When you first learned about the marketing funnel, you probably learned the acronym AIDA, which stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. These steps outline how customers learn about your brand or product and eventually complete a purchase. The AIDA marketing model was first developed back in 1898 and remains a foundational lesson for marketers today.
While fundamentally accurate, today’s savvy and complex customers go beyond those four basic steps. As we look ahead to the new year, we want to help you develop a more modern marketing funnel that also accounts for what happens after a purchase and how to keep customers coming back for more. After all, loyal, returning customers are often the best source of revenue.
Stages of the Marketing Funnel
Let’s take your marketing further In 2023 and plan for a marketing funnel that includes the following:
- Awareness. This is where new customers first learn about your brand. At this stage, the focus is simply on capturing your target audience’s attention and warming them up for future interactions.
- Consideration. At this stage of the funnel, you’ve got the potential customer’s attention — but they’re not quite ready to buy. They’re likely still researching and weighing your product/service against other alternatives.
- Conversion. At this point, a customer is ready to buy, and your brand is on their mind. Now it’s all about making it easy and worthwhile for the customer to complete the purchase.
- Loyalty. Your relationship with the customer doesn’t end after they’ve made the purchase. This stage is about their ongoing happiness and enticing them to buy more.
- Advocacy. At this stage, it’s all about turning customers into life-long fans and encouraging them to share their experiences with others.
While we call it a “funnel,” today’s savvy customers don’t always take the straight and narrow path. Your customers are human, meaning they have unique preferences and experiences. Sometimes customers jump back and forth between stages or take one step forward, then two steps back. Depending on the products or services you’re selling, certain stages of the funnel might require more time and attention than others. While there’s no one-size-fits-all journey through the marketing funnel, there are some tried and true ways you can align your marketing campaigns and budget to keep people moving toward conversion!
Let’s look at strategies that guide customers at each stage of the funnel to get more sales and boost revenue.
Awareness: Up your game on social media
If you’re looking to increase revenue in 2023, social media is where it’s at. With more than 4.26 billion people using social media, it’s not something your business can ignore or embrace haphazardly.
Too often, businesses treat social media as an afterthought because the path between a comment, like, or follow to actual revenue isn’t always clear or linear. But remember, the awareness stage isn’t about revenue. It’s about grabbing attention and standing apart from competitors, so your brand is first on their minds when a customer is ready to buy. After all, they can’t buy from you if they don’t know (or remember) you exist.
Optimize your social profiles
Before you go viral with eye-catching and memorable social content, your profile must be optimized to make it easy for customers to move to the next stage of the funnel once they arrive. The more barriers there are, the more likely you’ll lose them, or they’ll move on.
How you optimize your profile will vary depending on your brand and customers. Here are a few quick updates to consider:
- If you have a physical location, include your address on your profile so customers can easily get directions.
- Keep profile links updated and use LinkTree (or a similar tool) so customers can access multiple resources with one click. This is especially important on platforms like Instagram and Tiktok that only allow for one link in your profile.
- Tag relevant partners and influencers, so customers learn more about them without additional searching.
- If you sell products, set up and maintain your Instagram or Facebook Shop so customers can easily see products featured in your posts.
A good habit is to take on the role of “follower” or “customer” and think through how you might respond to each post, then optimize accordingly. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. What will they want to do next once they come across your content or profile?
Maybe it’s just to give a like or comment for now. Great — now you’ll see more of the content. Or maybe you want to find out how to get to your location so you can shop or book an appointment. In that case, you’d visit their profile page for a link to their website, an address, or a location finder. Overall, look for ways to make ongoing engagement with your brand as simple as possible.
Embrace social trends
Many brands are still operating with a “Read our blog!” and “Check out this new product!” type social strategy that is boring and overly promotional. By taking advantage of trends, you’ll increase your likelihood of getting seen and share your message in a memorable, creative way that people won’t just gloss over.
Look for trending audio, memes, and discussions that you can approach authentically. To do this effectively, you must understand your customers and the meme/trend itself. A great way to spot and wrap your head around popular social trends is to follow other businesses and influencers in your industry and use tools like Google Trends or the Explore/Trending pages directly on the platform.
