We don’t like sales. It’s become a word, and practice, that we all dread. The proof of that lies in our need to fast forward through commercials, hang ‘No Soliciting’ on our doors, throw out our junk mail, and set up spam / ad blockers everywhere. As a small business, how do you cut through all the noise so that your audience can find you and connect with what you have to offer? How do you share the value of what you do without being salesy or spammy?
We currently exist in an economy where people make their purchasing decisions based, not on a clever sales pitch, but on trust and emotion. Our instincts are a major factor when it comes time to open our pocketbooks.
Branding…. Referral marketing… Relationship Marketing… Client Appreciation… Influencer Marketing… it’s all about establishing one thing. Trust.
Social media marketing doesn’t exist as a sales function or a conversion tool. It’s a means to attract attention, keep you top of mind with your audience, and to communicate your brand messaging. People don’t use social media because they want companies to sell to them - it’s a personal experience, a way of consuming media, and a desire to connect with other people.
Anyone telling you that social media is about increasing sales is more concerned about their bottom line than about creating content that establishes connections between you and your ideal clients. The reason that social media marketing is so effective is because the audience is there, ripe for the picking. If you can create content that inspires, educates, entertains, motivates or otherwise moves viewers, then you can start building a know, like and trust relationship with your target audience.
Know. Like. Trust.
If you relate establishing trust to a sales funnel, getting to Know you is the top of the funnel where awareness resides. This is where your prospects hang out. At this level, you are just trying to grab their attention with content that motivates them to find out more about you.
As they move into the middle of the funnel, they begin to show interest in what you are sharing and interact with you occasionally. They become part of your audience and following because they Like what you are sharing and what you have to say.
To convert your audience into consumers or clients, they need to hit the bottom of the funnel, they have to Trust you. This is why the know, like, trust concept persists in content and social media marketing.
“People share, read and engage more with any type of content when it’s seen from a brand or friend they already know and trust.”
— Kurt Uhlir
When it’s time to size up a business and make the decision of whether or not to sign up or buy, our emotional state takes over. Even when we aren’t being impulsive, our brains evaluate our feelings and past experiences experiences before coming to a conclusion. A company’s personality, background, purpose and storytelling make a far greater impact on potential consumers than most business owners realize.
According to Inc.com, all of our buying choices come from one of these 6 emotions: greed (instant gratification or reward), fear (scarcity or lost opportunity), altruism (it’ll help others), envy (beating the competition), pride (this will make me look good) or shame (I don’t want to be the only one missing out).
Understanding the space where your audience is impacted emotionally will allow you to create content that, not only grabs their attention, but appeals to their emotional state.
“Buying decisions are always the result of a change in the customer's emotional state. While information may help change that emotional state, it's the emotion that's important, not the information.”
Why Content Marketing?
Why do you need to invest in good, quality content? Not only will it build your know, like and trust efforts, great content will evoke an emotional response from your audience. Here are some other reasons you should invest in creating content:
- Enhances your online presence and online reputation.
- Establishes you as an expert (or influencer) in your field or industry.
- Attracts new traffic and keeps current followers engaged.
- Encourages a sense of community and builds brand advocacy.
- Organically benefits and boosts your search engine optimization.
- Can be repurposed to create or enhance other marketing or sales efforts.
- Establishes a strong brand identity.
It’s a hike up a mountain not a sprint to the mailbox. Your content marketing efforts will not produce overnight results. Those who stick with a clear, concise, and consistent content marketing strategy will find that, over time, they achieve greater organic reach, their online presence expands, their reputation grows, and their audience keeps getting bigger and more involved.
As a small business owner, creating, promoting, repurposing and curating content can be a massive undertaking. Who has the time to do all of this behind-the-scenes work WHILE growing your business and over-delivering on your projects? There’s a finite amount of productive time each day, do you really want to be using it doing something outside of your strengths and skillsets? Let Marvel Marketing Squad show you how to #BeSuper with your online marketing and content.