Have you ever been tempted to taste a new wine because the offer of wine overcomes your resistance to trying something new? Then gleefully bought a case of said wine? Me too. That’s what this is about: offering your prospects content that is so irresistible that you can entice them further into your conversion funnel, willingly.
First published through the Canadian Home Builder’s Association (CHBA)
Now that we’re well past the era of questioning the value of including a website in the marketing toolkit, today’s business concern is ensuring the digital content produced, actually contributes to the larger sales funnel.
Once a business has put its contact and product information online, the challenge becomes justification for continued investment in driving awareness and usage of the website. To date, low-hanging fruit included launching additional digital channels such as a blog, an email list and social media.
What happens when sources to stagnate?
Digitally, it used to be good enough to make sure you’d sorta-kinda made your website search engine friendly and populated your company’s social media account(s) profile pages with updates. But, if asked, your marketing team will likely admit that your website reach has stalled or that Facebook’s “people-reached” update performance indicator is declining. Now what?
As lead generation sources dry up, where will sales come from?
It’s no longer enough to merely hope that digital reach will continue to grow as it has in the past. What if you could efficiently reach new people likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to customers you’ve had success with previously?
More importantly, what if you could reach that audience in a way that both personalizes your interactions, while automating them, so there’s efficiency of effort? The concept is called a ‘lookalike’ audience and is available through a combination of advertising networks – like Facebook – and your existing website.
Activating your silent salesperson
The consumer packaged goods industry talks about a product’s packaging as a brand’s “silent salesman”. When a consumer buys a product and places it on a household shelf, the packaging dutifully reminds buyers its presence.
There’s a similar concept in digital, called re-targeting, also referred to as re-marketing. Digital publishers provide their advertisers with a small piece of computer code, often called a “pixel” – similar to a cookie – that won’t affect your visitors’ experience or your website performance, but is unique to you as an advertiser. By publishing your pixel on your website, you activate your silent salesperson.
Put your digital content to work
Next – instead of merely launching a sales-oriented advertising campaign, you use that pixel to build a new prospect list through irresistible content. Using Facebook as an example, here’s a big picture visual of how re-targeting works:
With that cycle in mind, it’s time to get granular. An effort like this has a lot of moving parts, but done right, your marketing team gets access to a rich source of digital leads.
Ten Steps of Digital Re-targeting
Using Facebook as an example, here’s what your marketing team will need to do:
- Create a Facebook Ads account for your organization and generate your Facebook pixel from within it. Publish that pixel to all pages of your website.
2. Define a specific buyer persona, with unique interests, such as ‘eco-friendly living’, or ‘vintage motorcycles’ that your company wants to pursue. Research and quantify those interest groups on Facebook – called Audiences – and then narrow that audience further by geographic – all of Canada? Or only one province / territory? and demographic ( age and gender) targeting.
3. Create a unique piece of irresistibly good content, written purely for that persona’s concerns, and publish it on your website. Provide enormous amounts of added-value information – imagine content that answers every question unique to that buyer persona, without the pressure of any kind of a sales pitch. Establish your subject authority while assuring the reader of your goodwill.
4. In parallel, create a digital advertisement that promotes the educational nature of your irresistible content, and run it on Facebook – but only show it to the unique interest groups identified in step 2.
5. As your advertisement is shown on Facebook, interested individuals will engage and click through to read your irresistible content, causing your Facebook pixel to activate.
6. However, in advance, you will have made your initial content even more irresistible by offering another piece of even higher added value information – enticing information (perhaps by providing a critical check list, a list of unique resources, a countdown calendar, or how-to instructions?) unavailable anywhere else.
7. That additional, enticing content will only be accessible in exchange for the visitor’s willing, forward movement into the sales funnel – say, in exchange for an email address. However, since most first-time visitors will shy away from giving you that information on the spot, because of the pixel, you can let them go without worry.
8. After an appropriate interval, your marketing team runs a second advertisement on Facebook, only shown to (or ‘re-targeting’) those who visited your irresistible content but didn’t convert to a lead by giving up their email. The second ad will offer a gentle reminder of the fabulous extra content they have missed out on, enticing them back to your content, this time with a higher likelihood to convert to access your higher value content.
9. As you identify the right audiences and use the right creative to entice them towards consideration, the automated – yet more personalized than a mass-media ad buy – process repeats until a lead converts. This allows you to engage with the lead on an ongoing basis through your existing qualification process.
10. As you identify the audiences most likely to convert, Facebook is able to give you access to ‘lookalike’ audiences – other people with profiles and behaviour that match those you’ve successfully converted – that you can now offer your irresistible content to. And the cycle repeats…
To access a lookalike audience on Facebook, organizations need to have a Facebook Ad Account, which provides tools to create your pixel, advertising campaigns, and Audiences, including lookalikes. In Facebook, lookalike audiences can be modelled from ‘source’ audiences including specific on Facebook, people who’ve liked your Facebook page or your own customer lists.
To create these lookalike audiences, Facebook looks at the common qualities of the people in your source audience and then finds people who “look like” your source audience on Facebook for a country. Organizations can choose the size of the Lookalike Audience during the creation process.
This combination of using technology to target the interests of buyer personas you can uniquely help, without even knowing who they are – while using automation to re-target them later – can be a powerful tool to help drive your lead generation efforts.
Although tactically, this ‘silent salesperson aka pixel’ approach may feel very far from how you’ve sourced leads in the past, my hope is that you will consider adding re-targeting as an arrow to your marketing quiver.
Questions? Ask away!