How to build a Low Cost Digital Marketing funnel that's Evergreen?
Six more months and it will be the year 2020, a year of vision for Malaysia that has been promoted decades ago. Technology has advanced so much that the world is a much smaller place today, with the Internet almost everyone is connected in some way online.
Seeing all the advancement in technology, with modern businesses all going the digital route with their online presence and digital marketing campaigns, and yet some businesses are still resistant to change. Often giving reasons such as not having the budget or that they are unsure of the ROI should do invest in this virtual channel.
These businesses, for lack of a better description, are destined to slowly fade out of existence. Unknowingly they will see their sales drop, their customer base stops growing, and eventually they come to the conclusion to shutdown their business entirely as it is no longer sustainable.
Are you one of those business owners, who resist change or are unwilling to invest in a new technology, a channel that is virtual, intangible?
I hope you are not one of the 'fade outs', and if I are, we hope you finish reading this article, for it may very well change your perception towards digital marketing and save your business.
In this article I will discuss what you will need in order to build yourself an evergreen digital marketing funnel with minimum cost.
The five major components you will need to build this evergreen digital marketing funnel are:
Relevant and Useful Content
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Social Media Promotion
Let's take a closer look at each component below.
Digital Marketing is the future of marketing. However many rely on third party platforms to build their marketing funnel. Often times businesses rely on Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, Instagram, Pinterest and other social platforms as their main online presence.
While having a presence on social media is great, it is definitely not ideal. It is never a good idea to build your main web presence on a third party platform where you have no control of it's development, direction and policies.
Look at the past greats in social media, Friendster, MySpace, which were once high performing social networks that brought much success to those who managed to leverage the platform.
However, years of effort building up traffic and audience has gone up in flames and if your business was relying 100% on those networks, then your business is as good as toast once the platform loses popularity or shuts down.
Many argue that Facebook is not going anywhere anytime soon, yes we would agree with that statement as well. However we are unable to predict how much longer it will stay relevant. There are tons of newer social platforms being introduced, and while one platform may appeal to a specific generation, the next generation may shun it.
Did you know that Facebook is now considered a social network for old folks? Namely those who are 30 years old and above, Gen Z are not into Facebook, but rather they prefer platforms like Snapchat, Instagram.
So unless you are prepared to put in 10 times the effort to build your audience and following on 10 different social networks, you're better off leveraging these 10 different networks and converge all the traffic into a business website.
A business website is a virtual asset which you own and have full control of, Mark Zuckerberg will not be able to one day come up to you and cut half of your traffic or views just because he introduced a new algorithm.
Look at the changes on Facebook over the past few years and you know what I'm talking about, post views on Facebook Pages have dramatically dropped. The reason? Facebook wants to show more relevant content that are related to your friends and family to it's audience instead of business posts.
This is understandable, as Facebook is looking after their users who are on the platform to socialize and interact with their friends and family, not being bombarded with sales messages. From another perspective, Facebook is also trying to encourage more businesses to use their Ads platform, which is their main income.
Now think about it this way, had you been spending the past 5 years channeling traffic from your Facebook Page over to your business website, guess what, you own that traffic today, and are not at the mercy of Facebook.
All is not lost yet, as it is still possible to to leverage social media to build your site traffic, but you'll have to start now. Get your business website built as soon as possible and start leveraging social media to drive traffic over to your website.
Doing so, you would have built up some significant traffic before any of the current social platforms start to lose its relevance. Once that happens, move on to the next big social platform and leverage its popularity and drive even more traffic to your business site, you only stand to gain more in the long run if you do so.
Relevant and Useful Content
Now that we've understood the importance of having your own business website, you'll need to know how to keep your audience on your site and make them come back for more.
Let's take a step back and look at the reasons why we would visit any website. Is it cause of the design? Or is it cause of the content? Now design does play an important role in instilling confidence and professionalism, but the main reason people visit websites is for the content.
You may have a favorite blog which you visit often, you're most likely not there just to look at the site's pretty layout over and over again. No! You're there for the content because it is relevant and useful to you.
Now that you have your business website setup, to attract and retain people's interest in your site, you will have to put out relevant and useful content. Think about what your audience, leads, and customers might be interested in, each segment will have different interests and will be looking for different types of content depending on which stage of the funnel they're currently at.
There are various versions of the marketing funnel, but the core is always the same, as such we'll be using a simplified version here for easier understanding.
The awareness stage is when a prospect discovers your brand or business. They are not familiar with your business, and probably found you through word of mouth or search engine. They're exploring, trying their luck to see what they find.
Your content at this stage should not be sales oriented, instead it should match what your target audience will search online. You will need to match your content with their search intent and create buzz and authority in your niche.
