Consumers have evolved from the advertisement focused demographics of the early millennium. It’s no longer enough to serve ads that simply promote your product. People are demanding advertisements that entertain and help them solve problems.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. After all, media is changing and people right along with it. Instead of televised media, we’re now using social media. Consumers expect brands to take advantage of the new opportunities for building relationships.
To succeed in the new world of online advertising, businesses need to embrace relationship building and give people what they want. In other words, companies need content marketing.
Content marketing provides written or visual content that entertains, informs, and helps build a repertoire with consumers. Businesses have already taken notice of the strategy’s merits, with 88 percent of B2B marketers already utilizing content.
To see real success, your brand should leverage content into budding relationships that eventually send customers down your sales funnel.
Traditional advertisements, even across social media, focus on selling your product. These ads are important, but they don’t fit well with content marketing. However, social media ads in particular can co-exist with a content strategy.
Instead of advertising for your product, advertise your content on social media. Start with media that solves a specific problem. Think about issues customers in your niche face, and then solve them with your content.
Next, create a social advertising campaign that links back to this content. Consumers who see your advertised content get pushed into the awareness phase of your buying funnel. Once you’ve captured their interest, you can then start building a long lasting relationship.
The next step in leveraging social selling into a stronger sales funnel is remarketing your customers. Harness your new social media generated awareness and start retargeting consumers.
Building your remarketing funnel focuses on advertising to people that followed your social ads back to your content. For instance, someone who linked from Facebook to your website will see your ads across other platforms.
This makes an effective way to move people from the awareness phase into the consideration/decision phase.
The idea is for people to see your advertisement when they’re on the fence about making a purchase. Your remarketing advertisements push people into thinking of your brand before the competition.
How you decide to go about your remarketing depends largely on your budget and overall content strategy. Google Adwords and Facebook offer the best remarketing tools for most businesses.
Adwords targets a broad spectrum of users, while Facebook helps continue targeting customers who’ve already responded to your content-centric ads.
Now that your consumers are in both the awareness phase and consideration phases, the next step is closing your sales and boosting your conversion rate.
Consumers who’ve started accessing your content and moving down the sales funnel are ripe for targeting with email marketing. Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is still an effective way to reach customers.
Email actually has a higher conversion rate (66 percent) than social media messages and direct mail.
Set up your retargeting campaign and social media marketing so that consumers are led to landing pages with email sign ups. Offer content incentives to collect email addresses, and then use those emails to send promotions that close sales.
People linking from your remarketing advertisements especially, are already interested in your product and susceptible to email marketing campaigns.
Potential customers at every level of your sales funnel are still just that; potential customers. Companies need to offer incentives to build brand loyalty.
Repeat consumers actually cost less than new acquisitions, and are more likely to make additional purchases. The final step in your social selling sales funnel strategy is recycling people through the funnel.
To keep customers interested it’s easiest to once again utilize social media. Continue sharing content with your customers across social media to ensure your brand awareness stays high.
Email marketing also works well to retain customers. Don’t focus all of your emails on selling your product. Consider offering unique content and discounts to consumers who’ve already made a purchase.
Content marketing over social media helps move customers down your sales funnel by creating interest, showing value, and rekindling interest in the long-term.
Social media ads for your content increase awareness, which in turn allows for remarketing for product consideration. Which then leads to direct email marketing opportunities and finally sales.
With the right strategy, social media selling takes potential consumers and turns them into repeat buyers.