Kwik Trip, a Midwest-based gas station, is great when it comes to connecting with customers on social media. Check out this post using a viral audio clip from Soulja Boy.
View this post on Instagram
While they could’ve posted an image with a caption that says, “Stop by Kwik Trip to grab some snacks after work,” they took a more creative approach and used trending audio and a bit of humor to tap into something customers can relate to. While it doesn’t push a particular Kwik Trip product or encourage visits directly, the video got more than 2,500 likes. And you can bet that Kwik Trip was top of mind for thousands of hungry commuters who saw the video and wanted a quick bite that day.
Consideration: Build confidence with great content
In most cases, customers need more than one social post before buying or converting. Creating content and resources that answer questions and help customers better understand your company, products, and services will help them feel secure in your brand and future purchases.
Copy that’s too short, or that doesn’t address customers’ questions can create a lack of confidence. Why should they buy from you if they’re not 100% sure your brand is a good fit for them? If they can’t find what they need, they’ll likely jump to a competitor that does address their questions.
Share relevant product information and highlights
Update your product pages and website to include any, and all relevant information customers would likely need to know before purchasing your product or service. This can vary depending on your offerings, but ultimately customers need to be able to see if your business meets their needs and how it stands apart. Make sure the content is in-depth but skimmable.
Again, it helps to put yourself in your customers’ shoes here. What information is critical to know before purchase? Things like product sizing and dimensions, color options, materials or ingredients, pricing details, and shipping information are must-haves. Those details should be easily accessible on your product pages or other locations on your website.
If you really want to up your game, follow the lead of brands like Ikea and Sherwin Williams that use advanced augmented reality features to allow customers to see furniture and paint colors in their homes before buying. This helps build confidence that the product is a good fit.
Comparison content is also helpful so customers can weigh your product or service against other options. While it may seem counterintuitive to mention competitors and alternatives, providing these details upfront keeps customers from navigating to a competitor’s site while they weigh their options. And it allows you to shape the messaging and narrative.
La-Z-Boy has a great comparison piece highlighting differences between their furniture and Ashley Furniture, another popular brand. The piece builds up La-Z-Boy’s strengths without tearing the other brand down. On a B2B side, Slack opted for a webinar that highlights the benefits of their communication platform over alternatives like Skype and Microsoft Teams.
Collect reviews and user-generated content
You can talk about your product as much as you want, but it doesn’t hold nearly the same weight as what customers have to say about your business. If reviews and user-generated content aren’t part of your ongoing marketing strategy, 2023 is the time to start. Reviews and user-generated content are vital to building trust with customers and guiding them further through the funnel process.
According to yearly research from Brightlocal, 98% of people read online reviews for local businesses. And the growing popularity of product recommendations, unboxing videos, and 7+ billion “TikTok Made Me Buy It” searches highlight the importance of recommendations and authentic feedback from peers.
Here are a few ways to boost your reviews and user-generated content moving forward:
- Ask customers directly. Send an email to your customer list asking for reviews, testimonials, or case studies in exchange for a small discount code or incentive.
- Respond to reviews you get. Actively responding to reviews and reposting customers’ content on social media shows you’re engaged and indicates to customers that it’s worthwhile to leave a review of their own.
- Make it easy to leave and find reviews on your site. Include spots for people to leave a review directly on your website, such as on product, content, and testimonial pages. Optimize your profile on third-party review sites, such as Google Business and Yelp, so that customers can engage there as well.
Torrid, a plus size closing brand for women, puts reviews and user-generated content at the forefront of the shopping experience. They include customer reviews — and the option to post your own — at the bottom of every product page on their website. Customers can even include important details such as their size and when they purchased the item.
Conversion: Make it easy to complete a purchase or sign-up
Customers are ready to buy or take the next step at this stage. Your job now is to make that as easy as possible. Optimizing the purchasing or contact process across platforms will help minimize cart abandonment before purchases are finalized.
Offer one-click checkout
One-click checkout is a great way to simplify the purchase process to ensure that customers don’t drop off out of frustration or time constraints.
