The online market place is now the great leveler that can catapult almost any business with the right strategy, into a global player. Social media and traditional media report on these success stories daily. Yet we rarely hear of the online grave yard, where thousands of failed campaigns representing millions of dollars in marketing budgets get assigned everyday.
So what is the difference between successful campaigns and the failures! Of course there can be many reasons, some as simple as the wrong product promoted to the wrong target market. Pricing, timing, product quality and many more. Even the best planned campaigns will not likely over come these issues. Having the right high quality offer, promoted to the correct target market, at the right price, and at the right time still does not guarantee success.
There is however a formula that dramatically increases your chances of creating a successful online campaign. These are:
The 7 Sure-Fire Steps To On-line Marketing Success
A good quality website is crucial, it is highly likely once a lead has been exposed to your offer, they are going to do some research. This will include researching you and or your business, generating a lot of quality traffic to your campaign should always lead to your website. We will go more in-depth on this later. The site should load in a timely manner, be optimised with your keywords, have easy navigation and clearly outline what it is you do. Jon Hollenberg Managing Director of Five By Five Web Design and Author of the best selling book Love At First Site has some great articles on his blog for further reference
There are many options for creating landing pages Leadpages, Unbounce, ClickFunnel, Instapage and GetResponse to name a few. These are great tools with templated designs that can get you up and running fast. Personally my preference is to have your Landing Pages built directly on your website. It will take a little more time to have your web developer design and create them, and likely cost a little more too. The time and expense will be outweighed in the long run by the SEO value of bringing that traffic to your site directly. That is not to say you should not use Landing Page software, these are a great way to split test design and Call to Actions, before settling on your final designs for your website.
Banners are the first images your ideal clients will be exposed to online, that compel them to make that click and enter your sales funnel. Banner design is crucial to the success of your campaigns and it is worth the expense to invest in at least 10 designs for each campaign, then test which ones resonate best with your ideal clients. If your market is global you may find different countries resonate with different banner and Landing Page designs.
This likely sounds as if your marketing budget is quickly being eroded before you even start. And yes these steps can run into thousands of dollars, if you have a creative agency you have worked with previously go ahead and contact them. Another cost effective option is to use outsource agencies, you can find any number of specialists that will assist you like Fiverr and Upwork. A word of caution, you will need to spend some time with these people to ensure the quality, timeliness and price is in line with your expectations.
Another great option is Virtual Assistant services such as Ezy VA here you will find almost every outsourced service you should ever need, all in one place. Another great read is EzyVA’s Founder Monty G Hooke’s newly released book #Business Hacker if you own your own business or are about to start one, this is the book you need to own.
2. Lead Capture
So now you have your website sorted, you have your test Landing pages and banners ready to go. A good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is the next step. Again there are many options from the Rolls Royce of CRM systems Infusionsoft, to Active Campaign, Salesforce and even Mail Chimp. There are many more too! Capturing the details of your ideal clients is critical to the ongoing future success of your campaigns.
These programs will assist you to automate a large portion of your marketing, saving you valuable time and resources that can be diverted to implementing your conversion strategy.
The lead capture process can also make or break your campaign. Asking for too much information too early, will dramatically lower the number of quality opt-ins you receive. Your lead capture process needs to be dynamic enough to capture the extra data as people progress through your sales process. At the very top of your sales funnel avoid asking for phone numbers, address details, or other personal information. Try to limit this to just an email address, or name and email at the most. We will cover this in more depth in the Ascending Transaction Model, the key point is to start researching which CRM service is going to be best for you. Do you really need all of the features of the very top CRM systems, or will the middle or lower end products suffice. The annual cost difference can be thousands of dollars.
3. Social Proof
One of the key components to long term success, in on-line marketing is positioning yourself or your company with credibility and trust. We often make purchasing decisions based on trust and connection. It is almost guaranteed that potential clients will search on-line for more information about you. You need to ensure what they find is positive, and portrays you or your business as the go-to people to solve their problems.
Quality always trumps quantity, however the numbers do help. When someone searches for you and your competitors what is it they will find? If they find your competitor is very active on social media and you are not, or your competitor is blogging regularly and you are not, automatically they become more credible than you. So what if you are doing all of the right things like your competitor, and your competitor has many thousands of followers and you do not. Again credibility passes to them. Never underestimate the role social media plays in buying decisions these days. Invest in some good quality social media presence and follower building and engagement.
