December 14, 2022

Learn Our Secret C*4 Marketing Method for Your Business

It seems like every marketing agency out there wants to tout their own “secret” marketing strategies as the way to success.

“If you’re not using our formula, you’ll never get results!”

Well, here at CDM, we’re doing things differently. We want everyone to have access to great marketing strategies to grow their business. We know our amazing team brings the juice when it comes to content marketing, so we’re not afraid to share our methods.

Not only are we happy to share our exact marketing strategy (it’s no secret), we’re going to help you understand the process behind every single digital marketing success story:

How exposure to your digital content turns a stranger into a customer.

We like to call this Coffee Date Media’s “C*4 Marketing Method,” and breaking it down right here means you’ll be able to decode every single marketing technique you see online. You’ll even be able to reverse-engineer them and implement them yourself. And if you don’t want to, we’re always here to do it for you! 

Let’s jump right in:

What does C*4 Marketing Mean?

Simply put, C*4 stands for “Capture, Connect, Convince, and Convert.”

We named it C*4 not only for obvious reasons (each step beginning with the letter C) but also because each step exponentially increases the impact of the prior. And it leads to absolutely explosive results for your business! (ba-dum tsss).

Okay, that’s enough cheesiness. Let’s go over the process.

To turn a stranger into a customer, you must:

  1. Capture their attention;
  2. Connect them with your business;
  3. Convince them of your value; and
  4. Convert them to a paying customer.

No matter what content marketing tools you use—Facebook Ads, Instagram Reels, LinkedIn posts, Google ads, email campaigns—the C*4 Method explains how your prospects become customers. This is the four-step process that every single customer you have ever had–or ever will have–goes through before they make their first purchase from you.

The thing to remember about the C*4 method is that your customer completes these steps in order during the marketing process. They won’t move on to the next step before finishing the step before. Any good marketing strategy is designed to grab your target audience and new prospects, wherever they are in the C*4 process, and move them to the next step.

If they’re connected with your brand, your marketing strategy should convince them that your product or service is the solution they need.

If they’re convinced, your marketing strategy should clarify the transaction process and convert them easily.

And, of course, if they’re total strangers, your first order of business is to capture their attention.

Building out a marketing strategy that addresses each of the four steps can be challenging if you don’t know what each step is or what it’s designed to do. Let’s break them down a little further:

Step 1: Capture Your Audience

At the capture step, any tools or techniques you incorporate into your strategy should be designed to capture your prospective customer’s immediate attention. Don’t try to make this deeper than it is—this means making your prospective customer take time out of their day to pay attention to you.

Depending on whether or not the person has heard of your brand before, that could either mean (a) putting your brand on the radar of a total stranger or (b) reminding someone who has already heard of your brand that you exist.

At this stage, your goal is to get your business in front of as many qualified eyeballs as possible. You can and should use a combination of tools and techniques, including the ones listed below.

Tools and Techniques to Capture Audience Attention

  • Paid advertising (Facebook and Instagram ads, Google Ads, PPC, radio, television, and other online or traditional media advertising). 
  • Social Media Hashtags
  • Optimizing social media posts and profiles for “Explore page” exposure
  • Influencer marketing strategy
  • Word-of-mouth referrals
  • Flyers, pamphlets, and brochures
  • Email broadcasts to re-warm your list
  • Media appearances and contributions (either traditional media or online media such as podcasts, YouTube videos, live video interviews, etc.)
  • Speaking engagements
  • Networking events and organizations
  • Inclusion on business directories
  • Direct social media outreach and cold calls/emails

Capturing Attention in the Age of Information Overload

The critical thing to remember is the capture step is the most challenging phase of the process. Your ideal prospect processes an average of 34 Gigabytes of information per day. That’s an astronomical number. And to stand out among all of those bits of information, your capture technique must be high-quality and sufficiently different from what your ideal customer is already consuming.

That means optimizing your posts and paying for ad space isn’t enough—because it’s no longer enough just to get your content onto your target audience’s screens.

You have to stop their scroll.

Your content, particularly your visual content, needs to be exceptional. Research has shown that we may have as little as 0.2 seconds to capture an audience member’s attention when they’re scrolling. That’s not long enough for them to read or process any words in your content; it’s only long enough for them to subconsciously decide if your content’s visual elements appeal to them. If you struggle with creating great-looking photos and videos, check out Donata White’s Visual Content Academy.

This information overload is another reason why having an instantly recognizable visual brand is crucial to your online success. It’s also why it’s essential to remain consistent with your chosen strategy.

Step 2: Connect Your Audience to Your Brand

At the Connect phase of C*4, your goal is to spark a connection between your prospective customer and your brand. Here, your viewer is deciding whether they like your brand and want to opt into all it means to be one of your followers. They’ll judge, perhaps from a single post, if they wish to stick around.

Remember that anytime someone follows or becomes a fan of your brand, they have decided that they’re one of “your people.” So at this phase, you need to give your audience enough information to determine whether they want to become part of your crowd—or, at the very least, if they wish to see more.

And while it’s tempting to want to appeal to everyone who comes across your brand online, at the connect phase of the C*4 process, you’re also trying to repel audience members who do not fit your ideal customer profile. Having the wrong followers can be just as devastating to your online presence as having very few followers, if not more so. A pool of followers without the intention of becoming customers or engaging with your content is a liability, not an asset.

