If your business has been around for a while, you likely noticed the digital landscape is constantly changing. New technologies arise almost daily, and marketing strategies that were once effective are no longer sufficient to drive growth for most businesses. Keeping up with all these changes means constantly scanning the digital environment for changes, adapting your strategy to take advantage of the changes, and doing it all over again. For instance, Google will soon sunset its Analytics platform in favor of a newer one, GA4, which integrates across platforms, including mobile apps as well as your website. In today’s post, we develop a conversion roadmap for this new landscape. Below, you see just a few of the tactics you need to continue growing your business.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of running a company so you don’t have time enough to keep tabs on industry trends or updated strategies for growing your business. However, constantly monitoring these changes is crucial if you want to stay ahead of the game. We call organizations such as these “learning organizations” and they outperform their peers. Fortunately, you’ll find plenty of tools and techniques that can help you plot a practical course toward continued business growth.
In this article, we’ll walk you through several essential elements of a conversion roadmap that will help you uncover hidden opportunities within your business and help you take actionable steps toward achieving them.
What is a conversion roadmap, and how is it constructed?
A conversion roadmap is a framework that helps you visualize how your business will grow and be profitable over the long haul. This framework is built around the decision-making process that most customers go through when considering a product purchase. Below, you’ll see a graphic depicting the class conversion funnel leading to a purchase. Not shown in this image is the leakage that occurs at each step along the process.
A conversion roadmap helps you identify the potential issues and bottlenecks within this process and helps you brainstorm solutions for overcoming them. By mapping out the different customer touchpoints and interactions that lead to the sale, you’ll be able to identify the most important ones. That way, you can better decide which customer experience elements need to be maximized and which ones can be left behind.
What differentiates a conversion roadmap from other business roadmaps is that they are designed to focus specifically on how customers interact with your business and what they do or don’t do as a result. This focus helps you identify the most critical interactions that lead to conversion and those resulting in abandonment of the process, as well as deliver a consistent, high-quality customer experience.
A conversion roadmap helps you build a digital strategy to convert more of your site visitors into paying customers. You can then identify which customer experience elements are most important in converting customers and where you drop the ball. Additionally, this framework helps you make more informed decisions about what features or elements are required to better cater to your target audience.
1. Defining your target audience
Businesses need to know who they’re selling to in order to make their marketing efforts as effective as possible. Knowing which consumers represent your best opportunities makes it easier to understand how to talk to them, what messaging to use, and what products to offer them. Unfortunately, many small business owners don’t know who their customers are. They might define their target audience as “everyone,” which is inaccurate and a surefire way to reduce your performance. You might have heard the saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” Well, the same idea applies here. If you don’t know exactly who you’re targeting, your marketing efforts reflect a shot in the dark rather than a coordinated effort to convert visitors.
Defining your target audience helps you make better marketing decisions but isn’t always an easy task. Below, you’ll find a template to help you build customer personas so you can better focus your efforts to reach and convert these consumers. Obviously, you must adjust this template to correspond to your particular market.
Identify your objectives
Before you can start creating marketing strategies, you need to know what you want to accomplish. Why are you marketing your products and services? What is the ultimate goal of your efforts? If your main objective is to grow your customer base, your marketing efforts likely focus on driving more traffic and leads to your site. If your goal is to increase the average order value, you want to focus on upselling or cross-selling to your customers. These objectives influence which marketing strategies you choose to employ and how you approach them.
A popular way to define your objectives is to use SMART goals, then develop a marketing plan to achieve these goals. A marketing plan is a document that sets out the goals you would like to achieve along with actionable steps for achieving them. This process helps you identify exactly how you want to position yourself in the marketplace and how you want customers to perceive your brand.
Establishing your brand’s voice and value proposition
The brand voice is the overall tone that your company uses to communicate with its customers. This includes things like the messaging used on your website and social media channels, the types of imagery you use, and even the general persona of your employees. A strong brand voice will help you more effectively communicate with your customers. It also makes it easier to form strong customer relationships and earn their trust. Maintain a consistent brand voice across all communication channels. This includes your website, social media accounts, email marketing messages, advertisements, etc.
If you want your brand voice to deliver results, it must also support your value proposition. Your value proposition is the main reason customers should buy from you. It’s the thing that sets you apart from the competition. For example, the value proposition of The Great Courses is that it offers high-quality education in a variety of subjects. It’s a great option for those looking to learn something new but who don’t have time to go back to school.
