Marketing is probably the hardest part of running a business. There are so many small details and moving parts that it’s quite difficult to know where to even start.
In this article, we’re going to learn how to create a basic marketing strategy for your business that will give you a clear idea of where to start.
To best create this strategy, we’ll use a Sales Funnel as our template. While there are a lot of really complex sales funnel templates out there, we’re going to keep it simple using the more generic version that still covers most, if not all of what you need to know.
Here’s what the sales funnel that we’re going to use looks like? I know, it’s kinda boring and sales-y, but it works! The sales funnel is designed to give you a clear path to help make strangers of your business become loyal customers one step at a time.
Let’s start at the top and go through each step and how you can get your audience to take one step lower in the funnel at a time.
Stranger & Awareness
Everyone in the world starts out a stranger to your brand or product. The goal of this first step is not to necessarily get the whole world into your sales funnel, but more specifically — your target audience.
The very first step to getting your audience into your funnel is to make them aware of your brand, company, product or service.
The ways that you can introduce a stranger to your brand are endless, but here are a few ways to get you thinking.
- Using paid advertising
- Social media hashtags
- By collaborating with others to get your content in front of a different audience.
- Guerrilla campaign.
The goal at this stage is to create that first contact and make it a memorable one that provides enough momentum to get people all the way through your sales funnel.
Once they know you, it’s then time to engage with them and let them interact or do something. Think of the interaction step as the 2nd part of a 2-way conversation. You want to get your audience to do or say something that moves them to the next step of the funnel.
A great place for this is social media. By getting a person to like, share, retweet, comment you achieve that interaction.
The content at this stage, just like the others isn’t about asking them to buy something, it’s about giving them something they can connect with or relate to. Something that inspires them to take action
Building trust happens all along the path for the sales funnel, but this specific step is more like a tipping point.
People will only buy what you’re selling if:
- They trust that you’re not some sort of scam that steals from them
- They trust that your business and product will help them do something better.
Most people in your funnel will spend the most time at this step. Gaining the trust of your audience is a marathon, not a sprint, be patient but still work towards the next step at the same time.
Remember, the foundation of trust is giving, not asking. Sure, you can constantly ask for the sale but you may be known as the person in your own life that ALWAYS asks for things. Think about it, how much do you TRUST that person?
Only once your a trusted option for a product or service are you able to make a sale.
This is the step everyone wants to skip to immediately, but the most important element of making a sale is that a customer truly believes your product is more valuable than their money. By flashing your product and yelling at them to buy your product, you make it very easy for people to make the decision that their money is in fact— more valuable.
To put it simply, at this step, no questions should be left unanswered.
While I don’t believe you should continuously beg your audience to buy your product in every ad, the call to action in this step should absolutely be to buy your product.
While most people stop at making the sale, there’s one last step that’s often overlooked, rewarding loyalty. In one study, they found 40% of retail purchases came from repeat customers, so this definitely shouldn’t be ignored.
Think about some things that would make your customers feel even better about choosing your product or service even after they’ve already purchased it. A simple personal “thank you” or some type of quick guide to get started can go a long way with creating loyal customers.
There they are, all the steps of the sales funnel and some ideas on how to execute each one to start making more sales with your marketing strategy.