Do you ever wonder what makes great advertising stand out from the boring and bland? In many cases, it’s not the design of the creative or script of the radio ad, it’s the offer being given to the consumer that makes the difference. The best marketing efforts consist of clear, concise messaging along with a compelling call-to-action.
Creating the right offer for your advertising doesn’t have to be a complex and difficult process. Quite the contrary, creating the right offers, that align with the buying funnel, can be achieved in a few easy steps along with some good planning and a little elbow grease.
It’s important to consider where each prospect is in the buying funnel in order to target them with the most appropriate offers and calls-to-action. This can be broken down into three separate categories as follows.
Top of the Funnel - This is the widest stage of the buying process where you’re mainly trying to build awareness in the minds of consumers. At this stage, they are likely unaware of your product, service, or company so your job is to inform them—at a high level—about who you are and what you do. It’s more about branding and getting the word out, while encouraging them to visit your website or social media. Good top of the funnel content and offers aren’t overly salesy, but are fun, educational, and attention grabbing. The goal is to keep people interested and pique their curiosity to learn more. Great examples of top of the funnel content are blog posts, eBooks, webinars, and how-to videos. A radio ad can encourage people to “call in now” to learn more, or visit your website to take advantage of a promotional giveaway. The ultimate goal is to grab potential buyers’ attention and move them further down the funnel.
Middle of the Funnel - Here, prospects are still interested, but are looking to dive deeper and absorb more information about your products or services. But more than likely the person has sensed an immediate need that they’re looking to address, and are using this stage as decision time. This can also be called the comprehension stage, where people start doing online research and asking their friends, family and co-workers for advice on the issue and potential solutions. Your goal as an advertiser or marketer should be to always place yourself in the final, top three options in the minds of consumers. This is where they will look at what you offer and compare to what else is available in the marketplace. Here, it’s good for your content to address how to solve specific issues or challenges in some detail. Offer types that are ideal for mid-funnel prospects are direct email marketing, newsletters, buying guides, individual consultations and product demonstrations. If you’re thinking radio, consider content that gives a bit of information on features and benefits related to what problems they solve. But don’t give away too much, if the prospect feels like they already know everything, there’s no incentive for them to move further down the funnel.
Bottom of the Funnel - This is buying time, where prospects are going to decide whether to purchase or not. At this point of the conviction stage, people will make the decision regarding who they want to buy from, then take the action to buy shortly thereafter. You’ll want content here geared towards overcoming any final objections to buying, as well as empower them to make that decision. Bottom of funnel content is usually specific in nature, showcasing how your particular expertise can assist the buyer. For example, a radio ad with a first hand customer testimonial talking about what particular issues your company solved for them and how they overcame any reservations about deciding to buy. Free trials, consultations, and tailored cost estimates are other commonly used offers at this stage. Your best and most compelling arguments should come here, as you’ve “kept your powder dry” in the previous stages. Your bottom of the funnel content is going to be geared towards that small number of people that are ready to buy immediately, somewhere between two and ten percent, therefore the offer needs to be so powerful and actionable that they get stopped dead in their tracks. Give them that ultimate sense of urgency they can’t resist for even one second longer before taking action.
As we’ve seen above, your call-to-action is going to depend on where your prospects are in the buying funnel. However, there are a few best practices you can adopt to help get your message across and move prospects from one stage to the next.
Represent what you offer - No matter what stage of the funnel your content is geared towards, you need to make sure that the desired action actually represents what you’re offering. For example, if you’re selling subscription software a good CTA would be “Sign up for a free trial!”. An appropriate blog content CTA might be “Subscribe Today” or “Keep Receiving our Newsletter.” Content such as eBooks or whitepapers should be marked with some variation of “Download your free copy today!”
Short and sweet - Your CTAs shouldn’t be overly complex or difficult for the prospect to execute. You’re best off keeping things quick and to the point. This goes not just for the messaging but for the process the prospect goes through. If you force people to go through multiple steps, login pages, and lengthy verifications, people will begin to drop off and you’ll lose those prospects (potentially for good).
Be concrete - Finally, you want to tell people exactly what they are receiving and specifically what value it’s going to add for them. If they sign up for a newsletter, make sure they know it will be about a specific topic, format, or perspective. Don’t be shy in laying out the next steps in simple, easy to follow instructions as well. It’s better to err on the side of oversimplification than to confuse the prospect as to what actions they should take next.
By now you’ve probably realized that creating the right offer for your advertising can be done effectively, as long as you know where people are in their buying process and are able to tailor calls-to-action accordingly. Armed with that knowledge, you’ll be able to entice prospects in a way that makes their journey to being a valued customer that more more expedient.
Have you seen any recent offers or calls-to-action that have piqued your interest recently? Have they given you some inspiration on how to create offers for your business? Feel free to let us know in the comments!