Businesses generally need a lot of information to complete an online order — credit card info, shipping info, delivery instructions, email for confirmation, and more. One-click checkout means customers only have to enter all this information once — and then it’s stored and easily accessible for future orders. This one-click capability is built into a lot of ecommerce and website platforms.
Shopify notes that one-click purchasing is especially beneficial for low-cost, “impulse” buys, such as kitchenware items and books. People looking for more complex and expensive purchases like hardware and B2B technology may be more wary of quick purchases.
Use chatbots and stellar customer service
Supporting your customers through the purchase process is key — and chatbots and knowledgeable customer service are two helpful ways to do that . These features allow your business to address last-minute hesitations that may cause customers to change their minds and abandon their cart.
Thanks to ecommerce, customers can opt to buy whenever and wherever. Chatbots allow you to assist customers at all hours without keeping employees available 24/7. Bots can answer common customer questions, provide updates on orders or product availability, and even offer personalized product recommendations. And if there’s a question the bot can’t answer, it can connect the customer with a knowledgeable human representative.
Feebi is a chatbot designed to automate up to 80% of a restaurant’s online conversations. It can handle reservations, menu requests, and more. The chatbot helps secure reservations and revenue while allowing restaurant staff to focus on patrons currently in the restaurant.
Loyalty: Offer perks in exchange for ongoing support
You’ve made the sale, and customers are happy. Now it’s time to show them how much you appreciate them — while enticing them to spend more with your business. Discounts and personalized upsells are the top way to turn someone from a one-time buyer to a repeat, loyal customer.
Who doesn’t love a good deal? According to a survey from Hawk Incentives Research, respondents noted that shopping for deals provides “emotional satisfaction.” And 40 percent of respondents said they “feel smart” when they find good deals.
You can tap into that emotional satisfaction by incentivizing customers to keep shopping with your brand. Maybe it’s 10% off their next purchase, a free item after they spend a certain amount, free shipping, rebates, and more. Or perhaps it’s an upsell with a product that goes well with the one they just bought. The goal is to get customers excited and keep them engaged with your business.
Kohl’s, a popular retail store, connects with customers at this loyalty stage with its popular Kohl’s Cash program. Promotions vary, but the gist is the more customers spend at Kohl’s, the more money they can earn for future purchases at Kohl’s. Starbucks is also known for Starbucks Rewards, a loyalty program that allows customers to earn “stars” that can be used for future purchases. Starbucks patrons also receive personalized promotions and recommendations through the app to encourage future orders.
Advocacy: Create referral campaigns
Loyal customers will continue to buy — but true advocates will get their friends, family, and colleagues to buy too. Referral and partnership programs are a great way to engage your customers and allow them to do some of the hard work of recruiting new customers for you.
Referral programs provide incentives to customers who get others to buy your product, sign up for your service, or engage with your brand in some way. Because people tend to associate with others with similar needs and interests, they probably know people who would be the perfect fit for your business. And, of course, these new customers mean more profit for your business with minimal effort on your part, so referral programs are a win-win.
When it comes to referral programs, the important thing is to choose an incentive that makes sense for your customers. SoFi, a financial company, offers a variety of referral programs for different products like loan refinancing, credit cards, and checking/savings accounts. If customers refer someone to sign up for a credit card, for example, they’ll earn $100. However, the cash reward is higher if the referral goes through the more complex loan refinancing process. Instead of a cash incentive, Dropbox, a cloud storage platform, gives you extra storage space in exchange for referrals.
Improve your marketing funnel in 2023
Are you ready to upgrade your marketing funnel and campaigns for the new year? We’re here to help! Let’s chat about how we can improve your marketing funnel and boost revenue in 2023.
First things first, what is a consumer-centric marketing approach? It’s a method of centering your marketing strategies around your customer’s needs and interests. It seems a little obvious, right? Let’s get a little more nuanced.
The consumer-centric approach also focuses on who your customer is and how your service, product, or brand can solve their specific problems. It’s not about focusing on the lowest price or the flashiest features. It’s about being mindful of how your goods or services impact your customers’ lives and intentionally showcasing those benefits in your marketing. With this approach, your business can better understand your target audience and how you can develop not only your marketing strategy around their needs but also your products and services themselves.
