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Social media creates traffic, but inbound marketing makes the sale

Reading a recent article on “the Top 10 Social Media Marketing questions from Business Leaders”, the vast majority were still around the general area of “What do I do with it?”.

Yet there seems to be a wonderful optimism in marketing that you complete your full set of social media sites and the cash starts rolling in. 

It’s like the Simpsons’ episode when Homer starts an internet business – a prospect comes in wanting help and Homer pauses a moment and says “Can I have some money now?”.

So we spend some time and money on social media marketing then we pause… we pause… and wait…

Someone described this expectation of leaping from social media to new business as like taking a girl on a date (setting up my social sites) and then asking her to marry you at the next meeting (business closed).  No! There are many steps to go through to take your new friends you have on social sites to life-long customers.

So what are the steps that marketing teams are trying to skip over?

Essentially, the steps are about taking the traffic that your social media sites have worked hard to generate and drawing them into the very top of the sales funnel. So a more sophisticated approach than:

“Are you alive Mr Prospect?”
“Yes, I am thank you.”
“Do you want to buy 2 for 1?”  

This is very anti-social media marketing!

At the top of the sales funnel you are providing useful information.

To use one of my common examples, if you sell household paint, you supply a really easy to read guide on “what paint for which job”.  Whoever searches for that – finding it on your website or social media site – now enters a couple of details (not a half page contact form!) and their email to get to the download. Remember, what you have is of value and, if you have presented it well, an interested prospect will want it.

As the prospect travels to the middle of the sales funnel, it is now time to get a bit more specific about what you have and some proof points as to why you would be considered. Keeping to my example, we are now offering some material that explains why our paint is well particularly well-suited to the job in mind, how you apply it, and why it is different to others on offer.

So, we now have someone who searched for “tips for choosing household paints” and found our social site or blog, who has now downloaded our specially prepared guide and a brochure on products of interest.

Does this strike you as being a self-declared and qualified prospect? It does to me! I think we can term this a marketing qualified lead.

So now drop this prospect, who has moved to the end of the sales funnel, a couple of nice lead nurturing emails over the next few days with a suitable offer to encourage a purchase. What do you think the close rate is going to be on this opportunity, compared with sending a “special offer” to everyone who has ever visited your website or a social media page? Quite a bit better!

The methodology we have followed is “inbound marketing”. It fills the gap between generating traffic and finding new business. All we have done through the whole process is to use relevant and timely content to draw people towards our organisation and its products or services. We haven’t had to send tens of thousands of emails hoping that a few will be interested now – and knowing that the vast majority won’t.

If you feel there is a step missing and that your social media marketing is not creating the business you were expecting, or;

your emailing and website is not contributing enough…

…let us come and do a briefing with you and see how you would benefit from inbound marketing.

Get in touch for inbound help