It’s estimated that you are exposed to roughly 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements each and every day! This number might seem a little absurd, but think about how many logos you see around you at this very moment. Quite a few, right? While you’re probably not losing any sleep from thinking about these brands throughout the week, these logos and any other digital marketing creatives you may have seen are essential for establishing impactful and long-lasting relationships with your consumers.
In the marketing world, the process of getting your brand in front of the eyes of consumers has grown to become a complex part of the consumer journey. With that being said, today’s consumers are savvier than ever and all too familiar with being bombarded with marketing at every which way they look. So how can ensure your marketing efforts are effective in creating the best customer experience?
Understanding how to best design and position your marketing touchpoints is essential to both strengthening your brand awareness, generating product/ service demand, and growing your business as a whole. But before we go any further, let’s break down exactly what touchpoints are and how they can benefit your business.
Table of Contents
- What Exactly Is A Touchpoint?
- Why Should Your Business Care About Touchpoints?
- Your Company’s Touchpoints
- Type 1: Common Touchpoints
- Type 2: Stealth Touchpoints
- Properly Utilizing Your Touchpoints
- Social Media
- Facebook and Google Ads
- If You Can’t Maintain Touchpoints, At Least Monitor Them
- Be Consistent Across All Marketing Platforms
- Thoughts to Leave With…
What Exactly Is A Touchpoint?
A touchpoint is defined as a channel of interaction with a potential prospect or existing customer. Touchpoints could be in the form of nearly any sort of marketing material. For example:
- An Instagram post from your favourite brand of coffee
- A Twitter update from a company you follow
- A newsletter from a `business you’re subscribed to
- A user review for a service you’re considering
- A brand’s logo on the receipt of a recent purchase, and more
Implementing effective touchpoints is a critical part of designing an engaging and impactful customer experience. This contributes to establishing the basic marketing funnel, which includes strengthening brand awareness, consideration, action, loyalty, and advocacy – more on this later.
Commonly, you have 1 group of brands who are scared of giving off the wrong image via these touchpoints, and therefore, they would rather avoid it. The other group understands the importance of certain touchpoints and blasts them with repetitive, generic ads without a core strategy.
Neither of these are really “winning” at marketing
Don’t get us wrong. If you don’t have the resources to maintain your touchpoints, that’s a valid excuse to brush them to the side while you focus on other things, like hiring the right people or improving your product. If you’re in the stage of generating leads, however, then touchpoints should be considered an essential component of your marketing plan.
Why Should Your Business Care About Touchpoints?
When touchpoints are managed properly, they work to inform your target audience of your business’s offerings, elicit interest, and generate consistent demand for your sales team. This is true for both large-scale corporations, as well as local startups and boutiques.
In this article, our marketing experts will walk you through the processes of successfully navigating your marketing touchpoints and how you can turn them into part of an automated demand generation strategy. Keep reading to learn how you can take advantage of brand touchpoints to help launch your business to the next level.
Your Company’s Touchpoints
The easiest way to understand your touchpoints is to understand the customer journey. Without conducting a full-out market research campaign (unless necessary), try putting yourself in the shoes of your customers. Think of all the ways potential customers could find their way to your brand, conduct research about your brand, and talk with your sales before finally becoming a customer.
Customer preferences and behaviours are always evolving. To stay ahead of the latest trends, you may want to consider gaining direct feedback from your customers (i.e. email surveys) for insight into current customer trends and preferences — in case your existing understanding is outdated or misaligned. Identifying and improving the touchpoints along the way will not only help your advertising efforts but also make prospects gravitate towards you every step of the way.
Remember, each time a customer makes contact with your business, they are forming an opinion or revising their opinion. These touchpoints can be positive or negative and so can have a massive influence on the customer’s decision-making process.
From start to finish, your customers will see and encounter your brand both offline and online. from your logo to your advert, posters or window displays, your website or app, social media sites or online reviews. Or it could be from a word of mouth recommendation, contact with yourself or your staff in person, on the telephone or online.
Generally speaking, all touchpoints can be categorized into 2 types.
Type 1: Common Touchpoints
Here are a few common digital touchpoints for both local and online companies:
- Facebook profile and posts
- Instagram profile and posts
- Facebook and Instagram ads
- Email marketing campaigns
- Google Ads
- Your Website
- Your Google My Business Reviews
With over 4.8 billion digital users worldwide, these online touchpoints are essential for growing your digital presence and allow you to tap into new audiences. As an added benefit, the majority of these platforms are free to use, so there should be no excuse to start strategizing your digital touchpoints.
Type 2: Stealth Touchpoints
Stealth touchpoints are touchpoints that consumers would not typically perceive as a “touchpoint.” This is because stealth touchpoints typically appear to be more “natural” and “organic.” While they aren’t as common, depending on your marketing goals and objectives, stealth touchpoints offer their own set of benefits. Here are some examples of stealth touchpoints:
- Yelp and other review platforms such as Reddit and GlassDoor
- Comments on social media accounts
- Native advertisements
When done correctly, these touchpoints can subconsciously influence your prospects’ decisions, without them realizing your brand’s contribution in it.
Properly Utilizing Your Touchpoints
Take some time out of your day and look at all your touchpoints. Are they aligned and pushing a unanimous message to your prospects? What about the brand imagery?
