and concerns satisfied by your content and thorough customer service interaction. For the customer to buy or not to buy your product reveals the extent of your Online Marketing successes.
It would be a mistake to think that no action is required from your business at this point. The main aim of using the Sales Funnel is to build long-term customer relationships and loyalty that you can depend on to generate revenues provided that product quality and customer service is maintained. Otherwise your customer ends up being only one-time, your company must reach out to the customer through FAQs, feedback forms webinars or online customer service to convert loyalty into a customer and continuously re-market to them.
The end of Sales Funnel is merely the beginning of building Customer Relationships
It must be understood that customer service enquiries are present throughout the steps in the Sales Funnel. You being the organisation must have a presence of availability to answer any customer inquiries whenever possible. Understand that the Sales Funnel is merely a guide on how to structure your online marketing efforts. You can tailor the model to suit your advertisement's goals.
The model is a tool; never a rule.
By Mikhail Acebo
As Social Media continues to become businesses’ most important marketing tool to reach wider audiences and promote their products further around the world, it becomes a marketing field on its own with important terminologies and rules on how organisations can market effectively. Knowing these 10 Essential Social Media Terms can help you familiarize with online advertising to better achieve your marketing goals:
A coded program to be adhered to for calculations and other problem-solving computations by computer. In online marketing, sites like Facebook and how they optimize your ad sets to show to potential target audiences is governed by an algorithm. This is important on whether you want to configure your online ad campaigns manually or automatically.
How Facebook operates its algorithm…
The use of technology to gather data for purposes of analysis and evaluation. In social media marketing, this means data analytics like CTWs (Clicks to Websites), conversion rates and number of units by online users to your page or website. Businesses analyse these data to modify outreach targeting to achieve marketing goals.
An example of a Social Media Analytics…
Clickthrough Rate (CTR)
A common unit that measures your social media marketing effectiveness in terms of actions performed by users. These actions can be clicking on an ad or a link in a marketing campaign. Depending on how you set your CTR standards for goals, a low CTR would mean lesser engagement with customers and a higher CTR would mean higher customer engagement. Part of marketing campaign is involving your target audience to do something that would compel them to buy your products/services, as exemplified by CTR.
CTR Rate Measurement
Marketing based on marketing content that are educational, informative or entertaining like videos or articles. It’s intended to build customer loyalty and brand awareness. Common in social media marketing like posting nutrition tips from a gym, video on car repairs by automechanic company or online cooking lessons from a Food & Beverage company.
An example of Buzzfeed’s Content Marketing in the form of “Food & Nutrition tips” article
Small visual mediums on websites like images, video or audio. Can also be written. Mainly used for retargeting on users that have bought your products/services.
Display ads are often employed on right-hand side of websites or search engine results
A metric to indicate users’ “positive action” enacted on a website or social media page likes, sales, payments, newsletter signups or content downloads. Important when it comes to measuring earned revenue from social media.
The Conversion Process from product viewing to purchasing – online marketing aims to lead consumers to eventually purchase products
CTA (Call to Action)
Any written or visual section giving specific instructions for users to act on. Examples are “click here”, “Download Now” or “submit feedback” related to gauging in conversions and improving customer engagement.
Example of a Call To Action on a website
Refers to the total amount of actions by online users in relation to your pages and/or posts like sharing, likes, comments or tags designated to promote brand awareness and reach intended target audience outreach goals. Depending on your PTAT goal standards, a “low” calculated PTAT indicates low brand exposure to its target audiences which means less people are talking about your products/services plus subsequently low marketing outreach and vice versa. It is important therefore to know your PTAT for your social media marketing activities and capitalize on the results to improve online customer engagement with your page.
PTAT is crucial to maintaining high customer engagement
Followers are online users that subscribes to a business’ social media page or its corporate websites for content updates like discounts, vouchers and other incentives in relation to products/services they’re interested in. Followings are used to define your conversion rates and quantify CTAs (Calls to Actions) in terms of how people interact with your social media page or website. Additionally, Followers are important to build long-term customer loyalties and product retargeting to maintain your organisation’s positive Brand Management image.
Gain your followers from diverse social media sites
Amount of People who have seen content from your social media page. There are many types of Reach but two are essential: 1) Total and 2) Post. The Former explains how many have seen your page content for last 7 days including views and visits in your social media page. The Latter explains how many have seen a specific online post in their newsfeeds. These two Reach types are important to your advertising campaigns, whether you’re seeking short-term or long-term social media marketing.
