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Why Landing Pages Outperform Your Website for Ads

You’ve worked hard to get visitors to your website. Now, you need to convert them into leads. 

One of the best ways to do this is with a landing page: a dedicated web page customized for a specific marketing or advertising campaign. 

Sounds simple enough, right? But even today, many businesses are still sending traffic to their home page instead of landing pages. Either they’re too worried about the investment to design an effective landing page or are (more likely) just too busy to do it right. 

But with a little help you can learn what to look for in an effective landing page and know why your company cannot afford to ignore them when it comes to lead generation. 

What’s the Difference Between a Landing Page and the Rest of My Website? 

A landing page is a standalone web page specifically created for a marketing or advertising campaign. 

It’s where a visitor ‘lands’ after they click on a link, like in an email, a search ad from Google and Bing, or a social post from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms.  

Now, you might be wondering “why do I need a landing page when I have a perfectly functioning website already?” 

Why not just send people to your Home page, your Contact Us page, or one of your product/service pages?  

Here’s why: 

  • Most of the pages on your website offer general information about your business. You’re the focus, not your customers. And these pages are all linked together, with a menu that lets people jump around unfocused and unmotivated. 
  • On the other hand, landing pages are solely dedicated to getting people to take action on one specific offer. It’s all about generating leads or sales. No links, no distractions. Just a single, simple offer. 

That singular focus makes landing pages extremely effective when converting leads ‒ and research backs this up. Studies prove that landing pages with just one call to action will get you more conversions than pages with two or more. 

And not only does a landing page get you more leads than a home page, but it also: 

  • delivers a higher ROI and gives you valuable information about your prospects. 
  • generates leads that you can segment, nurture, or distribute to your sales team with ease.  
  • lets you track the marketing performance of your offers and how visitors become leads over time.  

To put it simply, sending people to a landing page instead of your home page is one of the most effective ways to increase sales, leads, and revenue from all your digital advertising and email campaigns. A successful landing page asks prospects to take a single action, whether it’s making a purchase or signing up for a quote, consultation, or lead magnet.

 

10 Critical Elements of an Effective Landing Page  

So now that you know why your business should use landing pages, what should you do to create a high converting and effective one? 

Below are some of the most critical elements of a landing page that every business should be incorporating. 

  1. Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Great Headline

    Your headline is the first thing people will read when they land on your landing page. It should sum up exactly what you’re offering and how people will benefit in a few words.  

  2. Write Concise and Compelling Copy

    Tell a concise yet compelling story that makes an irresistible offer and nudges people to convert. Focus on the reader, not on yourself. Use short sentences and paragraphs. 

  3. Use Strategic and Natural Keywords

    Using commonly searched keywords throughout your landing page (in the headers, body text, and page title) will help to optimize the page for Google search and ads relevancy. Avoid the temptation to keyword stuff. 

  4. Embrace a Mobile First Mindset

    Over half of all website traffic is now from mobile devices. Make sure your landing page loads quickly, is responsive and looks good on mobile, tablet and desktop devices. 

  5. Seal the Exits and Hide Navigation

    By hiding the top and side navigation, you reduce distractions, minimize friction, and lower bounce rates on your landing page. This means more visitors stay, stay longer and convert more often. 

  6. Use a Lead Capture Mechanism

    A landing page isn’t complete without a lead capture mechanism, such as a form. In general, a shorter form will generate more conversions, but from leads of lower quality. Inversely, a longer form will generate fewer conversions, but from leads of higher quality. 

  7. Add Some Social Proof

    Fear of missing out is a powerful tool to use when building social proof behind your landing pages. Testimonials and reviews add credibility to your product or service. This demonstrates that customers trust you and that business is in demand. 

  8. Help Explain It with Images

    Using images that relate to the copy on the landing page allows people to visualize what it is that you are trying to say about your business, products, and services. If a picture is worth a thousand words, an image is surely worth a few hundred characters of copy.

