Testing constant marketing experiments is essential to growing your business. But not every experiment you conduct will be positive, and that's okay. In the words of famous aerospace engineer, Burt Rutan, "testing leads to failure, and failure leads to understanding."
There are literally hundreds of experiments you can do to improve the top, middle, and bottom of your marketing funnel, but let's talk about proven tactics.
Below is a list of experiments your business can test to help improve each stage of your marketing funnel.
1. Facebook advertising
Facebook is a great way to target prospects because you can create custom audiences and get your content in front of relevant prospects.
For example, if you know your customers are between the ages of 30 and 40, have a cat, and purchase from sites like Amazon, then you can create an audience that target people with these traits.
As part of creating a custom audience, Facebook allows you to upload an email list and will look for the user’s Facebook account with the associated email. This is a great way to stay in front of your audience proactively without sending them an email.
There are two ways to leverage Facebook custom audiences for growth: launching targeted ads and growing a relevant audience with a look-alike campaign.
Let’s start with launching targeted ads.
Facebook ads are a great way to get your content out in front of your audience. You can create ads from your most successful content, helpful videos, and your latest blog posts. This will help nurture your audience. You might have emailed your users the same content, but when users discover content on their own—like finding it in their Facebook newsfeed—they perceive you as more authoritative in your industry.
The second way to leverage Facebook custom audiences is to create a look-alike campaign to match one to two percent of your target demographic.
By setting your custom audience to match one to two percent, you’re ensuring your look-alike audience closely resembles your persona. This is a great way to target new prospects based off similarities with your existing customers, rather than based off keywords they’re searching for on Google AdWords.
HubSpot offers various Facebook ad options – click here to learn more.
2. Podcast advertising
A podcast is an on-demand audio show. You can subscribe and listen to your favorite shows from the convenience of your smarphone.
There are tens of thousands of podcasts and likely a few dozen that fit your company’s persona. Just like with Facebook ads, Podcast advertising allows you to determine where to advertise based on age, demographic, interest, and so on. Podcast advertising companies like Midroll will provide you this information. Alternatively, you can go directly to an individual podcaster and see if they are a good fit for your audience.
Currently, podcast advertising is fairly inexpensive and can give you reach in the millions. Companies like Bluehost have successfully used podcast advertising to acquire customers for years.
To learn more about podcast advertising, check out this comprehensive guide.
3. Secondary search engine optimization (SEO)
Secondary SEO is being included or referenced on top websites that already rank well on search engines, like Google, for a particular keyword.
It can take weeks, months, or even years to increase your Google rankings. The shortcut is being referenced on sites that already rank well.
Let’s check out a few examples.
In the first example, the keyword “Payroll Software” generates a search engine results page with four different review websites.
If you want traffic from a high-volume keyword such as this that could be hard to rank for, then all you have to do is get listed on one or more of the four websites listed. Oftentimes it’s as simple as submitting your company and getting a few reviews.
Let’s check out another example.
In this example, the keyword “growth hacking” generates a search engine results page with the question-and-answer website, Quora, showing up in the seventh position.
If you were the top answer on that particular question, you’d receive traffic from that high-volume search term. That's exactly what growth marketer and entrpreneur, Sujan Patel, did last year when he launched his growth-hacking ebook, “100 Days of Growth." This resulted in hundreds of visitors a month and dozens of sales. In total, Quora was the third-highest traffic and sales driver for Sujan's ebook.
Middle- and Bottom-of-the-Funnel Tactics
1. Blog content to nurture your new trials or customers
Did you know that you can use your blog content and all of your content marketing efforts not just for the top of the funnel, but also to help guide potential customers through the middle and bottom of your funnel? All you need to do is take your best or most helpful content and include it in the onboarding emails your trial and new users receive.
2. Headlines with urgency
Creating a sense of urgency is a great way to get people to take action. In order to do this effectively, consider keeping the messaging short and simple. Adding too many steps or too much content can complicate what you're ultimatley trying to get people to do.
Victoria Secret does this very well.
Not only is the above ad short and to-the-point, but also there's a details link in case you want to learn more. And while this example is in the form of an ad, it could very well be the headline of an email (e.g., FREE $20 Reward Card with a $75 Purchase | Limited Time).
3. Concierge onboarding
Concierge onboarding is a method in which you help guide your potential customers through purchasing your product or service. Oftentimes, when scaling your marketing efforts, you lose touch with identifying friction points that keep prospects from becoming customers. With concierge onboarding, you must talk to your customers and learn what those pain points are and address them on the spot. From there, once you figure out the friction points, you can apply your learnings to the onboarding or updating content on your website.
Concierge onboarding works well for new companies or when you're trying to scale a channel—what works when you have 100 new customers vs. 5,000 new customers will definitely change. The friction points will change. Talking to your customers will help you understand these issues immediately.
And there you have it: a list of tactics you can experiment with to help move the needle in your marketing funnel. But remember, digital media is an ever-evolving landscape. New opportunities will emerge and current platforms will change, so make sure you’re ready and open to new possibilities so you can leverage it before your competitors do.
If you found this information helpful and want to learn more about how to develop a well-rounded content marketing framework, sign up for HubSpot's free Content Marketing Certification course.
Originally published Nov 7, 2017 9:00:00 AM, updated November 07 2017