The Digital Marketing Strategy saving Small Business thousands every month

23–27 minutes to read

Ok, so there is a possibility I’m going to upset a few people initially, but please bear with me, as I think by the end of the page we will end up being friends again. In this blog, I’m going to show you the number one reason most small businesses are wasting thousands of dollars on their digital marketing strategy and how to fix it. 

Now to begin, let’s see a show of hands of everyone that is trying to sell their products or services to what we call a cold audience. That is flat-out strangers that have never heard of your brand before? Don’t be shy; I guarantee you are not alone. Remember it is essential to recognise there is a problem so we can fix it.

Let’s do a quick visualisation exercise. Picture yourself in a city surrounded by busy people. Now imagine walking up to one of these random busy people and pitch your products or services. Seriously give it a try, I’ll wait.

…how did it go? Was it a success or was the person wondering who you were and why you were harassing them while they were trying to go about their day? Did they threaten to call the police? Did you have a chance to run through all your services before they told you where to go? Did you feel like you were begging? See where I am going with this.

Ok, enough of the questions. The point is if you are sending out ads into cyberspace to a cold audience asking them to bu (especially on Social Media) this is what you are doing. You are wasting your marketing budget. You either have too much, or it isn’t yours.

So, the number one reason that your conversion rates are low, your ad spend is high, and your marketing is not working as effectively as it should is you are trying to sell your services to strangers. These businesses have never heard of your fantastic products or services…yet!

So, how do we fix this?

With the following Digital Marketing Strategy Template – The Customer Value Journey. 

The Customer Value Journey AKA Digital Marketing Strategy

The goal of the Customer Value Journey is to build a predictable system of attracting your perfect customer and creating a full pipeline of qualified prospects.

One of the most critical yet often overlooked aspects of digital marketing is that at the end of all the sales funnels, campaigns, emails and ads are people, just like you and me. Digital marketing is simply a process that you use to attract new business. We are all still humans selling to humans. Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that digital marketing is going to replace that personalised interaction, as I said, it is merely a tool to help fascinate these conversations faster.

Digital marketing has fundamentally changed how we can interact with prospects. With conversations now driving sales, Cost Per Conversation is as essential as Cost Per Click or Cost Per Acquisition. Technology has enabled brands to engage with their audience like never before, and it’s the conversations which are happening that are speeding up the decision-making process.

Your New Funnel 

As a small business owner, you have no doubt heard of a sale funnel before. Typically, these have four stages built around Awareness, Interest, Decision and Action.

What if I told you that there are eight stages that you should be considering.

Furthermore, what if I told you that building a Digital Marketing Strategy around these eight stages would enable you to develop better relationships, improve conversions, attract more of your perfect customer and increase your Customer Lifetime Value.

90% of marketing money is ineffective because business owners are trying to go straight for the sale, the Convert Stage. They are asking for the transaction before the prospect has even had time to get to Know you, Like you or Trust you. It is like asking someone to marry you before even having a conversation.

Let’s look at these eight stages in turn. 

The 8 Stages of the Customer Value Journey 

The Customer Value Journey follows the actual stages of developing a human relationship. 

Click here to view our Simplifying Digital Marketing Video series where we run through the CVJ.

1. Aware

Before a prospect can engage your services, they need to know your firm exists. If your target audience isn’t aware of your business, how will they know to search for you, engage with you or develop trust in your business?

So, the first step in crafting your Customer Value Journey is creating Awareness.

How do we create Awareness? 

Content Marketing is perfect for building Awareness. Let me use this blog as an example. You may have been scrolling through Facebook, and the headline or image caught your eye. You clicked on the ad, and now you are reading this post. I have identified an issue which might be a pain point for you. It’s enough of a topic that you are willing to give me 5 minutes to see if we have a solution for you. You are now aware of sixty:forty.

What content is excellent for Awareness?

  • Educational Articles
  • Social Media Updates
  • Infographics
  • Videos on Social Media

What other Digital Marketing tactics do we use to create Awareness? 

