The marketing sales funnel describes how a prospective buyer will move from the awareness stage to the purchase stage and further to become a repeat loyal customer of a particular product/service. The sales funnel is also known as a revenue funnel or sales process. It is a buying process or consumer-focused marketing model that is typically divided into multiple steps, which can differ depending on the company sales model/ product/service.
Why do we need a sales funnel?
A goal without a proper plan is but only a wish. So, it is imperative that your online business has a plan outlined termed ‘sales funnel’ to be able to convert your website visitors, to your final customers. Th
The sales funnel is a step-by-step marketing plan that aims to take a prospective customer from one stage to another until the purchase is made and further for repeat business.
Wait, you don’t have a sales funnel? Then this is what may happen,
– No consistent, long-term success
– Even if a product sells itself, you cannot be assured the same quantum will continue.
– If you let potential customers at the top of the funnel slide away, you will miss opportunities that take a bit more nurturing.
– Without sales funnel how will you analyze the performance? How will you build a sales team? How will you ascertain the length of a sales cycle? How will you continue to successfully sell in adverse market conditions? Are you selling with integrity?
– 80% of sales are made on the follow-up, and not the first time someone sees your offer or visits your website. How will you track them?
YES, every business can benefit from a well-thought sales funnel that is structured and strategized. So, if you are serious about marketing in 2020, you will need on!
Identifying the stages in the Sales Funnel
Our outlined four basic steps provide an understanding of what happens in a sales funnel and serves as a framework for the customer’s journey. It is important that you analyze your business, identify the areas for improvement at every stage, and chalk out a sales funnel to best suit the product/service.
Step 1: Awareness
In the very first stage, marketing and branding are aimed at generating interest and building an audience through targeted marketing campaigns. This is done by creating content (video, blogging, podcasts) that addresses a customer’s pain point, or a need or a search. Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram ads are the fastest way to create awareness and reach your target audience to market your product/service. 78% of salespeople who use social media selling as a tool outsell their peers. Don’t just be seen, be visible, be heard on a mix of social media platforms!
Step 2: Lead Generation
Firstly, create a powerful landing page called the ‘squeeze page’ to solicit opt-in email addresses from prospective subscribers. Once the traffic (potential customer) begins to flow to your website, it is time to turn it into a lead magnet. A lead magnet is any type of incentive that a company offers to the potential buyer in exchange for his/her email address or any other contact information. At this stage, you want to be sure you have captured the details of the visitor who has come to your website in order to be able to communicate with him/her further. Lead magnets constitute digital, downloadable content, such as free reports, eBooks, whitepapers, how-to videos, and video courses. Giving away interesting valuable content free of cost attracts prospective customers and helps the company to build a larger customer base.
The lead magnet needs to be powerful since it is the first and lasting impression, that will influence and determine whether the lead will convert during the later stages of the funnel. Also, at this stage, the company can increase the generation of leads through blog posts, chatbots, and social media.
Generating organic SEO traffic is neither easy nor fast. If done correctly, in the long run, it will yield high quality and most targeted traffic. After all, people have come to your website for a reason. Target the reason, target the customer. Once you have tested this funnel, you can also use Google paid ads.
Step 3: Prospects
Once you are able to generate a significant number of leads, it’s time to work on converting them into customers. Studies suggest that only 2% of sales are actually closed after the first interaction, whether that is an advertisement, phone call, or webinar. Also, 20% who those who click the ‘Buy Now’ button do not complete the purchase. This means those leads are interested in your product but not totally convinced as yet to spend their money. It is the decision stage where customers may be ready to buy but considering two-three options. The key is to have active follow with such leads. Whether enticing them with a first-time offer or discount code or free shipping, special price incentive, there needs to be active and not obtrusive communication beginning with your customer at this stage. A follow-up email with a CTA (Call-To-Action) button is the most logical progression and an unobtrusive form of communication here. Testimonials, customer reviews, live demos, webinars, product comparisons, pricing pages, all add to convincing the customer who is already interested in what you are selling.
Step 4: Sales
Once you have qualified your lead, now it is time to take action and seal the deal. At this stage in the sales funnel, the customer acts. He/she purchases your product/service and becomes your final consumer and an esteemed client. The few kinds of content to include at the action stage of the sales funnel include – Insider or customer success tips, training webinars, and follow-up email campaigns. Retargeting can also be used at this stage.
Once we have the above stages completed and a sale done, it is not the end. Loyal customer building is a continuous process. The art of upselling with a subscription service that provides clients with an improved product or service, follow up email campaigns, customer success tips, will help you to generate continual income. Additionally, after the customer has had a positive experience with your brand, they become a brand advocate by sharing those experiences through word-of-mouth marketing. Customer advocacy is your company’s customer service at its best.
