When you think of social selling, you think of content. But what sales teams should always bear in mind is their audience. The sales funnel is made up of numerous touch points. So regardless of the quality of content, if it’s not used at the right moment, it risks falling on deaf ears. Here are some examples of what to share and when.
When audiences are new to your brand, your primary goal should be to educate and inspire. The content you share needs to be attention-grabbing, intriguing and engaging. Examples include storytelling that showcases existing customers’ experiences of the brand, and that sparks curiosity among new audiences, or digestible industry insights such as blogs and infographics. In other words, content that gets audiences thinking and drives interest in the value your company has to offer.
Middle of the Road
Once leads have been identified, they need to be nurtured by more in-depth content that gets into the nitty gritty, such as white papers. At this stage it’s also important to share content that sets your brand apart from competitors, as many prospects will be making their own comparisons. For this reason, employee-oriented content can play a key role at this point. Content that demonstrates how different teams innovate and what specific employees have achieved allows prospects to see how your company is unique. And the more prospects know about how a brand ticks, the more likely they are to choose that brand over others.
The Home Stretch
Just because prospects are near the end of the sales funnel doesn’t mean they’re easy to win over. As you reach a stage where you’re offering demos, quotes and free trials, this is where content such as case studies and testimonials comes in – content that allows prospects to see what you have done for others, and therefore imagine what you can do for them. By now, your audience will expect you to understand their specific needs, which is why providing content that is as personalized as possible is incredibly important.
Of course, content provision shouldn’t stop as soon as a deal is done. On the contrary, it’s important to continue sharing with customers, not least because they are often the people who will recommend your company to others. At this stage, you should even invite them to submit user-generated content, in order to build a two-way relationship that makes them feel valued and allows you to use their insights to enrich your marketing activity. When you invite and promote customers’ feedback, you maintain their trust by demonstrating that you value their loyalty.
While it’s true that customers call the shots on social media, they buyer’s journey is not one that sales teams can’t influence. On the contrary, when the right approach is taken and social sellers understand how to approach prospects at different stages, they can play an active role in guiding audiences towards informed purchasing decisions.