Time to read: 2 minutes. Most content marketing speakers, social media experts or social selling speakers are proclaiming, “engaging content drives sales.” But in reality even the most engaging blogs, YouTube videos, Facebook updates, LinkedIn discussions and other forms of content marketing fail to produce leads and sales. For most businesses, engaging customers creates profitless prosperity—impressive marketing statistics that don’t ultimately, directly help generate leads and sales. The businesses who DO create leads and sales using social selling know something the rest of us don’t.
Most of us are failing to sell with engaging social media because we’re building our content marketing on an outdated foundation. We’re clinging to mass media advertising ideas and values. Rather, we should be exploiting direct response marketing tactics. This is the secret sauce, the untold truth that top social sellers realize and act on. It’s how they are making social media sell for them.
Why do so many of us pursue getting “Liked” on Facebook or followed on Twitter? Because of this single idea: getting lots of customers’ attention (reach) over and over (frequency) is enough to earn a sale… somehow, sometime. You know… this is how advertising works. Now I’m not saying attention doesn’t matter. It does. I’m simply saying it’s not enough. Stopping at earning customers fleeting attention is a sure-fire losing strategy online.
Today’s best social sellers do not believe for a minute that exposure to engaging content will result in a sale. They have no trust that it will produce a lead. Rather, they believe in, and execute on, carefully mixing in calls-to-action. The content they create solves customers problems or vividly demonstrates (proves… think “infomercial”) compelling experiences relating to their service.
The best way to sell on Facebook is to solve customers’ problems (yes “for free”) in ways that earn trust and ultimately help them navigate their way toward your paid products and services.
Don’t get sucked into the profitless prosperity black hole! When I speak to audiences I encourage them to think (and act!) in terms of direct response marketing when engaging with social media and content marketing. Ron Perlstien says, “Frequency is the benefit of success, not the key to success.” In other words, you can increase frequency when you generate sales revenue!
Photo credit Michael Holden
Jeff Molander is the authority on starting sales conversations online. He teaches a proven, effective and repeatable communications process to spark buyers curiosity about what you're selling. He's a sought-after sales prospecting trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe.
Jeff also serves as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.