What To Do If You’re Struggling With Top Of The Funnel Strategies

If your company is struggling at the top of the funnel, we’ve got 5 tips that will attract prospects to your website and convert qualified leads into sales.

Your outdoor company has built a beautiful website and the sales team is ready to answer any questions prospects have. But they’re waiting…and waiting…and waiting.

The sales team has received a few calls and emails but only a handful are qualified leads and they’re not converting. What’s an outdoor marketing team to do?

What Is A Marketing Funnel?

The marketing funnel is the process of turning prospects into customers. Today, we’ll just go into the three most common stages of the marketing funnel. But if you’re interested in turning your loyal customers into brand promoters, check out this blog post.

Top of the funnel strategy

All versions of the marketing funnel start with awareness. Prospects need to know your company exists and understand your services or products before they can become a customer.

The next stage is consideration. This is where prospects turn into qualified leads. These prospective customers are more invested in learning about your outdoor company. With the right lead nurturing, they can be converted into customers.

The final stage of the marketing funnel is conversion. The prospect has gone from visitor to qualified lead, to customer.

Deeper Dive Into ToFu Marketing

Marketers love seeing more visitors on their website and views on their blogs. Attracting visitors to your website is what top of the funnel (aka ToFu marketing) is all about. And if you want to turn visitors into loyal customers, you need a strong top of the funnel.

Customers at the top of the funnel are just beginning their search to address a problem. They know they need something new but aren’t sure what they’re looking for. An example of this would be, planning to go fly fishing in Montana but not sure where to find the best rivers for cutthroat. These prospects are just browsing the infinite web to gather information.

Marketers can use ToFu marketing strategies to bring awareness to prospects as they search for solutions to their problems.

The key to top of the funnel marketing is driving quality traffic to your site and nurturing them into a lead.

When marketers focus more on the amount of traffic they get to their site, they end up having a low conversion rate. They can also frustrate their sales team when they hand off “leads” that aren’t truly leads. Just because someone has landed on your site, doesn’t mean they’re ready for sales to give them a call or send them a personalized email.

Top of the funnel marketing is all about bringing awareness to your brand and guiding potential prospects in the process of solving their problem. When we work with clients on ToFu marketing, we approach projects looking for short-term wins and long-term gains.

Short-Term Wins

We live in a world where people want results instantly. We want our clients to see leads right away so we develop a strategy for short-term wins. When it comes to top of the funnel marketing, our focus in the short-term is keywords, meta descriptions, and a PPC strategy.

Man placing hand next to the keyboard of a laptop

Focus On Keywords & Meta Descriptions

Building content around keywords can drive prospects to your website. When people search for yourkeywords, make sure your meta descriptions are accurate and the content is relevant so you don’t increase your bounce rate.

Have a Pay-Per-Click Strategy

The easiest way to attract people to your website is to use broad keywords in pay-per-click campaigns. They may not always turn into leads but this will raise your brand outreach with more eyeballs on your website. It’s much easier to rank for broad keywords than long-tail keywords.

Long-Term Gains

As those begin to gain traction, we transition into long-term gains. And long-term gains is all about quality content. The key to top of the funnel content is to convert and nurture using the content you feel solves their specific pain point.

Social Media Is Your Friend

Facebook is still the ruler of social media but with their on-going algorithm changes there is a constant battle of iteration and decision making which tends to lead us into analysis paralysis. Quickly adapting to these changes will ensure your campaigns are fine tuned for any issue that might arise. Social media is a low-cost to entry spot for brand awareness. Social media is a long-term gain because it takes time to build up your page. You need engaged fans and valuable content like videos to become a trustworthy source of information. Social media isn’t free but targeted ads can be a low-cost way to build brand awareness and drive traffic to your page or website.

Create A User-Friendly Website

This might sound obvious but it must be said. I’m sure you’ve found yourself on a website that took forever to load, was hard to navigate, or wasn’t mobile-friendly. And what did you do? Immediately leave. It’s important for companies to invest in their website so it not only looks professional but encourages users to stay on the site.

