Imagine this: you run a for-profit business and you have control over the sales you would like to achieve. You can just get the cash in when you need it.
A common nightmare keeping business owners up during night is cash flow and sales.
Business owners are constantly worrying about when they will run out of money to pay the bills and salaries to staff.
In fact, these 2 come from the same root problem: you just don’t have enough paying customers.
So to free yourself from chasing up customers every month to sign them up for your services, build a lead generation machine that keeps your sales pipeline full all the time.
Before we look at the steps..we’ve noticed that most business owners are making 3 mistakes in their business and marketing.
Common mistake 1: No scalable way to find new students
Most teachers run the business like a teacher. They are very good at teaching and passing on their knowledge, but clueless when it comes to marketing.
Traditional methods to market and win new students require a lot of effort for very poor results. Or sometimes great results but you don’t know why or how to repeat the success.
For example, running an open day and events to attract students to visit and join your course. But how many events can you hold per month? Are you able to even get people to attend your event?
Sure, digital marketing is NOT the magic button to solve all your problems when you switch your marketing method.
But you need to find a way to fill in your sales pipeline that allows you to scale up very quickly with minimal resources.
Common mistake 2: Business owner is doing everything
It is true that on the bank statement, you save a lot of money by not hiring someone else to work for you.
If you can do so, you just don’t have to hand over the hard earned cash.
But here is the problem.
Your business is making $30,000 per month, and you work for 160 hours (8 hours a day, 5 days a week). Each hour that you spend working on something not very productive costs you $187.50.
Don’t you think it makes sense to hire someone who’s good at what they do to do it in less time at a lower cost?
You simply aren’t leveraging other people’s time and expertise to help your business to grow! If you’re good at teaching, focus on that!
Common mistake 3: Market and pitch once only
Business owners often plan to market and enroll as many students as possible, and then go silent after that.
You see, marketing is not a one-off activity. It requires an ongoing effort to keep the sales pipeline full all the time.
Think about the last time you purchased something that required a little commitment (say a $1500 phone), what was the journey you went through?
This may not apply if you’re selling lower value items, like cooked food. The decision making process and journey are so short, this buyer’s journey is negligible and might not apply to certain cases
You start by understanding what the problem is, researching phones and their functions online, asking around about phones, and finally you buy it.
Many people just ignore this journey, and only focus on doing a 1-off discount for a limited time.
Your discount won’t work until people understand your service /course. It is very good for prospects on the fence or at the decision making stage.
It may work in the short term, but the same problem of not having leads in your sales pipeline will come back to haunt you.
We use these steps to generate 1.53x more student inquiries
In fact we had already been working with this client for some years before this specific campaign started. We had already done some of the optimisation when we created the website.
Note: Some specific keywords and examples you see in this case study are made-up and recreated when we prepared this case study. This helps to protect the business’ privacy.
But screenshots and strategy in this case study are based on real data.
Step 1: Create a website that can sell
Not all websites are created equally, most websites are created to work as the company profile only.
Most business owners come to WebHero and starts with “I need a website” instead of talking about the problems that need to be solved, or why they need the website.
That’s why, when someone comes to us asking for a proposal, we won’t send anything until we go through a deep dive interview. It usually ends up very different compared to the ‘we need a website’ goal.
That is why most websites do not help to grow the business.
Understand the website users
Before you start to create a website, you need to understand who will be using the website. Your potential prospects? Your existing clients? Investors? What is their goal and expectation?
Different groups of people require different messages to make your website useful.
For example, if the website is created for investors to get info about your company, then it is okay to include some financial terms such as the growth rate of your company, ROI, P/E value, number of shares issued, etc on some of the key pages.
But if it’s for potential prospects, all this info simply doesn’t make any sense. They want to know how your service can change their life, they don’t care how fast your company is growing and how much you’re making.
Create pages using keyword research data
In this case study, the goal and function of the website is to attract potential students and prospects to sign up for a course offered by our client.
A straightforward way to create a website that will attract the right users is to understand what they search for online.
We use a tool from Google to understand the exact terms people search for online.
You may see slightly different data, especially the numbers which can be in a wide range. We are using our agency account which has running ads to see a much accurate version.
I’m using a makeup academy as an example. As you can see, 2 of the keywords – “bridal makeup course” and “personal makeup course” – have about 80 people searching for them every month.
Business owners will think that this number is a little too low. But that’s not true.
Say 10% of the searchers send in their inquiry / application, and half of those inquiries turn into paying customers. That is 4 extra students in a month. If each student brings in $8,000 for the course fee on average, that is $32,000 for the school.
When you market your services online, it’s not about the number of people you can reach. Laser focus – reaching your potential prospects – matters the most.
Selling point: features vs benefits
When we create the website and landing page for the business, we focus on selling the benefits instead of features.
Most businesses are just selling features instead of benefits. To make it worst, some are selling something people can’t understand and can’t relate to.
“People don’t buy drills; they buy holes.” – Zig Ziglar
Here is what I’m trying to say: People are buying the result, not the tools (features of your products / services).
For example, people who are selling features will say this:
Cambridge English Course for employees / business
Benefits of taking the course:
- Speak confidently with clients, come across as much more professional compared to those don’t speak proper English.
- Win more deals by expanding into growing international markets
You see, it is more convincing and relatable to focus on the benefits than the feature statement above.
Make sure website passes website grunt test
Within the first 5 seconds of a new visitor landing on your page, they must be able to answer these 3 questions:
- What do you offer?
