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Digital marketing is easy for the most part. Nowadays anyone can set up an ad campaign on Google or Facebook and get the clicks up. The competition is fierce and everyone wants a piece of the online action.
With the advent of new age tech and consumer startups, there are no limits to the ways you can get people's attention. We have click-based ads, YouTube ads, banner ads, story ads, and so on. At the same time, digital marketing is also becoming more demanding.
While running ads is relatively straightforward, the biggest challenge for most startups and digital marketers is getting an ROI on the advertising money spent on these various channels. Getting ROI is difficult because funding the ad spend is challenging unless the customer trades with you and makes a profit for you.
Anyone can fund ads with investor money in the early stages, but that's not a sustainable way to build the funnel over the long term. The most important question in digital marketing is not how and where the ads are displayed, but how to ensure that the advertising money spent generates an ROI and that the campaigns are sustained over the long term.
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The funnel concept
There are different stages in the funnel, and the only way to get an ad campaign up and running is to make sure that all stages of the funnel are solidly built. In general, small business branding campaigns with bootstrapping are out of the question. Just putting your brand name on TV and on banners will not convert viewers into customers.
Digital marketing becomes more effective when it focuses on lead generation. Gathering names, emails, and phone numbers is the best way to get prospects down the funnel. The best way to get viewers to participate is to give away a free resource in exchange. This is usually called a lead magnet as it attracts the leads. Think of it as an ethical bribe that you give the visitor in exchange for their email ID and permission to re-market them via email.
Most brands (both B2B and B2C) kind of mess it up after this stage. The leads are cold and won't be able to buy your product or service. Trust has to be built. Trust grows with commitment and commitment comes with good content.
Since advertising campaigns are scaled, maintenance must be scaled. And the only way to nurture thousands of leads is through marketing automation. Marketing automation also needs to be personalized on a large scale in a process I call deep marketing.
Deep marketing involves creating a marketing funnel where each segment of your prospects and leads receives unique content that is relevant to them. The higher the relevance, the faster the cold pipes become warm pipes. The process of turning cold leads into warm leads takes time. The best way to achieve this is to send a sequence of emails in a 2-3 day window.
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The value of warm leads
Trust needs to be built before you can start selling to the leads. You need to nurture the leads over time to efficiently convert cold leads to warm leads. But warm leads are not the answer. Warm leads don't bring any money to the bank. Warm leads need a nudge if you want them to become paying customers. You need to gently urge them into a transaction without looking greasy and intrusive.
If the first phase is attention and the second is confidence building, a compelling sales pitch is the third and most important phase of the funnel.
Someone who trusts you means nothing until they are ready to use that trust to transact with you. Warm leads can be converted into paying customers using a variety of sales methods. You can use sales pages, sales videos, sales meetings, group sales through webinars, or even offline meetings.
The effectiveness of an advertising campaign depends not only on the ads, but also on the maintenance sequence and sales efficiency. If the transaction is successful and generating a profit, you can take the profit from the transaction and reinvest it in advertising campaigns to grow.
This process, done long enough, builds a reputation for the brand. The brand's reputation also helps with the ads and increases response rate metrics like click rate, visitor to lead ratio, and lead to customer ratio.
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