In this world of constant noise and heightened mistrust, it’s dangerous to assume your buyer will notice you easily. Even the most loyal customers can waver and not recognizing this can be a costly mistake.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average attention span of a human being has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2014. This is one second less than the attention span of a goldfish.
Linkedin launched in June, 2003. Facebook launched in 2004. YouTube launched in 2005. Twitter in 2006. And now we also have Pinterest. And Instagram. And Snapchat. All of these channels push content across a world that also sends millions of texts per second. It’s no surprise that attention spans have been decreasing with the increase in external stimulation.
This afternoon, I went to see my hairdresser Brandy who, like me, enjoys documentary films. We compare notes on the ones we’ve both seen and share the ones we’ve seen that the other one hasn’t. She let me know about a great one on Lance Armstrong that’s airing right now on Showtime. I was surprised to find out that I had no idea about its existence.
In this world where our every move is tracked, it struck me as wrong that I wouldn’t have known about this particular documentary. I’m a Showtime subscriber and it’s pretty easy to track my preferences for documentaries. For instance, I always know when HBO docs are coming because HBO has a set schedule, they promote them where I spend my time (social media, online), and they make them accessible through On-Demand and HBO-Go. HBO understands me and pays attention to where I spend my time. They go where I go, in order to connect with me, and that keeps me coming back.
Showtime on the other hand doesn’t connect with me. How do I know? Because I had no idea about the documentary until my friend told me about it. Showtime hasn’t connected with me and that’s a shame. I’m a loyal customer who would consume every one of their docs but there are just too many choices to distract me on the road to Showtime’s content.
In my example, does your business behave like HBO… or does it act like Showtime?
What have you done to make sure your most interested buyer knows that you offer what they want and informs them how to get it?
Do you meet buyers where they are and engage them…or do you expect them to come to you?
Now, my guess is that Showtime didn’t sit in their programming meeting and plan to ignore people like me. However, there is a disconnect somewhere. They may simply not know the value in tracking consumer preferences or leveraging data to increase their viewership. They may simply not understand today’s consumer. Whatever the reason, it’s their loss.
Data allows companies to target their ideal buyers. Social Media allows companies to connect with those targeted, interested buyers in very visible and important ways. If your business isn’t connecting, how much are you losing?
Never expect buyers to seek you out. There are just too many places for them to detour. Avoid these 3 mistakes that cost you sales to your most interested buyers:
1. No Content Strategy
Digital, social and mobile access have changed the world. Marketing has become highly ineffective because consumers tune out. What do they tune in to? Stories. Stories that connect on a human and emotional basis.
Great stories (content) drive all forms of marketing and advertising. The “right now” amplification of content on social media requires even closer attention to storytelling.
Your business’ content fights for space in your buyers’ newsfeeds. When you’re competing with buyers’ friends, family and other pages they’ve liked, your story better be compelling. If what you’re posting is boring or they’ve seen it before, buyers will scroll right on by.
Remedy this by leveraging research and then develop a winning content strategy. Figure out what you want to say and how you’ll say it. I’m not going to sugar coat it: this exercise is tough and not many are cut out for it. Most everyone of our clients came to us because they had no clue where to start. Each business is different, even if you sell the same thing as the guy down the street. Buyers come to you for their own unique reasons and it’s your job to figure out what those are.
The more you know about your buyer, the better your content will be. The better your content, the more interested your buyers.
2. No Action Plan
Lack of planning and goal setting is the quickest route to failure. To capitalize on your brand’s strengths and optimize your budget, you must know:
- Where are you now?
- Where do you want to go?
- What will it take to get there?
- What happens if you fail?
- What happens if you succeed?
3. No Community Manager
I hear a lot of business owners and managers ask if they have to “be social” on social media. Being social is a big part of sales, so the answer is yes. There are a myriad of reasons principles and managers push back on this and sometimes it’s just that they don’t want to ” be social.”
If this is the case with your business, you must designate a Community Manager to listen, respond, inform and engage your interested buyers. They’ll also need to know how to ask the right questions if the buyer is looking to buy right now and be able to discern what next steps are required to close the sale.
Being social on social media is not about passively monitoring what’s being said. That’s the real-life equivalent of not acknowledging a customer when they visit your store or ignoring the phone when it rings. Yes, you must “be social” because being social is part of the sales process.
Don’t let your most interested buyers get caught up in the noise and miss the information they want to know. These mistakes that cost you sales can be avoided once you know the right strategies. It’s easy for your buyers to get distracted. Give them something to remember you by and their attention will focus solely on you!