At DAE & Company, we’ve talked to many brands who have gotten stuck in a rut of pushing their products and services onto their target market with campaigns that seemed like a good idea but didn’t generate results. From our perspective, it was easy to see why. Those marketing campaigns didn’t address the wants or needs of the consumers. More often than not, they focused on the “look at me” elements that the brand was excited about but not the benefits to the consumers that their audiences cared about. Laid out like this, it’s easy to see why brands should market themselves for their audiences and not at them, but how can you make that happen?
Look at Your Sales Funnel From a First-Time Buyer Point-of-View
Sometimes you can’t see the forest through the trees, and you must take a purposeful step back for a fresh perspective. You know all the ins and outs of your business, products, or services, but don’t let that knowledge cloud your judgment! If a customer can’t understand your product or service immediately, or doesn’t see the need for it, you’ll need to rework your messaging. Think about your brand, business, services, and products as if you’re a customer that has just entered the sales funnel.
Ask yourself some tough questions:
- Who is this brand, and what do they offer?
- What wants or needs would this purchase meet for me?
- How would this purchase improve my life?
- Could I get this product or service elsewhere?
- What would make me choose one brand over another?
Does your marketing communicate what your brand is about and how your products or services add value? If not, you aren’t investing in a consumer-centric marketing approach.
Will your products or services make their lives easier? Make them healthier or wealthier or happier? Make complicated tasks more simple? Allow them to focus on their relationships or positively impact their lives? Whatever needs your brand meets, ensure that each marketing campaign addresses and answers these questions in a meaningful way.
Use Data and Metrics to Understand Your Target Audience
As mentioned earlier, it can be easy to think you know everything about your business and customers. It’s crucial to rely on updated data and consumer insights, not just experience and opinions! Whether you’re new to a company or you’ve been there for years, consumer habits change, and it’s essential to keep up.
Gathering data about your target audience and investing in ongoing consumer trends and industry insights is critical in understanding who your audience is and what they’re looking for.
Beyond these insights, investing in brand sentiment tracking and reputation management tools can give you an even better understanding of how people are responding to and talking about your business. Using all the data available to you in purposeful ways will help you elevate your marketing and build stronger connections for better conversions.
Don’t Over-Sell to Your Customers
Most businesses are focused on making a profit at the end of the day, but consumers don’t buy things to contribute to a brand’s profit. They buy to improve their lives. Don’t get so caught up in increasing revenue or driving conversions that you forget to connect with your target audiences. Avoid becoming that old stereotype of a used car salesman with pushy, loud sales tactics. Focus on what happens for customers after they choose your products or services, not pushing the infomercial highlights at them every step of the way.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t talk up your goods. You absolutely should! Ensure you focus on your consumers’ wants and needs first and foremost. Typically, customers will purchase a service or product if it will bring them joy if a peer recommends it, if they can identify with a brand or feel a sense of belonging, if it’s convenient, or if they trust the brand. How can you showcase your best features in a marketing campaign that lets your target audience connect with you on one of those levels?
Improve Your Consumer-Centric Marketing Efforts
If you’ve already implemented a consumer-centric marketing approach for your business but are still struggling to see results, reach out to a trusted and professional marketing agency like DAE & Company for a fresh perspective! We can help you refocus your brand’s marketing efforts, allowing you to reconnect with your customers and understand what they’re looking for. Maybe you need a rebrand to help you refocus your efforts and freshen up your look and messaging to better align with today’s consumers. Or perhaps you just need some help crafting the right messaging for the right audiences. Whatever you need, we can help! Contact us today to review your brand and marketing efforts to develop a consumer-centric marketing approach that will generate results!
The healthcare industry has seen significant changes in the last few years. Healthcare consumers are more informed and opinionated regarding their healthcare journey. Healthcare brands need more strategic, connection-focused marketing strategies. DAE & Co understands healthcare marketers’ challenges and opportunities. Setting your healthcare facility apart from the crowd is no easy task in today’s oversaturated market.
Check out some of our top picks for the marketing strategies healthcare facilities should invest in for 2023, then contact us to see how we can help your brand succeed.
