Winning The Game – Content & Commerce

Let’s look at now how do we win the game. Ultimately, we wanna get sales, but it’s not all about sales. We need to get awareness. We need to get leads. We need to manage our reputation. There is just so much to it. So how do we do all this with the modern tools that we have available to us?

Here are the things what we really want to get right:

  1. We want to get Awareness and Thought Leadership.
  2. We need to get Branding right and get your message out there. A lot of people are not so focused on branding but the advantage of when you get a brand really right is that you don’t have to hard sell to people as much. People want to buy from you if you get your branding right. Don’t think, “I’m a direct response guy. I don’t want to know about branding,” because you’ll see in a moment those two really come in together.
  3. We need to get Traffic so which is a lot like awareness, and we need to get Leads, so getting people on our database and building lists.
  4. We need to be Ascending people through our Marketing Funnel. What we’re talking about here is we might get them in on a low ticket sale, but over time, we want to add more value and we want to increase the average order value, that kind of thing.
  5. We need to get more Sales. We need to ultimately get Repeat Sales, because we know when we acquire a customer for the first time, that’s the most expensive. So if we can have them on our database and market to them again, obviously that’s gonna be a lot more efficient.
  6. We need Brand Advocacy. Wouldn’t it be great to be like Apple where people are so steadfast behind your brand and they’re telling everyone else about it and all that kind of stuff? 

In a previous blog Internet in Stats 2017, I spoke about mobile. Your audiences are starting on one device and they’re finishing on another. So they might be starting their search, their research on mobile, but they might be converting on a tablet or converting on a desktop. You might be thinking, “Well, how does that affect me or how do I use that?” Stick around over the next few weeks, that will become more clear as we get into deep eCommerce strategies tactics.

conversion patterns

We can see 67% of people who start on one device end up on another. About a month ago we bought a tent a month, not because we were downsizing but because we we’re going camping with our friends. We didn’t have a tent, so it was on my list to organise.

So I started researching it on my iPhone and then later on I was sitting down on the iPad and researching so more, and then talked about it with Jules, got the management to sign off which is as a husband always important to get. We both agreed. Then I sat down on my laptop and went straight to ordering it, because I’d already done the research. I don’t think I’d be alone in that buying process, it’s pretty common when you look at some reviews, do your research and that kind of stuff, and then you’re buying later usually on a different device.

There is this current concept that the single ad campaign is dead. If you think about it, everyone used to think “Okay. I’m gonna run some ads and that’ll get me some customers.” Whilst that’s still working in some instances, I think we need to think bigger than that now. So if you think about how an army general wins a war, it’s not, “okay, we’re going in with the infantry, and that’s it, on one front”. No way. He’s going in with the infantry on one front, then he’ll send in ships around, and then he’ll have an air attack so they’re attacking on multiple fronts.

A better analogy could be thinking about your campaigns like they’re a relay, where one person starts with the baton, and then they’re running and passing it onto the next person who then runs and passes it on to the next person, that kind of thing.

That’s how modern advertising works as well, you’re doing initial ads that are really just about awareness or creating value, and then you’re passing the baton to presell articles and building a list. You’re building lists of people that you can then market to again, and then you’re showing them ads that move them further down the funnel towards becoming a lead or towards becoming a customer.

We look at the customer buying journey in phases (this was what we’re talking about with Funnel Ascension). The first thing is awareness. The people that you market to and the people that you sell to, there’s now some who know you, like you, love you, trust you and want do business with you. They’re already your “warm” or “hot” market. You may not need to do much awareness for them because they’re already on your database or they’re already in your tier.

Then there’s other markets, bigger mass market and at some stage you have to make your brand be in their consciousness, or your product be in their consciousness, or the problem that you solve be in their consciousness. And that’s really what awareness is about.

From there, we move into acquisition. Here we’re acquiring leads and we’re acquiring customers. Then from there, we’re getting loyalty and repeat. These are the things that we need to think about as we go on this relay run. Effectively, we need multiple touches to get a conversion. I was in Africa on holidays a while ago and I can remember watching how the lions work together. Picture this: you have two lions over in one space slowly walking and pushing their prey towards some bushes where there’s other lions waiting to prey, waiting to pounce. That’s effectively how I view an entire online advertising strategy.

So I’ve always been traditionally a direct response guy, one of my first coaches pretty much told me that direct response was the only way that you need to go. That’s the only thing you need to know. Direct response marketing, direct response marketing, direct response marketing. For those of you reading this thinking, what exactly is “direct response marketing”, it is when you do some sort advertising and expect a direct response, so if the whole purpose is to get a lead or to get a customer, then direct response marketing would mean getting that sale or lead immediately,

Branding is more about getting your message out there, getting the awareness, building intrinsic value. Intrinsic value means that there’s value in your brand. So, I don’t buy much in the way of handbags or more so I don’t buy anything in the way of handbags :), but I do know in that market there’s some handbags that looks very similar. Except one’s worth $99 and one’s worth $2,000. Correct me if I’m wrong ladies, but there’s really nothing much different between the two yes?. Okay, so one might be a little bit better in quality but really what it’s about is the intrinsic value that’s built up in that brand. So ideally, we wanna build up intrinsic value in our brand right? It just makes good sense.

What we think about with branding and direct response is effectively, if you’re always just putting your message out there and never asking leads to make an order/purchase, then you could go broke. But if you’re like one of those crazy, discount-type places where everything’s black and red and “Get it now,” they’re screaming at you, that kind of thing, you’ll basically annoy everyone. So we’ve really gotta find that balance somewhere in the middle, and it really is a balance.

balance branding

It’s kind of like an emotional bank account with your customer or your prospect.

Branding can just be like silly branding that you’ll see some really, really big corporations do, just putting their logo on stuff, but that’s not really gonna do much – certainly doesn’t fill up your customer or prospect’s emotional bank account with anything of quality.

Branding can also be creating awesome value in the marketplace, putting out a high value video content, high value blogs. It could be making entertaining videos, everyone has seen those funny business videos that go viral and spread around and just explode a company overnight? That kinda thing. That’s branding as well.

So when you’re putting out good stuff, you’re putting a deposit into the emotional bank account of the prospects or customers. Then later when you’re asking for the order, you’re effectively making a withdrawal from that emotional bank account. What we know with our financial bank accounts, our business bank accounts is that we can’t just keep withdrawing forever. We need to put money in right? (unless we get into overdrafts, credit cards which is how a lot of people live.

value first approach

As a general rule, lead with value first, the value-first approach, rather than just thinking, “How can I get the most money out of my market?” Start thinking, “How can I influence my market the most? How can I help my market the most?” This is called “Helpful marketing.”

An example of this is with an e-commerce store we’ve have where the main site looks like a big authority blog and we’ve got it’s sister site selling the actual products. We researched what our exact target market really, really needed. Then we published content answering those questions out as helpful content. Then we amplify it with social media. Then the e-commerce store is actually on a sub-domain like shop.domain.com, that kind of thing. You do really need to think about that value-first approach. We call this content and commerce.

Content doesn’t have to be ‘content’, it could be entertaining media, it could be instructional videos. The important concept here is how are you going to create value first and then get a transaction?

My prediction is that those who don’t move towards this content and commerce model and who aren’t receiving “earned media” (publishing high-quality content that gets you found in Google organically and that is helpful marketing to your marketplace) could and most likely will end up like a dinosaur (and I think we all know it didn’t really go that flash for them which is probably an understatement 😉 ).

It’s a great time to be reading this post as right now we’re running a FREE Web Class Training on ‘Winning the Game of eCommerce’. If this is something of interest to you, click here to watch the training! 

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