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4 Functions Of Online Marketing

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In the end, all of us who are marketing our businesses online have one goal – attract more clients and customers to our business.

How do we do that? What role do all these online tools and platforms play? What about content? What works and what is a waste of time?

The way I see it, there are only 4 functions for any online marketing activity that support our goal:

  1. Drive traffic
  2. Capture leads
  3. Nurture leads
  4. Convert leads into customers

That’s it. That is the process. For every marketing activity you do, you should be able to identify which of those steps you are contributing toward. If you aren’t sure, it’s time to revisit your strategy.

3 Out Of 4

Content plays a critical role in the first three steps in this process. First, it is your content that drives people to your site, to find the information they are searching for. Whether they came across it on a search engine, on social media, or in other ways, what they are looking for is answers.

Then, content is critical in order to capture leads online since people will only provide their contact information in exchange for some value.

Finally, nurturing leads is about building a relationship and a sense of trust, which is done through sharing consistent content.

Missing the Middle

All of these steps are important.

However, in my experience, many businesses focus their efforts on driving traffic and converting leads into customers, but are very light in the areas of capturing and nurturing leads.

The trouble with this approach is that it assumes people are ready to buy as soon as you get in front of them. It takes cold leads and tries to sell to them immediately. Statistically, it just doesn’t work that way. For most of our businesses, the sales cycle is a lot longer than that.

If you aren’t taking people through a process of building trust, educating them, and answering their questions, then you are letting a lot of clients and money fall through the cracks.

Content Doesn’t Close

The last step in the process is when you convert prospects into paying clients and customers. Clearly, this is an important step in order to reach our goal!

This step involves sales conversations and sales copy, which are not content. This is why I differentiate between content and copy.

Most businesses have this step pretty well figured out, and there are a lot of other resources out there to help with this. Their problem is trying to convert too many cold leads, or not having enough leads to begin with.

In the end, getting better at steps 2 and 3 by using effective content marketing is the best way to reach your goal of getting more clients and customers to your business.

Does this breakdown make sense to you? Which of the steps is your weakest link? Let me know in the comments.

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