Some of the things that are important to me are credibility, authenticity, claims that can be verified, high quality service and a sense that the exchange of cash was well worth it for what I got in return. When it comes to significant purchases, the value of personalisation of approach, the verification of a provider’s people, service delivery via existing client testimonial becomes very important. So why is that?
Before I make a significant purchase I am quite anxious and the closer I move towards making a decision the more nervous I become. Before I buy I want verification that promises will be honoured.
Historically all information about a brand, service and franchise opportunity was harboured by the seller. The seller controlled the publishing and release of information. They held all the aces. The buyer was therefore subjugated to trust the seller at his or her word. But not any more.
In today’s self publishing age of social media something has changed. Buyers want to see verification of seller claims and have personal interaction access to senior people in organisations pre-enquiry. So what does that mean to the business leader that wants to grow sales?
It means that we have to get visible online. It means that we have to share who we are, what we know and our values. We have to demonstrate our personal interest in buyers as people at each and every stage of their journey and experience with our company, brand and service.
This is a major shift in the buying cycle. Firstly buyers want far more information pre-enquiry. Secondly without this information they are less likely to make an enquiry, thirdly personalisation is needed so leaders need to become authors and lastly leads that are well looked after during the pre-buying online deliberation process are far more likely to become buyers once a formal enquiry for contact has been made.
A great step forward for business leaders is to get involved as Google Authors. Building up your authorship has multiple benefits to the business leader. It creates a profile of visibility, authenticity and make collaboration available to clients. All high value to the most important people in your organisation; your customers.
You can also learn more about the new buyer-controlled publishing era with the following video series, previously published on the SYF blog.
Over the past 18 months I’ve heard our clients ask this question again and again. So what is going on?
There is a single paradigm that is used by buyers of advertising to determine value. This is:-
It is assumed that the value of an advertising platform is directly defined by the cost to publish versus the number of leads that are produced. Each platform is given its own budget and each one is measured in isolation when it comes to output.
For this to be a true measure we have to assume that a prospect visits only one website in their investigative journey and is prepared to use each website as a single channel of exploration and enquiry submission.
This idea comes from the days of scarce content. It comes from the days where all media was owned and controlled by the publisher and its advertisers. It assumes that the buyer is dependent on the information provided by the seller with no additional terms of verification.
Today the paradigm of opportunity discovery, awareness and commitment, al in one place, is being eroded. Today’s buyers are becoming ever more aware that information about brands and opportunities is not all controlled by what the seller publishes.
Verification of claims is fundamental to substantiating validity and belief
We live in a ‘tripadvisor’ age where seller claims are substantiated by buyer experience and comment. For this reason, when it comes to advertising, the conversion of page visits to leads generated per visit is reducing. So what are people doing?
Advertising websites are being used more and more as awareness platforms for further independent internet research. There is a growing trend of further investigative behaviour taking place all over the internet and that includes social media conversations and industry review platforms.
What is found through further investigation substantiates or undermines promises and claims made by the seller. Where there is a lack of third party testimonial, that verifies claims, the lead may be lost. As a result, the seller may not even be aware that an opportunity has been burned.
This is where social media becomes important in lead generation
Social media engagement done well can help to verify seller claims by providing parity between claims and experience. For this reason, if for no other, franchisors, franchisees and business owners across the board should engage in building relationships with their clients through social sites.
The solution to us seems clear. There needs to be a single place where everything that a buyer wants to read about a brand can be found in one place. For this reason www.SelectYourFranchise.com will soon include social media integration, franchisee ratings, Q&A between the franchisor and prospect on site, visibility of the franchisor’s own site and social sites too. In short a true one stop for engagement between buyers and sellers for the purpose of producing well-informed people that become quality enquiries.
The user is king when it comes to the internet and how it’s used
The trend is for more investigative behaviour prior to lead generation. Fast becoming history is the notion of people just believing what they read and enquiring on the spot.
May visitors to advertising sites become leads on the sellers own website so advertising now needs to be measured by impact, conversation and leads. Two needed elements to consider in the mix. This makes benchmarking and analytics critical to measuring return on investment.
We are moving away from an age where prospects are quick to enquire to one of increased levels of self-discovery pre-enquiry.
We are fast moving into an error where lead generation is dependent on a rich amount of person-to-person value building through the web that supports our brand claims. It’s a new world and we need to get on board with it. Let’s work smarter together!
Marketing is all about original content these days. Whether it is written content, videos, infographics (like the one below) or podcasts, people are attracted to fresh content that can provide useful information.
The production of written content alone is set to increase 81% over the next months, so this is obviously a marketing trend that cannot be ignored. To find out more about the wonders of content marketing, take a look at our infographic and read our latest blog on the subject.
Feel free to share our infographic on your blog, website or social media channels!
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