Influencing prospects before they enter the sales funnel

 

If the brand is not participating in social media, it’s at a disadvantage

If the brand is not participating in social media, it’s at a disadvantage

Social media content can influence business-to-business purchasing decisions

Up to 70% of prospects entering the sales funnel have already conducted online research and have formed a perception of the brand based on social media content. Because of this, if the brand is not participating in social media, it’s at a disadvantage.

Prospects entering the sales funnel are in search of information that will lead them to a purchasing decision. Whether the sale is transactional for a component or material needed immediately to make their product, or a considered purchase that has many influencers and a long sales time, prospects are relying more and more on peer reviews and social media engagement to finalize their purchasing decision.

People-to-people marketing – honing the brand’s key messages

Before launching into a social media marketing effort, it’s vitally important to establish the brand’s value proposition and be able to articulate it in terms that are meaningful to the prospect. Content that is purely a laundry list of service offerings fails to differentiate from the competition and leads to abandonment by the prospect or strictly a purchase based on lowest price.

Gaining the prospect’s attention requires identifying the prospect’s problems and creating empathy with the prospect. Once this emotional connection is established, then a solution can be offered that is relevant and distinct to the brand.

The social media platform ecosphere

Connecting with and influencing prospects on social media platforms requires a sustained effort spearheaded by content that supports the brand’s key messaging.

Each of the big four channels – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – has a particular strength. Business-to-business marketers are more inclined to use LinkedIn because of numerous industry groups in which to participate. LinkedIn also offers the ability to network with industry peers and establish connections with decision makers that have purchasing authority.

Twitter can be very useful but requires a content library to constantly feed updates. One of the advantages to using Twitter is that posts can be automated through third party platforms allowing for control of posting frequency. Twitter also provides immediacy when posting for events and is an easy way to connect the industry influencers.

Influencing prospects before they enter the sales funnel requires a concerted effort to develop and post authoritative content consistently. Abandoning social media channels sends a signal to the prospect that the brand either has underestimated the resources needed or was not serious about social engagement from the get-go.

Additional articles you may find of interest on this topic:

Content development for aviation marketers is a communal affair

How to build a connected brand

Designing a social marketing strategy for Aviation Marketing

Please leave your comments or thoughts below.

Copyright: olivier26 / 123RF Stock Photo

Do your customers suffer from “E-fluenza”?

Blog_103_400px_17367325_l

Too much digital messaging drives us to distraction

Everyday the pipeline of digital messaging is expanding. And because of this, our ability to take in, absorb and comprehend is becoming less and less.

E-mail, text, social network advertising, CRM software, and websites are increasingly shouting to be heard above a sea of keyword flotsam and search terms.

What can marketers do to improve their digital messaging?

Simplify your message

Clarity of thought drives consistent messaging. Formulate your value proposition and concentrate on what you do well. If the reader has to think too much, odds are you will lose their attention. One test for simplifying your messaging – have a teenager read your website home page, then ask them what your company does.

Design for humans, not for bots and crawlers

Some web analysts claim that up to 65% of web traffic are bots and crawlers reporting back to search engines. That leaves 35% for human consumption. Humans are drawn to good design and content that connects on an emotional level. Highly visual websites that use strong imagery can convey more emotional connection than text-heavy analytical sites.

Understand your customer’s decision-making process

Arrange content in a natural flow that identifies customers’ concerns and problems, allowing customers to contemplate your solution through a linear progression of small steps. Using this approach builds customer confidence in your solution and reinforces their decision that your approach is best. Provide case studies, user reviews, and technical literature along the way as needed to confirm their decision. Consider providing a redeemable coupon to enhance the purchasing experience.

Build the relationship

There has to be a human connection to sustain a relationship. If not, then the purchasing decision is relegated to the lowest price to achieve the desired results. Improve brand consideration by communicating the brand story through thoughts and actions that resonate with the customer. Influence the purchasing decision by aligning with causes that benefit the industry as a whole.

The purchasing decision is a series of small steps, so make the steps easy and communicate in real terms, not industry jargon. Remember that no one wants to be sold to. The only one that receives any emotional benefit from that approach is the seller. Instead, assume the role of trusted advisor or consultant, enabling the purchaser to make their own decision based on the features, benefits, and solution that best fulfills their needs.

Simplifying your digital messaging and appealing to customers’ emotional needs is a sure cure for their “E-fluenza,” replacing their confusion with your solution.

Additional articles you may find of interest on this topic:

The Precarious State of Advertising & Marketing

Social media content strategy

RESPECT the customer

Please leave your comments or thoughts below.

Copyright: kozzi / 123RF Stock Photo

Aviation Marketing: Why marketing fundamentals are important in social media marketing

Airline Social Media Scorecard

Point-of-view marketing through social media can very effective when supported with proper brand positioning.

Successful aviation brands at their core hold a philosophy about how they will conduct their business, treat their employees and customers, and contribute to the betterment of the aviation industry. In social media terms, this is the brand’s point-of-view.

Just as the brand’s point–of-view provides a rich area for social engagement, aviation marketers must identify the brand’s value proposition and unique selling proposition (USP) to create a sustainable, healthy brand.  For aviation marketers this represents a convergence between brand positioning, product & service attribute/benefits, and brand beliefs and philosophy.

Value Proposition – The benefit your product or service delivers to your customers. The value proposition is the fundamental positioning of where your product or service sits on the spectrum of customer needs. In analog terms, it’s the 60-second elevator speech that explains your company’s offering.

Value proposition positioning:

  • Quality leader – brands that set the quality standard for that business segment
  • Low cost producer – brands that demonstrate best quality-to-price ratio
  • Service leader – brands that provide the longest warranty or most desirable return policies

Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – A description of your product or service that differentiates it in a way that will make customers prefer and purchase your brand over the competition.

Unique Selling Propositions are based on attributes and benefits of your product or service that set it apart from the competition. Examples include:

  • Small size – uses less cockpit real estate
  • Lightweight – fuel efficient
  • Solid state technology – reliable
  • Delivered on time – meets your production schedule
  • AOG service capability – global service centers

Point-Of-View Marketing

Point-of-view marketing is about communicating your brand story. This is important in social media because it invites engagement, opening dialog between your brand, customers, and prospects.

Point-of-view is about what your brand believes and your philosophy on how a market should best be served. An ideal document to lay the foundation for point-of-view marketing is your company’s mission statement.

Point-of-view marketing can take many forms. These may include:

  • Social causes – Veterans Airlift command
  • Environment – biofuel, sustainability, green building practices
  • Product design – aesthetically pleasing, recycled materials
  • Integration – open source code compatibility
  • Simplicity – intuitive use sans complexity
  • Best-in-class – we produce one product and do it well

Interesting point-of-view marketing can drive social engagement. However, one should take into account that brand authenticity and a differentiated, unique selling proposition form the foundation for a brand’s success in the battle for brand supremacy.

photo credit: Mark Fidelman via photo pin cc