Visualizing the customer journey
The customer journey is a visualization of the decision-making process that potential customers go through when considering a purchase. It’s helpful to map out this journey and identify the various touchpoints where you can make an impact. For example, when mapping out the customer journey for a B2B business, you’ll likely notice that the buying process is more drawn out, and there are more opportunities to make an impact than with a B2C business. Below, you see a great infographic detailing the layers involved in each stage of the customer journey on one map.
For many B2B businesses, the process of purchasing can take months or even years. This process is usually broken into five stages: building awareness, researching options, developing a need, choosing a vendor, and implementing the solution. While each business will have its own unique journey, these are the stages most companies will move through. By visualizing the customer journey, you’ll be able to see exactly where your customers are in their decision-making process and how you can make an impact.
Visualization of the customer journey is vital to the success of your marketing efforts. By identifying your target audience and mapping out the journey they go through before making a purchase, you’ll be able to create content that will resonate with them and ultimately move them down the funnel.
A content map is a visual representation of your content library. It should include all the different types of content you’ve created, as well as how often you publish it, where it lives online, and how it’s optimized for search engines.
In order to create a successful content map, you need to know what type of content is most effective for growing your business. For example, do you want to focus on generating leads with thought leadership pieces? Do you want to increase brand awareness by creating an e-book or whitepaper? Do you want to drive more sales with a blog post or landing page? The answer will vary depending on your business goals, but having this information in one place will help ensure that all of your efforts are aligned and working together towards one overarching goal: increasing revenue. Monitoring your performance using tools like Google Analytics allows you to optimize performance.
Building the right A/B testing environments
A/B testing is the process of testing two or more versions of one thing in order to determine which one performs more effectively. This can be applied to nearly anything related to your business, from the wording of your website copy to the images you use on social media. A/B testing is one of the most effective ways to learn what works and, more importantly, what doesn’t work for your business. It gives you an opportunity to test different marketing strategies without having to fully commit to them. By creating different versions of elements in your marketing campaigns and choosing which ones to show your customers, you can determine which ones are performing better. That way, you can iterate on the successful ones and scale them up while leaving behind the ones that aren’t working.
In order to create a successful A/B testing environment, you need a solid understanding of the basics. You need to know what you’re trying to test, how you’re going to measure success, and who your target audience is. In some cases, marketers may want to try to increase sales by promoting a certain product or service. In others, they may want to increase engagement on social media. No matter what your end goal is, the basis for all A/B testing is the same: you want to create multiple versions of a single element in your marketing campaign and then show them to different customers to see which one will perform better.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be selling products or services online. If you’re running an offline business, you can still run tests and see which ones are performing better. For example, say that you own a local restaurant and want to find out if it makes more sense for your business to place a billboard on the side of the road versus putting up flyers in local restaurants and businesses. You could A/B test these two different marketing campaigns with real customers and see which one performs better.
A/B testing is also great for determining which of your marketing elements are working best with specific audiences. For example, say that there are two groups of people who visit your website: men between the ages of 25-45 who are interested in buying sports cars versus women between the ages of 45-65 who are interested in buying sedans. You can create two different versions of an ad copy on Facebook targeting these two groups and then measure how each performs relative to the other so that you know how best to target your audience long-term.
Experimentation and iteration
The best way to grow your business is to apply continuous experimentation and iteration. This means that you’re always treating marketing as an ongoing process rather than a one-time effort. By consistently testing new elements within your marketing campaigns, you’ll be able to identify what is and isn’t working. This will allow you to make adjustments based on the performance of each strategy. By applying continuous experimentation, you can also uncover new strategies that might work better than the ones you’re using now.
A great way to apply continuous experimentation is by split testing. Split-testing is a method of testing two different versions of an ad to see which one outperforms the other. You can use split-testing to test two different headlines, two different images, or even two different target audiences. Split-testing allows you to compare the performance of each ad, and then you can make adjustments based on which one performs better.
A common mistake that many business owners make is to assume that their current strategies are working perfectly. However, the truth is that you can’t know what’s working unless you test it. It’s also important to keep in mind that split-testing doesn’t mean showing your ads to two different groups of people; rather, it means showing the same ad to two different groups of people. By testing your ads online, you’ll be able to see exactly which ad performs better, and this will allow you to adjust your strategy accordingly.
At the end of the day, businesses can’t grow unless they have customers. If you want to continue to expand and bring in more revenue, you need to ensure that you’re meeting the needs of your current customers while also acquiring new ones. By applying some of the principles in this article when establishing your conversion roadmap, you can create more opportune moments that convert your visitors into customers while establishing a foundation for your business to grow in the future.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.