1. Use Data to Personalize Your Marketing
Data-driven marketing isn’t new, but it’s as important as ever, especially for healthcare marketers. By gathering real-world data and market research to understand who your patients are truly, you can personalize your messaging and campaigns for better performance. You can also analyze your results more thoughtfully and allocate your budget based on performance.
Data-driven healthcare marketing allows you to target the right patients with the right messaging, at the right times and on the right channels. You’ll empower your ideal patients with the information and connection they need to feel comfortable choosing your healthcare facility. They’ll feel confident knowing that your healthcare facility will meet their wants and needs because you’ve done the research to make sure you’re the right fit for the people you’re targeting. Privacy, HIPAA compliance, and personalization can coexist— without sacrificing performance.
2. Invest in Strong SEO Strategies
Searching online for healthcare information is so pervasive that Google launched Google Health way back in 2008 as a way to connect and bring meaning to health information. Your target audience searches for health information, provider and facility reviews, and contact information online. If you don’t have a strategic SEO plan, you’re missing out on brand exposure, website and foot traffic, appointments, and more.
As search engines have evolved, so too have the goals and tactics of SEO strategists. A great SEO strategy will go beyond finding the most searched key phrases and using those on your website. Your 2023 SEO strategy should include the following:
- A semantic understanding and approach to key phrase research
- A prime focus on website speed, accessibility, and user experience
- An organized, educational plan for content development
- An aggressive understanding and targeting of top search visibility and the competitive landscape
Don’t get lost on the search results pages in 2023. Commit to leading the pack and capturing the trust and attention of your target audiences from their very first search.
3. Create Engaging and Valuable Content
Your content development strategy should be a long-term plan. Great content will help you generate more organic search traffic to your website and be an incredible tool for your social media and email marketing initiatives. Your content library should be a hub of engaging, valuable content that will establish you as the industry expert and authority.
As you create content, ensure that you’re addressing the questions and concerns that your target audience may have as they live their everyday lives. Meet them where they are searching by providing them with the resources and information they need to live healthier, happier lives. Every content piece is an opportunity to build a connection with your patients and prospective patients, so use it well!
4. Create a Community on Social Media
According to Statista, 93% of US healthcare marketers use social media marketing to achieve their goals. Just being on these channels isn’t enough, and you’ll get lost in the crowd in 2023 if you don’t create a space for your brand on social. Here are some quick tips for setting yourself apart on social media:
- Establish your purpose for being on a social channel. If you’re going to focus on customer service, be as engaging and quick to respond as possible. If you’re going to focus on connection, make your stories heartfelt and emotional. If you’re going to educate your fans, release original data and reports, and keep them updated on community health, go all in on being the most informative.
- Embrace all the bells and whistles. Text posts alone aren’t going to get you anywhere in 2023. Diversify your content and use the tools available to you on the social media channels you’ve chosen. Shoot the videos and post the Reels, invest in daily Stories, and use the messaging features and integrations available! If a social channel is pushing a new feature, they’re going to reward the early adopters, so be one!
- Pay to play. If you’re investing the time and resources to develop engaging, authentic social media communities, establish a social media advertising budget to help you gain traction and stay ahead of the pack. How much you invest and the types of campaigns you run will depend on your reason for being on social media and how those channels support your overall marketing and business objectives. Just be sure to budget for spending on these channels throughout the year!
5. Prioritize Social Proof
Healthcare consumers are always on the lookout for reviews from past patients and the experiences of others. Make gathering reviews a high priority in 2023, and remember, they aren’t all going to be stellar, and that’s ok too! Here are a few tips to make that happen:
- Make it easy for your patients to review your facility and your providers.
- Request reviews on-site, with email follow-ups, and on your website and apps.
- Publish great reviews on your social channels and your website.
- Interview patients for more in-depth stories that can be used in future marketing campaigns.
Positive reviews are like gold online for a brand, but negative reviews also offer you the chance to build your authority and repair your reputation. How you respond to a negative review may be more important than all the positive reviews you receive. Every negative review you get should be responded to with the message that is pro-active, positive and solution-oriented. You’ll take almost all of these conversations offline, but the public-facing response that you want to find a solution will resonate with potential patients in the long run.
