As retailers we use all forms of social media to attract new customers to our pages, but do you know what you’re going to do with them when they get there?
Do you have a strategy in place for your sales and marketing pipeline?
Many retailers say that they wish they had a way to attract more people to their pages and groups, but there’s no real cohesive plan about what they’re going to do with these visitors once they get them there. Figuring that out is usually the responsibility of an agency or an advertising consultant – but fortunately, with a strong plan in place, and a willingness to learn and apply these concepts, you don’t need either of those.
Let’s start with understanding what steps does a customer go through in your sales funnel (not to be confused with your social media funnel). The sales funnel is the process that a customer goes through from initial contact to becoming a customer and beyond.
- Awareness: New Customer Outreach
- Interest: Keeping them engaged
- Decision & Action: Getting them to shop
- Re-Evaluation: Satisfying their expectations for the product and service
- Re-Purchase: Loyal customer
We will cover these over 3 separate blog posts. For today we will focus on Awareness and Interest!
Awareness: New Customers Outreach
When you first started in direct sales you were all fired up, calling all your friends, family, anyone whose phone number you had or you knew on Facebook, and you asked them to host a party, shop with you, refer a friend, or any number of other activities that resulted in new connections. You created awareness around your brand simply by talking about it and sharing it with everyone you knew.
After you had tapped out your immediate market, you moved on to vendor events and you noticed that at this point, more people said no than said yes. This has a demoralizing impact which causes most direct sellers to retreat and do less outreach in person. But since you still need to get out there, this is when you start using social media more actively in your business. What is changing a bit now is that many people are skipping their warm network altogether and diving straight into the social media awareness strategy.
That said, even with this additional tool in your kit, the biggest struggle facing any direct seller is consistency. The lack of consistency undermines the trust that your followers have in you, negatively impacts how the algorithm teats you, which is what creates in unpredictable results.
There is no word, there’s no magic formula, no silver bullet that will help to create awareness in a market that has never heard of your product before, or maintain the interest of your current customer base. It’s a simple formula.
Conclusion: Consistency brings results.
ROI: The rate of return on the awareness/interest outreach will depend entirely on how well you know your target customer and are able to frame your content to attract them.
Of all the people your marketing campaign reaches, there’s subset that is interested enough in your content to click through to your designated destination. At this point, whatever social media or external advertising you’ve done has achieved its desired goal, and now you need to keep their interest engaged.
There is no shortage of content for your target customer to consume, which means that in order for your content to make the short list, it needs to be professional, inspire trust, and provide value.
Once someone comes to your page or group, at that point it’s your content and product that will entice them to join and to keep them there. I was listening to a podcast the other day, and they said that one of the most common mistakes that small businesses make in regard to their marketing plan is that they expend time, energy, and resources on securing new customers – but aren’t sure what to do with them once they get there.
Direct Sellers have the same problem. We spend a lot of time in outreach and trying to get new eyes on the product but many retailers love their product so much and have so much faith in it that they believe that once they get the new eyes on what they sell, the product will sell itself.
Though this works for your initial outreach, and on customers who are already warmed up the idea of shopping from direct sellers, this tactic is not a winning strategy for a marketing campaign designed to entice and attract a cold market.
Conclusion: Keep your final destination active and commit to consistently posting meaningful, useful, and relevant content.
ROI: This depends on how well you know your target customer. The better you know them, the more capable you will be of providing them with content that is appealing to them, and your ROI will be high. If you put all your eggs in the advertising basket and neglect your group/page activity, then your ROI will be lower.
That’s it for today! This should give you a good idea of how to begin the customer acquisition process and what factors play into that. In my next post, we’ll go over how to overcome objections and convert community members to shoppers!