Social Media Gids Explains: The 3-phases Digital Marketing Framework®

  • Date: 19 September 2019
  • reading time: 7 Minutes
  • Blogger: Francisca Zimmermann

We love to share what we learn along the way: social media tips, funnel strategies, and more. However, besides sharing general tips and tricks with you in our ‘usual’ blogs, we thought it would be nice to give you some insights into our own work and strategy too. 

What do we do? 

At Social Media Gids, we help businesses from A to B. We find it important to not only offer a part of the solution (only social media content, for instance) but help our clients from absolutely nothing to a well-functioning online digital marketing setup. Why? Because we learned that that works best.


While working with our clients, we have noticed that the best results are booked when we help them combine three essential parts of marketing: A carefully planned out social media marketing strategy, a social media advertising plan (and ongoing management) and a carefully designed sales funnel. Using one of these phases separately does, of course, work, but we learned that the results are even higher when the three phases are combined.

A digital marketing framework in three phases 

We called these 3 steps our ‘3-phases Digital Marketing Framework®’. We get this whole strategy up and running within 90 days (or less), including a careful period of getting to know a client’s business, target audience, and goals. 

Why spend ‘so much time’ on a framework like this? Because these efforts result in long term growth within your business. With a carefully thought out digital marketing strategy and well-planned social media efforts, you grow the CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) instead of making ‘just one sale’. You make connections and grow a community of customers who keep coming back to you time after time. The growth in CLV (a prediction of the net profit attributed to a customer over a certain amount of time) will lead to a huge and long lasting ROI.

3-phases Digital Marketing Framework®

In this blog, we would like to take a closer look at the three phases of our framework. We will explain the important of each stage, give you a few definitions and explanations and will tell you how we, at Social Media Gids, go through each step on our way to more sales and growth. 

Phase 1: Social Media Marketing

Setting up a social media marketing strategy is the central part of our work. We strongly believe in the power of social media and see potential in the fact that, with clever use of social media, you literally have access to the whole world. 

To give you an idea: Worldwide social media user numbers have grown to almost 3.5 billion at the start of 2019. This is an insane number, and we believe this number is still increasing. Isn’t it crazy that you have the potential to reach all those people with your message, product or service? 

flat layout

Of course, getting your message ready to be seen takes a lot of work and planning. You need to decide which social media channels fit your target audience best, what kind of posts you will share, how often you will interact with your followers, what your style and tone of voice is and what kind of campaigns you would like to work with. 

Going through all these steps is time-consuming, but crucial. Without a consistent style and message, your social media efforts simply won’t be noticed. Or, even worse, you would focus on the wrong target audience. 

Before continuing with phase 2, it’s crucial to have a clear social media plan ready that lists (at least):

Once we have done our research and created an extensive social media plan, it’s time to continue with phase 2.

Phase 2: Social Media Advertising 

The social media landscape is changing. Paid advertising is gaining a very central role within social media marketing, and creating organic traffic is becoming more difficult due to algorithm changes. Did you know that, without any paid advertising, your posts only reach +/- 3% of your followers? This is a very low percentage and means a very slow growth of your social profiles. Therefore, to find and attract quality leads on social media a lot faster, paid advertising now is inevitable. 

And besides being crucial for real growth, we see advertising as a great opportunity too. With the right strategy in place and the right target audience in mind, social media advertising offers a unique opportunity to reach the exact people you want to reach.  

On Facebook, for example, you can enter a considerable amount of details to define the target audience you would like to reach. Think of for instance the location, demographics, interests, behavior and connections of your potential customer. And on top of that, the platform allows you to ‘retarget’ people you have been in touch with before. Did your previous ad or offer not result in the action you were hoping for? Maybe your potential customer needs another little ‘push’ to finally take action. With the Facebook Pixel you can target the same people you targeted before, to keep ‘pushing’ them in the right direction. A great example is a discount code for everyone who added a product to a shopping cart, but somehow didn’t complete the purchase. 

flat  - linkedIn  social media gids

However, to use the opportunity efficiently and not waste your money, your advertisement campaign needs careful planning. You will have to find out who you would like to reach (based on your target audience or a retargeting strategy), you will have to decide what you are going to offer in your ads and you will have to carefully build this phase into both your digital marketing and social media strategy (phase 1) and your online sales funnel (phase 3).

