In the past, digital marketers would see each of their channels in silos and create strategies for each silo. Rarely did marketers build strategies across channels that take into consideration multiple touch points and attribution.
Smart marketers will have noticed a shift away from single touchpoint and attribution model to multiple touch points and attribution, requiring marketers to cultivate and nurture leads down the buying funnel using a variety of tactics.
The consumer buying process (also called the purchase- or sales funnel) normally looks something like this: customers recognize a problem, search for information on a solution to that problem, evaluate their alternatives, decide on the product or service that seems like their best bet, make the purchase, then evaluate their buying decision after the fact (this last step, crucial for companies hoping to do repeat business with their clients, is sadly often overlooked—even in conventional marketing).
As with any transaction, pushing buyers down the sales funnel requires traditional sales and negotiation skills, but there are simple hacks that can increase the effectiveness of the process.
Here are 5 easy things you can do right now to nudge customers closer to buying your products and services.
Send visitors to your content instead of a sales page
A lot of marketers overestimate the amount of direct influence social media will give them over buyers.
They hit prospective customers with a link to their purchase page during the first interaction, assuming that the magical power of the internet will somehow function in lieu of a relationship.
You know what that looks like to a customer who doesn’t know anything about you or your product? Spam.
Remember that customers are looking for information that helps them make informed decisions, not a bunch of aggressive pitches from strangers. The key word there is “strangers”—social media is all about building relationships, so help them develop a relationship with your company before you ask for their credit card details.
One great way to do this is by linking your paid social media ads to blogs or other third-party content without coming across as a blatant sales plug. You will creating a trusted relationship as you help them solve a problem or pain point. This, in turn, leads to social proof. If people see that others are interested in your brand, they’ll go out of their way to build relationships with you all on their own.
Capture their email addresses with a lead magnet
The concept of a lead magnet is extremely simple: you offer prospective buyers something they’ll find valuable, in exchange for their contact information. What many people don’t understand about lead magnets is that even the thing you’re “giving away” should be designed to move buyers towards a purchase.
If you’re selling software, for example, offer them a free trial—they’ll get a chance to see how wonderful your product is, and by the time the trial expires they’ll probably be too comfortable with it to be interested in evaluating other alternatives.
This strategy basically maximizes the chance of a buyer going straight for your product, and even if they don’t you can always market similar products to them in the future—after all, you have their contact information now, and you know they’re interested in the kind of product or service that you offer.
Adding them to your email marketing sales funnel, you can start by sending information to help solve their problems, then send them specific offers and incentives to purchase.
Add them to a remarketing funnel
Forget about the direct sales funnel from social media, and instead, use funny, cute, memorable content to get visitors to your website so you can add them to your remarketing audience. Even if they aren’t in the market for your product or service, if you catch them at the top of the funnel, you can slowly convert them with remarketing ads over time.
They’ll continue to see those ads as they navigate to other pages (such as Facebook)—giving you an excellent opportunity to continue pitching your brand to them long after they’ve left your page behind.
The trick here is in specificity: you don’t want all of your remarketing ads to be the same for each customer. Get as much information about your customers as possible, so that you can create remarketing campaigns that are customized and descriptive of where they are in the buying funnel.
Use an email autoresponder series
An email autoresponder series sends email to specific people in your contact list when certain events occur—you can program it to send messages when someone joins your mailing list, when they browse certain products on your page, leave items in their cart before checking out, or download information from elsewhere on your page.
This basically allows you to automate an entire relationship with each customer—any time they engage with your brand, they receive more information guiding them towards choosing your products or services.
Autoresponder series are an excellent way to move potential customers out of the evaluation process and into a purchasing decision. Once you’ve programmed your autoresponder series, most of the work is in using social media to lure them to your webpage for an email signup using the above methods.
Connect with your buyers at every stage
Social media gives you opportunities to reach prospective buyers no matter where they are in the consumer buying process.
Customers who don’t know they have a problem yet can be made aware through sharing videos that highlight the needs your product fulfills.
Customers looking for information can be guided via sponsored content to blogs that encourage them to get to know your brand.
Customers evaluating their options can be reeled in with a lead magnet, whereas customers who have made a decision but who haven’t purchased yet can be galvanized by a remarketing campaign.
Once a purchase has been made, a simple email from your autoresponder series can help you gain valuable feedback and increase your chances of repeat business. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to social selling—things like psychology and relationship building are all more or less constant. Just think about the technology at your fingertips, and how you can use it to explore these old ideas in fresh new ways.