Joanne Dolezal

Get the Right Message and Get Their Attention

by Joanne Dolezal on 20th July 2018

The modern consumer is egocentric, and truly only cares about themself.

They care about what they are trying to achieve and what matters most to them.

So naturally, they skim (ruthlessly) over content in their social media feeds that aren’t of interest to them.

Unless you get the right message you will not get their attention.

This means that your content and posts need to be tailored to them. Just them.

They need to be interesting, engaging and relevant. To them.

If it’s about you, your customers really aren’t that interested. Unless it’s about them.

 

Zig Ziglar famously said:

“people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”

Particularly, how much you care about them.

If you can reach out to people with your content and demonstrate that you have something that will change their lives, then you will get their attention.

Listen with your eyes

You need to post and share content that’s relevant to their lives, so how do you find out what that is? Enter, ‘social listening’.

I highly recommend watching and listening (observing) your customers on social media, whether you’re just starting out or moving to the next level. Be passive and see what people are talking about, sharing and interacting with. If you don’t you can often get it wrong.

Develop buyer personas

When you are ready to move beyond the broader categories that people fall into (segments) and start thinking about what is influencing their decision making, you may want to develop your buyer personas. Our recent blog on buyer personas explored the different ingredients that go to make up a buyer persona, but if you take the time and really drill down into who they are and what makes them tick, creating content for them will come as naturally as speaking with an old friend.

Get inside your customers head

Who is your customer and what do they want? Perhaps they’re trying to overcome a challenge or tackle an issue that they’re dealing with. Or it could be something positive, such as an aspiration or desire.

If you appeal to their current mindset, rather than giving a lot of information about your products, services and staff, you will get their attention more easily. Concentrate on solutions to their challenges, ways to reach their ambitions and try to anticipate their questions. If you can give them the answers, you will be helping them to come to a decision. And demonstrating your expertise and trustworthiness.

And get inside your customers heart

When you start talking about someone’s problems, their fears, hopes and aspirations, in a way that shows respect, empathy and understanding, you get their attention.

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”

Henry Ford (quoted in Dale Carnegie)

This is your opportunity to show the human side of your brand – social media is a great place for us to demonstrate our ‘personality’ – and make a personal connection.

What’s really interesting, is that even B2B purchase decisions will be influenced by how the customer feels. It is not just a rational decision, so think about how they feel right at the moment. Can you appeal to their emotions?

What is the Right Message?

We’re still selling something. Good sales people know that you’ve won the sale when the answer to all your questions is: YES. You’ve exhausted their objections, allayed their fears, gained their trust and confidence, then finally, their business.

It’s whatever you say, that makes them want to say ‘ yes’.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the The Three Rs of Social Media Success.

Why not check out the other blogs in the series:

  1. The Three ‘Rs’ of Social Media Success
  2. Know the Right Place for Social Media Success
  3. How do You Know the Right Time for Your Customers on Social Media
  4. Get the Right Message: Get their Attention
  5. Build Your Social Media Following versus Buying Reach and Followers
  6. Are your Goals ‘SMART’ Enough for Social Media Success?
  7. ‘Mobile First’, Live Streaming & How to Succeed with Social Media Marketing

If you like video, check out our recording of this fascinating topic and learn from these amazing thoughtleaders.

Our new online programme Content Marketing Conquered is designed with you in mind. Based on our successful workshop programme and latest strategies, we guide you to the top in 6 easy steps.

Don’t leave without grabbing your free eBook.

 

Photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash

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Joanne DolezalGet the Right Message and Get Their Attention

How You Will Know the Right Time for Your Customers on Social Media

by Joanne Dolezal on 13th July 2018

For your customers, time may be a movable feast. Showing up at the ‘right time’ is therefore the ultimate challenge. So how do you know the right time for your customers on social media?

There are always 24 hours in every day, 7 days in a week…

But the bottom line is, for your customer, time may feel like it’s in short supply. This will be more noticeable at different times of day, days of the week or whether they’re just about to take some time off and want to clear out their inbox.