Camera set up overlooking canyon

Generate Valuable Content

What is the first thing you do when you need to solve a problem? Ask Jeeves. I mean Google! And from there, Google can take you down a spiral of blogs, videos, podcasts, and more to help you solve that problem. No matter what product or service you’re selling, adding relevant content to your site will help not only attract people to your site but generate qualified leads. If you are a lodge that takes anglers on fly fishing excursions, then create blogs that talk about the best rivers for cutthroat trout or a video on how to release a deep hooked fish. Providing solutions helps outdoor companies build trust with prospects.

Slow & Steady Wins The Race

Why would you ask a prospect to buy your service or product the second they subscribe to your email list? Remember that top of the funnel marketing is all about awareness. Prospects are just learning about your company so it’s important to nurture your leads. Send them a welcome email with links to blogs or videos that might help them solve their problem.

Generating Qualified Leads At The Top Of The Funnel

Building a strong marketing funnel takes work at the top. It’s important to spend time educating prospects and building awareness if companies want to generate more qualified leads. Your company can be positioned to keep your funnel full with our 5 tips that focus on short-term wins and long-term gains.


Creating An Effective Call-To-Action

Quality content on a blog post or website is key to attracting prospective clients. At Sage Lion Media, every email we send, blog post we write, social media post we create, a call-to-action is included. In our blog today, let’s review what a call-to-action is and some best practices when creating an effective call-to-action.

What Is A Call-To-Action?

So what is a call-to-action? A call-to-action (CTA) is “an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action,” according to Hubspot. It’s important to encourage prospects to contact your office or sign up for an event after reading a blog post or email. If they don’t, what’s the point of creating engaging content?

CTAs take prospective clients to a higher valued page on your website. If the call-to-action says, “Read more…” in the meta description on Google, this gets your prospect to your site. The page you direct that prospect to on your site should include another CTA which takes them further down the sales funnel.

Inbound Marketing Methodology by HubSpot

Best Practices

Since CTAs are all over websites which shows it’s not rocket science to create. However, creating an effective call-to-action takes a little more finesse. Such as a converting CTA that sends a clear message about why they should click and delivers that promise immediately. Including an action verb is Rule #1 when creating a call-to-action that converts. But just because you said, “download” or “click” doesn’t mean prospects will download or click.  Here are Sage Lion Media’s rules to an effective call-to-action:

  1. Actionable Messaging. Yes, you need more than an expressive verb to get people to click on a CTA but this is the first step. Without an action verb, you’ll just have a fancy graphic, words, and zero clicks.
  2. Make it clickable. You can have the most creative copy in your CTA but if it doesn’t look visually appealing and clickable, you will miss out on a lot of prospects.
  3. Create urgency. Nobody wants to be left out so let prospects know they need to download your ebook NOW! Include a countdown next to your CTA that informs prospects your ebook is only free for 48 hours. If you’re trying to fill up spots for an event, say, “Spots are limited. RSVP today!”
    Image of cell phone with download offer
  4. Focus on placement. CTAs should be weaved in naturally to a blog post. Typically you’ll find a call-to-action at the end of a blog but you can also place one in the middle, on the sidebar, at the top of the page. Whatever makes the most sense. Don’t go overboard and have a CTA in all locations.
  5. Color matters. A CTA needs to stand-out. If the webpage is blue, the CTA should be a different color. Easy enough! Pick a contrasting color that is still in your theme so it will pop out on the page.
  6. Size matters too. You want people to easily see the CTA but it can’t be too big that it takes away from the main content.
  7. Clear and concise. An effective CTA is short and to the point. A prospect should know exactly what they’re getting once they click on the link.

Pro tip: We like to do A/B testing on CTAs for our clients. We’ll play around with wording, placement, and sometimes the color to see what gets more clicks.

Start Creating

While a call-to-action encourages a prospect to take one more step down the sales funnel to become a lead. That action can be a link in an email that says, “Shop Our Lightweight Tents Now” and guides the prospect to your company’s brand new line of backpacking tents. Whatever you want your prospective customers to do, creating a CTA that gets clicks can turn those prospects into leads.