Creating and optimizing a sales funnel is the work of digital marketing experts. Every little detail at every step in the funnel can impact conversions. So, start building on a sales funnel today. In a competitive marketplace, if you are serious about marketing, you need to start building on a Sales Funnel now!
Who is an influencer?
An influencer is a person who holds the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her online audience. These people whether celebrities or millionaires, politicians or industrialists, tech experts or bloggers, have an active following on social media platforms with whom they regularly interact.
What is Influencer marketing? Influencer marketing is when a company partners with an influencer/celebrity to increase its brand awareness or conversions among a specific target audience.
Why influencer marketing is gaining importance?
– In 2020, 7% of companies plan to invest a million dollars in influencer marketing.
– 89% of marketers believe ROI from influencer marketing is comparable or better than other marketing channels
What does Influencer marketing target?
– Lead generation
– Brand awareness
– Generate sales
Now that you are fully convinced to want to use influencer marketing; these are the important
rookie mistakes to avoid on your first attempt at Influencer marketing:-
1. Not having a proper goal
An influencer marketing strategy needs to be well formulated. Before you conduct social media, outreach and start working with an influencer, have a clear vision of the campaign in question.
Start out with setting a scalable goal for the influencer campaign – is it to generate leads, is it to increase brand awareness or is it to improve sales. Then put in metrics to evaluate engagement, website visits, sales numbers or whatever is the goal. Without a proper goal, you will never know what the real ROI of the influencer campaign is.
2. Selecting a quality and right-fit influencer
Different influencers attract different people. If you are a sports brand or selling health supplements, you may need an influencer who is an athlete. So, depending on your product and the audience that you want to tap in to, you will need to select the right-fit influencer.
Remember, the influencer is your company/brand face, so before you can start running your influencer marketing campaign, you need to have the right influencers. The influencer should believe in your brand/product and be able to engage his/her audience in the best way to convince them in the most effective and winning way.
3. Not wanting influencers to say it is a paid collaboration
Influencers can talk about your product or service but it is important that you check they are giving out the correct information about your product. As a company, you will prefer if an influencer sounds genuine while he is endorsing the product as if he/she is using your product /service. Of course, this may not be as easy. Most influencers are paid for their services and require to specify endorsements and sponsored content. There are legalities and rules for endorsements, to differentiate which posts are sponsored or act as an endorsement. Hiding your influencer relationship and not wanting to say it is a paid collaboration could your reputation in the long run. Today influencers are using #sponsoredpost, to show a paid collaboration.
4. Selecting influencers basis number of followers
A million followers were becoming a trend on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. But how authentic are these numbers, how were they reached and how they will affect your target audience needs to be seen? It is important to see beyond just the number of followers and instead see how many are really active followers and how involved is your influencer in conversations with his active audience.
5. Quality over quantity
Often companies select an influencer based on his/her follower count. But let that not be the only criteria. It is important that the influencer is able to engage with the audience, answer doubts or queries, and comment where necessary on behalf of the company. The success of your influencer campaign depends entirely on choosing a person who has a positive relationship with the audience, and who has higher engagement rates. The influencer should be able to engage with the audience and motivate them in the direction of attaining your company/brand goal. Choosing a micro-influencer or macro influencer entirely depends on the product/service and the influencer marketing goal. Therefore, it is recommended to choose a specialist over a generalist influencer.
6. Approaching influencers in the wrong way
The one thing to remember when you get an influencer is that you don’t own him/her. As a company, it is extremely important that you and the influencer understand and acknowledge each other’s roles and work towards the same goal. The influencer has his/her own style creativity so don’t impose upon them. Collaborate and coordinate, try and trust, remind and remember. A successful influencer marketing strategy is a long-term relationship. Sometimes it is even suggested that once you have an influencer who promotes your business and gives the best result, use the approach the same influencer for your next campaign as they already understand your brand, and score high on reliability amongst their audience. Approach an influencer in the right manner giving them full power and authority to represent your product.
7. Sticking to just one platform
Companies often make a mistake going with an influencer marketing campaign on their most preferred platform. Haven’t you heard, never put your eggs in one basket? Yes, influencer marketing draws from it. To achieve success run the influencer campaign, on different platforms to reach out to new and different groups of people. Also, maybe your company presence is stronger on one platform while the influencers’ strength lies in another. It’s best to try out combinations to maximize traffic through different social media accounts.
With Instagram becoming synonymous with influencer marketing, with over 1 billion users, a fast-growing network of influencers, and millions of sponsored posts each year, it does not mean you stop here.
