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!
|<a href=”http://www.selectyourfranchise.com/franchise-blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Content-Marketing-Infographic.png”><img alt=”Content Marketing Infographic” src=”http://www.selectyourfranchise.com/franchise-blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Content-Marketing-Infographic.png” width=”700″ height=”1500″ /></a>|
So what is it? Well, content marketing is a method of creating and distributing written material that is original, valuable, relevant and consistent to customers and potential customers (be it in blogs, on a tweet or in an email). The aim is to attract an audience to your business, build their trust and get them to want to work with you.
According to the Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2014, 58% of the marketers surveyed believe original written content is the single most important form of content, followed by original visual assets with 19%. But there is more: the surveyed marketers actually plan to increase their use of original written content in 81%. The professionals also plan to increase the production of original videos by 73%, original visuals assets like infographics by 70%, curation of other people’s content by 46% and original audio by 33%.
Now you might think that content marketing applies only to marketers, but it doesn’t – it applies to you and every member in your team. You see, Google has made changes to the way its search engine works in a bid to get people to talk to people and authenticate the information that is available on the web.
These changes mean that we can all be made authors of content: your contribution online will determine your authority and expertise on the internet. This, in turn, may boost the authority of your web presence.
Now before your start posting to social media, publishing your blog or uploading your video, you need to know that your content marketing will require some structure; it will need to be strategic, reflective of your company’s brand and honest, because embellishing can very quickly unravel on the internet.
With this knowledge in mind, write your article, but before sending it live, give it a thorough sanity check by asking yourself the following questions:
You also need to replace any words that are relevant to your company, but which may not be understood by a person outside of you company or industry, besides making sure that the content always represents and reflects your brand in a good light.
And, of course, there are other traditional rules you must follow: make sure the copy is well written, free from typos and laid out in a format that will appeal to your audience. The content should reflect the knowledge of an authority, as well. If you are feeling creative, you can even (and should!) add good graphics or photos that are eye catching, relevant and explanatory.
You should also ask yourself this:
Are you speaking to your customers and referring directly to them as you would in a one-to-one conversation? (Rule of thumb is that there should be at least three ‘you’ for every one ‘we’ that you use. Speak rather of what they will get than how good you are.)
It sounds like a lot to remember, but the technique is simple and easy to apply. Stick with it and you will soon find that writing content will become natural to you and improve your overall business writing style.