3 Reasons Why Your Calls To Action Are Not Converting

Have you ever read through a blog post and left because no one “told” you what to do next? You were left hanging in space, free to leave at anytime. Leaving your visitors (prospects) hanging is the first simple way to NOT generate more leads. It’s important to have calls to action in every step of the sales funnel. If one directs you to a free educational download your focus should be on your messaging. 

One essential element of any solid inbound marketing strategy includes visually-focused content that guides a visitor through the buyers journey. These important invitations to the next level are the job of a good “Call-to-Action”. Also commonly referred to as a CTA. Think of them as road signs, leading the way to the desired destination.

Here are some questions we receive for our clients:

  • “I need a button for an email that directs my leads to a secondary form on my website. Is this possible?”
  • “I’m having issues tracking the conversion rate of my new eBook offering. What am I doing wrong?”
  • “Do we need a catalog of CTA’s for each stage of the inbound sales funnel?”

But first, where are the most important places to include a CTA? A CTA is, quite literally, a hyperlinked button, that guides your reader to take a desired next step.

A CTA acts as a link between exploratory content that your prospect is interested in and premium content offers that can only be accessed by providing personal information. Think of a time where you read the summary of a blog post. If you’re interested in finding out what the article examines, you simply choose the “Read More” button at the bottom. If they don’t turn into leads now, they’re more likely to come back if they see your website as insightful. 

Here are a few ideas about why your CTAs may not be getting the responses you hoped for.

1. Target Your Buyer Persona

Tailored messaging delivered at precise moments during the buyer’s journey through clickable CTAs will resonate with your leads. The more you know about your visitors, the more segmented your content will be in the future.

Your CTA messaging should have a direct impact on someone’s willingness to click and move further down the buyer’s journey. Because your buyer personas have key identifiers attached to each step of the journey, instead of using the usual “Learn More” CTAs you can get a little more creative with your messaging such as “Check It Out.”

It would be a big mistake to send content to prospects with impromptu CTA messaging that was developed for evangelists.

Example of our inbound marketing services page.

If the content that comes ahead of your CTA is not informative or bland, even the world’s best CTA is going to have low conversions.

Leaving you with that gut-wrenching feeling of failure. If a visitor clicks your CTA, they should have a general sense of who you are, how you can help address their specific needs and what information they need to begin the sales process. The CTA reinforces the action they’re about to take towards achieving a solution to their problem.

2. Don’t Sell All The Time

Your goal as a business owner should be to provide educational information that is useful to your industry, not just flat-out selling your products and services. You do not want to overwhelm your leads or customers with forceful selling. Your calls to action should be inviting and succinct and address problems that your targeted buyer persona’s express along their buyer’s journey.

CTAs are not the place to begin a dialogue with your leads or prospects. It is however, the place for prospects to begin the buyer journey. Remember, we develop our CTAs based on buyer persona research.

However, the research you conducted should give a clear indication of how your prospects communicate and take action in their daily lives. If it doesn’t, you need to start over and re-evaluate. 

3. Let Your Calls To Action Create Urgency

Guiding your leads naturally should be your top priority. Internet researchers are very indecisive while browsing for solutions. That’s bad news, because the longer a buyer sits and analyzes, the more openings arise for your competitors to steal your leads. Your content needs to nurture the lead to act immediately or at a later date.

The internet is one big library of anything you might want. As a result, it becomes more difficult to decide if you’re finding the best solution to your problem. Be the clear answer to their challenge, and make them want to choose you.

For instance, Amazon does a great job in converting leads into die-hard customers and eventually brand evangelists. We’ve all purchased products through Amazon, and they already know that we’re not interested in receiving deals on products we never buy. Instead they send detailed newsletters of items purchased in the past, with clear calls to action attached to each call out. They go the extra mile in making the message actionable.

Phrases such as “View our product line” and the powerful “1-Click Ordering” CTA can be seen all over their site and email campaigns. Because Amazon has nailed down their target audience and how they shop, the focus has shifted from carrying influential brands to the messaging that will resonate with the lead and convert them to customers.

These principles have already been deployed in the B2B world. And they still continue to work.

