Welcome back to Part 2 of our look into conversion funnels! If you missed Part 1, you can find it here. Last week, we covered the basics of using conversion funnels to personalize the user experience. Today we will discuss the best way to source new audience members for your funnels, as well as using cross-platform funnels to take advantage of the strengths of each platform.
Sourcing New Users & Remarketing
One of the hardest parts of using conversion funnels is making sure that ONLY your intended audience reaches the top of your funnel. The key to this is understanding the platforms, such as Google, Facebook, etc., what they know about their users and how they know it.
TIP: Create a separate landing page for any digital marketing objectives. If you already have a page that is acting as your landing page, duplicate it and make the duplicate uncrawlable. This keeps the audience and data clean.
Once you have found an audience segment that may have a high goal conversion rate, you want to get your message to people who are in that exact group to test your hypothesis.
Say the car dealership in last week’s example wants to sell more trucks. After looking at the data, they determine that people who like outdoor activities and people who work in the construction industry are more likely to purchase a truck than the average user. So how does the dealership accurately deliver their message to these groups?
This is where sourcing is key.
Facebook knows a lot about their users. This information is gathered in 2 main ways: Things you tell the platform and things with which you interact, both on the platform and related sites. Things you tell the platform include your age, gender, marital status, etc.
Facebook uses behavior to make assumptions about other things. For example, if you interact (like, share, comment, etc.) with many posts or pages about a single topic, Facebook will determine that you care about that topic, as well as your opinion on the topic. For example, if you like/join several pages about members of a political party, Facebook learns that you are interested in politics and prefer the party to which each of these pages most closely relate.
Back to our example, people who like outdoor activities have likely interacted with ads, pages and groups related to things like camping, hiking, etc. Facebook knows this and can serve ads to that audience.
So how does this help us?
Since we know this audience likes outdoor activities, we can then create ads that show the truck parked near a campsite beside a brook and people enjoying nature around a fire. Since the user is likely to have good memories attached to camping, this will encourage higher rates of interaction with the ads.
TIP: Remember that the point of ads at each stage of the funnel is to move the user to the next stage, not to take the user all the way to the end of the funnel. If this dealership offered a free drawing with a prize attached (like a $100 gift card) to this audience, the interaction rate would be much higher, and they could collect contact information. If you’re paying by impression, this means more users in your funnel for the same budget.
Although Facebook may have a good idea of what profession a user is in, LinkedIn may be a better option, since users on LinkedIn are much more likely to keep their employment information current. To determine which is better, an A/B test can be created to see which platform has the lower cost per click.
Now that we have the right audience, how do we get them to buy trucks? With a large enough list, we can use Google Ads for remarketing efforts. Here, we can separate the audience that was generated on other platforms and serve them ads on Google’s network.
The more important part is that Google is better equipped to know what you are interested in at this exact moment, because it knows the search terms you are using and with which of the returned results you interact. Using this information, we can separate users who indicate a current interest in purchasing a vehicle. This allows us to give a message that increases brand awareness/preference to users who aren’t in the market for a new truck right now, while showing current inventory with pricing to those who are.
The advantage here is that we already know that this audience are avid outdoorspeople. We can now serve ads that are targeted to that group on Google, which means those ads will be more effective.
By understanding each of the platforms where your audience can be reached, you can use one platform to fill your funnel, then use others to move users down to the conversion. Cross-platform remarketing can give you an advantage, because you are targeting an audience that is more valuable to you. This means you can bid more competitively for those users.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of conversion funnels, you’re ready to start nurturing your users toward your goals. But converting isn’t the end of the user’s journey, and this isn’t the end of our blog post. Next week, we will present the third and final installment in our Conversion Funnel Trilogy, where we will talk about post-conversion funnels that help to encourage repeat business, develop lifetime relationships and create brand advocates.