  9. Don’t Forget the Thank-you Page

    After the visitor has put their information into the lead capture mechanism a thank-you page should pop up to confirm with the visitor that their information was received properly. If the page includes a specific deal, the visitor should receive a message that guides them to their next steps and prepares them to be contacted by the business.

  10. Follow-Up with an Email Autoresponder

    Many thank-you pages are accompanied by email autoresponders. These emails offer more information on what’s next for the visitor after converting on the landing page. Email autoresponders serve as a type of ‘receipt’ for the lead capture mechanism to confirm opt-in consent with the visitor. It also acts as a prompt for your sales team to check-in with your new lead.


Get More Leads at a Lower Cost with Landing Pages
  

Setting up landing pages is time well spent, and the results from conversion to leads will be all the proof that you need.  

Guiding your website visitors to focus on your current business offer will steer them towards action and turn them into customers. 

If you’d like to learn more about landing pages and how they can benefit your business, or if you’d like advice from an industry professional about the next steps reach out to us to chat.

From Awareness to Action: How to Capture and Create Demand

There’s a universal truth that persists no matter how good your product or service is, or how much you spend on marketing: 

Sometimes, your perfect customer isn’t ready to buy right now.

  • Some of your prospects just don’t know you yet.  
  • Others know you, but aren’t sure they’re ready to trust you. 
  • Still others are trying to choose between you and your competitor. 
  • And some people aren’t even aware that they need what you offer at all. 

When someone doesn’t know you and doesn’t trust you, the likelihood of them clicking on your ad that says “Buy Now!” is very low (but not impossible).

On the other hand, someone who is ready to buy will respond better to an ad that says “Buy Now!” than a weaker offer like “Click Here to Learn More.”

Both of these kinds of potential customers can be a goldmine of traffic, leads, and sales if you have a strong understanding of customer problem awareness. 

Think of customer problem awareness as a “journey” customers take, starting from the point where they aren’t aware they have a problem to the point where they decide your product fits their needs. 

If you know where someone is on their problem awareness journey, you can deliver the right message at the right time to create and then capture their demand.  

Let’s talk about how and when to capture or create demand based on your customer’s level of problem awareness.

 

Understanding Demand Creation vs. Demand Capture

Without demand, there can be no sale. Yet demand alone doesn’t translate into sales.  

Customers have to know what you can do for them and trust that you’ll deliver.

You need both demand creation and demand capture as part of your marketing mix.

What is Demand Creation?

Demand creation, also called demand generation, is marketing that aims to stimulate demand for a certain product or service in the market.

Creating demand is the first step in the marketing funnel. It involves building awareness, positioning relevance, supporting validation, and more.

The most effective form of demand creation taps into your target audience’s existing interests to build trust with them, while positioning yourself (your product or service) as the answer to their wants and needs.

Once you’ve generated demand for your offer, you can move on to step two: converting that demand into a sale.

What is Demand Capture?

Demand capture is marketing that aims to take the demand for your product or service and convert it into real sales or leads.

Demand capture happens further down your marketing funnel than demand creation, focusing on the part of your audience that already knows they want what you offer. The only thing left to do is give them that final push to convert!

 

Leveraging 5 Levels of Customer Awareness to Create & Capture Demand

In general, the less knowledgeable a customer is, the lower their demand for your product or service. After all, how can they want something they don’t know exists; how can they yearn to fill a need they haven’t realized yet?

For any business, it is important to balance both demand creation and capture in order to grow. To figure out that balance, you need to know where your customers are right now and ask, “What does my prospect already know?” about their problem and your solution?

To answer those questions you need to understand where your target audience is on the customer problem awareness scale.

