Sales funnels are an effective technique and should be included in every digital marketing strategy. A sales funnel is the process of turning a stranger into a customer through a sequence of steps. Most digital marketers commonly use sales funnels with paid advertising (Pay-per-Click marketing campaigns). Pay-per-Click marketing (PPC) is a great way to get highly targeted traffic to your brand with the potential of winning more business. In fact, PPC is often one of the biggest, if not THE biggest marketing channel in Small-and-Medium sized organizations. The larger the company revenue, usually the larger the ad budget.
The biggest platforms for placing ads are Google Adwords, Facebook ads and Bing ads. Although these channels can work well, they are also not easy to master. Even top marketers will struggle here and there because the ad platform wants to be the one who wins in this equation. Spending money on online ads can be very rewarding, however the layman can also easily lose a lot of money.
A much easier, less risky and possibly even more rewarding channels can be the use of social funnels in your digital marketing strategy, sales funnels originating from organic social media marketing. Social media has rapidly evolved to become a tool for businesses to showcase their work and expertise and to build their community online. Why not use this tremendously powerful channel properly for gaining awareness, but also to generate leads?
How does it all work? Let’s start with the example of Twitter. Your business probably has a Twitter profile in place. The question now is how to use this profile and your audience to monetize your business. In the first step you have to build the audience. On Twitter, this will happen through a dedicated content marketing strategy, the right use of hashtags, engagement and commenting to your audience and potential market, etc. Furthermore, you can use follow/unfollow tactics which involves the targeting of profiles based on certain keywords or competitors. It doesn’t require magic and you will find yourself building your audience gradually.
Once you have more people following you by using these methods, you can send them a welcome tweet where you can link them to a special offer. This offer can be a valuable content resource, e.g. an e-book, case study, video, tutorial etc. In some cases the offer could also be a coupon code or discount for your product or service. It is very important that the offer is entirely value-oriented and free because the traditional straight-into-the face sales technique does not work in the first contact with your social media follower. Furthermore, don’t forget that you are marketing on social media, not in a business magazine or on a tradeshow. Social media has a more casual nature and Twitter has a very short attention span. This creates a need of being creative, out-of-the-box thinking and sociable.
Your audience on social media will be less of quality compared to highly targeted Pay-per-Click marketing campaign, however these are your followers, your community that will hopefully stay with you if you are providing value to them. This makes this marketing channel so interesting. A PPC campaign can instantly be switched off while your followers and your community have built a relationship with your brand.
Of course, you will not only message or tweet to your followers once. This marketing channel utilizes its most potential when you market continuously over time. Regardless of these channels, a sale always takes many contact points with a lead. Having these “leads” in your follower base certainly helps to market to get your message across constantly and to always stay on top of mind.
Despite many automation opportunities in digital media, it’s often best to actively pick up engaging comments, discussions and replies and to personally talk to people on social media channels.
With these ways you can use social media as a profitable channel for your business, not just for the sake of having your brand features somewhere on it. You will be surprised about the untapped potential which you can harness by committing on making social media marketing a profitable marketing channel.