6. Work With a Specialized Healthcare Marketing Agency Partner
Partnering with the right marketing agency specializing in healthcare marketing can ensure better results in 2023 and beyond. Whether you have a marketing team of 10 or marketing is just another hat someone on the team is wearing, a dedicated partner can help! From strategy and consulting to full-service campaign development and execution, an agency partner can offer you the reliable, specialized help you need to move the needle for your facility.
How DAE & Company can Help Your Healthcare Marketing Efforts
We’ve worked with healthcare brands for years, so we understand the industry’s fast pace. We also have decades of experience in marketing, branding, PR, and more. We’ve got the perfect mix of industry insight and marketing magic to create results-focused healthcare marketing strategies. Contact us today to learn more about effective healthcare marketing strategies that can generate results for your business.
As the holiday season quickly approaches, putting the finishing touches on your holiday marketing plan is more important than ever! With a strategic marketing plan, you’ll be able to find success this holiday season, boosting revenue and introducing customers to your brand. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite holiday marketing campaigns to help you build your end-of-year strategy!
1. Create an Interactive Gift Guide
The holiday season can be overwhelming as shoppers try to find the perfect gift for their family, friends, and significant others. Make the shopping experience easier for your audience with an interactive gift guide! Depending on your service or product, you can create general categories – ‘For Her’, ‘For Him’, and ‘For a Coworker’.
If you want to make your gift guide even more helpful, personalize their shopping experience to your brand. Categories of ‘Dog Lover’ or ‘Coffee Enthusiast’ can help your audience find the product they’re looking for sooner while maintaining a solid relationship with your brand, helping to shorten the journey from browsing the website to adding to their cart to checking out!
2. Go Behind the Scenes for the Holidays
You can show off some “exclusive” content for your target audience this holiday season! Give a sneak peek of the process of decorating your shop, venue, or local hotel for the holidays. You can showcase a time-lapse of packing holiday orders or let your team’s personality shine with holiday interviews and stories. This holiday-themed content will help build authenticity and relationships with your customers!
3. Shoppable Live Streaming
Audiences can interact with the host in real-time with shoppable live streaming. As the host showcases your products or details your business’s service, they’ll be able to answer any questions and review comments your customers may have. During these shoppable live streams, the host can also offer exclusive promos or giveaways to lucky viewers as part of the live event. The event’s urgency will increase the fear of missing out, helping boost sales and attention to your brand.
4. Allow VIP/Subscribed Customers Early Access
Reward the most loyal of your customers with early access to holiday sales and promotions, or better yet, offer them their own promo code or deal! Offer their discount early to keep your team ahead of the game and kick your holiday shopping season off on a great foot! Make sure to let the rest of your audience know about the exclusive event for those VIP guests and how they can partake in those deals next holiday season.
5. Keep Your Digital Storefront Updated
Consumers prefer in-person and online shopping options. Both of your storefronts need to stay up-to-date with each other. For example, if you are running different store hours this holiday season, ensure that you keep that updated in-store and online. Keep your messaging consistent across platforms so that there isn’t confusion as your customers shop for your products and services. Your customers will love that they can have a hybrid shopping experience with your brand and that they can find what they want when and where they need it!
6. Be Transparent About Supply Chain Issues
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses brought supply chain issues to the forefront of the consumer shopping experience. By being transparent about the supply chain shortages your business will experience, your customers will better understand what they can expect as they shop this year, reducing stress on you and your customers.
Communicate out-of-stock items, and keep the information up to date on your Google product feed, social media, mobile app, website, or any other location where your customers can shop. You can notify your customers of a back-in-stock item through email or on your social channels.
7. Post Engaging Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are a great way to engage with your audience and stay top of mind. Some ways to engage your audience on Instagram Stories include:
- Polls – The polls could be about anything, but the goal is to engage your audience and learn more about them. Some examples could be general feedback, product favorites, or trends.
- Q & A – Host a Q & A to connect with your audience in a low-effort way. You could create additional content later through social or blog posts based on the questions you receive.
- Quizzes – Quiz your followers on their knowledge of your products as a fun way to answer some frequently asked questions and offer your expert knowledge.
