In the seven days previous to writing this article I have drawn a diagram representing a sales funnel roughly nine times. Each and every time I was discussing how best to approach social advertising and how best to design an online campaign.
To be fair, I’d say that’s pretty average for a week. Today, however, one of those conversations ended up including a bit of insight into Maslow’s hierarchy of need.
So, I figured writing a blog around how even in the modern-day digital marketing world some of the more traditional approaches and theories are still as relevant as ever!
I hear time and time again how businesses have spent a bit of cash on social advertising and how it didn’t work. More often than not the spend amounts to double digits and the strategy was to boost a few Facebook posts. If you’ve read my previous blogs or heard me speak on the subject, you know I have a thing or two to say about the value of hitting the boost button – or rather, the lack of value in doing so!
Create a workflow
To make social advertising work, you need to create a Workflow that pushes your target audience through your funnel. If you google ‘sales funnel stages’ there are a crazy number of results that includes diagrams of funnels broken into various stages, but I like to think of it as the following five:
- Awareness – How do I get in front of someone who has never heard of my brand?
- Interest – How do I create an emotional response from someone who has seen my brand?
- Consideration – So now I have created a little familiarity, how do I put the idea in someone’s head that they need to buy from me?
- Intent – How will I convince that person now is the time to buy?
- Action – How will I close the deal?
The success of each stage will be dependent on the success of the previous. If you can create an advert for point 1 that brings you results, you can then create interest by designing adverts that engage and nurture interest. You can measure the people that have expressed interest by starting to serve your sales offerings to them. Again, looking at who interacts with these posts or adverts – you can then start a more focused sales message including suitable calls to action. The final stage essentially being the equivalent of a good old hard sell. If you’ve done your job right, by the time you get to this stage, of course – you don’t actually even need to be that hard with your message!
Message… today when I used that word (after drawing my latest funnel), I was told that actually, that’s where the problem was. How do you put the message together? How do you know what to say or how to say it? I started to answer, and within a few minutes, I found myself discussing the basics of psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of need!
Do you know what I’m talking about?
Maslow's Hierarchy of Need
In the 1940s, Maslow put forward a theory that human behaviour could be defined in five levels of ‘need’ that motivated our actions.
If in writing your social media posts, whether they are intended to be organic or paid is irrelevant, if you can tap into the drivers that motivate an individual, you have a higher chance of someone taking action. Whatever you are selling, I guarantee there is a way to plug into Maslow.
- If I were promoting a networking group I would use messages that reflect an opportunity to belong to something. (I’d do the same if I were recruiting for a vacancy!)
- If I was a charity, I would tap into altruistic feelings after communicating that the work I did fulfilled a basic need, created feelings of comfort and safety. I would write posts that made people feel good about supporting my cause and create the perception of elevating this feeling through the act of giving.
- As Green Umbrella, I can offer a base level of support and understanding, nurturing followers and congratulating them on their progress before pointing out how they can exceed further and reap rewards – with our help of course.
I feel like I need to suddenly make an apology – this article is a little ‘deep’ in comparison with the usual Green Umbrella Marketing articles. We do live in a crazy world that has been overcome with social media platforms, new trends and strategies and we are constantly evolving in terms of how we educate our audience.
Occasionally, however, we do need to go back to basics, and the reality is, in my opinion, that to be social is to be human and that sometimes means that we do need to return to some theories or ways of working that will always be true however developed the tech gets!