In his groundbreaking book Breakthrough Advertising, Eugene Schwartz emphasized the importance of customer problem awareness and identified five different levels. They are:

  1. Unaware
    These people don’t even know they have a problem, let alone one you can solve for them! Of course, this doesn’t mean their lives are perfect ‒ they just don’t realize it can be better. You have to open their eyes. 
  2. Problem Aware
    There’s a problem, and they know it, but they may not fully grasp it yet and definitely don’t know the solution(s). You can help them make that connection. 
  3. Solution Aware
    Now, you’re getting somewhere. These people already know products or services like yours, so they’re open to learning about what makes yours better.  
  4. Product Aware
    Finally, at this stage, people are familiar with your product or service. But they probably know your competitors’, too. Now, you need to persuade them to make the right choice. 
  5. Most Aware
    This is where you want people to be: a loyal customer who’s fully aware of what you have to offer, and can be guided towards repeat or new purchases.

Where your target audience falls in this scale will dictate:

  • What kind of information you need to give them; 
  • How you should speak with them; and 
  • What offer will produce the best results. 

Knowing your customer’s problem awareness level is crucial in determining which type of promotion will be most effective for different segments of your target audience.

 

When to Use Demand Capture vs. Demand Creation

For customers with less problem awareness, you want to entertain, educate, and inspire trust in your business through content like:

  • Blog posts
  • Social media updates 
  • Graphics 
  • Podcasts 
  • Webinars 

You have to build trust with your prospects before they’ll be receptive to your offer, especially if your solution or business is brand new, unique, or has never been advertised to them before. Launching right into your products or services without making a connection makes people feel like you don’t care about them (so why should they care about you?). 

Demonstrate that you understand their problem and experience their pain through relevant, relatable copy and content.

Near the bottom of your funnel, where customers have greater problem awareness, you want to seal the deal and capture demand with higher-commitment content like:

  • Product demos 
  • Free trials 
  • Free consultations 
  • Product details and spec sheets

At this stage, you can ask customers for some contact information in return, which gives you a chance to start that sales conversation.

 

Bridging the Gap Between Demand Creation and Capture

Rather than dividing customer problem awareness into five neatly-separated shelves, think of it as a spectrum. Many people exist somewhere between two levels. You can’t focus all your attention on one level.  

If you concentrate solely on capturing demand, you leave out scores of potential customers who just haven’t been acquainted with you yet.  

On the other hand, if you raise awareness without taking steps to capture demand, you’re leaving money on the table.   

Plus, as more governments crack down on online data collection and privacy, it’s becoming harder to pinpoint the people in your audience that are actually ready to buy. This makes it more important than ever to layer in both demand creation and capture. 

Focusing too much on buyers who are at one point of your sales funnel will mean you miss out on buyers who are coming in at other points.   

The ideal marketing funnel is built around generating demand and then capturing it. These two elements are essential for generating more traffic, sales, and leads, especially as new privacy regulations make traditional lead generation more challenging.   

TrafficSoda can help you audit your existing marketing materials and develop a strategy to close those content gaps. If you’d like help getting started, reach out for your free strategy proposal now.

Marketing funnel strategies: How to Fix 5 common mistakes

Understanding your business’s marketing funnel is key to a successful marketing campaign. Thanks to tools like Google Analytics, it’s easier than ever to see how your customers go from being curious prospects to loyal patrons. Still, there are common beginner mistakes people make when they’re new to the world of marketing funnel strategies.

marketing funnel strategies

These mistakes aren’t always fatal. However, fixing them is necessary to unlock your funnel’s full potential.

What Exactly is the Marketing Funnel?

The marketing funnel is a helpful way of visualizing how people make the decision to purchase (or not) a product or service.

The idea is to imagine how customers approach the business at three different stages in the purchase process: the awareness, the consideration, and conversion stages.

  1. The top of the marketing funnel is the awareness stage. This is the point with the biggest pool of potential customers — that’s why it’s the widest part of the funnel. Here, people are discovering a product or service for the first time. They may not have prior knowledge of the business or its solution. Sometimes, they aren’t even aware they have a problem that needs solving.
  2. The middle of the marketing funnel is the consideration stage. People in this stage know the business and what it offers, but they aren’t ready to buy. There aren’t as many potential customers here as there is in the top of the funnel, but they’re closer to purchasing.
  3. The bottom of the marketing funnel is the conversion stage. The bottom represents the potential customers who have already decided to buy — now, they just need to decide who to buy from.

