It’s been proven over and over that the more positive contact you have with customers and prospects, the easier it is to develop and sustain relationships and ultimately, close more sales. Unfortunately, you’re one of thousands who are vying for your customers’ attention.
If you’ve been in the world of marketing for a while, you’ve probably heard of the Rule of 7.
The Marketing Rule of 7 states that a prospect needs to “hear” the advertiser’s message at least 7 times before they’ll take action to buy that product or service. It’s a marketing maxim developed by the movie industry in the 1930s. Studio bosses discovered that a certain amount of advertising and promotion was required to compel someone to see one of their movies.
Today, unless you have a clearly-defined marketing strategy that maps out how you’ll touch that prospect at least 7 times, you significantly reduce your odds of sales success. In fact, today you might need more than those 7 times just to be heard through all the clutter that’s in people’s Newsfeeds or fields of vision.
What’s said in these messages matters. Will it be be meaningful? ….or a spammy sales pitch? Not all touches are created equal.
Rule of 7 in the Digital Age
Social media crushes old school marketing by expertly leveraging a medium that touches customers regularly.
Social media affords sellers the opportunity to converse with the customer often 7 times every day! It’s accomplished by sharing content and interacting with customers and prospects. You earn the right to convert some fans into customers.
Strategy is Key.
Social media (and all digital marketing) takes thoughtful content strategy to engage customers at every level of the buying process, including both those not in-market yet and those who have already bought.
Old school marketing messages won’t cut it. Without meaning, they are lost in the cacophony of content in your customers’ lives.
Socially-savvy companies publish marketing messages that come in the form of useful content that delights their intended audience. These messages tell stories that create an emotional connection.
Buying decisions are shaped by two things: stories told and the memories they leave behind.
Storytellers make emotional connections. You can’t create an emotional connection with interruptive advertising.
If you can tell stories about what it’s like to do business with you – by enlisting your happy, loyal employees and customers in the process – you’ll be well on your way to creating meaningful connections and “touching” that prospect 7 times.
How do you tell your story?
All digital content must convey a unique value to the customers you want to reach. There are many forms of content and many mediums with which to publish it.
“There can be no words without pictures.” -Aristotle
Images as examples of customer experience that include employees, tell a great story. Customers think of employees as “people like me” and witnessing delight allows the viewer to see themselves in that way.
There are some platforms (Instagram, Pinterest) where no words are necessary. But don’t fool yourself by thinking that all your images are compelling, especially if you have no content strategy backing them up.
Authentic images where words are not necessary win Pulitzers. In a business marketing case, if you’re not savvy in the use of images for content marketing, please seek assistance.
“Whether it’s video on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Youtube, the content you need to be thinking about creating and marketing on social for your business is video. Period.” -Gary Vaynerchuk
- Facebook video is good at everything: smart, sharable & personal. It is the best way to reach customers at scale.
- Video on Twitter is for engagement: direct, social and real.
- Video on Snapchat is for attention. (Note: I don’t recommend Snapchat unless your target customers spend time there…and you have the infrastructure to devote to it).
Remember, the foundation of all content is to attract, engage and ultimately convert target customers. Interviews and “How To” videos provide a lot of visibility and can establish your authority and online reputation. But, just like images without a story, videos fall flat unless you’ve got game.
“What factors help you rank with Google? I can tell you what they are. It is content. And it’s links pointing to your site.” –Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google.
I just spoke at two regional auto dealer conferences and asked the audience to raise their hands if they had a blog. In both cases, 10% of the room raised their hand. Unless companies embrace the new world of website content marketing, they will rarely become meaningful to new customers.
Let’s hope those who didn’t raise their hands do a good job of retaining their current customers…although that’s not good a strategy for long term survival.
If your company has adopted social media and content marketing, use your blog to answer your customers’ most frequently asked questions, especially those questions that cause them to hesitate in their purchase decision.
Incorporate and illustrate employee expertise. It’s a value add that can only be accessed by engaging with you.
Keep in mind that while great stories attract new customers, your engaging content keeps happy current and repeat customers coming back for more.
We talk more passionately about things we care about than things toward which we’re ambivalent. We listen more closely to people we care about than to people we don’t know. We’re talking and listening in unprecedented numbers, and our opinions and purchasing decisions are being affected and influenced even as we shop online or stand in the store aisle and weigh our options.
One of the most powerful outcomes of social media marketing is that customers who’ve purchased from you before tell their stories and ultimately tell your story too. Make sure it’s a positive one.
Tap into the power of the social media Rule of 7
Engage customers during every stage of the buying cycle. 7 could be your magic number and thousands of happy, loyal customers can become the new rule!