Marketing Strategy

Here’s how you align marketing strategy with your customer’s journey – Search Engine Land

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Everyone in attendance during the SMX Advanced presentation with Amy Bishop and Michelle Morgan got an amazing deep dive on using paid media channels to effectively guide users from discovery to conversion. There was a ton of information in this session I couldn’t fit into this recap, but I wanted to share my main takeaways Amy and Michelle presented.

Know your market

It all starts with knowing your market segmentation. You should conduct an exercise (links to the templates in the image below) and define in each area which product and service is the best fit based on which problems you are trying to solve.  Besides the best fit, you should also try and figure out which users may be the worst fit for your business.

We also must separate the buyer’s journey from the sales journey. Maybe people consider the two to be the same, but the journeys are completely different. The sales team is looking at their job performance and doing what is best to get users to close. The buyer is becoming aware of a problem and then researching what to buy and where to buy it from to solve their initial problem. It’s our job as marketers to figure out who the audience is, but since users’ paths can be completely different, we need to research audiences in ways that make sense for each user.

Using audiences in a meaningful way

As people take different turns in their buyer’s journey, we can utilize audiences to better craft our strategies and market to these users. One of the best things out our industry is most of the major advertising platforms offer audience insights tools. The biggest takeaway is that these tools tell you how your audience or personas translate into the exact targeting options on the platforms.

  • Facebook Audience Insights – This is really great for creating targeting personas. Identify top converting demographics and zero in on those first. Further segment by layering interests and other demographics. Identify new interests to target, and then monitor performance to flesh out and validate your personas.
  • Google Ads Audience Insights – We can look at any audience we have (must have at least 1,000 users in it) to see which in-market and affinity audiences your base audience belongs to. Look at customer lists, converters, high volume purchasers, etc. to get a better understanding of how these audiences are comprised.
  • Google Analytics – Also has in-market and affinity data in a broader scope, but we can layer on many other demographic insights.

There are many ways to look at your audience data between the channels. Look for patterns in between the platforms to find which ones should be tested first depending on the persona and where that persona might be in the buyer’s journey.

Map it out to make sure you know the information each user needs, what device they typically use, what action you want the user to take, and how you can measure the success of that action. And as we create different actions from each persona, we can build audiences off of these actions to create remarketing audiences to use to keep guiding the user to eventual purchase.

Calls-to-actions that make sense

We need to always keep in mind what we are asking our users to do. It’s not about what we as business owners (or marketers) want the user to do; it’s about what’s best for the user in that moment. We already mapped out the path to purchase in the section previous, but what action is holding these users up that is preventing them from moving forward? We need to work to figure this out to make sure we can have the proper content and CTA to keep them moving further along.

Ideally, you want to have CTAs for all stages of the funnel. Video views are great for top of funnel marketing because we’re not asking for a firm commitment from someone who may not even know who your brand is. This is going to be more effective than asking for the demo on the first interaction because the user most likely doesn’t know who you are or why they need your brand. But as users get deeper in the funnel, we can be more aggressive with our CTAs as the user shows more interest as time goes on.

Messaging in multi-channel

We also have to back away from the thought that people only use one channel throughout the buyer’s journey. Users do not only use Google or only use Facebook. You can’t make people use a channel. Advertisers have to go where their users like to go. Many of these channels can be used from top to bottom of the funnel. And as we expand our marketing message throughout these channels, we need to make sure the CTAs also match across the channels to make sure we’re serving the same message to users depending on their persona.

Here are targeting suggestions from Amy and Michelle depending on where the user is in the funnel.

  • Top of Funnel – Utilize interest-based targeting, lookalike/similar audiences, affinity and in-market audiences as well as other custom audiences to fill the funnel. Be sure to exclude your lower funnel targets to make sure the top of funnel message doesn’t get repeated as users continue the journey.
  • Middle of Funnel – Go after visitor traffic, repeat purchasers and loyalists, video viewers, and anyone else who engaged with social media posts or your mid-funnel content.
  • Bottom of Funnel – Cart abandoners, form abandoners, visitors of high-intent pages like pricing, low funnel customer match audiences.

Let the user convert on the channel of their choosing. Create identical audiences for each stage of the funnel on all applicable channels if you can. Also, don’t forget about creating identical exclusions to make sure you’re not showing users any ads outside of where they are in the funnel. The more we keep our ad message and audience targeting to the persona across each channel, the better chance we have of getting the user to move further along in the funnel to eventual purchase.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Joe Martinez is the Director of Client Strategy for Clix Marketing. While he is hands-on in all aspects of PPC, his true passions lie in Display, Remarketing, and YouTube. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, and WordStream. He has also written for PPC Hero, SEMrush, Unbounce, Leadpages, Optmyzr, and AdStage. He has hosted webinars for SEMrush, Unbounce, Quora and Bing Ads. He regularly speaks at conferences such as SMX Advanced, SMX West, SMX East, HeroConf, Confluence Conference, Digital Olympus and more. Finally, he was named a Top 25 Influential PPC Expert by PPC Hero in 2017 and 2018.

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