3 Keys to Marketing Success
Understanding the natural stages of customer development
Marketing is all about sales, right?
Well, in a roundabout way, yes. But in a direct way, the answer is actually no.
Of course your marketing budget exists in order to build your business. We all want to attract new customers and entice our existing customers to make repeat sales.
But here’s the thing: in marketing there’s a whole new psychology behind what works and what doesn’t. Consumers are changing and the old ABC (always be closing) mentality doesn’t work anymore. When you pitch nothing but a hard sell, today’s market pulls away and becomes mistrustful of your brand.
Nowadays, traditional “sell sell sell” marketing efforts are actually being equated with “spam” in the public eye. People are becoming conditioned to ignore direct mail marketing, skip over print ads, and ignore TV and radio commercials.
People don’t like to be sold to!
They don’t want to be told what they want.
But they do like to be engaged.
You’ve got to understand today’s customers and speak to what they’re looking for. To do that, your marketing has to take a different approach.
The same consumers that pull away from heavy sales messaging are in fact building relationships with brands just like yours on social media. 80% of social network users connect with brands on social media and more than 60% of those people are more likely to seek out a product or service after seeing it on Social Media!*
So what’s the difference?
Brands just like yours that successfully build their businesses using social media understand that social media isn’t necessarily a direct a sales tool. It’s a communication platform where you can build a relationship with your existing and potential customers and build your brand’s visibility.
Brands that share fun, engaging, customized content on social networks generate 3 times more customers than traditional marketing. (And by the way, it actually costs 62% less, but that’s a subject for a different article.**)
Social media has humanized marketing. People now want to be able to relate to brands in more personal ways. Only the smallest part of your communications—10-20%—should be promotional messaging, and you need to pick your approach carefully. What people are really looking for is personable, funny, entertaining, or informative content.
Attracting your target customers via social media is really a 3 part process. These are the natural stages of social media customer development:
- Get to know your followers. Connect with them to understand them, and give them a chance to get to know you.
- Use the social relationship to build trust with your audience. By engaging with them, you embed yourself in their consciousness.
- Ultimately, make more indirect sales because your customers will remember you as a result of the ongoing, trusting relationship that you’ve established.
People choose to do business based on trust. We’ve always trusted the word of mouth suggestions that our friends, colleagues, and family make—but now word of mouth spreads much more expansively across social media.
And you know what?
People trust the internet.
People check websites, reviews, and social media profiles before making their buying decisions. They check out your website to see what your business is all about. They read Yelp, Google, and Trip Advisor reviews. They make their buying choices based on how your brand measures up.
Think about it – 8 out of 10 people are connecting with brands on social media, and the people who connect with you on social media are 60% more likely to become your customers than those who don’t connect with you!***
Social media is powerful!
By nurturing social media relationships, you can not only maintain, but develop both short-term and long-term sales. To do it right, your social media needs to be approachable, engaging, and impactful. Your would-be customers want you to give them a reason to take notice.
Your messaging needs to be clear, everything needs to be reinforced with enticing visuals, and the content should give your followers some value. That value might be informative or entertaining, but not particularly “salesy”.
A streamlined marketing effort that includes an impactful social media dialogue reinforced by strong visuals and clear messaging helps to build a trusting relationship with your would-be customers. That’s how today’s customers make informed buying decisions.
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