…and how a ladder could be the step up you need!
The chances are that if some or all of your marketing isn’t working, then it’s almost certain it’s because you haven’t delivered the right message to the right person at the right time.
You need to ask yourself, ‘How many marketing messages am I currently using?’ If it’s, ‘I don’t know’ or one, this article is a must read for you.
Having a single marketing message in hope that everyone who reads it will resonate with it is just simply wrong. You see, your audience has different levels of awareness at any given point in time. Each of these levels requires a different message from you and in the case of AdWords, different ads and landing pages.
Awareness levels in marketing isn’t a new concept. Over 50 years ago Eugene Schwartz wrote of the levels of awareness that your prospects have of you and your product or service in his seminal work, ‘Breakthrough Advertising’. (A very useful read).
It’s often referred to as the Ladder of Awareness. It applies to all types of marketing messages and copy, while it comes in many forms, the general principles remain the same. You can (and should) market to prospects at each level of awareness, but you need to make sure that your message is different for each level and addresses that particular level of awareness.
At the bottom of the ladder, you have people who do not know that they have a problem.
It’s difficult to market to this group, and even the most incredible offers will not cause this group to take any action.
However, informational articles such as blogs are a good way to create general awareness that there IS a problem.
Of course, the AdWords Search network will be ineffective in attracting this group as they won’t be searching for something that they don’t know exists. In reality, all your prospects start off at this point until they become aware of their need.
On the next rung of the Ladder of Awareness, our audience accepts the existence of a problem, but they are unsure of the viability of any solutions.
If you are launching a new product, then this is the highest level that your prospects are likely to be. This is where paying for search traffic should begin as people are searching for solutions to their problem. This will almost certainly form the basis of their search queries.
At this stage, you should be addressing their problem rather than your solution. So, hold the sales pitch!
As we move up the ladder, the prospects become aware of the solutions to their problems but are still not aware of you, your product or service. This is when their search queries start to relate more to generic solutions to their problem.
Again, informative articles on these generic solutions are what they are likely to be researching.
Also, this group may well be aware of other, possibly better known, participants in your market and so you should start constructing paid traffic campaigns around competitors’ names and brands. This is the time to start producing competitive analysis content.
This group of people are aware of you and your product or service but have not bought into you as a company, despite you providing them with a lot of educational content showing them how your product or service can solve their problem.
It’s still not the time to swamp them with offers and deals because there is still a bit of convincing to do on your part.
At this stage, it’s all about delivering high-value content and ensuring that all the prospects’ objections are addressed. Most objections are, in fact, misconceptions (even price) and so drawing out any underlying “objections” is the secret at this stage of the ladder.
By facing any possible objection head-on, and incorporating them in your marketing messages to this group, you demonstrate that you know what you are talking about and you are answering their questions or concerns concerns before they voice them.
The people in this group are often described as being “Product Aware”. It’s time to start marketing your particular brand and product names and also include these terms in your paid traffic strategy.
The Most Aware
People at the top of the ladder are convinced that your solution will solve their problem – they just haven’t got around to buying yet, and it’s just a case of coming up with the right offer. For example: “12.5% discount for orders placed before 4.59pm on Friday.”
That just may be enough to tip them into a purchase. This is the group of prospects that you will have the most contact with and will be the most receptive to your messages. This is the group that you will be actively selling to by creating offers and deals – time-limited of course, to create urgency.
This group can be described as the most aware and receptive.
People will only buy once they reach this level.
So now, you can see why that same message or offer delivered to those prospects much lower down on the ladder will have little or no effect. And it’s this sort of message that is often described as not working – it’s not the offer that’s not working – it’s just being delivered to your audience at the wrong time.
As a marketer you need to be mindful of the various levels of awareness your prospects find themselves in so you can adjust your messages, ads and landing pages accordingly.
Your aim is to move your prospects up to the top of the ladder because that’s the only place where purchases are made – right at the top.
7 point checklist
For your prospects, you need to establish:
- What is their current level of awareness?
- What are they currently seeking?
- What message would they be most receptive to right now?
- How can you attract their attention, given their current level of awareness?
- What needs to happen to take them to the next level of awareness?
- How can you convince them that moving to the next level of awareness makes sense?
- What objections are they likely to have that prevent them moving up the ladder?
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