The number one question I am always asked is “which social media platforms should I be using” the answer is always the same “whichever platforms your ideal clients are actively using” Just because Facebook is the largest social platform available, there is no point having a presence there if your clients are not regularly visiting Facebook. Before you start, do some research on which platforms are the most loved by your clients then focus on building your presence there. If you or your team do not have experience in social media this can be outsourced to agencies specialising in social media.
4. Targeted Traffic
The next essential component is traffic, somewhat an obvious one however not always a simple or cheap part of the process. There is no shortage of options for generating traffic to your offer, again quality always trumps quantity. There is not much value in getting your offer in front of thousands of people who are never likely to be your clients. Focussing on getting seen by the right audience is always the best option. Here are some potential options for traffic generation.
Building your own high quality email data base should be the long term goal of all of your marketing campaigns. You can speed this up by partnering with other businesses who have products or services that would be complimentary yet not in direct competition to yours. Offering a referral program or affiliate offer for sales made to their data base is just a win/win option for both businesses.
Google Adwords can get your campaign in front of your potential market relatively quickly, depending on your industry this can get very expensive. Unless you have been doing these types of campaigns for some time, it would be best to seek assistance from a reputable adword campaign specialist for your first few campaigns.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest to name just a few have many options for paid traffic generation strategies. Again you should first research which platforms your ideal clients are active on, and seek assistance from reputable specialists if you have not run any campaigns before.
A longer term strategy for on-going campaigns that can be very cost effective, provided you have time on your side. Search targeting is essentially an SEO option that gets your website ranking very high in searches on Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. Here is an example of how search targeting works Search targeting will likely be the most important tool for long term results you can invest in. In 2011 Google coined the phrase Zero Moment of Truth it is even more relevant today. At it’s core the zero moment of truth outlines how consumers now access information that influences their buying decisions, it is compelling reading.
5. An Ascending Transaction Model (ATM)
Your ATM is just the sales journey you are going to take your potential clients on. The ATM is designed to convert your leads to clients by creating trust and educating them to the value of your product or service and why you are the best option they have.
Here is an example of one of my ATM’s
Unless your product or service is very low cost (Under $100) or a constantly heavily discounted item, consumers will be very reluctant to part with their hand earned cash until you have created a level of trust in your business, and have been convinced of your product or services value. Your ATM needs to do just that, step your lead through a number of touch points that ends in you pitching your product or service as the solution to their need.
6. Test & Measure
There is only one true measure of what resonates with your ideal clients, and that is your ideal clients. Everything you do online needs to be quantifiable in both cost and results. If you cannot measure all aspects of your campaign, you will be flying blind to some degree. Google Analytics if properly configured will give you a lot of good data, again if you do not know how to properly set up your analytics profile this is something worth outsourcing before you begin your campaigns.
There are other data sources worth considering for deeper analysis, I like www.weblogexpert.com there are many other services that give you good insights into what is happening on your website. If you are using services like Leadpages, Unbounce etc they will also give you some basic data on hits to your page etc.
The key point here is to have your analytical capabilities in place before you commence your campaign. Make small measurable changes such as your banners, call to actions and test their performance against your previous results. Keep this up until you are sure you have the best campaign you can create.
If you are not doing some remarketing after your main campaign, you are leaving a lot of potential sales on the sidelines. Quite often your offer can be exactly what a potential client is after, they are just not after it right now. Remarketing keeps you on their radar for when the time is right.
Some people will also need more touch points, before they are ready to trust in your services. Seeing you regularly online is a strong way of building that trust they are looking for.
Remarketing also gives you the ability to try a different offer, many people will see you first offer and not be ready to give it a try right now. The offer may not be exactly what they need, yet a slightly varied version could be. Capturing all visitors to your website in a pixel stable is as simple as a small piece of code being added to your site. If you are using a digital marketing agency to manage your campaigns, they will most likely offer this service. If you are running everything in house there are plenty of options to manage your Remarketing campaigns as well. A good one stop shop is Perfect Audience .
Online marketing is not a simple one size fits all solution to your lead generation needs. Following these steps will dramatically increase your results both in the early stages and over the longer term life of your campaigns.