Why visualize customers using the marketing funnel? Because each different stage calls for a different marketing strategy. Customers at the top of the funnel are easier to reach, but they need convincing before they’ll buy. There are fewer customers in the conversion stage, but they’re the ones who are most receptive.

Your marketing efforts will generate better returns when you understand where to find people at each stage in the funnel and what resonates with each of them.

Fixing Common Marketing Funnel Mistakes

A marketing funnel strategy involves tactics to target potential customers at different points of the marketing funnel and move them closer to making a purchase. Data on user activity from platforms like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights can help you understand what’s working (and what’s not) at each step along the way.

However, even a robust strategy backed by good data is susceptible to a few common mistakes.

Keep these points in mind when you’re working on your winning marketing funnel strategy.

1. The Funnel Doesn’t End with Conversion

What happens at the end of the funnel?

Ideally, the person converts, whether that means buying a product, hiring a service, or taking some other action that benefits the business. The prospect becomes a customer.

What next? That customer doesn’t just vanish — they become one of the business’s biggest assets.

Assuming the product or service met their expectations, those customers more receptive than anyone to the business’s other offerings. They can become loyal fans and advocates for the business. Finally, they’re going to spread the word about their experience, so it’s in the businesses interest to keep them happy.

It’s a mistake to forget about customers after the conversion stage. Instead, use what you know about their needs and preferences for effective customer retention.

2. Market at All Points of the Funnel

When potential customers are close to converting, don’t be afraid to give them an extra ‘nudge’.

Many businesses make the mistake of focusing only on acquiring leads at the top of the marketing funnel, since people at the bottom are already close to converting. But conversion is not a guarantee.

It pays to invest in appealing to customers at all points in the funnel, especially the ones who are already eager to buy.

3. Don’t Let Prospects Go

Just because a prospect left without buying doesn’t mean they weren’t interested. There are dozens of reasons why someone might bounce. It could be they forgot what they were doing, wanted to check out competitors, or needed more time to think before making a decision.

With tools like AdWords and Facebook’s Pixel, you can retarget these potential customers and bring them back.

Retargeting is a fundamental marketing funnel strategy. Use what you already know about the customer to deliver a message that reminds them of your business.

4. Integrate the Funnel into Your Content Strategy

Content plays a big role in moving prospects through the marketing funnel. People don’t like ads, but they’re willing to consume content that delivers something of value: humour, entertainment, authenticity, information, empathy.

Blogs are a great example. Blog posts can raise customer awareness at the top of the funnel and provide ongoing value to those who have already converted. For example, an orchard could publish seasonal recipes that get people craving Ambrosia apples; an agency could share insider tips on their areas of expertise.

Don’t think of content strategy and marketing funnel strategy as two worlds. The marketing funnel gives content direction. Content is the current that ferries customers along.

5. Continuously Update Your Marketing Funnel Strategy

Marketing funnel strategy is not a one-time effort.

As technology evolves and customer habits change, your approach should pivot along with them. Ten years ago, mobile e-commerce was an emerging trend. Now, it accounts for $1.4 trillion in annual sales and 58% of e-commerce worldwide. Businesses who caught on to the change and optimized their strategies for mobile devices reeled in the benefits (see: How to Make Sure Your Site is Ready for Mobile).

Keep track of the changing ways customers are discovering and interacting with your business. Otherwise, your funnel won’t be in the right position to catch the stream of potential customers.

