Social marketing can build relationships during the extended sales cycle.
Today, a few innovative aviation marketers are using social marketing to extend the engagement with key constituents during the sales cycle. Relationship driven, people-to-people marketing is generating brand awareness, highlighting thought leadership, and humanizing the brand.
Why is the correct social marketing strategy important?
Because 90% of buyers start their search for a product or service via a search engine, not a company website, it is imperative that marketers understand to whom they are selling and where they congregate.
In addition, social marketing has a lot of moving parts. Marketers are simultaneously engaging new customers, nurturing those further along in the sales cycle, and rewarding those that have purchased and are now brand advocates.
Creating relevant content that focuses on the purchaser’s corporate pain points requires multiple campaigns based on the sales cycle. Depending on whether the audience is an influencer or purchaser, content needs to be developed for each, addressing their concerns.
How to extend the engagement
The biggest mistake marketers make is not paying attention to the landing page. Simply making an offer for authoritative information and then linking to the corporate website is a sure fire way to end interest and engagement. Marketers should create specific landing pages for each offer, reinforcing the offer and asking the viewer to share a modest amount of information in return for the desired content.
In essence, the landing page becomes the face of the brand, delivering on the brand promise.
Different audiences, different addresses
Through social marketing listening, marketers can determine where their audiences spend most of their time and where they are likely to make the purchasing decision. Younger engineers may spend their time on Facebook checking out events at an upcoming trade show, while senior executives may be more inclined to peruse a pay-per-click link on LinkedIn.
Social media channels should be tested to determine which will be the most effective and return the best results.
Segment but don’t alienate
Different social media channels offer different ways to segment their audiences. LinkedIn, for example, allows companies to target demographics by location, job title, age and gender. While this is important, don’t alienate those that see themselves as future key decision makers. Allow this group to participate by signing up for news updates or special invitations for future events.
Photo CC BY Flickr, photo credit Fdecomite