- Chapter 7
The best lesson I ever got in funnel traffic came from a small town McDonald's. I live in a big city, but I have an hour and a half drive back to the country where my parents live. At exactly the midway point in this homeward journey, there lies a small town with a McDonald's right on the outskirts. When the windows are down, you can smell the signature salty fries from the highway. It’s like a siren song for the easily tempted (me). So a few months ago I was driving home, and I got to the halfway point in the trek. Naturally, that meant a stop at Mickey D’s. But the closer I got to town, I started to see orange construction pylons. Uh oh. My heart dropped. They had closed the road from the highway to the McDonald's. Permanently. The only way to get to the place was driving a mile past it and doubling back on a frontage road. A month after that, the drive-through line was barren. In two months, seeing a car in the parking lot was rare. In the span of four months, that McDonald's closed down. No one was stopping in anymore. Think about that in the mindset of funnel marketing. Take away the advertising and the (literal) traffic leading to the McDonald's, and it dries up and falters. It’s the exact same fast food place it’s always been. The only thing that changed was the traffic. It’s a scary but real thought. You may have the best-converting funnel in the world, but if you’re not driving traffic to it, you’ll see it crumble before your eyes. The good news is there are lots of ways to drive traffic to your funnel. Be it social media, content or a few other methods, we’ll show you the best ways to get people to your funnel and make sure they stay there.
There are 1.4 billion active Facebook users at this very moment. This is by far the biggest audience on any social media platform, leaving little doubt about the sway this site holds in marketing circles.
Facebook has three easy ways to get your message across to this gargantuan audience:
- Post On Your Page: This is using Facebook as most people perceive it. Post a status, teaser, video, link or any other form of media on your personal and/or business page to drive traffic to your funnel.
- Create a Tab: You can use any LeadPage you create as a custom tab on your Facebook page— just like the Photos, About, and Friends tabs.
- Run Promoted Ads and Posts: If you have some money you’re willing to spend to get people into the top of your funnel, you should seriously consider doing some Facebook advertising. Our very own Bob the Teacher created a free course that shows you how to advertise on Facebook like the pros.
Facebook is a good traffic source for most kinds of funnels, since it's easy to use and requires only a small investment to succeed.
Like Facebook, Twitter is a social media outlet that can deliver great results without a huge time commitment. Twitter has 302 million monthly active users, so it’s still a powerhouse when it comes to a built-in audience. Getting your message out on Twitter really comes down to writing a great tweet. Like Facebook, Twitter has updated their interface to place more emphasis on tweets that include images and videos. No matter what kind of media you're posting, a good tweet will always be clear, use hashtags wisely, and be short enough that your audience can easily retweet it. You can promote your tweet through Twitter’s advertising platform, but your focus should be in what you say with your 140 characters. Promoting a tweet may expose it to more people, but if those people aren't inspired to retweet or click through, it won't be money well spent. Don’t forget about the tools that can help with the posting process, too. Buffer and Hootsuite help schedule posts, but you can also use a tool like Edgar to randomly post each day from a pool of pre-written tweets.
YouTube may seem more limited than other outlets, since you can only post videos. You won't be able to toss off a witty status or promote a link every hour. BUT, videos can surprisingly send a large amount of traffic to your funnel. Think about this: YouTube has more than 1 billion users, and every day it racks up hundreds of millions of views. Factor in the fact that half those views come from a mobile device, and you see that this is an outlet that has effectively permeated every device. Also, considering YouTube is owned by Google, your marketing on this channel gets an added boost on the world's largest search engine. All you have to do is get creative about how you include links to the product you’re pushing in your funnel. A few ways to do that:
- Include a Clickable Link in Your Video: At certain points in your video, you can create what’s called an annotation. This is just a box with text that layers over your video, but you can include a link within that annotation. At LeadPages, we design our videos to highlight annotations, framing them with graphics within the video.