Your goal is to post social media that reaches them

at the right time or day of the week, for them.

A quick look at your social media analytics will tell you when your followers are actively on that platform.

Facebook Analytics Posts even gives you a visual of when your connections were on Facebook each day. So as long as you are active on Facebook, or scheduling important messages for those key times, you will show up at the right time for them.

 

Work pressures and other life priorities are a big factor too.

Sometimes your LinkedIn update might have just popped up at the wrong moment and they didn’t have time to respond to it. This doesn’t mean that people don’t care, or are not interested, you’ve just caught them when they’ve got other things going on that are more urgent for them.

 

 

If you look at the analytics for your social media accounts and also look back through your feeds to see the time of day or day of the week you get the most engagement, you will start to build a picture of your followers. It really is different for each person/business, but as a rule of thumb, if you’re B2C (business to consumer) you should try scheduling posts to go out early morning, in the evening and at weekends, as these are good times to reach your audience.

If you’re B2B (business to business) early mornings, lunch time, and early evening are good times to reach your followers, as these are common times for people to dip into social around working hours. Weekends can work surprisingly well too and LinkedIn is a busy place even on a Sunday evening.

Remember, not every workplace tolerates social media activity on site or in working hours. Even B2B posts may not reach your audience until they ‘clock off’ and head home.

Your customer may have a short little attention span

Sadly, you may find that your lovingly crafted social media posts are competing with lots of other things happening in their lives. They may be dealing with their kids/pets/partners or have the laptop and the TV on at the same time, whilst having a quick dip into Snapchat or Facebook.

Multi-screening customers mean you have a third or a quarter of their attention at best, which is a lot of competition for your social media. Don’t just post once. Share the same posts at regular intervals throughout the day or week to ensure that they don’t your followers don’t miss them and potentially, miss out.

http://www.netimperative.com/2015/05/rise-of-media-multi-taskers-the-battle-for-consumers-attention-spans/

And your customer is mobile too

Location is important: where are people consuming your content?

The chances are that if they’re reading it on a mobile phone, they’re on the move (or having a quick ‘social snack’). They may be travelling or waiting for someone, checking out your restaurant or pub on Tripadvisor en route, or looking to see if an item is in stock en route to your shop.

Whatever they’re looking for, they will want to do it quickly and make a decision now. How well does your social media support these kinds of searches? Photos, maps, videos, quotes, testimonials, product reviews, links – social media platforms support just about any kind of content you need to help your customer find and choose you.

Smartphone screens are still quite small so make graphics and text overlay REALLY BIG so it can be read easily on a small screen. With imperfect eyesight!

Get ready to take your customer on a journey

There’s another dimension to time as well, which is thinking about the right time in that customer’s journey. Using the Inbound Funnel below as a guide, then typically if they’re at the early stages they’re just beginning to perceive a need or want. Content and posts that will intrigue and attract them and get them to visit your website are important.

 

Later on in your customer’s journey, as they progress, they’ll need deeper content, such as a video to show how to do something or how something is used.

An ebook, guide, whitepaper, email series, etc that offers them more information will garner their email address.

Later still, they may welcome a webinar or Facebook Live, which gives you an opportunity to expand on the topic and answer their questions.

The further they go along that journey, the more they need. Your posts in social media need to help customers to make the best choices and decisions for them, which is a key strength of content marketing.

Plan posts and schedule ahead if you want to reach them at the right time

The best way to plan is to use some simple tools.

Everybody uses a spreadsheet, and you don’t need anything more complicated than that, because it needs to be flexible and easy to update.

There are also a number of scheduling tools, and Hootsuite and Buffer are particularly good when you’re just getting started. As you develop you may want something more sophisticated, but only if you are doing a serious amount of social media on a variety of topics.

 

Scheduling platforms have different price points and strengths. As you progress, MeetEdgar is mid-priced and very good at scheduled, yet randomised posting but it doesn’t give detailed analytics. Sprout Social is slightly more expensive but gives you a lot of analytics, particularly around #hashtags.