- How will it make my life better?
- What do I need to do to buy it?
When we write, design and develop the website, we are constantly asking and answering these questions so that the website helps visitors.
It can be hiding in plain sight and just a small element on the website, but this helps to convert more leads for a business.
Step 2: Generate traffic to the website
In this marketing campaign, we only focus on search engine marketing as the client is not ready to invest in social media yet. Moreover, he has been posting content on social media and buying ads from time to time.
Create ad groups according to theme and pages
Now we have a website built around keyword data and understanding buyers.
The tricky part of this case study is when it comes to setup Google ads: it works differently compared to simple Facebook ads.
You need to group your Google ads into groups that have the same theme. Here is the sample structure that I mocked up for reference:
Ad group: Personal makeup course
- Personal makeup course
- Personal makeup class
- Individual makeup course
Ad group: Commercial makeup course
- Commercial makeup course
- Commercial makeup class
- Professional makeup course
Ad group: Makeup school
- Makeup academy
- Makeup school
- Best makeup school
- Makeup school near me
- Affordable makeup school
Writing magnetic ads and leverage ads extension
How an ad appears on Google affects how much traffic or people you can attract for your business.
So it is good to use as many Google Ads extensions as you can to make your “virtual property” as large as possible. People are trained to click on larger listings and trust in that listing a lot more.
One of the examples we can find on Google is how many makeup academies near WebHero show up on Google.
You can see the top listings tend to have more links and info appear compared to lower ranking ads.
When you finish creating your ads, simply go to the extension tab to add in relevant extensions and provide more info to your potential prospects.
Step 3: Track all clicks, kill campaigns that don’t work well
It is essential to understand which keywords are working for your business. So we use 2 tracking softwares to feed data back to respective platforms for optimisation purposes.
Install Google tracking code
You will need to sign up for a new Google analytics account if this is the first time you’re using this software. This is free and the industry standard when it come to tracking website stats.
It just so happens that Google itself has a very good tutorial video about setting this up.
Install Facebook tracking pixel
Go to the pixel tab in your Facebook ads account and click on the burger menu icon, then find “Pixel”.
Click ‘create pixel’, and follow the pop up box to complete your pixel setup. If you have already set up the pixel on the website, you can skip this step.
Once you create the pixel, you need to paste the pixel in every page on your website. You may need a developer to help you to insert it.
Create a thank you page
To accurately track people who converted into a lead, we will need to create a simple thank you page.
This is just a simple page that does the following 3 things:
- Confirm that the info submitted has gone through
- Set the right expectations about when a person in charge will get back to them
- Allow tracking software to identify who has become a lead by tracking people who have visited that specific page. There are many ways to do this, but so far this is the easiest way to track.
Some of the examples of thank you pages can be seen here:
Define a custom conversion / event
Next you will need to tell Facebook and Google what is a conversion event for you. In our case, it is just a visitor filling in a form and redirecting to visit our thank you page.
Step 4: Plan follow up campaigns
Once you have completed the first step traffic campaign in step 2, you need a plan for automated follow up and keep appearing in front of your potential prospects.
Since you’re selling a high value service, people are less likely to sign up if this is the first time they hear about you.
Create audience in Google analytics and Facebook pixel
Once you finish installing your Google analytics and Facebook tracking code, you will need to manually create an audience based on the page they visited, so that you can create follow up ads that convince them to sign up for your service.
For Facebook, we will be using the custom audience feature to send data back to Facebook, letting it know who we want to target.
Simply go to your audience tools to create a custom audience for web traffic, or you can upload customers’ data to create this audience.
Select ‘custom audience’ at ‘create audience’ button.
In this tutorial, I will only show how to create custom audience from website traffic.
Examples of audience I will create:
- Visitors who have visited a specific course page
- Converted visitors
- Visitors who have engaged with Facebook posts / watched video
- People who have visited the pricing or sign up page, but did not convert
Create retargeting campaign, mapping offer an dd content to buyers’ journey
Note: These ads are made-up examples. We cannot show the exact ads we are using.
When we create the entire sales funnel, we do not want to focus on selling and giving discounts at first. It just doesn’t match their intention at this point.
Each ad and content you put in our campaign needs to match the buyers’ journey and give them the right offer at the right time.
Create 3×3 grid ads that contain different messages you want to convey. Try to educate potential buyers at this point.
Each 3 ads for each stage are aiming to help potential buyers move to next stage.
Awareness stage: At the beginning stage, your message focuses on explaining why and their problem. Focus on highlighting the symptom, problems or issues. The goal is to convince them that they have a problem that needs to be solved.
This is where most businesses go wrong: first interaction with your business is a free trial and discount. This doesn’t match the prospect’s intention, so you get lower conversion.
Consideration stage: Next is to show them how to solve the problem. But don’t try to hard sell that you’re the best solution. You just want to offer and show them what the various options are, which is the best.
Decision stage: Final stage will be the commonly seen ads, what you’re offering. At this stage, it is ok to focus on your own business and what you’re offering.
Only at this stage does your discount and bonus match their intention and journey, so buyers are more likely to take action.
Create If/else sales funnel
The goal we want to achieve to is to show potential prospects the 1st awareness ads.
If they engage with the ads, clicking and viewing certain pages, then show them the next ads below.
Or else show the 2nd ads at the right.
That way you would have 3 different message to help convince and convert different prospects to become your customers and move them down the funnel.
You can achieve this by using ‘including and excluding target’ in Facebook.