  • Online Advertising – Running advertising on Google and social channels like Facebook, Instagram etc.
  • Search Marketing – Optimising your website and content so that it appears in search results when prospects are searching for solutions to challenges they are facing in their business (Learn more about the stages of Awareness here)
  • Social Media Marketing – Sharing the content across social media channels that are of interest to your target market.

Considerations with Awareness Campaigns.

Awareness Campaigns can be considered ineffective because the wrong metrics or KPI’s are being used to measure them. An Awareness Campaign should NOT be measured by the number of leads or sales it generates. With an Awareness Campaign, we are looking to create Awareness of your business or brand.

Pro Tip – You do not need 100’s of blog posts. 3 – 5 quality blog posts can drive traffic for years. 

2. Engage

In the Engage stage, your prospect is now Aware of your business. They know who you are, but they still don’t know if they like, or trust you yet.

This stage is where you start to interact with your prospects. Engagement might look like

  • A prospect liking, sharing, or commenting, on a Facebook post.
  • Doing a Google search and finding a blog post that handles that problem for them. They might even share your content across their social networks.
  • Clicking on a native advertisement while reading articles online.
  • Sending you a message on your website

What Digital Marketing tactics do we use to drive engagement? 

  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing

What KPI’s are used to measure success? 

In the Engagement stage, we are looking to build custom audiences that can be targeted later with different content or messaging.

For example, within Facebook, we can build a custom audience of people who have engaged with a particular post, watched a video or even visited your website.

With Google, we can install a remarking tag and build an audience of prospects which have visited your website that we can advertise to later.

The same applies to native advertising platforms.

Pro Tip – Custom audiences are the secret to moving prospects along your Customer Value Journey. 

3. Subscribe

In the Subscribe stage, your prospects are now Aware of your business, they have engaged with your business, and they might be starting to like your business. We now want to move this relationship along and are seeking some micro-commitments.

You want to start collecting your prospects information. If you don’t do this now, likely, you will never hear from them again. Remember, your prospects are getting bombarded with advertising and marketing online constantly. Attention spans are low, and competition for their attention is greater than it has ever been before.

To capture your prospects information, we need to provide something of value that your prospect would be willing to exchange for their contact details. We use a Lead Magnet to achieve this. A Lead Magnet could be –

  • A person subscribing to receive a 10% coupon of off their next purchase with you
  • A person receiving a free copy of your book and only paying for postage
  • A tradesman subscribing to download your product catalogue
  • A woman signing up to a free webinar.

In each case, the prospect would fill out a small lead form so we can capture their information.

Pro Tip – The goal is to move your prospects from social media into your CRM or email database.

Once you have your prospects contact information, they have permitted you to start sharing information with them.

Digital Marketing tactics used to increase your email database or CRM.

  • Content Marketing
  • Messenger Marketing
  • Digital Advertising

What KPI’s do we use to measure success? 

  • grow your Email marketing lists
  • grow Messenger Broadcast lists
  • segmenting your database 

4. Convert

In the Convert stage, we are now looking for your new subscribers to increase their level of commitment. They demonstrate this commitment with either money or time.

They now Know, Like and hopefully are starting to Trust your business.

The Convert stage is where businesses usually jump to with their advertising. Hopefully, you can see now why this isn’t the best strategy and why it is essential first to build a relationship with your prospect.

In the Convert stage, we use an Entry Point Offer to encourage this extra commitment. An Entry Point Offer is a low priced product or service that provides value to your prospect. The purpose of the Entry Point Offer is not to make a profit but to change the relationship from a subscriber to a customer. When your prospect exchanges money with you, whether it is $9 or $99, a psychological shift happens, and they are more likely to purchase higher-priced products or services after.

IMPORTANT – The Convert stage is not where you are looking to make a profit. The Convert stage is purely Customer Acquisition. Remember, customer acquisition is one of the most expensive activities you undertake as a business.

An Entry Point offer could be –

  • A start-up purchases a $9 ebook on starting a business on a lean budget.
  • Opt’s into a paid webinar where you teach them how to lodge a BAS Statement
  • A $49 website audit
  • A $69 Vehicle Inspection

Digital Marketing tactics used to convert prospects to customers.