Like every marketing strategy, influencer marketing is also based on trial and error. It is thereby important that you research the influencer background and tone of voice, what kind of products he/she endorses, is he/she promoting competitors’ products, ascertain the kind of engagement they get on their posts, check how quickly and efficiently the influencer posts responses. Ensure your influencer is not just a number game with a million followers, but can sufficiently and positively take action to reach the goals. Use actionable metrics and not just vanity metrics to continually measure the results whether they are the number of hits or page views or time spent on your website, or a number of downloads, etc resulting in leads, referrals, conversions, sales, and higher revenue. Actual sales and the average time on a page are paradigms of metrics that are truly valuable.
Launching a real estate project is only the first step. But how do you get buyers? Whether new construction or a resale, selling a unit in real estate is not the easiest task. But here we will take you through the steps which will help you decide what Advanced Lead Generation Strategies for the Real Estate Market to incorporate into the marketing strategy begin finding a potential customer.
So, what is lead generation in real estate?
Real estate lead generation is the very first step in the marketing process to stimulate interest in a real estate unit in order to find a prospective buyer and close the deal. The lead generation technique is an on-going systemized process on a continual basis that essentially creates a buzz.
The thumb rule for lead generation in real estate is, spend 20 percent of your time to generate a lead, and 80 percent of your time to convert the lead into a sale.
So, as a B2C marketer what are the best and most proven channels to drive leads to boost conversion rates in real estate? What are the advanced strategies for lead generation in real estate?
With HubSpot’s statistics saying that 54% more leads are generated by inbound tactics than by traditional paid marketing we begin by listing those first:
1. Lead generation by website homepage
The landing of your website should have one primary purpose – get the email address of a potential buyer. Since this page is so specific it is also called a squeeze page. Keep the landing page simple and straight forward. This illustration clearly establishes firstly getting the email address and secondly directing the potential customer to the page on the website with the promised content.
2. An attractive website with inbuilt lead generation tools
Once you have a potential customer on your landing page, wouldn’t you want him/her to browse through your website? Real estate websites have to be visually appealing since customers are looking to fulfill their basic need for shelter – for a home. The real estate website must have actual site pictures, construction-in-progress images, finished products, and latest listings. The website can also include a blog page, testimonial page, social media links, etc.
– Also, the website can offer to sign up for a free ride to the construction site or free ride to an open house, etc and use that ‘Request Form’ as a tool to capture additional leads.
– Download a corporate brochure.
– Another way to generate leads is by providing free subscriptions. Free subscriptions to a community newsletter, webinar, etc.
– Webinars and seminars are used as a means to generate targeted leads by 52% of marketers. A real estate company can host a webinar and link it with their content.
– As per ReadyTalk, 30%–40% of webinar attendees become leads.
3. Video marketing for lead generation
– 73% of homeowners say they are more likely to list with a real estate agent who offers to create a video
– 0nly 4% of agents put their listings on YouTube.
– Videos not only attract 2-3 times as many visitors but also double the amount of time visitors spend on the website.
– Videos are 236% more engaging than an image or written form of content.
– Facebook gets 8 billion video views on average per day.
Real estate videos may include
– A walkthrough
– Information on the amenities in the property
– Local Events where the developer/agent has participated
– Client interviews/Interviews with international architects and designers
4. SEO to increase visibility and website visits
SEO plays a significant role in lead generation for real estate. Large real estate companies like Thapar Builder, Delhi and Panchshil Realty, Pune, have strong SEO to appear on Google’s first pages during a local search. SEO is again an ongoing process that includes elements like build links, Create Google My Business Profile, set up on-page SEO signals for near me search, manage online reviews, interact with social media users. More the traffic to your website more the lead generation.
5. Social Media
Social media may not be used directly to sell a property but it surely helps to build a relationship through involving opt-in pages, follow up emails, and retargeting
6. Retargeting the Audience
Beyond targeting your website visitor, there is an additional tool called Retargeting. Retargeting is used when a prospective buyer shows up on your landing page but acts no further. It may be a good idea to use retargeting ads for such visitors. Select a custom audience and design the ad with a specific purpose when using retargeting ads on Facebook or Google. Retargeting ads have a higher conversion rate than new customers.
7. Email Marketing
This is yet another tool for a lead generation used in the real estate industry. An informative email is valuable. Today an effective email may include
– Video in email: Research by Forrester has found that including videos in emails can boost click-through rates by 200–300%.
– CTA: An email with a CTA (i.e., call now, book your viewing today, etc.) helps to generate and nurture the lead.
8. Other traditional lead generation methods still prevalent in real estate
– Participating in community events helps to draw attention to your business, offers value to the neighborhood, and also a direct deal with a potential customer. At many community events, you can give away free gifts while requesting a potential customer while collecting his/her contact details.