Choose what’s most appropriate for your business stage, size and goals.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the The Three Rs of Social Media Success.

Why not check out the other blogs in the series:

  1. The Three ‘Rs’ of Social Media Success
  2. Know the Right Place for Social Media Success
  3. How You Will Know the Right Time for Your Customers on Social Media
  4. Get the Right Message: Get their Attention
  5. Build Your Social Media Following versus Buyer Reach and Followers
  6. Are your Goals ‘SMART’ Enough for Social Media Success?
  7. Mobile First and Live Streaming Video Help You Succeed in Social Media

If you like video, check out our recording of this fascinating topic and learn from these amazing thoughtleaders.

Our new online programme Content Marketing Conquered is designed with you in mind. Based on our successful workshop programme and latest strategies, we guide you to the top in 6 easy steps.

Ready to take the next step? Download your free Content marketing eBook today.

 

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 

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Joanne DolezalHow You Will Know the Right Time for Your Customers on Social Media

Know the Right Place for Social Media Success

by Joanne Dolezal on 6th July 2018

How do you decide which social media platform to use? Why not let your customers lead the way. If you want to know the ‘right place’ on social media, here are three questions to ask yourselves:

  1. Where are your customers actively using Social Media?

Pick 5 – 10 customers at random and see where they have social media profiles.

2. What do they do on each platform?

Post? Share? Comment? Follow? Like?

3.  Are you a welcome guest… or a gatecrasher?

Not all brands have universal appeal and sometimes you’re just in the wrong place.

Know when you’re invited and when you’re barging in.

One of our Digital Marketing Institute Diploma (at nesma) students told us a great story. He is the IT manager for a big campus university in the heart of England. They were having difficulty engaging students attention on Facebook, yet were persevering with their plans to keep students up to date on the platform. One of their quarterly student surveys flagged up a key piece of feedback:

Yes, students were on Facebook and Twitter. But Facebook was where they went to hang out with their friends, organise their social lives and laugh at celebs. They didn’t want the university butting in on their ‘party time’.

They were perfectly happy to hear from them on Twitter, though.

Needless to say, said university doesn’t waste time and energy on Facebook updates to students any more: Twitter now works a dream.

Being in the Right Place…

With a little effort, you can become one your customers trusted sources in time.  Respect their preferences and you’ll be the welcome guest.

Don’t turn up empty-handed. Instead show up regularly with useful, relevant, timely (and where appropriate, entertaining) content.

Here is an overview of the ‘main’ social media platforms that most businesses would be looking at in the early stages:

Linked In

The most commonly used ‘business to business’ social media platform. You can have a personal profile, rather like an online CV, and a company profile page, like a mini website.

Linked In has been going since 2003, is well trusted and established, with over 500 million users worldwide. It is great for connecting with business contacts, colleagues and networking connections and has groups and forums galore.

The paid accounts have added functionality and allow you to connect with people outside your immediate circles, so it can be a great business development tool too.  The search function supports Boolean Logic, so you can literally find ‘an needle in a haystack’.

Posts on Linked In are nearly three times more trusted than on other social media platforms.

The new style Linked In company pages enable you to have something akin to a mini-website, great for promoting your brand and for search engine optimisation for your website – Linked In performs extremely well in online search.

There is also a paid advertising feature as well as sponsored InMail. So if you’re target customers are “white collar” workers, from junior management level up, you are likely to find them here.

Facebook

With over 2 billion accounts worldwide, Facebook has achieved critical mass with users and brands alike. Even if you are not active here, you will want to have a presence, but manage your expectations!

Increasingly Facebook acts as the ‘plumbing’ for a host of other online platforms and tools, including other social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. You will be given the option to log in via Facebook.

You can have a personal profile or a range of ‘professional’ profiles, depending on your status and requirements and it is still the most effective way to reconnect with old friends online.

It is particularly effective in the retail or ‘business to consumer’ sector, with very sophisticated and cost-effective targeting tools for paid promotions to existing connections and new target groups.

