What do you want your business’ marketing activities to achieve? More customers? Increased profits? Global expansion? The opportunity to sell the business on? All admirable goals but we’re missing a step.
A marketing campaign doesn’t instantly equate to a hike in sales or a larger bank balance. Nor does it establish an international business overnight or result in a bidding war for your company. In between the marketing campaign and these end goals, there is a step (or two) that needs to happen first, and this step is called ‘conversion’.
MARKETING CONVERSION: TURNING PROSPECTS INTO LEADS
Marketing should all be focused on conversion. Sometimes it can be very direct, especially when you have a specific offer – ‘buy now while stocks last’ etc. However, when you are not promoting a specific offer or product, especially when you’re using inbound marketing techniques such as social media, blogs and email newsletters, the aim must be to get your prospect to take the next step to becoming a customer.
That next step could be to look at your products on your website. For example, perhaps you have a Christmas shop and you want to drive social media followers to your e-commerce store. Or the next step might be to sign up for your email newsletters, for example from a blog post; or perhaps you’ve already got a prospect in your email list and the next step is to get a free quote.
As you can see these objectives are not quite the same as your overall goals for your business. Therefore instead of saying ‘make me rich!’ your marketing messages should all be about that next step; converting prospects into leads.
Converting Leads Into Customers
Marketing also has a place to play in converting those leads into customers. Typically you would expect a prospect to take a customer journey that might involve following your company on social media, visiting your website having been signposted from your social media, reading content on your blog, signing up for an email newsletter, receiving an offer in an email (free quote, consultation, discounted product etc.), using that offer and then buying your product or service.
How do prospects and leads know what customer journey they should take? You tell them. This is the crux of marketing conversions: telling prospects what you want them to do next.
Here are 3 ways to do this:
Call To Action (CTA)
Don’t leave your prospects in any doubt about what they need to do next. Tell them. If your prospect is on social media and you want them to visit your website give them a reason to do so, and then explain how to do it.
If I want you to ‘like’ our Stop and Stare Facebook page, I could say something like:
“Get awesome marketing tips and inspiration from our team by giving us a ‘like’ on our Facebook page
Now I know you’re all trying hard to resist that CTA, and no doubt some readers will take great satisfaction in telling me that it didn’t work, but you get the idea. Your prospects need some direction, and a CTA will tell them exactly what you need them to do next.
Be Relevant and Timely
The CTA above would have no impact if the offer contained was not relevant to my prospects or delivered in a timely way. As the MD of a marketing agency my prospects expect me to share content and marketing messages that relate to how I can help them. They’re not going to be interested in my views on Donald Trump, unless…
There may be an opportunity to use shared interests in your marketing, but only if you can demonstrate why it’s relevant to your prospects and why they should be interested in your perspective. So if I were to share a blog post about why the Trump marketing campaign was so effective at getting him elected, that would be relevant content. However, if I were to just share my opinions on Trump’s hairstyle, that would be irrelevant and could potentially damage my brand – I’m not a hairdresser or toupee maker.
The marketing message also needs to be timely. It might be timely because it’s about something that’s currently on your prospects’ minds – as in the example of Trump – or because it is the next, timely step in your customer journey.
We all want our prospects to turn into customers quickly, but you could risk losing them completely if you rush them to a step they’re not ready to take. A good example of this is a blog post. Having read a post about the pros and cons of outsourcing your marketing, are you ready to hire a marketing agency and put down a retainer?
Probably not, unless you’ve already done your research and perhaps have spoken to a few potential agencies too. Instead, you’re more likely to want more information, perhaps read a case study, and book a meeting or phone call. That’s why you won’t find a CTA at the end of this post asking you to set up a Direct Debit!
Speak Your Prospects’ Language
My final tip on marketing conversions is to speak your prospects’ language. Of course, if you’re marketing to a particular group who speak Spanish, you’ll need to translate and localise your content for that group. But it’s not just about linguistics.
It might be a question of using ‘layman’s terms’ in your messaging – if your prospects don’t know your industry jargon and terminology you’ll only make them feel stupid if they need a dictionary to read your content. People don’t like to be made to feel stupid, and they’re very unlikely to buy from a brand that makes them feel like this.
However, ‘speaking in their language’ is also about speaking to them about the things that matter. Their challenges and aspirations, not just your solution. My solution is to provide marketing packages for local businesses, but that’s only a small part of our marketing collateral – you need to ask to see that! Instead, our marketing content is focused on providing prospects with insights into how we run effective marketing campaigns, sharing advice for doing it yourself (we know that many clients do some of their marketing in-house), and also giving prospects a sneak preview of what it’s like to work with us – the dream team!
By speaking directly to prospects about the things they care about or need help or support with; delivering your marketing message in a relevant and timely way, and always having a clear Call To Action so they know what they should do – you can increase your marketing conversions.
When this works effectively your overall business goals of increasing sales, profits, expansion and securing your exit plan, are going to be a step closer as well.
If you found this helpful and would like to discuss your marketing strategy, and how an agency like Hyped Marketing can help you and your in-house marketing team, please get in touch. 01252 717373 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Psst: if you would like to see view our marketing packages, click here.