Wider Online Reach = more Followers gained = more online customers = achieve Marketing Goals
Social Media Mistakes: What they are and how to Avoid them
The use of online and social media marketing is on the rise and the days of traditional marketing seems to be numbered. The world of 21st century commerce is about to head in a direction that is dominated by the internet and social media, invaluable assets that businesses must utilize for greater outreach and redefine business-customer interaction.
But as more businesses open social media accounts and implement the internet as their main marketing asset, mistakes are suddenly emerging. These mistakes are caused by businesses’ inexperience with use of social media and failure to distinguish it from conventional marketing tools. Social media is a marketing branch of its own, possessing unique characteristics absent in posters, tv commercials and radios.
An uninformed use of social media marketing may well cost you your business if these mistakes aren’t recognized and rectified:
1. Not differentiating between different Social Media platforms
Some businesses that use social media for marketing purposes often open several social media accounts from different sites such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. They will create these accounts with similar goals and strategies as well as post similar content and target similar audiences. They assume that they are all the “same” since they are social media sites, right?
Consider Instagram closely and how it might different to other sites like Facebook or Twitter. Instagram is designed to feature users’ photos and short snippets of videos showing their content to their followers. Text is less emphasized with comments and hashtags being the most common texts in Instagram. Instagram is a visual medium, and because of its emphasis on images different marketing strategies must be implemented. Also, tailor contents specific to each platform. For example, offers and discounts may be more appropriate for Facebook than Twitter, as Twitter functions more like a real-time news source than for a proper social media. Most importantly, businesses don’t have to use all social media accounts if it doesn’t help them achieve their goals. If Twitter gets them more outreach than Facebook or Instagram, then consider dropping the latter two and optimize on the former on its marketing outreach.
2. No goals or strategies regarding the use of Social Media
Like how marketing works for posters or commercials, using social media requires goals and strategies that needs to be achieved. Some businesses create social media and simply post content that does nowhere to improve their outreach or online outreach. Despite its tendency for “private” and “personal” content, social media is still a business asset that necessitates a plan for businesses on how to use it.
How you design and post your business’ social media content depends on the aims you’ve identified and trying to achieve. Do you seek to increase online traffic to your page? Or are you using social media to raise customers’ awareness of your brand? Or simply do you see social media as a tool for conversion to build and maintain customer loyalty? Identify the goals you need for your accounts and devise action plans on how to achieve. Prioritise creating short-term and long-term goals on how you want to utilize social media.
3. Not offering incentives when promoting your products or services
Some businesses are mistaken in using social media as mere advertising platform. Because they are cheaper than traditional marketing, businesses can post endless content of advertisements promoting their products/services complete with their prices and other necessary details attached. While social media can and do used as an advertising platform, users will become disinterested if there is no “hook” or “bait” for them if they’re going to buy a business’ advertised product or service.
That’s because customers, just like in real-life, often ask for more than what they bargained for. Despite not consciously knowing, everyone wants a complementary item or service in addition to the main goods being sold. In the e-commerce world, incentives drive sales and are even more impactful than in their traditional marketing form. Consider offering anything from discounts, free items or memberships to your promoted products/services whenever possible. Online users are more skeptical and demanding of products/services than buying goods in the real world.
4. Not interacting with online customers
Unlike answering calls or face-to-face inquiries, businesses with online presence are subjected to more interactions than what’s needed. Any posted content or comments by businesses are liable to be commented upon or sent messages from online users. Businesses not responding to any comments or questions online may have their reputation damaged as negative feedbacks persist and any absence of response may be taken by people as shirking responsibility, particularly in the case of crises happening.
Consider responding to users’ inquiries wherever and whenever possible. Reply through emails, messages or comments whenever appropriate. Directly answer customers’ questions and do not give statements that are vague or confusing that consumers can presume as lying by businesses. Most importantly, online customer interaction is STILL customer service. So always use appropriate language and diction when replying to a customer’s comment. You’re still representing the business even when online.
For now, these are some of the mistakes that can be easily identified and fixed by businesses when it comes to social media marketing. These ones suffice for those beginning to use social media for marketing purposes. So go back now to your business online page and try to remedy some of the mistakes that you see resemble to the ones in this article.
