For the longest time, cold calling as well as door-to-door selling have been the main strategies marketing and sales professionals have been using in order to find new clients and close their deals. However, with these traditional techniques it will most likely take longer to close your sales since rapport and trust between you and your customers is not something that can be built overnight. And that is why you may want to consider social selling.
So what exactly is social selling? You use platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, just to name a few, to get, connect with, understand, as well as nurture your sales prospects. Social selling is a modern way of developing meaningful relationships with your potential customers, who will ultimately keep you and/or your brand in their minds. You will become their first point of contact anytime they need the kinds of products or services you offer. Some of the reasons you should consider social selling for your business:
1. Build Real Relationships With Your Customers
The fact is, most people dislike cold calling. Up to 90% of top decision makers never respond to cold calls. By using social tools, your sales team is able to listen in on conversations that are relevant to your specific industry. You can position yourself as a thought leader and contribute to discussions relevant to your business. This practice will enable your sales team to more easily identify new leads - people who are currently talking about your kind of business, your industry or your competitors on social media. You can then reach out to potential new customers with relevant information on how you could meet their needs, or alleviate their pain with your solutions at the right time.
2. Build Brand Awareness
If you want to significantly grow the awareness about your brand among potential customers, social selling is a powerful tool for you. Skim through relevant conversations concerning your products, service or industry. Create meaningful conversations, build authority, increase engagement and ultimately boost brand awareness by sharing real value.
3. Increase Your Sales
The ultimate goal of social selling is to drive new sales and increase customer loyalty. Finding the lead is only the beginning of the process, converting it into a sale is the next step. Through effective social media engagement, you can convince your potential customers of the added value and the advantage your solutions have over similar ones on the market. Positive reviews from other satisfied customers will also boost your credibility and encourage other customers to try you out.
Final verdict: it is important that you do not confuse social selling with social media marketing. Unlike social media marketing, which mostly broadcasts sales messages or advertisements to just about anyone on social media platforms, social selling usually involves one-on-one interactions between the sales person and their prospects. If social selling is implemented correctly, it will improve your relationships with your customers, existing and new, and help establish greater brand awareness and increased sales.
You may be worried that you don't have enough time or resources to commit to a full content marketing ‘action plan’. But don’t let that put you off! A great first step on your content marketing journey is to start writing solid blog articles for your site.
Effective content marketing can take many forms. One thing for sure, it doesn’t require you to break the bank. Even committing to a weekly blog can be a good start, and that’s not very time and money consuming. Blogs are a good start, as they’re quick, easy, cheap and effective at creating interest. So how do I write a good blog post?
1. Three words: hook your reader
Often when writing, the hardest part is managing to spit out those first few sentences. They take the most time, and that’s because they’re the most important. You have an optimal amount of time, no more than a few seconds, to sell your article to the reader. If you don’t hook them, they’ll go somewhere else. There’s plenty more content in the sea!
Think originally when planning your opening salvo. How about a question to spark the reader’s curiosity? A shocking statistic? A thought-provoking quote? Whatever it is, it should make the reader want to finish your article.
2. The KISS Principle
The KISS principle? What’s that? Keep It Simple, Stupid! This basically means that you should make the article as easy to read as possible. Keep the meat and get rid of the fat. Use short sentences. Try and keep your language simple and precise. Similarly, it’s usually not a good idea to try and sound smart, when you could have used a shorter word in its place.
Another key characteristic of a captivating blog post is that the paragraphs are short, and the article is split up with subheadings or a list of some sort. Why do we see so many articles that are based on a list of 3, 5 or 6 items? Put simply, people like it and it’s much easier to read quickly. Whenever I check my analytics, a clear story emerges. The posts in list-format get far more clicks.
3. Calls to action are everything
You might have the most beautifully written blog post in the world, but without calls to action it’s worthless for content marketers. The reader has just read your article. Well-written. Check. Good structure and grammar. Check. Unique, captivating and engaging. Check. But, what does the reader do now? They’ve been infected with your enthusiasm, but they need a next step.
You don’t need to sell them your product at this stage, although you could try. More commonly, you could try and funnel them to another page or get their all-important contact details. Better copywriting makes better calls to action, which in turn leads to better conversion.
Well, there you go. Follow these three tips and your blog posts will be well on their way to being captivating, engaging and effective. It’s really as simple as that. Blog posts can act as the core of your content marketing, or merely a foundation to build on later. Either way, it’s a great start.