Because our clients know their customers will receive the right information at the right time, in each step of the buyer’s journey. We accomplish this by using effective calls to action messaging that is developed for your buyer personas. Using general messaging might bring in a lot of leads. But it’s very concerning to find out more than 90% of those leads had a minimal impact on your sales. The right compelling messages help to eliminate that concern.

If you’re interested in learning more about Call-to-Actions and upping your inbound marketing game, take a look at the Sage Lion Media inbound marketing blog.

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Building a Story for Your Outdoor Brand

In 2017, Donald Miller published Building a Story Brand and it has become a measure of standard across the internet marketing space. The overarching message instructs the reader to clarify their message so their customers will listen. So many of our clients come to us with a version of struggle related to the solution Donald presents.

Whether you are struggling to get your customers to engage with your brand, or you’re just trying to get your brand off the ground, we have the track record and knowledge to provide results with creative and engaging media. None of this ties together without clear and direct messaging exemplifying your brand.

Make Your Customer the Hero

Building a brand story based around your consumer develops a sense of trust and relationship someone wouldn’t experience with other forms of content buildout. Positioning yourself as a guide along the customer’s journey to finding and committing to their solutions keeps you at the top of your customer’s mind. You are developing a trigger point in the consumers mind that relates your product or service to a solution. 

Here is the flow of nearly every story in the words of Donald Miller:

“A CHARACTER who wants something encounters a PROBLEM before they can get it. At the peak of their despair, a GUIDE steps into their lives gives them a PLAN, and CALLS THEM TO ACTION. That action helps them avoid FAILURE and ends in a SUCCESS.”

Generic customer journey map image
Customer Journey Map Example

Nearly every book you read, every movie you watch follows this plot line and we naturally notice when stories don’t develop in this fashion. Why shouldn’t your brand story follow the same model? To lead them through this process, we answer three questions. What do you offer? How will it make my life better? What do I need to do to buy it? If we can answer these questions well, we make the customer the hero and the product their solution.

Talk About Your Customer’s Problems

Relating to and engaging with your customer’s problems sets you up to understand why you are doing what you are doing. You’ve developed a product or service as a solution to a problem, but your customer may not know they have a problem. Writing about your customer’s problems shows you are just like them, and have created a product for them because you’ve experienced some of the same problems in the past. If you put those problems front and center in front of your customer’s you’ll let them use their own imagination to find you as their solution. Even though you have led them to water, they have to be the ones to drink. There are three types of problems any customer may face.

There are external problems, internal problems, and philosophical problems. External problems are physical, tangible problems, like products or services they need. Internal problems are problems they face internally, these are deeper, more personal fears and then we have philosophical problems. These problems are bigger than the basics of purchasing a product or understanding oneself a little better. If your product or service has a deeper meaning or impact, it would be worth employing this form of content as well as writing about internal and external problems.

Position Yourself as a Guide and Call Them to Action

As we’ve defined previously, customers are not looking for another hero. These folks are looking for a guide. When you think of fly fishing, what brands do you think of? When you think of hunting, which brands do you think of? Those brands have established themselves as “guides” for fly fishing and hunting, respectively. When someone considers these items, they know where they can go to get the information they are looking for and can trust. As the internet continues to expand and content farms keep pumping out generic content intended to rank on google, it is becoming more and more important so instead of clicking through organic search results, these folks are going directly to websites for information.

Once you have established yourself as a guide, it’s time to call them to action.  “Direct” calls to action come in the form of making a purchase, filling out a form, or picking up the phone. “Transitional” calls to action are things like testimonials, free trials, and free content. You probably come across transitional calls to action all the time without even realizing it.

Provide a Happy Ending

The last thing a hero in a story wants is a bad ending. It is important for you to paint a picture of success involving your product or service. Some terminology could include “imagine yourself in 6 months”, or “if this problem was solved”. This puts success in the mind of your consumer and ties your product to it. A solid happy ending will include one or more of the following:

  1. Win some sort of power or position/status.
  2. Be unified with somebody or something that makes them whole
  3. Experience some self-realization or transcendence that makes them whole

If you can satisfy these basic human desires your client will leave with confidence and trust in anything you offer. Learn more about how Sage Lion Media develops engaging stories for outdoor brands by visiting our content marketing services page.