8. Create Video for Social
The focus on short-form videos this year is more significant than ever. Instagram is switching up its algorithm to favor Reels to compete with TikTok. TikTok continues to grow, with over half of Gen Z consumers preferring the platform over Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. Some ideas for short-form content could include packaging products to send out to customers, behind-the-scenes videos, gift ideas, and day-in-the-life style videos. Don’t forget to put a holiday twist on each video!
9. Focus on Local SEO
As the holiday season approaches, local businesses are preparing for an influx of customers. While many shoppers will take advantage of online deals, there is also expected to be a significant uptick in foot traffic as people return to in-store shopping post-pandemic. This presents a unique opportunity for local businesses to capitalize on local SEO and drive even more foot traffic. By optimizing their website for local search terms and promoting their location on online directories and mapping services, businesses can ensure they are visible to potential customers in their area. With the right local SEO strategy, companies can attract new customers and make the most of the holiday shopping season.
10. Schema Usage is Growing
This year, schema is more aligned with commerce than ever. Brands, retailers, and publishers are increasingly using multiple schema types to represent their information related to shopping experiences. Implementing schema types like Product, ImageObject, and ItemList is crucial because it allows search engines to comprehend your content better and offer more detailed and informative results to searchers. Schema can help you capture a featured snippet if you’re already on page one of the SERP and it can also help improve the click-through rate of your result on the page during the holiday season.
11. Research Holiday-Specific Keywords
Are your customers searching for your products to give as gifts? Conduct keyword research to determine if adding holiday-specific keywords to your paid search campaigns would be valuable. Even keywords for sale terms could be beneficial around Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
12. Consider using Broad-Match Keywords
Regarding keywords, Google continues refining its machine learning algorithms and has been encouraging advertisers to add broad-match versions of its keywords. Previously, broad match keywords have gotten a bad reputation for bringing in high volumes of irrelevant traffic – something nobody wants. But with recent advancements, keywords are becoming more like signals to the Google Ads system, and broad match keywords are making a comeback. Now, broad match keywords can signal what general type of searches you want to target and let Google find users and searches that align with your goals. So go ahead, add the holiday-specific keywords mentioned above, but also consider using broad match to find holiday-specific keywords that you maybe haven’t thought of, found in your keyword research, or are just one-off (but still relevant) keywords. If this makes you nervous, start putting broad-match keywords in their campaign with a limited budget and see how it does. You can always incorporate high-performing keywords into your regular strategy later.
13. Use First-Party Data
As platforms move away from third-party data cookies, businesses need to look at the customer data they own. How can you segment your customer data to reach different consumers with tailored messages? Do some users buy from you more frequently than others? Only when there’s a sale? When do you release new products? Leverage this information to show the right ad to your loyal customers at the right time.
14. Social Influencers Will Have a Big Impact on Holiday Sales
Throughout the holiday season, social influencers will significantly impact your sales! As shoppers seek gifts, they hope to gather inspiration by looking to others for ideas. With someone with a large following backing up your brand and explaining how your products and services benefit them, their audience will be interested in how those same products and services can help them. According to a study from McKinsey & Company, 58% of consumers say that social media influences their holiday buying decisions. Look through your following list, and decide who you want to represent your brand throughout the 2022 holiday shopping season!
15. Start Holiday Advertisements Early
If you think that Black Friday promos start earlier and earlier every year, you aren’t alone. Consumers are thinking ahead to holiday shopping months in advance, so you must ensure you are top-of-mind when they are ready to buy. Preparing for the holiday season includes increasing your budgets in late quarter three and early quarter four and ensuring you run brand awareness ads before the start of the shopping season.
Good marketers are strategic, creative, goal-oriented, and decisive. They plan ahead but think on their feet and can adapt quickly. They listen to others and do plenty of research but can distill all that information into what really matters. In a saturated marketplace, good marketers keep their eye on the prize! All good marketers understand the importance of a solid marketing strategy. It keeps everyone focused, aligned on goals and objectives, and accountable. When developing a solid marketing strategy, it’s essential to understand a brand’s target audiences and their needs, motivators, and buying triggers. A successful marketing strategy isn’t stagnant. It’s the floorplan for success, but campaign by campaign, you build on your initial approach, learning and improving as you go!
