Recently we talked about the new conversion funnel for creating viral success. Today we are going to talk about the conversion funnel for making a greater impact on the world. In many ways it does parallel the viral success conversion funnel, but it has it’s own twist. That twist will help you take your content to a level you never thought imaginable. Combine the two and you will have yourself an incredibly successful organization.
Level 1 – Define the Problem
This is the first stage and the stage that will set the tone for everything to come, so prepare yourself. You must define the problem in a way that doesn’t make it look hopeless. Also, don’t make it look so simple that no one thinks that they have to help. Your first step is to say what the problem ease, state it nice and plain. I’ll take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge as an example for this. What is the problem with ALS? You may think it is the fact that it destroys your nervous system. That is true, but not the real problem. The real problem is that it shortens life spans, it’s an excruciating way to go for both the sufferer and their family and friends, and there is no cure. You have your What: ALS. You have your Why: Short, low quality life, with no cure. You have your Who: You, family, friends. Congratulations, you can now move on to level 2.
Level 2 – Characterize the Villain
Many people think that they can stop at defining the problem and just go straight into a call for action. That is not the case. People are far more likely to take action when there is a clear villain that they can take action against. This villain does not have to be a person, it can be a thing, an idea, anything. In our ALS example, the villain is not ALS. ALS is the cause. Think about your end goal, raising funds and donations. You must think about defining the character around why you need funds. With that in mind you can now characterize your villain effectively. In this case, the villain becomes the lack of a cure. The villain is not ALS. It is that ALS is a rare disease that has resulted in a lack of donations and funding for the doctors and researchers that have been working on this problem. The lack of funding makes everything much more difficult and if more people knew about ALS and gave money to find a cure, this villain will be defeated.
Another great example of this is the KONY 2012 campaign by Invisible Children. In this case Joseph Kony was an easy villain to define as he was the head of the LRA. How they were able to define his involvement, and the reason why he was such a villain, was paramount to their success. This same principle applies to any cause or issues that you want to solve. Of course, you always need facts though.
Level 3 – State the facts and current actions
Level 3 is important because this is when your target audience can really start to understand the gravity of the situation. They can understand the current actions taken, and how they can improve. The last part of that being the most important. The audience must understand that what is currently being done can improve. If that is not explicit, then you could lose your ability to make an effective call to action in the next step. There are plenty of studies suggesting that if people think there is already enough help, they will not move to aid the problem. Because of that, be honest, don’t butter up anything because you think your current actions are great. Everything can always improve.
In the example of ALS it would look something like this (this is only an example, not accurate data): ALS affects 15,000 people yearly. The average lifespan after diagnosis is 3 years. Current spending on ALS research is at $100 million a year. To bring one drug to market through research, testing, and FDA trials it takes $60 million. That money is spent over 10 years of time, and most drugs only improve current results by 3%. With $200 million we will research 10 new cures per year, bring 3 new drugs to the market in 6 years, and increase outcomes by 17%.
The facts don’t always have to be so specific. If the audience can get a clear understanding that there is more to be done, but improvements are being made then they will feel like taking action.
Level 4 – Call to Action
Think back to our conversion funnel for creating viral success. Level 4 of this conversion funnel is the same as Level 2 – Pre-Acquisition of our other conversion funnel. This is because both these conversion funnels work together and should be used together. This level is where you make big mistakes if you aren’t deliberate. Do not bash your audience over the head with exactly how they can get involved. This makes you and your organization seem like control freaks. That doesn’t go over well with our society now-a-days. KONY 2012 made this mistake even though they had over 100 million video views. They had few people take real world action like they wanted. They did however, give other ways people could get involved. Their audience took those other ideas and ran with them to much greater effect. This is what you want to happen. The key here is to call them to action by stating that you need help and suggestions. If you have clearly defined your problem, built the characterization of your villain, and presented appealing facts the mind of your audience will be racing about ways to solve this issue. Let them present those ideas. Some will be good, others bad. However, they will all commit to seeing their idea succeed. That makes your job to help them succeed for you.
Level 5 – Big Dream
This is the capstone of this conversion funnel. Dreaming big is valuable on many different levels. So, bring your biggest dreams. Ask your audience to bring theirs. Share in the wonder that is the future. Everyone needs dreams, they help you reach further, faster. Dreams help you push through the tough times when all seems lost. Don’t be afraid to share your every thought on what the future holds when everyone bands together. State that ALS will be cured in 10 years when we all come together. The only caution here is to not be too unreasonable. You can’t say ALS will be cured in 6 months. That’s just not physically possible. If your cause is poverty it could be that you believe poverty will reduce by 35% in 5 years. Perhaps, it would be that all high risk communities in California will have dedicated aid officers trained in helping people come out of poverty. Always say you will, not you hope or if. Make your audience believe that this WILL happen. Together you will succeed.
Level 6 – Follow Up
6 months, one year later, two years later, don’t leave your audience hanging. They want to know how things have improved. Of course, use that time to go through this whole conversion funnel again. You will have greater success because you retained so many people from before. Following up and re-engaging is very important. It keeps hope alive, keeps people motivated, and keeps them involved in your cause. This lowers cost and time needed to produce great results. Who doesn’t want that?
Do you have examples of this conversion funnel working for you? We would love to feature your story and talk with you more. Are we missing something that you think we need to add? Let me know.