Tools and Techniques to Connect with Your Target Audience:

  • Strong visual branding (logo, colors, fonts)
  • Distinct photography and/or videography style
  • Ideal Customer Avatar exercise(s) to determine who your brand is speaking to
  • Web copy that reflects your brand’s personality
  • Value-add social media posts written in your brand’s voice
  • Clear communication of your brand’s mission, values, and charitable causes supported
  • Prompt response times on comments and direct messages
  • “Community-speak,” as we like to call it here at CDM. These are inside jokes, nicknames, running themes, or facts about you or your business that allow long-term followers to feel close to your brand.

    Connecting with Individuals While Speaking to Many

    The challenge at this step is to utilize the convenience of a one-to-many communication method like social media while encouraging individual connection with your brand. If you attempt to connect with too many people, your message will become too general, and it will be too weak to appeal to anyone at all. But it’s hard to get too specific when you’re not sure who will be reading or watching.

    This is where strong brand messaging and a great ideal customer profile come in handy. If you speak as your brand directly to your ideal customer avatar, you’ll succeed in attracting those like your ideal customer while repelling those who aren’t aligned with your message.

    Step 3: Convince Them of Your Value

    Once you’ve captured as much attention as possible and then culled that crowd down to those who resonate with your brand, you are left with a pool of followers who, should they need your products or services, can be relatively easily convinced to purchase. At the Convince stage of the C*4 method, your goal is twofold: 

    1. Educate them about the problem they’re experiencing and the possibilities for resolution, and
    2. Show them that your product or service is their ideal solution. 

    Your expert positioning, authority building, and clear communication about your offer(s) are paramount at this step. This is what we like to call the “selling step”–the stage of selling your audience your offer. This is where they’ll decide to become your customer or client. 

    At the Convince step, you’re convincing your target audience members that your offer solves their problem. To be convinced, they’ll need to know three things: 

    • They’ll need to know you’re an expert or authority.
    • They’ll need to know the product is designed to solve their problem.
    • They’ll need to know that the monetary exchange is worth the value they’ll get from the product. 

    Your content marketing strategy can go a long way in doing this educational work for you. Need some help creating content that sells? We can help! 

    Tools for Convincing Your Audience of Your Value:

    • Social media posts, including
    • Testimonials and client case studies
    • Authority-building and thought leadership content
    • Talking about the design of your offer, who it’s for, who it’s not for, etc.
    • Sales calls
    • Sales page copy

    Selling Confidently Without Feeling “Salesy”

    One thing we hear from a lot of our clients is that they don’t want their content to feel “salesy.” And we understand–nobody likes to feel like a sleazy used car salesperson when they’re promoting their offers online. But when you’re in business, your offers won’t sell if you don’t sell. You must confidently pitch your products or services to your audience to run your business. 

    This is where the C*4 Marketing Method is so helpful. At this point in the process, you’ve already collected a crowd of target audience members who love and appreciate your brand. You have their attention, and they’re connected with your brand and mission. So if you’ve done the other two steps right, your audience is looking for your solution! 
    Selling at this phase, if you’ve gone through the other C*4 steps, is a service. Think of it as giving your audience the opportunity to take the next step with you and say yes to getting results. If you believe in what your business offers, it’s easy to speak to an excited audience about how those offers can change their lives. 

    Step 4: Convert Them Into Customers (i.e. Where Marketing and Sales Touch)

    Ah yes, the final step in the C*4 Marketing Method–actually converting your audience into customers! This step is a little misleading. Many people think conversion is the hardest step, but it’s the easiest of the four!

    If your marketing strategy has completed the capture, connect, and convince steps, your future clients are waiting for you to tell them how to convert. Remember, they’re convinced your offer is the answer to their problem–so they’re already converted in their heads. 

    The conversion step is purely mechanical. It’s the act of completing the contract or transaction that turns an audience member into a customer. 

    So why does it get its own step in the C*4 process? Because in the digital space, people don’t do anything unless you tell them to. 

    Remember the 34 Gigabytes of information per day that your audience members are dealing with? Make becoming your customer a no-brainer by walking them through exactly what it will look like. As a bonus, you’ll be starting your work relationship in a way that shows your new clients that you’re with them, supporting them through the whole process.

    This is the step where your marketing and sales strategies “touch.” While they’re separate things, marketing leads to customers interacting with your sales processes. And your sales process itself is a form of marketing. If it’s an easy, positive experience, that leads to more clients down the road! 

    Tools for Easily Converting Audience Members into Customers

    • Clear calls to action about the next step in the conversion process, like:
      • “Click this link.”
      • “Apply at the link in our bio.”
      • “DM the word ‘Goals’ for more details.”
    • Content and sales materials that walk audience members through the conversion process step-by-step.
    • Simple, user-friendly checkout links, sales pages, applications, and onboarding documents.

    A Content Marketing Strategy that Does it All

    Creating a content marketing strategy that converts total strangers into customers can sometimes seem overwhelming. After all, there’s no magic formula, secret caption, or trending audio that will induce your audience to buy. Ultimately, it comes down to understanding your audience’s needs, questions, and behavior and supporting them as they learn that working with your company is the best option for them.

    Luckily, we can help! Coffee Date Media can create a custom content and social media marketing strategy that creates an authentic connection with your audience, turning them into raving fans and clients. To learn more about how we can help, check out our service offerings and drop us a line to get started! 

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