Rule of 22
First and foremost, there’s one important rule that every business owner or marketer needs to know about, and it’s called the “rule of 22.” The rule of 22 means that from the point that someone first sees your ad and discovers your business, on average, 22 days go by before they make a purchase. Those 22 days are called a buying cycle.
While 22 days is the average length of a buying cycle, some businesses have longer ones. Typically, the more expensive the product, the longer the buying cycle. So, if you’re in the luxury goods industry, the buying cycle can actually extend beyond 22 days into 30 to 60 or sometimes 90 days.
Inside the buying cycle, users typically interact with your business 32 times via different touchpoints. A touchpoint is a piece of content that users consume on the internet. Think of it like this – the content you currently have online is influencing a user’s buying decision, and you can either be part of that influence or not.
Spoiler alert: You should choose to be part of it.
What does a customer’s journey actually look like? Well, it’s very fragmented.
The Fragmented Customer Journey
Even to this day, a lot of people think that the first time someone clicks on an ad, it’s an opportunity to make a sale. This is rarely the case. As we just discussed, on average, it takes people 22 days to form a buying decision. Then, inside of that 22-day cycle, users consume up to 32 pieces of content.
So, what is that content and how is it consumed?
Let’s begin with this example:
First, a user sees a post or an ad on Instagram for your business. Boom! – this gets their idea wheel going. The Instagram post causes them to research the business further.
Next, the user starts to go to other businesses around the internet. They might decide to follow up with you on Instagram or Facebook, while they’re receiving more of your social media content. They might travel over to YouTube and consume videos that you or your competitors created.
After that, the user visits your website and joins your email list. They might receive an email and then read online reviews.
Finally, the point comes when they are ready to buy from you. They will typically contact you in one of two ways:
- They go to Google and type in your business name and click on your listing.
- They remember your web address and get directly transferred to your website.
Then, the user either buys your product or they submit the contact form to become a lead. This is an important piece of the puzzle to understand. You want Google to know that your lead actually came from an Instagram post. Why? Because that helps you, the business, better understand where your customers are coming from, what their buying cycle looks like, and what touchpoints will help continue them down that cycle.
This is why you need what is called an “omnichannel marketing strategy.” It ensures Google knows that lead came from your Instagram post, not a Google search or direct transfer to your site.
Leading Your Customers Through the Journey
Omnichannel marketing means providing customers with a seamless, integrated shopping experience throughout the buying cycle.
Here’s an example of what it can look like:
A fitness professional uses Facebook and Instagram ads for cold prospecting. The ads target people that have never interacted with her business before and invites them to join a free six-day online training series. Once people click the ad, they go to her website and fill out a form to sign up for the series. After signing up for the program, they receive six workouts, one a day through an email. These are six touchpoints that allow the customer to get to know her, understand her training methods, and do the exercise programs that she puts together.
Follow-up with Remarketing Ads
After their first interaction with the fitness professional, they begin to receive remarketing ads. Remarketing ads are the ads you see after you visit a business’s website, and then you keep receiving that business’s ads all over the internet.
With remarketing ads, we are able to stay in front of the individual, because remember, they have not made their buying decision yet. You want to be in front of them as they sift through all their research leading up to making a purchase. You don’t want users to click on one ad one time, and then never hear from you again. Remarketing ads are critical for an efficient follow-up strategy.
Get on Google
Next, when they get closer to their buying decision, users tend to hop over to Google. In our example, when users who clicked on her ad Google certain keyword phrases, like, “personal trainer atlantic beach,” our fitness professional shows up. She also shows up in the Google my business listing over to the side. This is especially important. Google is a fantastic, lower-funnel marketing channel to both run ads in, and have your business listing.
(FYI, the business listings are completely free. You sign up a Googlemybusiness.com.)
The keyword phrase ads do cost a little bit of money but they’re free to be placed. You only pay when someone clicks on the ad and then transfers to your website. This is great because when they do that, they get transferred to your landing page and learn more about the products, service, benefits, and features of your business. And you can advertise on any targeted keyword phrase you want.
This is an example of an omnichannel strategy – a strategy that allows your business to blanket your target market while they go through their buying cycle and their decision-making process.