Online marketing is gaining mileage in Kenya. Although many businesses are increasingly adopting social media marketing techniques, “many Kenyan companies do not fully grasp the power of social media, how it fits into their business and the impact it can make,” according to Noah Miller, the Managing Director of Sochin Limited.
There are five stages along the marketing funnel that must be fully satisfied for marketing to generate a return on investment. These stages are awareness, engagement, preference, impact, and advocacy.
First comes the exposure of your target audience to content and messages about your brand, products, and services. Many companies resort to social media hyping, sometimes with the help of influencers and believe that impressions or likes are the main objectives.
In the awareness stage, the conversation is often a monologue. It can just come from the company or the influencers attached to the company. Generating awareness is just the jumping-off point in the marketing process.
This relates to the interactions that occur in response to content on an owned channel. For instance, how the audience is sharing your content or engaging by talking about your product, brand, or services. This emanates from the awareness that the company has created, but two-way communications are what matters now.
The moment other people outside the company pick up the conversation and start to either talk about the brand or ask questions, the engagement stage has begun. Many businesses rarely reach this second stage.
This is the ability to cause or change an opinion or behavior. After creating awareness and getting people to engage in the conversation, did you sway their opinion about your brand, product or service? If the engagement is about a product or a service, has your social media marketing achieved a purchase preference when compared to similar products or services on the market? If the answer is yes, then you have positively changed the consumer’s behavior and built some brand equity.
The impact can include a financial gain, such as increased sales or profit, increased brand preference, an urge in traffic to your website, and many other factors. The key here is to make the impact sustainable and create loyal customers.
Are others making the case for you about something? This category includes positive testimonials, a call to action, recommendations, and other actions that lead right back into generating more awareness. Satisfied customers are your best and most trusted brand ambassadors.
For the marketing channel to be complete, the process must move from awareness, engagement, preference, impact, and advocacy.