Social Media is coming of age. The relentless drive to automation of all things human and pressure on our time to get more done means there is less time for the traditional approaches for generating leads through human to human contact. Even networking is becoming more efficient as we try to have more conversations with more people in less time.
Social Media is where people can engage, can share ideas and collaborate. The younger generation now spend an incredible average 4.5 hours per day on social media. The eldest millennial is now in their mid-30s. This means consumer buying behaviour is rapidly changing in favour of digital channels.
Anecdotal evidence through working with my customers is that:
- Referrals are drying up from existing sources because we are interfacing organisations such as the likes of banks with machines. This means no human contact. There is no discussion around business related topics like you would have had in the past. I think this is the same with accountants and solicitors. This means accountants are getting less referrals through the banks.
- Over the years I have worked with a number of clients who have used professional telemarketing companies. There is evidence that these services are becoming less effective to the point that at the moment I don’t currently know of an effective telephone only appointment making service that I could recommend.
- It is getting harder to speak to a buyer or senior decision maker with more automated phone systems & Live Chat. This means that switchboard numbers are harder to find for cold calling.
- I do work with a lead generation company. I have helped them develop a hybrid business model which uses LinkedIn and the phone. They now successfully work with one of my clients to generate leads. We are currently working on a model that is purely LinkedIn based (download a free eBook here.)
- It is likely the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in May 2018 will mean that you won’t simply be able to buy a list and send out emails. This will force a number of companies to radically rethink how they generate their leads.
At the end of the day, you have two options. To do it yourself or get others to do it for you. This is the traditional “make” or “buy” decision that all business owners have to make.
We have successfully helped businesses to drive sales using digital marketing. This article takes you through the process we use and it starts with social media.
The diagram shows a prospect’s interest running up the side and time running along the bottom. The shaded area shows the various stages in your marketing funnel. The marketing funnel marks the stages for converting a visitor to being a customer.
The legend under the timeline shows the various approaches you can use to nurture them from prospect to customer. Note that this is a mixture of digital and traditional. Most business still require some traditional approaches in the overall conversion process.
Social Media (Content)
The Social Media channels are critical to the first stage of the funnel. You need to be where your customers are in order to be seen as the expert in your field, the solution to their problem or supply objects or experiences that they desire. Your content needs to be engaging and tell a story about how you help people. Interestingly there are now some smart 90 second videos on Facebook that tell a clever story about a product and its benefits and then take you to the purchase to buy it. It’s certainly an evolving area.
Landing Pages and Email Marketing
You design your social media so that it attracts visitors to your landing page with some valuable content, ebook, online training or a discount code. At this point you are looking to get their email address with permission to subsequently email them in the future. This is critical otherwise you will have no means of direct communication with the customer. You also need an email so that you can draw them down the funnel. With their email address you can demonstrate your expertise, educate and every third time advertise your product or service.
Web Site (Search Engine Optimisation & Pay Per Click Advertising)
Your web site should also be able to acquire visitors. It should be well optimised to be found on Google through using the technique of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Alternatively you could use paid advertising such as Google’s Adwords otherwise known as PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising).
Marketing Automation is sending out automated emails dependent on what the recipient does or doesn’t do. It is a whole webinar in itself but can be great at developing a prospect’s interest without human intervention. As technology develops and as our use of it develops then more companies will be designing email work flows which trigger the relevant emails dependent on what the recipient is likely to need. Quite a few companies are now using systems called Bots which mimic a human response.
Social Media – Lead generation
I have been using LinkedIn to generate leads for a many years. Recently, a lot more people are looking at how to connect with their prospects and customers using it. At the moment it can work well. However, you do need to get the message right and it’s not a blatant sell. You need to offer something in exchange or mutual benefit for people to connect with you. At KUB we continue to refine this process and are working with more clients to deliver this as a service.
Social Media Management
There are many companies out there but very few people seem to specialise in Social Media Management. Especially with a view to meeting the client’s business objectives. At KUB we have the creativity to be able to research, create and post content that is engaging but also have the analytics to ensure that activity and results are tracked so that we know what works and what doesn’t.