Is your brand “conversational”? If people naturally talk about what you do, Facebook may be your invitation to the party.

For ‘business to business’ it can work well for some service providers, as well as bloggers, coaches and trainers. However, Facebook only presents your status updates to connections (Likes), and only a small % will now see them unless you pay to boost them to reach all your page followers. As well as personal and business pages, you can set up groups and many communities live within Facebook.

Twitter

Twitter is part news feed, part social media platform with over 300 million users worldwide. It is especially popular with journalists, bloggers and media folks for breaking and sharing news stories and opinions. The character limit favours brevity and clarity, but you can attach images and short videos to tweets. The advertising tools allow you to promote your twitter account to encourage followers or your tweets, to increase engagement.

Whatever your industry, profession, interest or niche, #hashtag search will help you find and connect with your kind of people.

Twitter is informal, so it is a great place to interact, share and promote your ideas and news in real time with few barriers and minimal cost. It is as common for ‘business 2 business’ as ‘business 2 consumer’ brands to be active on twitter and many are opting to use Twitter to support their customer service function.

YouTube

YouTube is the original online video sharing social media platform and since its launch in 2003 has become, reputedly, the second most widely used search engine after Google, (by whom it was purchased in 2006). It hosts a mind-boggling quantity and variety of video (and film) on any topic you can imagine.

It is extremely popular and closely linked to Google (who own it), so can help to drive traffic to your website if you have useful and/or relevant footage on YouTube. You can have your own branded channel – an entry page branded to represent your company – and populate it with your own and curated videos.

YouTube is busy, but don’t expect more than Likes and Shares. It takes a lot to get comments from your viewers so don’t expect interaction.

YouTube can be a great place to host ‘how to’ and trust building content for those at the early stages in your sales pipeline.

Instagram

Bought by Facebook in 2012, Instagram is one of the newest platforms but has a growing user base – currently 700 million and rising. It has been a runaway success, benefiting hugely from Facebook’s support and many new developments, including ‘InstaStories’ are designed to compete with newcomers, like SnapChat.

It works really well for tangible or visual brands (and celebrities) and for certain types of business it’s a clear choice, based on sector, target audience and location.

On Instagram, people take and share photos and short videos, typically on a smartphone, which they then upload directly to Instagram with a bit of text. And a lot of #hashtags!

It’s harder for brands to publish into Instagram, as it doesn’t tolerate most social media scheduling software, like Hootsuite, Buffer, MeetEdgar, etc, but this may make it popular with a certain kind of user – it rewards spontaneity.

So what is the ‘Right Place’ for you on Social Media?

If you are happy to be led by your customers, you will save so much time, effort and disappointment spent hanging out with the wrong crowd.

You may need to step outside your comfort zone and start using social media platforms that are new to you. If you’re uncertain, take some time to ‘listen’ – observe your customers and the people they are happy to interact with and see what works for them.

The acid test: can you be true to yourself and still be welcomed in to the conversation?

If you can, then you’re in the Right Place, will build connections effortlessly and will gradually learn about the next of the Three Rs of Social Media Success.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the The Three Rs of Social Media Success.

Why not check out the other blogs in the series:

  1. The Three ‘Rs’ of Social Media Success
  2. Know the Right Place for Social Media Success
  3. How You Will Know the Right Time for Your Customers on Social Media
  4. Get the Right Message: Get their Attention
  5. Build Your Social Media Following versus Buyer Reach and Followers
  6. Are your Goals ‘SMART’ Enough for Social Media Success?
  7. ‘Mobile First’, Live Streaming & How to Succeed with Social Media Marketing

If you like video, check out our recording of this fascinating topic and learn from these amazing thoughtleaders.

Our new online programme Content Marketing Conquered is designed with you in mind. Based on our successful workshop programme and latest strategies, we guide you to the top in 6 easy steps.

Don’t leave without grabbing your free eBook.