2 Tactics After Attending a Trade Show To Increase Sales

Whew, this year’s IFTD was a whirlwind and a big success here in Denver. While at the show I met up with a bunch of clients. Hung out with old friends. And met several new prospects. As the show wraps up I’m getting ready to follow up with a few leads I had positive interactions with. Here’s a simple framework for developing meaningful conversations with new leads and increase sales.

While it’s easy to plow through your emails and play catch up the first day of an event, you don’t want to lose track of the contacts you made. Redirecting some of that focus to your new leads can ensure those long days on the show floor don’t go to waste.

1) Actually Connect

This seems like a no-brainer but less than 30% of all trade show exhibitors have a plan or process in place for following up with leads. Here are some tips to follow:

  1. Avoid Boilerplate. Don’t go online and search for an email template for conventional follow up. Doing this will ensure one thing, you’ll look like everybody else. 
  2. Try video. According to HubSpot adding video to your sales emails can increase the open rate by 5X. We’ve seen similar results in the last few years and include a simple video in nearly all our sales emails. One possible subject line for your follow up email could be “[Prospect name], I made you a video to say thanks for the time at IFTD. 
  3. Thank the prospect for their time. And remind them of your conversation. These conventions can be a whirlwind for people walking the show floor. A recap of your conversation can help jog their memory for what you talked about. 
  4. Ask them to do something. It can be as simple as booking time on your calendar (we use a HubSpot meeting link) or as complex as downloading a piece of premium content. But asking your prospect to take an action will give you valuable insight into how interested they really are and allow your CRM and automated workflows to start collecting contextual data.
IFTD Trade Show Hall
IFTD Trade Show Hall

2) Classify Your Leads

Not everyone you meet is going to be a sale and you definitely need to know which ones are worth emailing directly. It’s worth developing a specific goal for each business card you collected at the show. We like to split our leads up into the following buckets: 

Connected but not ready to sell

These are contacts who you meet throughout the show or at the after-parties. They may be junior members of a team or just interesting people you want to keep in touch with. I typically try to connect with these people through social media. I feel LinkedIn is the best platform to do that. It’s an opportunity to stay in touch through your channel and expose them to your news feed posts and so that you can see theirs. 

Qualified to do business

These are the new accounts I’d like to target. My goal is much more direct as we discuss specific business opportunities. I like to schedule my follow up meetings at the show, so I already have it on the calendar. I will send a personal video email within a few days of the show, thanking them for their time and remind them of the talking points we discussed at the event, so they’re prepared during our phone call. 

Nurture

The last group of people may or may not be business opportunities. But they could be people who are your peers in the business. You may want to build a lasting relationship with them to bounce ideas or vent about problems. If you’re in the same city, asking for a recurring meeting might be a great way to build your network. You might also watch out for interesting articles you both find useful and shoot them an email about it from time to time.
IFTD and other industry trade shows are a great opportunity to meet new people and reconnect with old friends.

Following these simple strategies can help you increase sales, make sure your time is used efficiently and develops long lasting successful business opportunities.


Inbound Marketing is Like Air Traffic Control

When I was hired by Sage Lion Media at the beginning of the new year, I was tasked with implementing agile/scrum methodologies. Prior to joining Sage Lion Media, I worked at a few reputable digital marketing agencies located in Los Angeles, Denver & Chicago.

And before entering the world of inbound marketing I had the privilege of working at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Control Tower.

Continue reading…

Top 5 Outdoor Industry Marketing Trends That Will Matter in 2020

Outdoor Industry Marketing in 2020

The landscape is ever changing in the world of internet marketing as a whole as well as the outdoor industry’s niche, but the core values stay the same. As a product owner or service provider, you want to capture potential leads looking for your product or service, educate them on why your product or service is a better choice, and then make the process as easy as possible to convert those folks into a sale. Here are a few of the trends we are seeing as we approach 2020 in the outdoor industry.