- Create an Ad: If you want people to see your video without visiting your page, you can get a bigger reach by advertising your video on YouTube. You only have to pay if the viewer reaches 30 seconds viewed (or the end if that comes before 30 seconds) OR interacts with the ad, so if you’re paying for the ad, chances are you’ve generated a lead.
- Provide Links Beneath the Video: In the video’s description area, you can link to your product or service within the body copy. It’s a small touch, but it’s easy to do and should be standard in any video you create.
Plus, going this route means you’ve created a video. That’s a valuable commodity because you can link to it from the other Conversion Elements, giving this medium a big boost in its versatility.
LinkedIn would seem like the toughest medium to target with a promotional message, right? Though it’s a community full of business professionals, posts and statuses are still viewed through a more skeptical lens because so many people flood LinkedIn with shameless self promotion. There’s a bit of truth in that. But in reality, these are some of the most receptive people you’ll promote to. These are professionals that crave information and enjoy sharing things that prove they’re up to date on their industry. The things you can do on LinkedIn mirror Facebook, with one special addition:
- Post an Update: Very much the same mechanics of Facebook. Post a status, a thought, a link or anything else that engages your audience and drives traffic.
- Sponsor a Post: This is the paid way to get your post seen by people outside your connections list. Just like Facebook, you pay to promote a given post to the news feed of targeted people on LinkedIn.
- Write an Article: This is much more akin to writing a blog post than anything. LinkedIn has a Pulse section where anyone can publish an article. If it’s shared enough, it can go to the front page with the rest of the big LinkedIn influencers.
LinkedIn is one of the most efficient avenues out there for targeting business professionals with industry interests in mind. If you need that demographic, look no further.
*Note: In our funnels, we use a single social media icon to depict using social media in general. This includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn (plus other social media outlets we haven’t covered).
Now we get to the big guns of paid media. Who else touches the far corners of the internet better than our friends at Google? With over one million sites as part of the Google Ad Network and 11.9 billion searches per month, Google simply cannot be matched in traffic. And AdWords, Google’s advertising branch, helps you tap into this vast expanse of users. Of course, you’ve got to pay to play with this strategy, and there are two main ways to do that:
- Search Advertising: Search ads are what you find via search results on Google. They are the paid ads that look like regular search results, except they appear on the very top, very bottom or far right side of the page. These are text-only ads that adhere to strict requirements on the amount of characters, URLs used and a host of other rules.
- Display Advertising: Display ads are the image-based ads you’re used to seeing when you visit a website. They can appear as a banner at the top of a site, in the sidebar, or embedded elsewhere in a page. These can be static or moving images (or even basic text), though the goal is the same as a search ad: market your product and generate clickthroughs.
You can spend as little or as much as you want, bearing in mind you should track your analytics to ensure positive ROI on your spend. Google has the biggest and most diverse audience of any traffic source. Make use of it with some ad spend.
*Note: In our funnels, we use a general Digital Advertising icon to represent all forms of digital advertising, including AdWords and other platforms.
You could think of organic traffic as the free cousin of AdWords. Organic traffic simply means any traffic arriving to your funnel through visitors arriving via search engine, by clicking a link from elsewhere on the web or typing your URL into their browser. Borrowing some terms from the public relations field, there are two forms of advertising: paid and earned. AdWords is paid because...well...you pay to use it. Organic traffic, however, is earned advertising. You can’t pay to get into the top organic search results, and you don’t pay people to type your URL into a browser. That’s why organic traffic is the most valuable source on this list. You don’t have to pay a dime for it and the traffic can steadily turn into the backbone of any future funnel you make. Plus, the more traffic you get, the easier it is to monetize your site. Ranking highly in organic results takes a lot of work, but that hard work pays off immensely when you build funnels. Invest the time in this strategy and you won’t regret it when you see the results it brings.
