Today, through a share by Andrew Chen, I stumbled upon an article written and published on the Atlantic with a rather disturbing title and a (I felt) rather unfair conclusion on Twitter as a platform.
“Apps don’t pay my rent. A website does.” and “it is quantitatively not a good deal for The Atlantic.” were among the quotes that compelled me to take a moment to write this response to Derek – the author of the article.
Before delving any deeper, there are a few core concepts about Twitter as a platform and marketing funnels that I would like to establish.
1) Twitter is a platform
What this means is – Twitter functions as a soapbox, a stand for anyone and everyone to stand on and scream on top of their lungs as loud as they can – the message they are trying to get across to the world.
The catch? You only get a few seconds to make an impact on anyone. Miss that chance, or fail to deliver with impact, and that moment passes by, just as fast as it came.
Of course – some take this this as a challenge to try to get on the soapbox multiple times and shout out the same message, again and again – but that’s a topic for another day.
2) Marketing Funnels
In marketing – which is a component of growth, your goal is to get someone, anyone to hear what you have to say, not just hear but believe in that message enough to give you a chance. This of course comes with a price because sometimes, this chance comes as the peril of another marketer who fought hard to get his or her message there in the first place – and thus the vicious, never ending cycle of marketing ad advertising and co-storytelling begins.
Now having said that, the entire process and activities that contribute to making someone hear you – then listen to your message and give you a chance laid out over a vertical of time is what we now call a marketing funnel. A funnel essentially is a visualized form of ushering one’s visitors to become a lead and over time convert that lead into a customer.
In the world of marketing funnels, most established marketers can and will tell you, its not a straightforward science of pushing a couple of buttons and throwing around some PPC budget on Landing pages.
All efforts of marketing come down to capturing as much as possible of one of the worlds most important commodities – attention aka mindshare.
All Brand marketing, 360-views, multichannel focused, bla bla jargon on marketing focuses one one thing and one thing only – attention. Attention is by proxy a base requirement to building loyalty to a Brand. You know that “Nespresso” Coffee you drink – how about that “Hazelnut Soy Latte – from Starbucks”? The only reason you keep going back and buying these products or using these services is because while they fulfil a need, they work hard to satiate your mind and not leave room for doubt as to “if you should try that other coffee place down the street” or “is that service or Brand better than this”.
Having an “if” in your mind is the first step to losing your attention and loyalty and decreases brand mindshare because you start associating or allowing other Brands to associate their offerings for that very same need.
How does this tie into Marketing Funnels? Simple – most efficient marketing funnels don’t just look at the MAJOR Conversion points – such as click through impressions, purchase rate, sign-up rate etc. They focus on creating multiple MICRO Conversion points.
To put it another way – most efficient funnels focus on each customer as the centre of the their own universe and start finding ways to provide as many touchpoints as possible to hit that perfect customer persona that you are aiming for.
This means – the impression on Twitter, is just another dot along the line of getting a potential reader to understand that:
- The Atlantic exists (MINOR Conversion)
- They write articles some of which are under the topic of technology, marketing and the economics of digital marketing (MINOR Conversion)
- Some of those articles along with other topics might be of interest to me. (MINOR Conversion)
- This graphic looks interesting – I should click on it to see what’s it about (MINOR Conversion)
This then helps the customer form a MAJOR conversion thought – “Maybe I should read that article I saw last week OR maybe I should “Google” – The Atlantic and see what other articles they might have OR maybe I should follow them on Facebook since I spend most of my evenings there.
This does not necessarily mean Twitter is a under-performing channel. In fact quite the contrary. Twitter tends to consistently prove itself to be the the ‘King of Instant Gratification’ . (A close contender being Instagram in a similar vein.) It pacifies the mind by overloading it with streams of information on almost any topic in real-time to semi-real time capacity.
It truly is a marketer’s dream touchpoint – because you can buy mindshare for such a low barrier of entry and with little effort through a constant stream of messages and then eventually funnel the viewer into a MAJOR conversion point either directly on indirectly through the platform.
So in conclusion – Twitter serves you because it needs you more than you need it. It works hard to provide you that soapbox – all you need to do is find the right message to scream at an appropriate interval – and VOILA!