Video Marketing

Video Marketing for the outdoor industry is becoming more and more popular as the user base shifts into a more technologically advanced crowd. With new technologies and strategies emerging regarding live video, augmented/virtual reality, and a high propensity for “vlogging”, engaging and informing your users in the creative avenues they are looking to be engaged and informed in is vital to a successful outdoor industry marketing campaign.  While the tech is advancing at a fast pace, so are the ways in which we can display that content to users. TikTok has emerged as a massive platform for video sharing, and the old faithfuls in Facebook and Instagram remain staples to any social media strategy in the form of paid ads or organic rankings/results, and 5G gets it to us more quickly and with better quality than ever.

Inbound Sales Tactics

Inbound marketing involves the placement of your product or service in front of your potential buyers with the intention of having gathered some information on them by the time you make contact. Some of the avenues for doing so would be shoppable content. This involves utilizing services like Google shopping, Amazon, and so on. Having your products available for purchase in the areas people are looking for them leads to sales and brand recognition. Instagram has also started allowing users to “swipe right to buy” on various products, allowing those who have engaged with your product and are interested to have the easiest path possible to purchase. Product Demonstrations and tutorials are also becoming more and more popular. Giving your users the tools to understand and utilize the product from the start can set you apart from the competition.

Outdoor Industry Marketing

Voice & Visual Search

In 2020 it is estimated that 50% of all searches will be done with voice. This stat has certainly made the rounds, but what does it mean for your marketing efforts? The main area your strategy will change in relation is the types of keywords you will rank for in the future. For instance, someone may go to Google.com and type “New Outdoor Products”, while someone performing a voice search may phrase it as “What New Outdoor Products are on the Market?” While the core of the search remains the same (new outdoor products), the included keywords change the types of results that may come up. Massaging your content to include these more “conversational” based keywords is key to capturing this potential. Another area where search is improving is visual searches. People can now use their phone cameras to explore products to find out which product is in front of them. Say a friend has a really cool new gadget or product, you would be able to pull out your phone and perform a Google search based on what your camera finds. Ensuring your product is available and optimized on the various platforms ensures this process is as seamless as possible.

Paid Advertisements for the Outdoor Industry

Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence Allow More Customization than Ever

Paid ads have always been a staple of our marketing campaigns here at Sage Lion Media and we are constantly researching for changes in the space. Using tools involving machine learning and artificial intelligence, we have the ability to personalize ads at scale and segment your audience using more advance information. In 2020 users will see fewer organic results and many more contextual ads specifically targeted to the user. Ad personalization allows you to attach some type of personalization to the ad. It may have the person’s first name attached in the form of a “Hi Jerry, are you looking for ________?” or it could have something related to their previous experiences while browsing the web or with your product specifically. This personalization is intended to lead to higher conversion rates and more customization. Audience segmentation allows you to display advertisements to different subsets of people based on demographics and other factors. An example of this would be displaying more visual based ads to the 24-32 year old subset, and a more informational ad displaying for those in an older age group.

Content Marketing for the Outdoor Industry

Content is and will always be king. Your words tell the story you are looking to tell and should be built to bring your users along a journey. Some emerging trends we see popping up are experiential based content strategies, more focus on user interface and user experience, brand partnerships, and a real push for visibility on content based communities like reddit, LinkedIn, Slack, Facebook, Quora, and more. Creating an outdoor content strategy from the ground up with these new platforms in the mix keeps you at the top of mind no matter where your potential buyers are looking.


How to Optimize Your Facebook Ad Funnels Using Video

Needless to say, marketers must be more creative than ever to not only attract audiences, but also keep their attention. Many businesses use Video Facebook Ads as a key part of their digital marketing funnel. Using video is a great way to boost your funnel strategy and ultimately drive conversions. 

The average human’s attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish. While the average human attention span was around 12 seconds in 2000 — note, this is around the time that smartphones began entering our lives — it has fallen to eight seconds today. And the average goldfish’s attention span is nine seconds. 

Video qualifies 66% more leads
Infographic courtesy of Oberlo

Here are some key steps to build out your full-funnel advertising strategy on Facebook with video!