While it is crucial to be consistent across your touchpoints, there are 4 major categories that can be further broken down and used for different purposes. From the top of the funnel to closing on leads, each of these categories serves a different purpose.
We’ll guide you through some ways you can effectively utilize your most common touchpoints:
- Social Media
- Facebook and Google Ads
1) Social Media
The goal of Social Media is to produce engaging content that stands out from the rest. While some of your followers may be top of the funnel traffic that have found your platform through browsing, the majority of users that stick around will likely have had some form of interaction with you in the past.
Social media provides businesses with the opportunity to communicate brand authenticity and showcase the humanity or personality behind the brand. For most companies, the purpose of social media is to maintain an active digital presence to engage and interact with users.
In the past, engagement outside of physical stores and print ads (posters, flyers, billboards, etc.) was not exactly a top priority for many brands. However, digital media has completely redefined the way businesses approach the consumer journey and brand touchpoints.
Social media is a powerful and influential touchpoint, but with its rapid growth and ever-evolving nature, it’s important to handle it with care. Taking advantage of social media as a touchpoint, we recommend the following:
- Post regularly and invite your followers to interact with your posts (i.e. ask them to comment and share their thoughts!)
- Engage with your followers and reply to comments, questions, and messages in a timely manner
- Promote any ongoing events or exclusive deals.
These touchpoints allow you to establish a stronger and more meaningful relationship with both new and existing customers. Be authentic with your images and align your messaging across platforms to achieve the best results.
2) Facebook and Google Ads
One of the most popular methods of utilizing Facebook and Google ads is for standard lead generation. For example, targeting prospect buyers by behaviour, keywords, interest — the whole lot.
Businesses should also consider Smart Display and Remarketing/ Lookalike campaigns. This allows you to reach people similar to your existing audience, or target any prospects who have recently interacted with a viral or heavily boosted post of yours. Just make sure to exclude anyone who has already converted (unless for e-commerce businesses).
Growth Tip: a great way to optimize your marketing efforts on Facebook and Instagram advertisements is to “disguise your ad” as a native piece of content on the platform. Native ads match the function and form of content on the platform it appears on. This allows the marketing material to look less like an “ad” and more like organic/ non-sponsored content.
Instead of going full corporate and taking a sale-sy voice, try a more personal approach. Be relatable, be personable, and make the content look like it belongs on customers’ newsfeed — not like it paid to be there or like all it wants is your money!
The core of your front-facing operations. Other than good UX, good conversion optimization practices offer value to customers. Give away your best products, whether that’s knowledge to your industry, or product samples, any information that creates value
If your business doesn’t already have a website, check out our article on why a beautifully designed website is essential to growing a business, then hurry back!
A website is one of the most intimate and forward-facing touchpoints available to businesses. If a customer is on your website, chances are they’re there with a purpose in mind — there’s no better opportunity to capture their complete attention and communicate the value your business can provide them.
While a website is a brand touchpoint itself, functionalities within your site are equally as important as touchpoints. Website features work to further engage with consumers with your brand and guide them through your marketing funnels. These features may include:
- Contact and inquiry forms to get in touch with your business
- Live messaging capabilities for answers to your questions in real-time
- An easy-to-understand website navigation structure, and more.
Customer reviews are another effective touchpoint and allow you to gain direct insight into how your customers perceive your business, products, and services.
Good reviews are innate to businesses providing good value to consumers. However, when it comes to actually receive customer reviews, many incentivizing tactics are largely underutilized by businesses.
Make it a practice to ask customers for reviews, even if they haven’t completed a conversion! The worst they can say is no (or leave you a bad review, but this is unlikely). User reviews allow you to build up “social proof” and develop your brand’s reputation and legitimacy.
It’s important to reply to positive comments when possible to show your gratitude. With that being said, it’s equally (if not more) important to respond to any negative comments to show you care about your customers and are actively working to improve their experience.
If You Can’t Maintain Touchpoints, At Least Monitor Them
Not everyone has the resources to continually update or push out content through their touchpoints. If you can’t maintain an active digital profile, consider at least monitoring your digital presence. When your company name or product offering starts trending on Twitter or Reddit, you do not want to be the last to know!
Be Consistent Across All Marketing Platforms
It is also important to ensure all your communication, messages and images are consistent so you create a cohesive brand and give the right impression. Having limited outlets for information is better than utilizing all outlets and having different messaging on each.
Thoughts to Leave With…
Today, marketing is a real challenge for many because customers are savvy and fickle. They can access tons of comparable products make decisions well before making any contact with you. Information about your business is out there, 24/7 across the world, and there’s no way you can control all of it. However, if you take the time to understand, review, and strengthen your customer touchpoints, you will begin to notice a significant improvement in the way customers interact with your audience.
Making your touchpoints a key part of your marketing strategy can help drive new leads and sales to your business. Nonetheless, we understand that while core digital marketing practices may come a lot easier for some businesses, they can be a little confusing for others – and that’s ok! Many businesses work with marketing specialists, such as Big Fish Creative, to accelerate their growth. Marketing specialists work to identify your biggest weaknesses and greatest marketing opportunities to launch you ahead of your competitors.
For more tips and advice on how you can grow your business, be sure to check out our other articles.