By Mikhail Acebo
Is traditional advertising dead?
With over 80% of Australians using social media now. Social media has become too big of a thing to ignore and with traditional advertising becoming more obsolete and inefficient as we progress deeper into the 21st century, small businesses need to be able to advertise where the attention is.
So how do you start to build and establish your credibility online? Here are some tips that you can start implementing today in your healthcare practice if you are a plastic surgeon, dentist, physician or doctor.
1. Keep your Facebook page active
As of November 2017, the social networking site Facebook has over 2 billion monthly active users. With almost all of the developed and developing world now on the platform, there is an enormous opportunity cost to not be on Facebook. Start off by creating a Facebook page for your clinic if you haven’t already, be sure to use a clear profile and cover picture.
Post at least 3 times a week
Posting three times a week will ensure that your page is active with new content, so new people will want to check out your page. Some ideas to post on Facebook include:
Build a community
Interact with people on Facebook! There is a reason why it is called SOCIAL media, things are supposed to be social! Ask questions, encourage people to LIKE and COMMENT on your posts, and always reply and “like” comments that people leave on your posts. People want to feel like they are connected and are part of something.
Post visual images
People are visual, make sure you are posting HIGHLY VISUAL and EMOTIONAL content. We all know that a picture speaks more than a thousand words. Tip: Use Canva.com to design simple and attractive social media posts.
Link back to your website (SEO)
Always include a link to your website in all of the posts that you post on social media sites, this ensures that you have a higher rank in Google when people search for you.
2. Use Hyper-targeted Facebook Advertising
With all the information collected on social media platforms such as Facebook, Facebook Ads is an extremely powerful tool to target a specific demographic of your audience. For example, if you run a cosmetic dentist clinic and you know that most of your patients are between the ages of 25-45, lives within 10 km of Melbourne CBD, and happen to be mostly female - you are able to use that information and display advertisements to that SPECIFIC demographic of people on Facebook. You can even narrow your targeting down to the net worth and income of people.
3. Post frequently on Instagram
With more than 800 MILLION people on Instagram (and growing), Instagram is the next up and coming platform after Facebook, Instagram was in fact acquired by Facebook in 2012. Instagram is the perfect platform for healthcare professionals such as dentists and surgeons, given the visual nature of the platform.
Connect Instagram to Facebook
Integrate your Facebook content with Instagram so that content posted on Instagram will be posted to Facebook simultaneously.
Post educational content
Inform and educate viewers on procedures, health tips, beauty tips, depending on your industry.
Before & After Photos
Show exceptional results here, make use of the visual platform that Instagram is to showcase results. The contrast effect is a powerful human psychological bias that when used effectively can bring enormous upside.
Make use of influencers
Influencer marketing is becoming a huge industry in itself, celebrities like Kim Kardashian are charging companies over $500,000 for ONE Instagram post, reaching her 104 million followers. Although your patients may not include ultra famous socialites or celebrities such as the Kardashians, asking previous patients or customers to give you a shoutout on their Instagram can help you get heard (especially if they have a relatively large following).
This surgeon has asked a previous client who has a large following on Instagram, to do a shoutout for him (this helps him get his name heard)
4. Create Visual Content
Within the next 4 years, 82% of all consumer internet traffic will be based on video content. As consumers rate visual content (photos and videos) as one of the most important forms of content, small businesses that aren’t or are slow to produce videos are lagging behind the curve.
Facebook & Instagram
Use these platforms to share and post your photos and videos!
A YouTube channel can be set up to post videos on to your website.
Record a video sharing about yourself, how you started your practice, and your thoughts. This allows potential clients and customers to get to know you without having to even meet you in person. Have a video tour of your office and record video interviews with your team/staff. Use videos to provide quick 1-2 minute patient testimonials (social proof is important!)
Use video and photo content to display video clips at industry conferences, events and/or seminars.
5. Give, Give, Give
Giveaways and contests are a great way to keep your social media followers engaged, offer discounts and promotions as an incentive to your social media followers. This is all part of building a community.
I hope that you found this information useful in your daily marketing efforts. If you would like to talk about how Vertex Social Media can help your business we would love to hear from you. *Get a complimentary FREE Social Media Audit NOW.
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Vertex Social Media helps amazing small businesses in the healthcare industry keep up and not get left behind in the social media revolution.