The expert team at DAE & Company has developed, implemented, and improved on countless marketing strategies over the years. Today, we’ll go over five of our most valuable tips for strengthening your marketing strategy to help you generate better results for your business!
1. Know What’s Working – And What’s Not
Understanding how to identify what elements of your marketing strategy are working is imperative. Do not overlook the impotence of taking time to set up proper tracking for your marketing campaigns before they launch. If you are struggling to set up tracking or have difficulty understanding the data, seek assistance from a professional marketing agency.
When you crafted your initial marketing strategy, you decided what you wanted to say and why. After executing your marketing strategy for a while now, take a step back and evaluate it. Is your messaging setting your brand apart? Is your marketing personalized to your target audiences? Are you seeing a positive return from your efforts?
Maybe you need some brand development help to carve out a space for yourself in the market, or perhaps you just need better content and creatives that truly reflect your brand’s mission and unique selling proposition. Either way, if something isn’t working, don’t continue to do it.
2. Check In On Your Consumer Insights
The world is changing fast, and consumers expect and need more from brands. The audience research you did last year or even six months ago may not hold up today. Check your work and ensure that the data you built your marketing strategy around remains true. Are travelers traveling the way you expected this year? Are shoppers living up to the trend expectations? What are consumers looking for from your brand today?
The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an era of change. Throughout the pandemic, we all had to find new ways to do things, from shopping to connecting with friends and family to participating in events. Savvy businesses recognized how their audiences’ worlds were changing and altered their business models and marketing strategies to follow suit. As the world evolved and audience needs and preferences shifted yet again, brands had to keep up. Businesses that didn’t market to their audiences in real-time, with appropriate, up-to-date marketing messages, saw negative backlash and a disconnect with even the most loyal customers.
Take a hard look at your marketing strategy. Are you providing the right messages and marketing campaigns throughout the buying journey? Work your way through the conversion funnel with your refreshed understanding of your target audiences. Does every piece of your marketing strategy align with their wants, needs, and expectations?
3. Experiment With New Marketing Tactics
The marketing landscape is changing faster than ever before. Your marketing strategy must be open to new channels, tactics, and trends. If a campaign is driving incredible results, allocate more budget to it. But don’t ignore new and innovative marketing techniques that you may not have considered when you originally designed your marketing strategy! If a new social media channel takes off and becomes popular among your target market, don’t wait to jump on board just because it wasn’t part of your initial plan. If a new ad format or search trend could drive impactful results, ensure you’re flexible enough to experiment with them!
It can be hard to keep up with all the changes and innovations in marketing, so keep up with the industry and the opportunities available. A solid marketing partner solely focused on your marketing success can be a tremendous asset in ensuring you don’t miss out on any chances to improve!
4. Consider The Lifetime Value Of A Customer
The lifetime value of a customer is the amount of money that a customer will spend with your business throughout their relationship with your business. Understanding the lifetime value of a customer can give you knowledge on how much you’ll be paying to acquire a new customer versus how much revenue your brand can expect from them over time. You can analyze the lifetime value of your customers by calculating how much an average customer spends per transaction, how frequently they purchase from you, and how long they continue to buy from you. This metric can help you understand how much you should invest in acquiring new customers.
5. Continue To Be Accountable
To achieve success as a business, you need to have a marketing strategy that will hold you accountable for what you’ve been able to accomplish and what you have struggled to achieve. As a team, focus on what you’ve been able to do correctly and what needs work to find success in the future. Review your benchmarks and decide what needs to change to help you hit your goals. Don’t wait too long to pivot strategies if you’re missing the mark. Keep everyone on the team updated with your progress, successes, and next steps so that they are as invested in your success as you are!
There’s no wrong time to review your marketing strategy! If you’re struggling to create or execute a strategic marketing plan, contact DAE & Company! We’re happy to help you strengthen your existing marketing strategy or help you to create a new one! We have the experience and passion for marketing to help your brand move forward effectively and efficiently, and we’ll have some fun while we do it!