Are Social Media and Digital Marketing the answer to instantaneous business growth as you seamlessly acquire new customers for your product? Well, yes and no.
When we use digital marketing as a tool for acquiring more paying customers we definitely have an upper hand over the dinosaurs of traditional marketing ( radio, television, newspaper, magazines et al) through:
a) better-targeted marketing,
b) proportionately lower marketing costs,
c) more flexibility on creativity and
d) personal authenticity
The thing is before we experience the latent effects of social media marketing there are a few prerequisites to making digital platforms work for us and one of these is knowing how to build a simple, working marketing funnel.
Without this, you will inadvertently throw money into a lot of sponsored social media ads without a commensurate return on your investment. You will not make money from all those fancy social media ads you plan to do.
What's a marketing funnel? It is simply a model of the stages of the customer journey your client makes, from when they hear about your product or service to the moment they make that purchase.
Over the past 10 years, I have helped numerous startups develop marketing funnels for social media that have given them up to 20 X Times the return on their digital marketing investment in just 3 months.
Here are the 10 steps I recommend to construct a simple, working marketing funnel:
1. Content: Structure your content. That's it.
First, understand the purpose of your content. Is it to entertain, inform, advise, transform, or a mixture of some of these? Once you have that on lock, stick to that purpose and be consistent about how you communicate in that vein.
Good content, especially for the purpose of eventually selling a product:
- creates debate
- educates, and
- in the process transforms the mindset of the intended buyer.
I advise putting out content consistently over 6 months and creating a combined community across at least 4 social media platforms amounting to a minimum of 10,000 followers before diving into paid ads. And this is what you will be doing over those 6 months:
2. Social Media:
Understand how to engage online.
It is not enough to appreciate the purpose of what you have to put out.
You have to follow what I call the 4Cs of effective social media posting for success:
iii. Consistency, and
The first 3 are self-explanatory, I'll talk about the last one: courage.
Most people are shy about talking about their business or themselves on social media due to imposter syndrome. Understandable as this is, know that visibility = credibility = profitability.
People buy from people and people buy from people they trust. The best way to build trust at scale in the 21st Century is to put yourself and your business out there, online. Simple.
Respond appropriately to all comments and direct messages. Do not let your feed feel like one-way traffic. Let potential customers feel engaged and listened to. Encourage debate and sharing across your platforms. Ask questions and support answers.
4. The Power of One-on-Ones:
Be brave enough to funnel those most interested in your product from your timeline to a private message, to email, to Whatsapp, to texts, to phone calls, to eventual face-to-face virtual meetings on Zoom.
Facilitate free webinars and 15-minute clarity calls so that you can get valued face time with potential clients and continue building on trust in what you have to offer them.
From your One-on-Ones, you definitely have people who want what you have to sell, who at the worst are at least mildly curious about your business. This is the moment you articulate the breakthrough your product will give them. Wrap it up with a key finisher CTA (Call to action): deadline dates, times, offers, and price.
Follow up on those potential clients you made a sale to. Remember, a sale is not complete until you have money in the bank. Induce with secondary offers, early payment discounts, flexible payment plans, and deposit-taking. The art is how to do this without coming off as desperate or nagging.
Reach out to people who purchased your product or service and through their feedback understand areas of improvement and also what makes you stand out from the rest.
Keep a database (also called a pipeline) of all people who have directly contacted you with an email and phone number. Chunk them into :
b) repeat buyers and
c) potential buyers.
They are valuable for cross-selling, upselling, and for use in powerful online and offline testimonials. Remember to ask for fair use of their images on your social media platforms.
Reach out to your members for referrals and give them an opportunity to partner with you and expand your brand and your business. A well-structured referral system not only grows your customer reach but can also be a secondary source of passive income.
Always reach out and back to your membership portfolio and look for creative ways to appreciate and reward them through freemiums, gift hampers, tickets to events, cocktail events, book signings, and frequent social media mentions.
If you follow these non-technical, 10 steps and refine this process continuously you will experience a compounding effect on your customer traction growth across social media platforms and more importantly your traction where it matters most: for buying customers.
Until you do so, it really doesn't make sense to start paying for social media ads and expecting immediate revenue from strangers.
Jan Okonji is the founder, Business Growth Solutions and an entrepreneur with a passion for turning ideas into profitable businesses. He can be contacted for business support services and advice here
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