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How Your Customers Move Through the Digital Landscape

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If you’ve ever crossed paths with a savvy marketer, you’ve likely already been told that the key to an effective strategy is delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. While this seemingly simple principle is true, each of these key elements shifts depending on the other two. So how can you position your business to optimize the effectiveness of each customer touchpoint? The answer lies with the customer.

Understanding the way your target personas move through the digital landscape will help you tailor your message and timing to complete the marketing trifecta and achieve optimal results. By carefully directing your target customer to the highest-quality content available, which is typically the collateral you create rather than customer photos or ILS listings, you are laying the groundwork to ensure their experience with your brand is on message and on your terms.

Understand the Journey, so You Can Join It

The customer journey is no longer an easy, step-by-step process. Data shows us that, on average, buyers consult over twenty online sources before making a purchase. Because the journey is different for everyone, having a single strategy in place to capture multiple personas is unlikely to deliver ideal results. The good news is there are now more ways than ever to get your message out in the open, such as paid digital advertising, which provides measurable and actionable results while zeroing in on qualified users.

Whether it’s search, display, social, or remarketing, digital advertising is able to reach both potential customers ready to commit, and those just entering the discovery phase. Without a tailored online-advertising strategy, you could be missing your target customers when they’re most likely to be looking for you. By running a healthy digital mix, you can boost conversion rates by up to 15-20%.

Optimize Your Presence

Now that you understand the digital landscape and the buyer’s journey, let’s talk about the different stages and touch points, and how you can make the most of each one.

Create an Awareness

When the customer first begins, they may be in the market for your service in the near future, but they haven’t started their research, and they don’t yet know you exist. In order to start them on a path to purchase, you need an exposure that puts your business in view from their chosen route.

Did you know that 20% of all online time is spent on Facebook? That’s a lot of exposure. Having a paid social strategy is a top-of-funnel tactic which helps create an awareness for your brand that did not previously exist. With Facebook specifically, you can target your exact audience demographic in your geographic location and increase engagement with your brand.

Fulfill an Interest

Users spend 79% of their online time browsing. And with 90% of millennials online every day, you have a huge opportunity to reach those who may be interested in your services, and nurture them through the decision-making process.

Users are searching ILS sites, browsing DIY articles for apartment-decorating tips, reading up on the latest decluttering tactics, watching videos, and reaching out via social media for recommendations on the best local businesses to meet their needs. If you happen to be using display advertising, you are showing up when your customers are browsing the web and researching topics relevant to your particular offering.

At this point in their journey, they’re a little more invested, but not yet brand loyal. This is the moment when interest can shift to intent.

Impact Their Decision

When your targeted personas are ready to make a decision, they turn to Search. They are fully invested and actively comparing their options. They want quick, accessible information, so they begin searching for things like “best apartments in Chicago” or “apartments near me” (“near me” searches are growing at 146% year over year).

With users spending 21% of their online time searching, running an effective search marketing campaign to get in front of these “in-the-moment” needs is a key tactic in a successful strategy.  In just the real estate industry alone, based on customers’ recent purchases through advertising, when asked where they remember first hearing or seeing a brand or product, 52% of respondents said online.

Data shows us that searchers today are more loyal to the in-the-moment need than they are to the brand. And with high commercial intent searches, 64.6% of clicks happen on ads.

Guide Them to Take Action

When actively searching, users will compare three to four websites before making a purchase decision. These users need to be driven to take the action required to make contact with your business, such as make a phone call, schedule a tour, or apply now. If you are only running search, you are only in front of your customers 21% of the time they are active online. Layering in remarketing reaches additional lower-funnel customers who have previously visited your website, but did not convert and are continuing to research and compare your property against competitors. This is your chance to make a second good impression.

Keep it Fresh

The shift in how customers think, how they get their information, and their expectations of how their experience should be are ever changing. Google works tirelessly to stay ahead of the trends, altering their product offering in accordance to what user data is telling them they want and need. The changes they release are making it imperative for businesses to show up in the digital landscape. Recent changes alone, such as expanded text ads (ads now take up 100% of mobile screens), tell you that this is where you need to be. There is a constant creation of new opportunities for businesses to be more consumer-focused and provide readily accessible and relevant information in the moments that matter most.

Contact G5

G5 uses data insights to refine strategies and position more effective ads at the most opportune moments. We can help you optimize your presence in the digital landscape by providing relevant data and case studies from internal finders to help support a before-and-after effect of small channel mix to holistic channel mix. In other words, we know the landscape, and we know how to analyse the data to create an effective digital strategy which can get your business seen by the right people at the right time.

Want to know more about G5’s digital advertising? Request an analysis today.

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