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So you’ve designed a website that really positions your brand or business as an effective solution to your customer’s problem.
But the truth is that even the best website will fail to perform if no one knows it’s there; if it’s not reaching the right people, at the right time.
Reach is an essential aspect of growth marketing, ensuring your hard work extends out to become visible and accessible to high-quality leads.
When we ask ‘what metrics do you use to see if you’re reaching the right people?’, most answers are related to conversions.
There’s a widespread and ingrained belief that the more enquiries you get – or the more sales you make – the more you’re succeeding in effectively reaching out to your audience.
But that’s not always the case.
Your conversion rate can be a powerful metric, but what this tells you is how well your website is performing in terms of turning leads into customers.
It can provide insight into how persuasive your web copy is, or how impactful your calls-to-action are. What it doesn’t do, however, is provide any direct insight into your overall digital presence.
It won’t tell you how well your online marketing efforts are performing in reaching out to target audiences and driving more visitors to your website.
Back in 2011 Google conducted research into online buying behaviours which still holds true today.
Essentially they confirmed that customer buying behaviours had fundamentally changed.
Previously it was commonly understood that that the buying decision process followed three distinct and critical stages which formed the classic "mental marketing model" - Stimulus - First Moment of Truth (Shelf) - Second Moment of Truth (Experience).
Here's the example that the Google ZMOT research study uses:
Let's dig a bit deeper because it's good to understand what makes our potential customers tick...
Today, your customers are continually bombarded with buying or marketing messages. Be it commercial TV and radio, recommendations from friends and family, brochures, high-street storefront messages, or traditional advertisements they encounter.
And then, of course, there is everything they experience online. In their social media feeds, on the websites they visit with ads popping up everywhere and the retargeting practiced by many brands with a slick digital marketing strategy that keeps reminding you of the last product you browsed.
We can think of this as Omni-Channel marketing...
Brands want you to have the same "touch-point" experience wherever you are, off and online. Be it browsing social media over breakfast, viewing websites during the working day, walking past shops on the way to work and shopping during your lunch break, or traveling home to then sofa-surf in the evening and as your day ends, before you put your phone down before sleeping.
It's happening all the time, and so our reactive buying behaviours have adapted - we are super-slick at subconsciously deciding what we want, but also equally can be easily persuaded by clever sales and marketing techniques.
So, Google analysed this buying behavior from their online "super-influencer" perspective and through concise research clarified the process had fundamentally changed to include a new step in the "mental marketing model".
A new validation process had been introduced that involved the potential customer doing their own personal "feel-good" pre-purchase research.
This is identified as The Zero Moment Of Truth - ZMOT.
Potential customers are doing their homework via the internet.
They increasingly use "search" to research you, your brand, your products and your services. They educate themselves from a number of online channels to help build their buying logic and confidence that they are making the right decision when they are ready to make their purchase.
My mentor and renowned publisher, Daniel Priestley, distilled the ZMOT research into the 7-11-4 principle in his book Oversubscribed.
He explains that our potential customers need to get familiar with your brand, products and services through multiple interactions. Doing this allows them to binge on your content and get immersed in your output.
Customers need to experience 7 hours of content with 11 interactions across 4 channels. This helps them to get to know, like and trust you.
The more content you have out there, i.e. the bigger your reach, the easier it is for you to build your influence and authority as the go-to person or business.
1. Content marketing
Have you used a content marketing plan to drive awareness of your products or services?
Content planning can help you to better understand and identify the types of topics – and the format of information – that your target audience is looking for.
This helps you to reach out to the most relevant pools of people. Once you know what your audience is hoping to see, copywriting can deliver your message across various channels.
These could be blogging, web copy, guest posting, sponsored content, videos, infographics, podcasts and more, in various combinations.
2. Social media advertising
Do you currently run ads on Facebook or Google? Social media platforms can be powerful ways to reach out to more people beyond your own audience pool.
The advertising duopoly of Facebook and Google are considered to be the best options for two reasons.
Firstly, their huge and ever-growing user bases.
Secondly, the fact that, unlike Amazon which targets audiences at the end of the buyer journey, Google and Facebook are ‘discovery’ platforms; they target top-of-funnel buyers to build awareness and visibility.
3. Social media marketing
As well as social media advertising, you can also use social media marketing to expand your reach.
There are plenty of opportunities to reach out to existing audiences, new audiences, and even hard-to-reach segments.
Options include live streaming, joining relevant conversations, signing up for online communities, and rewarding followers for sharing content with their own pre-built network.
Social influencers with strong follower bases can be hugely effective for spreading your message further than your own network.
4. Email marketing
Do you use email marketing?
Despite what you may have heard, email marketing isn’t dead. Far from it. It’s often said that customers reach out later in the buying process than they once did, preferring to conduct their own research during the initial decision-making stages.
But the introduction of top-of-the-funnel data capture functions, like lead gen forms, are providing new opportunities to reach out to potential leads earlier in the buyer journey, through nurture emails.
5. Your website
Perhaps a better way to tell if you’re reaching the right people is to measure your website traffic, as well as conversions.
Google Analytics can tell you where your traffic is coming from – Google, Facebook, an email link, direct URL input, PPC ads, referral, or anything else. You can easily see where you’re successfully reaching audiences, and where there’s room for improvement.
Google Search Console is another great free tool to help you optimise your content and measure the performance of keyword search queries.
Using your website as your digital hub helps you serve potential customers with all your latest thought leadership, tips and advice in one place. Make sure your content is recent, frequent and relevant.
Do you have a marketing team, or someone responsible for marketing your business?
If not, then it’s time to make marketing a distinct function within your organisation. Ensure that there’s a specific person – or team – helping to share your brand message across the right channels, reaching the right people at the right time.
Don’t have the capacity to manage this in-house? No problem. We can step in to help you extend your digital reach and derive full value from your efforts.
Thank you for contacting us.
We will reply to you in the next 24-48 hours.
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