Marketing Funnel Strategy

In sum, remember these tips to avoid the common beginner marketing funnel mistakes:

  1. People who make it through the funnel once already are some of your best prospects. Keep customers coming back after they convert.
  2. Don’t focus exclusively on the top of the funnel. Prospects in the conversion stage still need that extra push.
  3. Use retargeting methods to bring prospects back into the funnel if they bounce.
  4. Treat your content marketing strategy and marketing funnel strategy as one.
  5. Your marketing funnel strategy is never complete. Keep adapting to consumer habits and buying trends.

Need a hand? Send us a note and we’ll be happy to help you out.

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5 Key Marketing Lessons from the Most Iconic Canadian Brands

You don’t have to hop the border to see great marketing in action. In the spirit of #Canada150, let’s show some true patriot love for our most iconic Canadian brands!

Roots

44 years ago, a small leather goods store sprouted up in Toronto. Its line of comfortable, durable clothing caught on with Canadians who love the outdoors.

Today, there are over 200 Roots stores all around the world.

From its iconic beaver logo to its rustic store design, Roots capitalizes on our reverence for the Canadian wilderness. When we think Roots, we think nature. And when we think of nature-ready clothing, Roots is the first brand that comes to mind.

With so many distinctive cultures, it can be hard to pin down what it means to be Canadian. Roots succeeds by tapping into something that transcends cultural and generational lines: love for the great outdoors.

Roots Flag

Hudson’s Bay Company

Hudson’s Bay Company holds the title of Canada’s oldest company, but the modern Bay bears little resemblance to the bygone fur-trading empire. The company dabbled in everything from fur to transportation to oil exploration before it finally settled on retail in the 20th century.

The retail face of Hudson’s Bay has evolved as well. When it broke ground in Quebec in 1965, the HBC gave its stores a trendy new title: The Bay/La Baie. The company later refreshed its brand and reclaimed the original name.

Throughout its incarnations, Hudson’s Bay has maintained an iconic brand identity. People immediately recognize the name and the four-colour stripe pattern (known as the HBC Point Blanket) as a symbol of quality. Hudson’s Bay has held its place as other large department stores struggle in tough economic times.

When times change, Hudson’s Bay changes with it. The original Canadian company owes its longevity to its ability to adapt without compromising on core values.

Aldo

Surprised? You’re not alone. Aldo is iconic, but many shoppers don’t realize their favourite shoe store is Canadian.

Aldo was fashioned from the remnants of Le Chateâu’s shoe division. Its key to success was bringing trends to its shelves before its competitors could. Its founder set out to capture the latest in street styles in record time. Now, Aldo has 2,000 stores in more than 55 countries.

Aldo sells itself as a global brand, and its social feeds feature photos of trendsetters from around the world. This has paid off to the tune of millions of followers on Facebook and Instagram. Its success proves Canadian brands don’t have to fly the flag to stand out in the world marketplace.

Molson Canadian

As the story goes, John Molson was committed to “brewing the best beer in the world for the people of Canada.” We could argue about the merits of his brew all night, but one thing’s for sure: Molson knows the Canadian people.

Molson first launched its “I Am Canadian” campaign in 1995. Canadians aren’t prone to self-promotion, but when Molson made the declaration a retort to Canadian stereotypes, it was a hit.

“I Am Canadian” has been the heart of Molson’s marketing ever since. Molson has since incorporated theme into mountains of merchandise and viral video campaigns.

We love brands that help us define our Canadian identity. Molson has leveraged this to build an incredibly loyal following.

Tim Hortons

Let’s face it: we can’t talk Canadian brands without mentioning Tim Hortons. Canada’s most trusted brand is so prevalent in our communities and culture that it’s practically a part of Canada itself.

It didn’t get there by accident. Though it has changed corporate hands over the years, Tim Hortons has always maintained a clear and consistent identity. Its advertising appeals to nostalgia and family values, and small communities embrace Tim Hortons for its sponsorship of sports teams and fundraising for local causes.

Tim Hortons Marketing

The Tim Hortons of today is the same one we stopped by for Timbits after hockey practice. It owes its success to the generations of good will it has built with Canadians.

 

 

Images: Roots

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