 

Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash

 

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Joanne DolezalKnow the Right Place for Social Media Success

The Three ‘Rs’ of Social Media Success

by Joanne Dolezal on 30th June 2018

It doesn’t matter what kind of business you are in, social media success hangs on the choices you make. Whether you’re selling to other businesses or to consumers, whether you’re a tiny company or giant corporation: your choice of social media  platforms, type of content and timing will be specific to you and your target customers.

But, there are some basic principles that will help you to get it right…

Right Time. Right Place. Right Message.

We often have high expectations of social media and of the staff who are managing it on our behalf. It’s wise to be realistic about how much it can do for us, and where the limits lie.

Your customer journey has changed.

Today, your customers are looking for a lot more information before they pick up the phone, send you an email or fill in that enquiry form on your website. About 70% of their decision-making is done before they first make contact with you.

So, where are your customers looking? Their journey may take them all over the internet, online searches, looking at social media to see what you talk about, how you behave and how you respond to customers. They’ll also be looking for any comments, testimonials and favourable reviews from clients.

Potential customers are trying to build a picture of you to see if they can trust you and if you can deliver – are you the real deal?

Authenticity is important on social media, as it helps us to build trust. It’s one of the biggest downsides to outsourcing social media management, because it’s difficult to get your true voice and personality across.

Depending on your sector and who your customers are, they will be looking for information about you in different places. They may be on Facebook, looking at the videos or images you’ve uploaded and they are quite likely on Twitter, which works for B2B, B2C and business to government.

They may be searching on YouTube, particularly if they want to learn and educate themselves, see how you do something or how your products and services are applied. If you offer business development, they could be using LinkedIn to find out more about you.

Potential customers will expect to find lots of information about you to build a picture and build trust. Think about where you appear online and on social media at the moment.

 How does Social Media help with marketing?

People often assume that if they publish a couple of posts on Facebook the phone will ring and they’ll make loads of money. If you’re really lucky, that’s what happens, but more generally it works in two key stages in the marketing sales funnel.

Social media works at the beginning of the funnel (or journey) to attract visitors to your website.

You may be inviting them to read a blog article, watch a video or download a report or white paper.

This is what we consider as ‘weak links’, because these aren’t your ‘friends’, they are digital connections to your business and your online profile.

BUT, it could be the beginning of a relationship.

One of the pluses of social media is that it can quickly create a conversation between you and another individual, and works brilliantly at the top of the funnel.

It can also work superbly at the very bottom of the funnel, post conversion. Once somebody becomes your customer, they begin to like you and in time may think what you do is great. These can become your Promoters as they’re more likely to engage with your social media posts, commenting and sharing them.

These are your advocates.

The other stages – conversion and closing leads – need a good website with good content, a strong email funnel and the ability to close leads. Don’t expect too much of your social media at these points.

Either way, you will need to be in the right place, at the right time with the right message.

To find out more about the Three Rs of Social Media Success check out our video:

We hope you’ve enjoyed the The Three Rs of Social Media Success.

Why not check out the other blogs in the series:

  1. The Three ‘Rs’ of Social Media Success
  2. Know the Right Place for Social Media Success
  3. How You Will Know the Right Time for Your Customers on Social Media
  4. Get the Right Message: Get their Attention
  5. Build Your Social Media Following versus Buyer Reach and Followers
  6. Are your Goals ‘SMART’ Enough for Social Media Success?
  7. Mobile First and Live Streaming Video Help You Succeed in Social Media

If you like video, check out our recording of this fascinating topic and learn from these amazing thoughtleaders.

Our new online programme Content Marketing Conquered is designed with you in mind. Based on our successful workshop programme and latest strategies, we guide you to the top in 6 easy steps.

For more Content Marketing tips and tricks, grab your free eBook here.

 

Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash

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Joanne DolezalThe Three ‘Rs’ of Social Media Success

Buyer Personas and the Top 10 Questions for your Sales Team

by Joanne Dolezal on 8th April 2018

Content marketing is becoming ever more important and developing your buyer personas equally so. Regardless of the type of company, your marketing team are trying hard to understand what your customers are after. However, they’re not customer-facing and don’t spend time with them the way the sales team does, so the two teams need to work more closely together.

