ADOTAS – The traditional digital acquisition funnel is difficult to navigate, filled with multiple opportunities for traffic drop-off. When successfully completed, it ends abruptly for users. Marketers invest countless hours honing in on their target demographic using psychographic profiling, behavioral data, contextual placement and innumerable analytics to get in front of as much of their target audience as possible.
Then creative and messaging come into play, A/B testing or multivariate testing, and optimizing to get that ever-elusive click, the gold ring of user engagement. And everything up to this point has been the easy part. Mount Everest is still to be climbed, getting to that final step of the funnel — the conversion.
After the conversion has been obtained, the story ends without further reward or continued growth. Marketers can try to get users to continue into another unrelated process but, as far as maximizing ROI for clearly defined objectives, this has been the extent to which marketers can expect to achieve success-until social came along and changed everything by opening a new, self-perpetuating acquisition channel.
With social, the funnel can now be an accordion. Many companies such as the one I work for, Crowd Factory, are providing marketers with tools to enhance their digital campaigns with a social boost. By tacking on social sharing in-line with user flow, marketers have an entirely new way to drive traffic, in particular high quality traffic. For who is more likely to be your best potential customer than your actual customers’ friends?
Empower new customers with social campaigns such as badging, social offers, referral rewards, ratings and voting to open a new source of traffic from a reliable source. This solution, making your current traffic work harder for you, lowers your eCPA and enables a different opportunity for optimization of new traffic, viewed through a social lens.
In addition, with the correct analytics capturing in place, a social database that sharing provides will give marketers greater insight into the effectiveness of traffic sources. Such a database tied directly to campaign initiatives allows marketers to optimize back up the funnel as well.
The data acquired through social sharing can also be used as a CRM data validation tool, which marketers can use to qualify information captured about new leads on the front-end via matching it to new users’ publicly accessible social demographics and information collected in a social database.
It is utilizing social in this way, boosting current marketing channels by empowering social sharing, rather than thinking of social as a separate channel, that will bring value to marketing initiatives and increase ROI. Social should be a horizontal that lays across all digital channels, providing a rich understanding of top influencers on each network, and facilitating current digital initiatives by making them more effective.