For example: Are you using your ads to offer a discount or a direct deal to your leads? Or are you still in an earlier stage, promoting your business to a general target audience to grow brand awareness before offering something? 

Phase 3: Online Sales Funnel 

As we already explained in the first two phases of our framework, all our marketing efforts need to be tied together in one system. A system that designs the path that a customer will take, from the first time they hear about a brand until the moment they are loyal customers. 

‘Randomly’ using social media management and ‘randomly’ spending money on social media advertising might help, but you will never know the exact impact of your work. It will be hard to measure where your results come from, and you won’t be able to guide customers to your product consciously. 

To be able to streamline your work and have control over the customer journey, we use a few incredible online sales funnel tools. 

What is a sales funnel? 

A little while ago, we already wrote a blog about sales funnels. We looked at the stages of a traditional sales funnel and discussed if - and in which form - the traditional sales funnel is still valid.

To summarize briefly, a sales funnel is ‘a planned route that marketers want potential customers to take, from the first time they hear a company's name until the moment they turn into loyal fans’. 

The funnel can come in different forms and shapes, but in general, it starts with a large number of people (the wide part of the funnel) who hear about a business for the very first time. Slowly, along the funnel, some of them start to show signs of interest. For example, a percentage of them decides to click on a blog link. After that, an even smaller percentage decides to sign up for a newsletter, and a few of the newsletter readers buys the product that is offered in this letter. Of course, this is a very simple example, but it probably gives you an idea of the way a funnel works. 

Sales funnel tools 

Although it is possible to design and manage a funnel manually, there are amazing tools available that can help us design one online. The right tool will allow you to map out your funnel and will automatically guide your customers through it. People will, for instance, see a sign-up form at the right time, they will receive an email offer at the right time, etc.

The tool we like to use to build our sales funnels is called Kartra. We chose Kartra because the functionalities are great and it includes absolutely everything we need to build your digital marketing automated machine. Think of landing page building, email marketing, customer service tools, and way more. This will save you a lot of time and money since your entire marketing ‘system’ is covered in one system.

The below image shows an example of a Kartra funnel. As you can see, the order of contact points with customers is determined, and every page can be designed separately.

automate your marketing campaign

However, there is one thing that Kartra can’t do, and that is adding a financial calculation to your funnel. Of course, building a funnel and going through our 3-phases Digital Marketing Framework® is great, but it is an investment. Therefore, we think it is really important to be able to calculate exactly what a funnel would cost and what the result in revenue would be. This gives a sense of security, knowing that the investment will be worth it. 

For this calculation, we use the tool Geru. Geru allows us to pre-design a funnel (which we set up in Kartra later) and predict what will happen with the potential customers going through this funnel. For instance, which percentage will open an email? How many people will sign up for a free trial? Per person going through each stage, you can add the estimated costs and - in the end - you can add the income through your expected number of sales. All these details will result in the estimated revenue you can expect from your new funnel. 

Are you interested in working with us? 

We are incredibly excited about the 3-phases Digital Marketing Framework® we have developed and have been booking excellent results so far. 

Are you interested in learning more about what we do? Or would you like to find out how we can help your business grow? Just contact us for a FREE strategy call so that we can look into the possibilities for your business. 

Are you interested in learning more about social media, then our Social Media Gids Community may be a great place for you. Here you can find many helpful resources and join the conversation with other students and experts. Our FREE e-books and our Social Marketing class, for instance, are very popular among our community members.

Want to post a comment? Join the conversation in our community.

  • Blogger: Francisca Zimmermann
  • E-mail: [email protected]
  • Social media manager & content creator at Social Media Gids
  • Francisca Zimmermann is a social media expert with a background in research and a love for learning new things. She travels the world looking for beautiful places and interesting cultures, while she dives into the world of her clients to be able to write about them and their interests as a real 'insider'.
  • Other blog articles of Francisca Zimmermann