When crafting a digital marketing strategy for your brand, there are many ways to go about it. Just as important as what you’re aiming to do — like drive e-commerce conversions, build brand awareness, or fill your email list — of equal or greater performance is how you are going to convince people to fulfill your goal. In the age of the hyper-educated consumer, it takes even more time and resources to accomplish this. Luckily today’s marketers have more tools at their disposal than ever before. In this blog post, I will be providing examples of how to utilize multiple digital marketing channels and strategies to push users toward the ultimate goal: a conversion.
For this example, I’m going to use a product that has a higher price point and consequently a longer consideration period, like a mattress. Mattresses are an investment that ideally you only have to buy once every couple of years, so people typically take their time in making a selection. Especially with the mattress, and the direct-to-consumer mattress, industry blowing up in the last few years, now more than ever it is important to show your product’s value over the others and drive that purchase. We’ll also say that your company is not as well-known as the Purple’s and Tuft and Needle’s of the world, so you have some work to do.
So the odds are stacked against us in this example. We have an expensive product that takes a lot of convincing to sell, and nobody really knows who we are. It sounds daunting, but those aforementioned other brands are now household names, so it’s possible to build something from nothing. In this stage, it’s going to be important to keep in mind that we’ll be spending significant ad dollars without much revenue coming in, if any at all. We’ve all heard the old adage that it’s more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain a current one, and since we’re starting from scratch, we are going to have to drop some dough on some prospecting.
For early prospecting efforts, advertising on Facebook is the perfect starting block. No matter what you’re selling, be it a mattress or anything else, you have some ideal customers or a target market in mind, and Facebook’s advertising capabilities allow you to reach those people en masse directly. For our example, let’s say we know that our mattress is extremely firm and therefore we want to own the market for people with bad backs who need a firm mattress, we can utilize Facebook’s interest targeting to reach people who have expressed interest in chiropractic services and pages. We can also think about what other kinds of people would want a firm mattress for their back, like skiers, and create an audience for them as well.
Once these ads are up and running, the clicks will start to roll in and BOOM, you have some lightly interested users who are now familiar with your brand from the ads and have maybe spent some time on your site. Have an email sign-up float on your landing page to capture a separate list of users who are even more interested. They probably aren’t ready to buy yet, but they’re interested in you and your product, in this case, mattresses.
There are other routes you can take for prospecting besides Facebook, however. The mattress brand in our example happens to have some incredible video content, much like Purple does. We can run that video as an in-stream ad on YouTube and target it to people searching for new mattresses for back issues or sports recovery using custom intent audiences. These audiences are filled by users who search using terms that you provide. It’s a different approach at the same goal that Facebook does, but YouTube custom-intent audiences are another great brand awareness strategy.
The final funnel-filling strategy to employ is non-brand search ads on Google. For our mattress company, we’ll choose the right keywords that are tangentially related to our product and target market, featuring keywords like best mattress for bad backs and mattresses for recovering athletes. If our brand’s ads show up for searches like that, we’ll definitely gain some more site traffic and really top off our funnel-filling strategy.
With the strategies I have just mentioned we have turned cold audiences (who haven’t heard of us) to warm (have visited the site, are more familiar). Now is when we will deploy our remarketing strategies to go in for the “kill shot’’ and convert these users into paying customers. Like with prospecting, we have quite a few options at our disposal to accomplish this feat and provided there is flexibility in your budget, it’s not a bad idea to have a couple going at once. Luckily for us, this mattress company is drowning in cash from multiple funding rounds, so we’re going to go all out.
First, as with prospecting, Facebook is great for remarketing. With the Facebook pixel implemented on our site, we have insight into where users are spending their time on our site, so we can use different messaging depending on where different people ended up in the funnel. The facebook pixel is always refreshing, so any data collected from it is always up to date. In addition to messaging differentiated by where users are in the funnel, you can also message users differently depending on how long it has been since they took action. For our mattresses, users who have visited the site in the last 30 days will respond to different messaging than users who added to cart in the last week.
There are options abound on Google as well. We can remarket to users directly using remarketing lists on Google Display Network and YouTube. Additionally, while not a remarketing strategy, branded search terms are also low enough in the funnel to qualify as “kill shot”. If users are searching for our mattress brand directly, they are familiar with our company and are much closer to making a purchase. These site visitors can fill your Facebook funnel as well!
As an example, here is how the customer journey to buy our mattress could potentially go using the strategies I’ve mentioned above:
- Customer has never heard of our brand, but is training to be an Olympic skier and due to his rigorous training is routinely going to bed with a sore back.
- Customer checks out a chiropractor’s Facebook page, and also searches online “mattress for athlete recovery”
- Customer starts seeing ads on multiple channels advertising our brand, the first contact they have with us. They see YouTube in-stream ads fueled by custom-intent audiences, Facebook and Instagram ads driven by their search history and online activity, and they see us ranking near the top of the search engine result page when they are looking for help or advice.
- Customer “caves” and decides to click on an ad for that new mattress site he’s been hearing so much about. (WE GOT HIM)
- Now familiar with our company, the customer searches for us directly and spends even more time on the site.
- We can now retarget customer through any of the aforementioned strategies: Facebook remarketing ads, Google Display Network, and YouTube.
- Because our guy is looking into dropping some serious cash on a mattress, this process won’t be immediate. However, over time with a peppering of ads, he will come to associate our mattress with the solution to his struggles and eventually purchase.
- Mattresses are not a habitual purchase, so once our customer has bought once, he’s likely done. But that does not mean he’s useless going forward. One of the greatest motivators for anybody to make a purchase is social proof – you want to hear from other real people that they like their purchase. If this customer and others like him start leaving reviews, they can contribute to our efforts down the line and provide future copy inspiration as well.
That was a long and lengthy example, but there are many strategies available beyond just these, all applicable to different objectives as well. If you ever do find yourself selling a craft mattress to cold audiences, feel free to use this as your template!