Digital Body Language and the Sales/BD Funnel – What Your Data Tells You About Audience Awareness

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In my most recent update, I talked about the concept of digital body language and why law firms need to become adept at reading it:

Just as physical body language communicates what people think: their interest in a particular topic, agreement and disagreement, willingness to listen, etc., digital body language – the aggregate of all online interactions, from opening email newsletters to visiting websites to downloading content – provides a broad perspective on what an individual thinks of your firm.

Digital body language allows you to paint a robust picture of your targets: how much they know about you and your firm, whether the solutions you offer line up with the problems they think they have, and more.

Equally important, it tells you where to situate your audience in the sales funnel, and what you should do to ensure that they’re progressing in the journey from prospect to client.

At the first, top stage of the funnel, Awareness, digital body language provides broad insight on your overall branding and marketing efforts. Do your marketing initiatives – webinars, articles, client alerts, seminars, and the like – address the challenges facing your audience? Are you growing the number of people who are aware of the solutions you provide? Are you positioning people to move down the sales funnel from prospect to client?

The data – the digital body language of your audience – can help you answer those questions.

Which 'Awareness Data' Is Available?

At this stage, it’s all about numbers: the more people you’re reaching, the easier it is to conclude that you’re doing the right things. For example, pay attention to the numbers for:

  • Opening webinar invitations
  • Reading firm content and thought leadership
  • Liking posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other digital media channels

Success at this stage means people are consuming your thought leadership, reading your articles, and liking your posts. They haven’t yet developed a preference for your solutions over those of the competition (that comes later), but they know that it exists – they’re aware of it – and that’s a good start.

What Can Be Learned From the Data?

These analytics provide useful insight into how well your thought leadership resonates with your targets. It tells you, for example:

  • Whether the topics you cover are relevant to your intended audience
  • Which issues are the most urgent amongst those who read your work and attend your webinars
  • Who – which industries, geographies, companies, etc. – is interested in your content (and who isn’t)

It’s a good idea to track all these things, both to see what happens when you make delivery improvements – distributing alerts to a broader audience, perhaps, or opening up a new social media channel – or framing changes that modify the way you present subjects, like more client-focused titles for your webinars and articles.

What Does the Data Say About Moving People Down the Business Development Funnel?

Because awareness is the entry point into your funnel, you want to cast as broad of a net as possible: the more people who are aware of your firm, the more will take an active interest, engage with your lawyers, and ultimately move to action by hiring you. Look to growth in overall awareness numbers to confirm that you’re covering the issues that matter most to your target audience.

An increase in return visitors, on the other hand, tells you that prospects are starting to take an interest in the solutions you provide, that they like the perspective you give enough to seek out more. To boost these numbers, make it easy for people to get more by including links to upcoming webinars you’re hosting in your invitations and adding ‘related reading’ sections to your blog posts.

What data are you tracking to gauge the effectiveness of your efforts to grow awareness of your lawyers and firm? I’d love to hear about it.

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Katie O'Rourke is Regional Vice President, Sales, at ON24. Connect with her on LinkedIn; follow for her latest writing on JD Supra.

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