– Customer Service: If a potential customer has come to your office or construction site it is absolutely necessary that he/she is promptly provided with every detail on the project. Giving them a personalized tour of the office or site helps to build a rapport with the client.
Most people buy a home once in a lifetime. This means repeat sales are far in between. Thereby, each and every real estate lead is precious. These advanced lead generation strategies for the Real Estate Market will help you generate the lead, but remember to follow-up is the next step.
Business to Business, known as B2B business is an online business between two companies and not between a company and an individual customer. The target audience is more concentrated and defined and needs to be reached out on a strategic basis.
So, to reach the B2B audience the company needs to establish continuous efforts towards quality lead generation online.
Your B2B strategy for lead generation should be arrived at after ascertaining which combination works the best for your company/product.
How to target B2B lead generation?
Here are 7 ways under three main categories Email, Social and Blog along with a powerful Landing Page that will help you generate effective B2B leads: –
The number of e-mail users worldwide is 3.8 billion and is projected to reach 4.3 billion by the year 2022. 45% of B2B marketers credit email marketing as the most effective digital marketing channel.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to generate B2B leads with email marketing:
- Optimize email campaign for mobile devices
- Since CTA increases click by 371% and sales by 1617% (according to Wordstream) include Call-To-Action
- A well-curated industry-specific email with a powerful subject line scores a 39% higher chance of being opened
- Authenticity and reliability are higher when the sender includes complete address and contact details in the email. Also linking the logo in the contact details to the company website helps provides an extra link.
- Provide product lists and other useful information to create an interest in the buyer.
- At least send one or two follow-up emails to increase the chances of your email being read.
- Include the unsubscribe link to help improve your mailing list.
Facebook a social media platform with 1.5 billion users has been growing in importance, becoming an effective lead generation tool for B2B companies. Aim not for a direct sale but to connect with the audience through Lead Ads, by answering their queries and building your brand. Interesting 17% of Facebook users follow brands /companies. Facebooks Customized Audience targeting (people who are similar to your existing customers) further helps to increase the quality of the leads by 40%.
With 126 million users Twitter helps you to engage with the right people by using relevant hashtags or keywords. B2B business can also utilize Twitter Lead Gen Cards, to generate leads directly within a tweet. It provides the Twitter Name, his/her User name and his/her email address the card which can become a useful lead.
– It is said, in as little as six hours a week, 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media.
– New platforms like Twitch are also garnering a place in the crowded B2B lead generation space. Twitch, (acquired by Amazon in 2014) is growing in brand advertising numbers on the streaming platform. It might be the right time to try their new in-game action ad formats.
- You Tube
Videos have become a much sought after tool whether for relaxation, information, entertainment, business or just about anything. Today 1.5 billion views per day on YouTube come from ‘Generation X’. YouTube is the world’s 2nd largest search engine and ranks 4th for the most valued social media platform (after Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) by B2B marketers. Almost 50% of B2B technology buyers are influenced to purchase a product or service after viewing the video. Is that not enough to get on the YouTube platform?
Blogs with actionable tips, problem-solving, improved ideas, technological improvements, and proven tips act most effectively as B2B lead generators. A high quality, well-researched blog with SEO keywords is a sure way to increasing page views and potential leads. As per statistics, today 81% of businesses believe blogs are crucial in generating leads
- White Papers
1 out of 2 B2B marketers has now started to use white papers to generate leads. Another form of Content, a white paper is a technical paper written by experts in their subject. Industry persons have begun to trust these White Papers since they are authoritative, help answer the reader’s query, make it easier to solve a problem, or simply nudge towards a decision. The trick lies in hiding the content behind a web form, so you’re able to capture contact information before the user accesses it.
- Landing Page
A B2B landing page is essentially known as a ‘Lead Capture Page’ is a digital handshake. The importance of a strategic landing page has risen with 68% of B2B businesses using this method to acquire leads. It is much more than the About Us/The Company Page. In fact, a well-designed landing page enjoys between a 5-15% conversion rate.
So for B2B Lead Generation, your landing page must,
- Block the exit
- Have a Form to fill with very basic information – Example ‘Fill your email for a free trial’.
- Provide what the visitor is searching for
As a Company, it is necessary to be present on different platforms and experiment to arrive at the best mix/ ways to acquire maximum B2B leads. A lead generation strategy is a continuous effort. ‘Lead generation’ further needs ‘Lead nurturing’ to transform the lead into a sale. Without lead generation, to begin with, there will be lesser customers and even fewer sales eventually. 85% of B2B marketers consider lead generation their #1 challenge, don’t be one of them.