 When you involve your sales team (and other customer facing colleagues) in developing your buyer personas, your content marketing suddenly becomes much more relevant to your target customers. It becomes about ‘them’, less about ‘you’.

Top 10 questions for your customer-facing teams

These are busy people who may or may not understand how marketers work, and think. But ask the right questions and you’ll get the right answers. Here are our top 10 questions, based on the many workshops we’ve had the pleasure to run:

  1. how do customers describe us and what we do?
  2. what type or tone of language do they use?
  3. how do they describe their problem, goal or mindset?
  4. how do they describe the way they feel about this?
  5. what don’t they know about us that you wish they knew?
  6. what brought them to us (and not to a competitor)?
  7. who are they buying for?
  8. how important is this purchase to them?
  9. what do they hope it will do for them?
  10. what is keeping them awake at night?

Focusing on what keeps them awake at night is the most effective way to get their attention.

Educating them as to how you can help, earns their attention.

Over time, this will drive more traffic to you website and generate more leads, of better quality. These will be people who are genuinely interested in you and what you can do for them, making them easier to convert into sales.

Think of it as shared ownership, content created together. The sales team also gain: marketing that serves them better, is closer to what they want and to what the customers are asking them for.

Building your Buyer Personas

Your buyer personas are likely to include:

1.   their role – either in the household for B2C or the organisation for B2B

2.   their goals – what are they trying to achieve, overcome, avoid, improve

3.   their sources – where do they look for inspiration, guidance, information

4.   their common objections – what is stopping them or holding them back

5.   your value proposition – tailored to each buyer persona, why should they choose you

Once you have well-developed buyer personas, everything you say is like a conversation with someone you know well – it really is that personal. You know your buyer persona (i.e. customer) well enough to know what they are interested in.

Over time, this will help all of your customer-facing teams – ensuring consistency in all of your customer communications. After all, the customer journey doesn’t stop with the first enquiry – it could be a relationship that lasts for years.

It will even influence product and service design, human resources (recruitment and training), operations and finance.

As Peter Drucker famously said:

“the role of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well, the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

Where do you start with Buyer Personas?

Buyer personas can be tricky to develop and most organisations will develop them gradually, over a few months. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • it takes time to get everyone in the same room!
  • it takes time to get everyone in the right mindset
  • it’s crucial to move beyond your assumptions about the customer
  • your theories and hypotheses need to be discussed AND TESTED
  • testing is essential and it takes time

Remember, buyer personas are individual to your business and sector, as well as to your products and services.

Where can you find help?

If you want to develop your buyer personas in-house, why not check out our online course Content Marketing Conquered. We devote a whole session just to buyer personas and our process has helped dozens of teams to crack this over the years.

We’ve also run many brainstorming workshops with sales, customer services and marketing teams together, helping them get to the heart of their customers mindset and creating buyer personas that will stand the test of time.

There are many free guides and templates online, as well as blogs and videos, and these will help to get started.

They can vary in quality, though, so you may want to take from the best.

In the meantime, why not download our FREE eBook.

Then check out our Content Marketing Conquered – Online Programme.

We dedicate a whole session to developing your buyer personas, based on the many workshops we’ve run and dozens of clients and trainees we’ve taken on this journey.

We’ll be looking at how to involve the sales team more in your content marketing in this series of blogs.

What key insights can marketers learn from the sales team?

It’s not easy to get sales and marketing working in harmony but we share tips and real life examples from the sales and marketing teams we’ve worked with – saving you time, money and heartache.

We hope you’ve enjoyed Why tour Sales Team holds the key to Content Marketing. Why not check out the other blogs in the series:

Or if video is your preferred content type, click here to view the recording.

Our new online programme Content Marketing Conquered is designed with you in mind. Based on our successful workshop programme and latest strategies, we guide you to the top in 6 easy steps.

Don’t leave without grabbing your free eBook.

 

Photo by Evan Dennis on Unsplash
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Joanne DolezalBuyer Personas and the Top 10 Questions for your Sales Team