“Sell something, create a customer today. Help someone, create a customer for life.” ~Jay Baer, Keynote at 14th Digital Dealer Conference.
I’m privileged to be a contributor in the creation and sharing of information around automotive Social Media marketing. I’ve been in the space for about 5 years now and it’s clear to me that many, many dealers (and other small businesses) still haven’t adapted to the ever-changing landscape of inbound and Social marketing.
What continues to baffle me is that many dealers and business owners consider Social Media an anomaly. Pure and simple, Social is a medium to promote your message and increase leads and sales. Customers use this medium to share experiences with each other. Being part of those conversations is vital to your marketing success. It’s not the medium that’s Social, it’s the people!
The rules of business have changed. Today, every brand/seller competes for customers’ attention. Your marketing messages are intertwined within posts from friends, family, viral videos and cute kitty pictures. Businesses have been asking the wrong questions: how can we make our products/services even more exciting…how can we create more hype…how can we sell for the cheapest price?
I was honored to spend a few minutes talking with Jay Baer (@JayBaer) recently at the Digital Dealer Conference in Orlando. He’s got a great new book coming out called “Youtility.” Jay says, “What we should be asking is how can we help?”
In a world of information overload, the perfect marketing strategy is to cut through the noise by providing real customer service to people who need it. Businesses can do this by connecting with customers on the platforms where they spend the most time and deliver valuable information they can’t live without.
Think about how you buy something, especially a big ticket item. Do you generally just go out and buy it? Probably not. You consider the product and who you might know (like & trust) that can help you get the best deal. You search online for every bit of information you can find. You ask friends and family what they think. We all want to make the best choice, right? Well then why wouldn’t your customers do the same thing?
The customer experience is what sets every great business apart from the rest. We are blessed today to have a medium that facilitates our “social” exchanges. How wonderful it is to be able to enhance our customers’ experience by helping them buy. Here are 3 useful tips to help you utilize technology to differentiate your business:
1. Develop your content strategy. Content is what you post on Facebook status updates, tweets, youtube videos and blog posts. Ask yourself, “How can we help?” You must develop the mindset of delivering all your customers’ information needs, in all the places they’re searching for it, across each stage of the buying process. Helping means sharing your expertise, solving problems, and sometimes even entertaining your ideal customers. You become a trusted brand when you’ve helped someone understand something they didn’t know. You become remarkable when you’ve taught them something they didn’t know they didn’t know.
2. Empower your employees to participate with content. Marketing is not suited to a closed-end mindset. Crowdsource your content. Employees are your closest connection to your customer. Give them a voice to create and share ideas about what the customer needs or wants. Maybe they have an idea for a “How to” video series. Perhaps they’d like to blog but are apprehensive because they “don’t write.” Encourage them. Make it easy for them to contribute. Your Social Media manager can edit it once they contribute. Recognize there truly is strength in the crowd.
3. Start a blog and post often. Keeping your content strategy in mind and utilizing your staff as often as possible, create a blog for your business. Your blog posts should be compelling to read and deliver that needed information your customer is looking for through all stages of the buying process. Your store becomes the “likable expert” bringing people back again and again. Blogs also create visibility and influence with search engines. Your content gets found by your most ideal customers thereby opening the door to more leads and sales.
Like Jay Baer says, “Make your marketing so useful that people would pay for it.” It’s not easy and it takes extra effort to succeed at being the “likable expert.” The payoff is you’ll beat your competition hands down.