Although brand awareness and social media engagement are important for marketers to consider, in the end, the ultimate goal is to generate measurable ROI. That’s not to say that brand awareness isn’t critical, but that can largely be left to PR and communications specialists. For marketers who operate deeper within the sales funnel, it’s time to shift the focus toward marketing funnel conversion.
To gain new customers, we can’t forget about the middle stages between awareness and conversion. These stages include the consideration, fact gathering and preference stages that allow customers to feel comfortable about purchasing from your company.
Before your customers make a purchase, they need to think of your company’s solution as a viable fit for their needs and develop an affinity for your offering over your competitors. It’s common for marketers to attempt to jump from awareness to conversion but success is more likely to occur when marketers execute micro-conversions. This includes actions like having a lead sign-up for a newsletter, download a white paper, click on a discount offer, and more. If you haven’t used it, Google Analytics Goal Funnel Visualization Report defines how prospects move through the marketing funnel conversion process for CTA's like lead sign up, white paper download or free trial offers.
Another important aspect of focusing on conversions is to assess post-conversion data. Analyzing post conversion gives us insight into why customers converted in the first place. This can provide actionable feedback that can be implemented into future marketing funnel conversion strategies. For example, if you find an ad to be successful, it might be worth running the ad again to reach new potential customers.
Conversion data, coupled with analytics software, can tell you exactly which areas of your campaign performed well, and which stages of the marketing funnel conversion need improvement.
In fact, there is a Google Analytics report every Marketer should leverage to track funnel data. Google Analytics Audience Cohort Analysis. A cohort is a group of users who share a common characteristic that is identified by a marketing variable such as acquisition date, whitepaper downloads, free trial sign up, or paid traffic. You can see how the behavior and performance of individual groups of users changes day to day, week to week, and month to month, relative to when you acquired those users.
In the spirit of sharing, Digitile setup 12 Paid Search cohort groups to compare which prospect group continued to revisit our site over time. Then, we overlaid this analysis with standard Cost Per Click (CPC) data to calculate the actual CPC for our paid search traffic. This provides stronger insights on which paid segments are best suited for our business.
Keep in mind that it can be up to seven times easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to sell to new customers. According to an Invesp analysis, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent, whereas the probability of selling to a new customer is 5-20 percent. And while conversions should be celebrated, repeat conversions are the gold standard.
If you’re successful enough at differentiating your brand’s products and delivering on your brand promise better than your competitors, you’ll begin to notice an increase in brand loyalists—some of whom will convert even further into brand advocates. Achieving a healthy number of brand loyalists is a key factor in obtaining consistent conversions.
The benefit of obtaining brand loyalists also means that you have developed a network of community marketers. Brand loyalists will often recommend your product or services to friends and family through word-of-mouth and social media. When this level of customer satisfaction is achieved amongst a wide audience, you will see a steady increase in organic conversions.
While brand awareness is important, it’s those deeper relationships with customers that will generate substantial ROI. Make sure to nurture your leads down the sales funnel, and spend extra time on the ones toward the bottom. At the end of the day, those more committed customers are going to be the biggest asset to your company, so remember to treat them as such.