As a local business, your ad strategy won’t be successful (or nearly as successful) if you’re not using the length of the buying cycle and awareness levels to build your ad strategy.
This is what I use to craft the types of ads that we would be shown to a local audience for any industry or any market. The most important thing to think about right off the bat is how long your customer’s buying cycle is.
Short vs Long Buying Cycles for Local Businesses
There are some businesses that have very short buying cycles.
For instance, if you are an emergency restoration and water cleanup company. That’s something that happens and you need someone right away. You’re going to be making a very quick decision about the company that you hire. The strategy that you would need to build around is going to be significantly different than something that takes a long time to think about.
Things that are the higher ticket, they naturally tend to have a longer buying cycle. That’s not always the case but that usually is a pretty good gauge. There are some statistics out there that say that it can take for any business up to two years for someone to make that buying decision.
There’s a small percentage of people that are going to make that decision within the first three months, but there is a much more significant portion that is going to make that purchase over the next two years.
If you don’t know how long it’s taking your audience to make these decisions, you’re not going to have a good plan in place that follows them through the length of the buying cycle. That’s very important if you are a business that it could take someone up to two years to decide. You can’t expect results right away or a return on investment specifically.
You may see results. You may get leads. You may get foot traffic but if you’re looking for an immediate return, you’re not being realistic.
This is a very important thing to know. If you don’t know, you absolutely need to find out. This is also something that’s gonna affect your re-targeting strategy, something that’s going to affect your email strategy and your manual follow-up.
Understanding Awareness Levels for Your Local Business
You must be crystal clear about the overall awareness levels of those making a buying decision.
You’ve got the top of the funnel, which is simply being aware of either a problem or a product.
Then you’re gonna start to develop interest.
It’s going to lead you into the decision-making process and finally, the purchase.
There is no one length of time that people make these decisions. You need to know exactly how long your ideal client is taking if you need to pull past customers. Or simply pull past data on the time that someone reached out to you versus the time that they purchased pull as many of those as you can.
You will start to see a pattern or at bare minimum an average on that. This is what I call the local buying cycle sequence.
Those awareness levels should depend on the content and ads that you’re putting out to your audience and at what time they’re seeing them.
Most businesses never consider that there are people who may need them, but they don’t even know they have a problem. That happens more often than you would think.
You’ve got the problem unaware level, where they don’t yet know there is a problem to solve.
You have the problem aware level – They know they have a problem.
You’ve got a solution aware level – They know there is a solution to their problem.
Then you’ll have YOUR solution aware, meaning they’re aware of your specific business and the solutions you provide.
Then, they’re going to make the decision to purchase.
The goal is for us to funnel people from the top to the bottom and walk them through these different levels via our content and our ads.
Utilizing Traffic Temperatures in Local Marketing
What else can impact your buying cycle sequences?
Different Approaches to the Traffic Temperatures:
The types of messaging
The types of content
The types of ads
The ads that you’re sending these people are going to be significantly different depending on their traffic temperature.
For the most part, a cold audience is either going to be a problem unaware or problem aware.
Your warm audience tends to be solution aware and your solution aware and finally your hot audience there.
They’ve either already purchased or they’re ready to buy.
Cold traffic, these are the people who don’t know who you are. They’ve never engaged with you. They’re not familiar with you. They have no trust with you.
Then you’ve got your warm audience. These are people who do know who you are. They have engaged with you. There’s already more of a relationship started there.
Your hot audience is going to be someone who has purchased from you in the past. Maybe someone who has reached out and inquired. They could be:
A past lead
Anyone who is very close to the business,
Anyone who is close to making that buying decision as possible.
You could define these slightly differently based on the type of business that you have. But overall that’s how I established the different levels.
The majority of your leads are going to come from warm and hot traffic. The goal has to be to turn cold traffic into warm traffic and so on. We’ve got a much larger audience at the top. We just want to make it smaller and smaller by identifying the best prospects and people who are most interested today.
There you have it. If you simply leverage buying cycles and awareness levels in your advertising, you’ll be lightyears ahead of other local businesses and your advertising will immediately see an improvement in terms of results and ROI.
Have questions? Drop them below. Want to talk about working together? Visit alliebloydmedia.com/local-call to schedule a time to talk!