Blogging used to be something that you did because, anecdotally, people said you should just do. Be it for brand building, thought leadership or content for content’s sake, there wasn’t any concrete data to tell us why we should blog. Now, we can put hard numbers behind this effort. For instance, B2B websites receive 67% more leads when they blog. When you blog, you’re indirectly (or sometimes directly) telling a story that leads people into your funnel. You can write a post that includes a call to action for people to opt into your funnel. You can also write a post that implicitly mentions your top of funnel, and the favor you draw from a series of these posts can lead to more engagement than a one-off post. People want content, but it’s creating good content that leads to high conversion rates in your campaign funnel.
This is a newer traffic source, and we’re especially excited about it because it’s an invention of our own. LeadDigits™ allows you to capture email addresses and phone numbers through SMS text messaging. With LeadDigits™ you can collect leads any time your potential customers have their mobile phones. Think about that. All you have to do is put a keyword into the world with a five-digit number to text to, and suddenly you’re using text messaging—a relatively easy and commonplace thing—to drive traffic to your campaign funnel. Bringing mobile traffic into the mix is a game changer, and it may be tough to figure out how to integrate this into a funnel at first. However, the benefits are astounding, and you’ll do a double take when you see how easy it is for people to get into your funnel this way.
This is word-of-mouth marketing on steroids. Partners are paid on your behalf to promote your product, and the reason they’re so appealing as a traffic source is that of the weight their opinion carries with the audience they speak to. If you’ve been wondering how to turn your loyal fan base into big promoters of your work, send those followers to Bob the Teacher’s free Affiliate Marketing Course. It covers how to become a partner and the advantages of affiliate marketing. This course will help get you on the right path to building affiliates to passionately share your product every time.
Emails make a triumphant return! It’s true that emails are a crucial component for connecting Micro Funnels. However, they serve another purpose -- driving traffic. When you start a campaign funnel, driving traffic is a priority. As a marketer or entrepreneur, you undoubtedly have a list of contacts to market to. Limiting emails to the middle of your campaign would underutilize this medium because emails serve to guide people to a landing page. That’s why an email is a perfect traffic source -- it drives people to your first Micro Funnel. These are almost exclusively broadcast emails. You’re manually starting a campaign, so there is no action or timing sequence that triggers an automated email. You determine the timing of the send, controlling the entrance to your campaign funnel.
Phone calls are nothing new, but they’re still a viable way to supply leads into a funnel. This is good old fashioned cold-calling: dialing up prospective leads and directly pointing them to a landing page. These numbers can come from a pre-supplied list or individual research into targeted industries. Generally speaking, a sales team will make these calls, with hot leads making their way from a call through a Lead Micro Funnel and onto an account executive. For the smaller businesses, this whole process may be one or two people handling it all, but the effect remains the same -- drive leads into a funnel through calls.
That’s good news, isn’t it? There are so many ways to drive traffic to your funnel, and each of these elements could have entire funnels built around the traffic they bring. Some funnels rely on one sole traffic source, while others direct multiple traffic sources to different points in their funnel to reach different audiences. By weaving in some traffic at the beginning of the following campaign funnel, we create an entirely new dynamic. When we’ve created prior campaign funnels in this lesson, what you’ve been looking at are funneled in a vacuum -- they exist without a source of traffic driving people into the funnel. For example, you can use the very same funnel we’ve been building and easily introduce traffic points into it:
Remember, in our Attract → Engage → Sell → Thank model, the very first thing you must do is attract people to your funnel. Without including traffic elements, you don’t generate that attraction. The traffic sources you choose vary greatly by what you attach them to and how much you include, so experiment within your funnels to see what source (or sources) produces the best conversions. We’ve talked about the all-important Micro Funnel. We’ve shown how to connect these Lead Micro Funnels with resources and emails. And we’ve introduced how to bring people to your funnel via traffic elements. But there’s one last piece of the puzzle to introduce. Oh, and by the way….this is the piece that makes you money.