The types of content you could use for this stage of the funnel are:
Informative and educational videos
Informative and educational articles
Live videos on social media (e.g. IGTV, FB Live)
Now that you have your audience's attention, and they're considering your brand, you will need to engage with them and provide more value to them. Don't expect a high level of commitment yet from this stage of the funnel, instead use content like
FREE guides or reports
Linked social media stories
The key here is to engage with prospects more closely and try to get their contact information. This will enable you to follow up with them later and finally convert them into paying customers.
In this stage of the funnel, the intent of the prospect will be made much clearer. If they are genuinely interested in your offer then a little nudge may be all it takes to convert them into paying customers.
As such you need to make a strong case for why your product or service is the best choice for the prospect. Reiterate and reinforce their intent with:
This is a crucial and exciting stage in the funnel. Here the prospect is ready to make the purchase and convert, it's time for you to make the right hook (asGary Vee would say).
Persuasive content is needed in this crucial stage, content which can speak directly about your offer to the prospect about the benefits of owning your product/service.
For this purpose you may incorporate the following content:
Product demo videos
FREE 1-1 Consultation Session Booking
The battle is over, you have converted your prospect into a customer, everyone lives happily ever after. But wait, there's always the next product or service you would like to sell them, Your business still needs continuous income right?
As such you would need to nurture loyalty in your customers. You can do this by providing continuous support, keep them informed about your new offerings, latest promotions and of course a knowledge-base of how to use, troubleshoot and maintain their product/service.
You may nurture customer loyalty by using the following content:
What's next after you've nurtured a loyal following of customers? They'll become your most powerful marketing tool, for happy customers will become advocates for your brand and business.
Transform these loyal customers into evangelists, ask them for a review, a testimonial, you would be surprised at the power of influence a testimonial has when it come to purchase decisions.
What you can offer at this stage are:
Request for a review or testimonial
Ask for referral in exchange for limited time use of a premium offering
Now that you know what types of content your should put out for what type of audience, let's look at how you can optimize the content for search engines.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO has been preached by digital marketers for decades, does it work? Or is it myth? You can be sure that it works, however it doesn't bring you instant results. Usually requiring anywhere from 3 - 6 months or more for actual results to start showing, this is the most crucial component if your end goal is to have an evergreen digital marketing funnel.
Search Engine Optimization is basically optimizing your written content to search engines. Making sure you have a nice spread of keywords, proper use of header tags and as of today, making sure that your content is relevant to your title and chosen keywords.
Gone are the days where you could just keyword stuff your content and rank high in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
There are various areas to SEO, which we will cover in another article, but for now you need to make sure your content is:
Relevant to your Title and chosen Topic
Has your targeted keywords nicely distributed throughout the content
Have more than 400 words
If you get it right and coupled with some evergreen content and you can be sure traffic will keep flowing to your site in the long term.
Lately Neil Patel has changed his stance on content, instead of saying content is King, he now advocates content promotion over putting out tons of content.
However it all depends on the stage you are in with your business, if you have just started and barely have any content on your website, then what content are you going to promote? You very well can't be posting the same article daily for the next three months.
Once you have reached the level that Neil is at, with thousands of content on his site, then it would make sense to shift gears and concentrate more on content promotion.
That's not to say you should ignore content promotion altogether, in fact, do them simultaneously. Continue to put out good, relevant and useful content and promote them as you publish. Keep the momentum up, build up your library of content, once you have enough, you can ramp up your promotional efforts.
Social Media Promotion
Go where the people are, that's the standard mantra of marketers. Guess what, social networks are where the people are at currently. Pick the networks that most suit your purpose, and target audience and start promoting your content, products and services.
Be sure to engage with your followers and provide a good experience to them, continue to post good, relevant and useful content to the community, and they will come back with their friends.
Concentrate on one or two social networks that you think are most relevant for your business, and slowly go from there, build up your community and be attentive to new upcoming social networks. Be ready to move when your audience moves, if you've grown over time and have more resources and bandwidth then be sure to open up another new network, the key is to be in as many places as you possibly can.
I hope that you found this strategy useful, I find it the best bet you can have if you're short on budget and still wish to get your feet wet in digital marketing. In fact you should just jump on the digital marketing bandwagon right now, it will definitely take time and effort, but that's in exchange of the tons of money you will be saving.
Finally, reading and watching videos alone will not bring you results, take action today. Start building your website and implementing your marketing funnel. Start writing content, register for social media accounts for your business. If you need help for any step of this funnel, be sure to hit us up and schedule a FREE consultation session with our expert team, we are ready to help you achieve success.
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