  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Messenger Marketing
  • Digital Advertising

The Convert stage is where you first see the value in the Customer Value Journey. You may have noticed that the Convert stage has a return path back to Engage. Not all prospects are going to take you up on your Entry Point Offer, and that’s ok. They may not be ready for that particular Offer. 

We use re-engagement campaigns to keep your prospects in your customer journey/sales funnel. Remember we have their contact details so remarketing to them is essentially free, we don’t want to have to go back to the beginning and spend more money on acquisition. We simply test other offers (within your service list) until we find the right one.

Click Here to view our Digital Marketing Workshop where we work with you to craft your own Digital Strategy

5. Excite

The Excite stage is a critical step now that the client has made a transaction with you.

Your only job now is to impress the socks off of your new customer. You are looking to build goodwill and trust.

If your new client doesn’t feel like they have received value from this transaction, it is likely to be their only transaction, and this is a wasted opportunity. We need to move them through the Customer Value Journey, so they purchase one of your primary products or services.

Your customer must experience value as this is the stepping stone to starting to make money out of the relationship.

Exciting your customers could be as simple as a well-structured video onboarding campaign that talks them through how to get the most out of a piece of software or how to get the best value of working with you. It could be an unexpected gift in the order, or the experience in unpackaging your products.

Digital Marketing tactics used to help Excite customers.

  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing 

6. Ascend

“…would you like fries with that?”

If you have experienced this, then you know what we are doing in the Ascend Stage.

By the Ascend stage, you have invested time, money and resources in to generating new customers and ensuring that they are receiving value from you. 

Up until this point, you may have still made no profit. Depending on your competition, you may have lost a few dollars to acquire new customers, and that’s ok. The goal is to build long-term relationships. You need to focus on the Lifetime Value of your Customer.

The Ascend Stage is where your new customer is ready to spend more and more frequently. Here you are selling your core services. Once your customer purchases your core product or service, we can present them with other products and services.

If you are a clothing or apparel brand, your new customer will most likely like your other items or future styles, and you might have matching belts, shoes, hats etc. A mechanic might notice that the tyres are bald, the brakes are almost gone, or the vehicle requires service. You might set up an automated SMS or email which reminds them every six months that their car is due for a service or the tyres require rotating. 

Can you see how you can increase the lifetime value and relationship with your customer?

Remember, it is just as tricky for customers to find good businesses; they too, have invested time in finding you.

Digital Marketing tactics used to help Ascend customers. 

  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Digital Advertising – Retargeting

7. Advocate

An advocate is someone who speaks positively about your small business. They may not scream it from the rooftop, but when asked, they will talk favourably about your business.

Now that you have new customers that have made several purchases, it is time to put some automation in place that encourages your loyal customers to advocate your firm.

This could be implementing a Review or Testimonial Campaign that asks your best customers for video testimonials or Google reviews

Digital Marketing tactics to we use to get more advocates for your company

  • Email Marketing 

8. Promote

The last stage of the Customer Value Journey is Promote. Promoters are different from Advocates in that they are actively talking about your firm.

Your new customer is so happy and confident in your small business that they are going to recommend you to family, friends and colleagues, placing your small business in front of a new audience. Because it is a referral from a happy customer, they will most likely trust you. This new audience is now ‘Aware’ of you and as such they have just started their own Customer Value Journey with you, that’s right back to stage one – your new Sales Funnel is filling itself.

Promoters can also come from an incentive promotion or affiliate program.

Promoters can be great for growing your business, remember Customer Acquisition is expensive, so the more champions that you have creating new business opportunities, the better, they are filling the Aware Stage for you.

Digital Marketing tactics used to get more promoters for your business

  • Email Marketing

Where to from here

Hopefully, now you can see how having more conversations with prospects can help to build relationships. In turn, lowering your acquisition costs and increasing your customer lifetime value, especially when you have a framework like a Customer Value Journey in place.

sixty:forty is a Certified Digital Marketer Partner

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