AdWords work incredibly well and almost lulls you into a false sense of believe. But there isn’t anywhere else where people actually complete the search/click/convert process. Not in content marketing, or social media, and even on Facebook. On the contrary, you are in front of a very particular situation where most of the visitors on your website, which might range from 70% to 90%, will leave your website without having bought a single thing and they will probably never return. And if you think this is something to worry about, you still need to continue reading.
Websites that offer complex product like expensive software or consulting service will present conversion rates of less that %1. This does not mean that your tactics are not working or that you should stop investing in advertising. What you really need to do is to analyze and understand what you are actually against in order to make the proper planning. Each one of these visitors are not looking to buy, they are just browsing which mean that they are at a different stage in the “costumer journey”.
Awareness – The buyer does not want or need your product, Information – The buyer now needs or wants the product and it is actively searching for solution, Evaluation – The buyer is considering and comparing alternatives, Purchase – The buyer commits to taking action.
Even if this model is a little cliché, it is quite helpful since it gives you a starting point. It gives you a standardized system so you are able to design your own promotional content efforts to each step of the journey.
Before the following steps you need to be aware of the whole perspective especially when planning. You have two objectives in one. On one hand, you will try to open up the funnel in order to include as many potential people as possible and the reason is that it is possible to compensate for a poor conversion rate with more volume. And on the other hand, you are trying to get as many micro-conversions as you can at each one of the steps. This includes many elements like newsletters opt-ins, eBook downloads, webinar registrations, and free demonstrations among many others. Additionally, people who are already familiar with your product are more likely to buy it. This means that the micro-conversions, despite requiring a lot of work, are extremely helpful.
However, it is important to understand that even if there are a lot of fishy new tactics that are currently working for getting more visitors to your website, at the end of the day what it is most important is the relation product-public and how you direct your product to the proper public target.
The first step consists in turn those people who are just browsing with problems at the top of the funnel into leads. These people are just beginning to realize that they have a problem and they need solution for that, which also means that they need to start looking for the solution.
They are not typing for specific alternatives for solving their problems yet. However, they are beginning to search for information regarding the problem that is causing them acute pain.
Here is when reports, guide and eBooks come in handy. They show up offering solutions and alternatives to these people who are wondering about them. These people are researching, improving, troubleshooting or preventing.
Ant, it has recently discovered that it is a lot easier to promote a piece of content at the top of the funnel than a commercial content at the bottom of the funnel. This is because it is easier to make other people use your link on their websites when you are offering an interesting newsletter, free eBook, or any other content than convincing them to use the link of your boring commercial content.
The second step consists in capturing researchers that are found in the middle of the funnel. These people understand that they have a problem and they are researching in order to know the alternatives and options that they can choose from in order to solve this problem. This means that they are searching for different elements like solutions, providers, tools, suppliers, and devices just like the one you are currently offering.
However, they are not quite ready to talk about pricing since they are still looking for information in order to understand what they are getting into. They normally go through demonstrations, comparison, and videos among many others to get what they want. Many of the market methods in the middle of the funnel include online free tools that help people calculate, scan, or evaluate different kinds of information while, at the same time, the website gets the contact information of the users that are now getting interested in the product or service.
The third step is converting the hot leads that are at the bottom of the funnel. When people get at the bottom of the funnel they have already gotten enough information to help them make up their minds towards purchasing the product or service. They have a notion of the problem they have, the solution they want or need, the time that it will take to solve their problem and the amount of money that they are willing to pay.
If you have efficiently done the hard work of 1) awakening their interest long enough in order to gain their trust and then 2) giving them the information they need regarding the need they have as well as explaining the value of the product or service that you offer. At this point you can offer case studies or free trials and even demonstrations which provide the people with a sense of ownership. When people test the products themselves, they risk of losing potential buyers is reduced, many people don’t know how important free trials are.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that flashy attention calling ads are not all you need, the secret is to present the public target your solution to their problems through each step of the funnel.