Know How Your Marketing Funnel Works

Your digital marketing funnel is the journey that prospective customers take from being unaware of your brand to becoming a customer. It’s important to know how your marketing funnel is structured so that you can optimize your cross-channel strategy. Ask yourself questions, like:

Digital marketing customer journey funnel
  • How long does it take for a prospect to travel from the top of funnel, when they’re unaware of your brand, to the bottom, when they become your customer?
  • Do you have any leading scoring in place to segment users?
  • What kind of content will resonate best at each stage of your funnel?
  • Are there holes in your marketing funnel that cause you to lose your prospect?

Know Where Videos Fit into Your Funnel

If your marketing funnel is a path that guides buyers toward a buying decision, how do you keep buyers on that path? Video is a critical tool for engaging your audience and building customer relationships, sharing information and communicating your brand story, and promoting products and services. And your users want to see videos — 54% of people report wanting to see more video facebook ads from marketers.

Video engages users longer
Infographic courtesy of Oberlo

Take Advantage of Video Facebook Ads in Your Ad Manager

Facebook’s campaigning tools make it easier for you to target your audience depending on where they are in your funnel. Check out these tips below:

  • Make videos as engaging as possible, and get to the point quickly — remember, goldfish attention span!
  • Check out Facebook’s recommended video specs before uploading to ensure the highest quality viewer experience.
  • Sequence your ads to effectively guide customers through the funnel by telling a story and/or presenting information to viewers in a specific order
  • Create content tailored to people at different stages of your funnel. Facebook allows you to target individuals who have engaged with your content before. Below is a screenshot of the custom settings dropdown:
Example of Custom Audiences in Facebook
Example of Custom Audiences in Facebook

Tailoring content to different levels of engagement can significantly boost your funnel strategy.

By setting up campaigns and catering your content, you can more effectively guide your audience through the different stages of your sales funnel. 

Video Ads Are an Effective Way to Boost Facebook Campaigns

Of course, creating video ads is easier said than done. Luckily, digital marketing agencies like Sage Lion Media are here to help. If you’re in the market for innovative ecommerce and/or digital marketing solutions, contact us today!

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Using Lead Scoring to Find Hidden Customers

Lead scoring is a dynamic process that needs to grow over time. Treat your first foray into lead scoring as an experiment. You need to work closely with your sales team to make sure the leads you are identifying are really qualified to purchase. If you don’t have a sales team, then you need to monitor your data closely for any sign that it’s underperforming or that potential customers are abandoning.

Nobody’s signing up for our newsletter… We just aren’t getting any calls… Our site just isn’t converting enough leads…

Have you looked at your visits to leads to sales conversion rate and said any of the above?

We have many times.

As an Outdoor Inbound Marketing Agency, our number one job is to help get more people outdoors. That means more sales, more donations, and more leads for our clients.

We understand that anyone who lands on a site is a potential lead or sale waiting to happen. Sometimes, they need a little help getting there. That’s why we use content to teach, guide and nurture them along their buyer’s journey.

We see too many missed opportunities because clients assume their customer’s buyers journey is linear.

For Example: Customer lands on the website > They sign up for a coupon > They buy something.

But that’s not how the majority of visitors use a website. It is far too simplified in today’s digital world. First or second-time visitors to your site aren’t ready to buy yet, so a coupon won’t do them much good. They are still trying to figure out why they even need your product.  Or if your product will solve their problem

Visitors who are most ready to buy were probably going to purchase today and because of the coupon, you just lost an easy deal.

That’s not a great business strategy. We need a way to deliver specific content to leads at just the right time in their “Buyer’s Journey”

The first step for building out a Buyer’s Journey is mapping out the process from visit to conversion.

Instead of a straight line, your buyer’s journey is a complicated process of various touch points spread out across all your digital marketing efforts. To fully understand how your customer is interacting with your site, you need to walk in their shoes. Spend some time on your site adding things to your cart.

How did it feel?

Did you address any of their concerns or pain?

Does your content leave you wanting more?

We like to map a buyer’s journey in a graphic. This helps us understand how our visitors are interacting with different marketing efforts across all our channels. In addition, it lets us group pieces of content together for future retargeting efforts.

Once we’ve done this we are able to identify where our customers need “help” to cross hurdles and then automatically assign them a lead score based on their readiness to buy.

