In one of my recent Facebook lives, I discussed how to engage with your audience using valuable content. If you’d rather listen than read, I suggest you check out the video by clicking here: (LINK) Otherwise, keep scrolling!
Engaging with Valuable Content is Step 4 in creating your social selling strategy.
I think everyone is aware by now that I am in the process of writing my first book on social selling. In my book, I break down my strategy into 5 sections:
So, let's take a look at some of the ground rules of engaging with valuable content so we can break this down even further...
“Content marketing is marketing that provides free media-type content to customers in exchange for their attention.” Neil Patel.
Rule no. 1 – Do NOT be Self Serving
How do you know what your target market considers valuable?
Well, if you ask this question, you are not alone. In a 2016 study, 65% of marketers were challenged when it came to understanding which types of content are effective and which types aren’t.
In order to make content for your target market that they find valuable, you make it about THEM. Not about YOU. Take a look at their pain points and solve a problem they’re having. All of your content MUST provide some sort of value for your target market.
Today, 96% of the most successful content marketers agree their audience views their organization as a credible and trusted resource. They have accomplished this through providing relevant content to their readers.
In Step 3, Find the Right People, you worked on a deep understanding of your target market. So, you should already know what pain points they’re having that YOU can solve for them with your unique offering.
Today, we are going to cover meeting the right market with the right message in the right place at the right time on a consistent basis. Whew, can you say that fast without breathing? LOL.
Rule no. 2 – Know How to Reach Your Audience
Let’s get into it.
Who is it for?
If you want to ditch the old antiquated ways of cold calling and embrace today's art of social selling then today's information is for you. We are breaking this down to the basics.
What is valuable content?
The words on a page, or on your website, information, the text you type in a tweet, the hashtags you use on an Instagram post, all of this is content.
What makes it valuable?
That my dear friends, this is the crux of our training today…so let's talk about it.
The definition of value is like tasting a fine wine or buying a piece of art. It's specific to the person that's digesting the content. It’s specific to the person’s tastes and preferences. Information can be considered valuable by your readers when it is useful, educational, relevant, compelling, and or high-quality and impacts or influences their buying decision. One thing not to be left out is to always be genuine and authentic because that's how we roll.
Where do you use valuable content?
Where your customers are. Let me repeat that, you have taken the time to understand where your customers consume the information, you understand them and the problems you're solving and so you know the answer to this question. We talked about this in Step 3, Find the Right People.
You understand your target market, where they consume their information, and what platforms they are engaging with others in your niche, this is where you'll interact with your content.
Why is it important?
Valuable content is important because it can help you grow your business. Enough said!
Rule no. 3 – Be Consistent
When do I do it?
Let's revisit my chart from Step 2 when we were working on Defining Your Online Goals.
Understanding where your target market is in their buying decision is also understanding where they are in your sales process, funnel, pipeline. Whatever word resonates with you.
It’s imperative to remain consistent when providing valuable content. You don’t want to give valuable content from time to time and just run. You want to be present and continue the trend to prove to your target market that YOU are a thought-leader in your niche, and you are here to stay.
By remaining consistent, you build awareness around you and your brand. Awareness eventually becomes lead generation which then turns into conversions and sales. Your target market then adopts the value you’re providing and implements it as their own which helps you create those loyal raving fans you so desire.
Rule no. 4 – Provide Value Before You Ask for Anything
How aware are your leads that you exist? We are absolutely not selling in this phase. We are providing value before we are asking for anything.
We are letting your target market know what makes your brand unique, and what problem it is that you are able to solve. Expose your target audience to your brand content. You are looking for mental market share. Top of mind awareness.
Examples of awareness and educational content include (but are not limited to):
Step 2 – Consideration
By the time your prospective customers have reached the consideration stage, they have a more thorough understanding of their problem, pain or need. However, they have yet to identify solutions. Here you have captured their attention.
Rule no. 5 – Do NOT Guess, ASK What Pains Your Customer
In order to create valuable content, you have to cater to your target markets pain points by identifying what those pain points are and how your solution can solve them.
When learning what pain points your target market faces, do not guess. Ask them! You can do this by reaching out personally, creating different content to see what performs best, OR learn more about them by seeing what they are posting on a daily basis through various social channels.
Here’s some content suggestions to create in order to address those pain points (once you know what those pain points are) and help to solve them:
Rule no. 6 – Use Educational Content to Nurture Your Audience
3. Decision - When people enter the decision stage, they are ready to buy. At this level they are considered in the middle of your sales funnel. This is where prospective customers start eliminating solutions that aren’t a good fit.
They have determined their options in the consideration stage, and they are looking for information on why they should choose your brand.
In a HubSpot article, I read that, “Companies with refined middle-of-the-funnel engagement and lead management strategy see a 4–10 times higher response rate compared to generic email blasts and outreach. Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% lift in sales opportunities.”
This is where you finally get to talk about the benefits of your product or service. Your buyers are now qualified, well informed about their issue and thoroughly understand their needs, pains and their options for meeting it. You have entered the nurturing phase. Welcome. This is typically the longest part of the sales funnel. You are building relationships.
In my messaging, I use the words, KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST. In this phase, you are building TRUST.
They now want to know how you are going to back up the claims you are making and how you have done this for other clients like them. They want to know why you are the expert. You want to help people determine if they are a good fit for you or not.
Rule no. 7 – Create Quality Content
Quality content can come in a variety of forms. Some of the best, most high quality content can be like the examples listed below:
4. Acceptance –
Your buyer made it to the bottom of your funnel. Your buyer has committed to a solution. They are ready to buy.
How do you make sure they choose you?
This is where you create the contract, talk about on-boarding them, implementing your solution and what it looks like to begin service. They expect great customer service and performance from your product or service from beginning to end.
Now is the time when your customer is looking for justification for their purchase. They need the final nudge and they need it from you.
Types of content used in this “bottom of the funnel” stage:
Rule no. 8 – Understand the Changing Social Algorithms
5. Community/Advocacy – Your customers could become interested in expanding their opportunities to work with you. Maybe they are considering an upgrade, extension or an additional purchase with you.
In this stage, you need to keep in touch with them to stay on top of mind. Here are some examples that work best:
Rule no. 9 – Build a Community
Man, this is a big one.
Key findings from the Content Marketing Institute found that only 23% of content marketers are building communities and looking for audience participation to bring new voices to the table.
How are you going to stay relevant if you are not building raving fans and listening to them?
Share your target markets relevant content, create live discussions, participate in Facebook groups and other social media platforms, and be responsive to your target market online.
Rule no. 10 – Create a Documented Social Selling Strategy
The biggest benefits to you in creating a written Social Selling Strategy is that it aligns you and or your team’s processes with your online goals and it simplifies the decisions of which types of content you are going to develop and ultimately have your team use to engage with your target market.
Be unique, be memorable, and grow your revenue.
Happy selling and thank you for taking the time to learn my methods for engaging the right people with valuable content.