Using social media can be extremely beneficial to you and your company. However, it can be challenging, time consuming, frustrating and disappointing if you do not have an actual implementation strategy.
There are seven questions I like to ask a small business owner before they embark on their social media you journey. They provide the opportunity to think about the path you want to take and what you are hoping to accomplish for your efforts. They also lead the way to providing you with a level of success if addressed properly.
- Do you have a content marketing strategy that is clearly documented? If you don’t, then you may be missing the majority of your opportunities to increase your revenue through this method.
2. Do you have different content for each stage of the Buyer’s Journey? You can think of it this way: The Buyer’s Journey is a “map” that helps you understand the “journey” that a buyer goes through before they make a purchase. There are 3 main stages: Benefits of Ownership, Objections to Ownership, and Vendor Selection.
Each stage of the journey requires a different marketing and sales approach, and therefore, a different social media approach.
In the Benefits of Ownership (sometimes referred to as Awareness) stage, a prospect has a specific need but is unaware of your company and the benefits you provide to meet their need. In this phase, you’ll want to lean heavily on educational content.
In the Objections to Ownership (Consideration) stage, the prospect is now aware of your presence and the benefits you offer, but various objections now enter the picture such as price, selection, timing of the purchase, financing, etc. You’ll want to overcome these objections through the use of marketing material such as expert courses, eBooks, case studies, live demos, comparison white papers, webinars, and videos.
In the Vendor Selection (Decision) stage, the prospect is trying to decide between you and your competitors. The number one way to compel a prospect to contact you is through a compelling CTA (Call to Action). Use testimonials, trial offers, comparisons against competitors, free reports, Idea Guides, and possibly coupons or discounts when appropriate.
- To what extent does your content target the hot button issues of your prospects? “Hot buttons” are essential to understand how to grow a business. They are the key considerations that customers think about when they process whether or not they should buy your product or service. Here are some examples of hot buttons:
For a mechanic, the hot button issue is trust.
For a coach or consultant, the hot button issue is results.
For a pizza delivery company, the hot button issue is speed.
For an auto parts supply company, the hot button issue is having a broad selection.
- Can you describe your sales cycle? What’s the usual Buyer’s Journey? You’ll not only want to understand the Benefits (Awareness), Objections (Consideration), and Vendor (Decision) stages, but also the typical timeframe for each stage.
- What are your goals for your content, besides making sales? You might think that’s all you need. However, when you see the possibilities, you’ll be so pleased that there’s always more that you can achieve. Perhaps you want:
- To be known as the source of innovative ideas.
- To have clients respect you at a deeper level.
- To become the trusted authority for your profession
- To be known as a business of the highest integrity.
- To be known as the experts in your industry.
- To get people to share your information and thereby generate referrals.
There are many other strategic objectives you might consider. The point is that if you’re not thinking this through, and deliberately building strategy into all your tactics, then your tactics will not maximize on the opportunity you are presented with. However, if you systematically build in 4 or 5 strategic objectives each time, your tactics work harder for you and you get massive influence.
- What are the hot button issues in your target market? What keeps your prospects awake at night? What problems, frustrations, questions and concerns keep coming up? If you aren’t sure what those are, you can ask your customers, your front line sales staff, your receptionist, and your
customer support division for their input. Finally,
- What’s your Market Dominating Position? A Market Dominating Position is basically a distinctive advantage targeting the hot buttons of your market. This is the foundational element of marketing. It’s the “position you take” that allows you to dominate the market so that your business is the natural or logical first choice for buyers. This will need to be clearly and carefully articulated in your content marketing assets.
You Can’t Do It All
What follows in this course are the exact steps you need to take to roll out an effective content marketing initiative for your business. Be aware that you won’t be able to do it by yourself. You’ll need help.
You’ll need to understand your approximate budget for a comprehensive content marketing initiative before you can decide how to move forward.
If you’re a small business on a limited budget, then a single individual with dedicated time might be able to tackle this for you. Alternately, a digital agency might help you.
If you’re a larger business, a small team of people might be necessary to be effective. You might need a Marketing Manager to oversee the project. You’ll also need a writer, an editor, a designer, and a publishing coordinator (aka Social Media Manager).
Yes, in a bigger business, one person could do 2 or 3 jobs, but certainly not all 5 jobs, or at least not effectively. It’s possible to outsource some of the roles, but there are still costs for production and design. You also need to take into account the time and expense that you’ll incur for testing ideas. All marketing involves testing, and some content promotions will outperform others, but you won’t know which ones work until you test.
In this course, you’ll learn the exact questions you need to ask, in the right order, to both find the breakthroughs and the actions that need to be taken.
You’ll learn the steps to perfect implementation.
You’ll be able to create a plan that will actually bring you results.
And if you’re not able to do the work yourself, you’ll have the necessary knowledge to hold others accountable. Talk to your business coach about whether this information is right for you and your business. If you’re going to ask your business coach to help you implement a winning social media program, you’ll now have a playbook so everyone can remain on the right track.