Higher lead scores mean more opportunities for engagement on your website and are more likely to buy. Lead scoring through HubSpot then allows us to give first-time visitors different content from buyers who are ready to purchase today. Our visitors are happier because we are able to deliver content that educated them, our clients are happier because we are able to convert more visits to leads and leads to customers, and we’re happy because it gives us many more opportunities to nurture and educate visitors at various touch points along their journey.

Finding Hidden Customers

The first time we turn on lead scoring for our clients using HubSpot we always find hidden customers who are waiting to have that final question answered before they purchase. They often just need a little nudge to get off the fence.

Lead scoring pulls those customers to the forefront and we are all able to see these missed opportunities. Once we have a handle for where they are we are able to deliver more targeted messages to their inboxes, or deliver more specific ads to them via social media, or simply pass them onto a sales team for further nurturing.

Generally speaking the more refined you can get in your message the more likely you are to find success.

Experiment and re-iterate

Evaluating each lead in this manner will help you dial in your scoring and build a robust accurate tool you can use to find hidden customers on your site.


4 Reasons Your Nonprofit Should Have A Blog

Content marketing is dominating marketing trends and if everyone was blogging and doing it well, we’d leave you alone. However, due to shrinking budgets and overworked staff, blogging has taken a backseat for many nonprofits. Producing quality blogs and posting consistently can be taxing for a nonprofit. But what if we told you:

These are powerful stats. As much as we want to fight this trend because of lack of time and resources, blogging can have an impressive impact on a nonprofit. Blogging gives nonprofits the chance to share their story, motivate donors, and keep people abreast of important issues.

Consistency Is Key

According to HubSpot, companies that prioritize blogging efforts are 13x more likely to see positive ROI. When companies produce 16+ blog posts per month, they get 3.5x more traffic and 4.5x more leads than companies publishing 0-4 a month. For nonprofits, this translates to higher awareness and a growing donor list. Now posting 16 blogs a month for any size nonprofit is asking a lot. But the point is, if you’re not blogging regularly, you won’t see positive results.

Quality Over Quantity

More blog posts can lead to higher web traffic but it is important to produce quality posts. If you’re pumping out blog posts just to hit a certain number, readers will sense that and quit reading. Not only will they quit visiting your website, they’ll tell others. Telling an effective nonprofit story that resonates with potential donors and volunteers is more important than posting three blogs a week.

Blog Content Ideas

I am aware of the time and budget constraints nonprofits have. And since I’m feeling generous, below are ideas you can incorporate into your content marketing strategy.

1. Numbered Lists

People love to read lists. They are easy to skim which encourages readership and shares when posted on social media. Here are examples nonprofits can use:

  • 5 Ways To Get Involved In Your Community
  • 8 Ways The Outdoors Can Improve Your Happiness
  • 4 Reasons Kids Should Be Outside More
  • 10 Startling Facts About Wildlife Conservation

2. Guest Blogging

When you’re short on time, asking someone else to write a post can help you stay consistent and give a fresh perspective. Ask a corporate sponsor to write a post. This can help them with brand awareness. Maybe a volunteer has been dying to share their experience and wants to write a blog. Guest blogging is a great way to mix up your blog.

3. Photo Essays

Blogs with images get 94% more views so why not create a post full of them! You’ll still want to include some copy to introduce and close the photo essay but this is a creative way to share your story. Some photo essay ideas are:

  • A successful fundraising event
  • A before and after of a project you completed
  • Faces of the people who have benefitted from your nonprofit

4. Interviews
Interview volunteers, donors, staff, or the people you’re helping. If you’ve written some lengthy blog posts earlier in the month, post the interview as a video instead. While you know the value of your nonprofit, hearing it from a donor or volunteer can help inspire others. People want to hear real stories and interviews can do just that.

Start Blogging Now!

Blogging is vital for nonprofits to share their story and create change. If blogging is not a part of your content marketing strategy now is the time to consider adding it.  You can’t have a website in 2019 without a blog.

If you’d like to learn how Sage Lion Media can help you get started with an effective content marketing strategy, contact us today.

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Originally Published: February 1, 2018
Updated: March 3, 2019