How Customers Buy Your Products Has Changed, But Has Your Selling Strategy?
In most cases, your customers don’t want to be sold your product, they want to buy it! We are in the age of the customer, and you need to have a solid digital sales and marketing strategy in place to ensure you collect enough leads to turn the sales you are looking for.
The customer path to purchase has changed across all channels, including B2B and B2C, in the last few years. It is an always evolving process, and with the speed we humans digest information nowadays, it is no surprise. Improving your online presence is an uber important part of your company’s ongoing digital transformation initiative.
Let’s think about a statistic for a moment before we get too far. Research says that 82% of smartphone users consult their phones on purchases they are about to make in-store and 45% read reviews before making a purchase. If you think about the last time you made a purchase, did you just go out and buy what you were looking for right away without consulting your peers, or did you research the product on social media for a time before making your purchase decision? Odds are that even if it was an on-site decision, you picked up your phone and looked up at least one source of information before making the purchase.
So, how do you sell to a customer who will buy your product, but only if the digital world backs your offering?
Start a referral program.
Now, this has absolutely NOTHING to do with digital marketing… or does it? Think about how many of us converse nowadays. People are very reluctant to pick up the phone unless it is to text or DM someone. Social media is the new phone call, and you want to capitalize on how people are having conversations online about your brand.
While there are no rules regarding how many leads it takes on average to make a sale, it is a numbers game. This is one of the many reasons why a referral program is so great for sales.
It has been proven that people who receive personal referrals are 4 times more likely to buy. Using an affiliate code or offering a referral discount to guests is a great way to utilize word of mouth marketing. People are much more likely to trust recommendations from their friends than recommendations from Google. Think about it; how often do you see your friends posting on Facebook on their wall or a community page asking for advice on where to go. Pretty often, right?
There are so many options nowadays in any market, it is hard for users to sift through all of the digital noise. Yes, it is true that they may do some research on Google and other search engines, collecting organic data before they make their purchase, but they will also seek out advice from trusted sources. Users are becoming smart and realizing there are authentic and real-time ways to gather information on social media, which means they are unlikely to trust branded promotions. Hand out an affiliate code to some of your niche influencers and repeat guests, and you may be surprised at how your sales increase.
Feature video content.
In today’s day and age, you only have approximately 7 seconds to grab your viewer’s attention, which is not a lot of time at all if you think about it! This is why interactive features, like videos, are super effective when added to any type of marketing. Adding video to your event page or sales platform will give the user an immediate experience of your offering, and will more likely persuade them to attend than a static image. Research shows that 21% of landing page visitors who view a video are practically guaranteed to make a purchase.
Let’s face it – video marketing works! Businesses who incorporate video into their digital campaigns experience 34% higher conversion rates. Whether it’s a highlights reel from last year, interviews from brand reps or a detailed explanation of ticketing packages, featuring video on your landing page is guaranteed to increase your sales.
Share testimonials from last year’s event.
It turns out that 90% of people believe that reading positive testimonials online will influence their buying decision. This stat includes third party review sites as well. So you can imagine the impact it would have on your event ticket sales landing page, of which you have complete creative control! Even big brands like ChowNow have found that adding customer testimonials to their landing pages have increased sales by 20-25%, so there’s no reason why it wouldn’t boost your event ticket sales as well.
Let’s think about supply and demand here for a moment. Changes in the supply and demand of products can result in the scarcity principle coming into play. If you think about antiques for a moment; rarer or more difficult items to obtain become more valuable over time. As humans, when a product is perceived to become unavailable to us, we are more likely to buy it than if there were no impression of scarcity at all.
While invoking the scarcity principle can be an uber effective strategy, you have to be sure to do it correctly. Remember, you want the perception that the product or service is close to sell-out, not that there was only a few available to begin with.
Re-share attendees’ photos on Instagram.
Every interaction attendees have with your event’s brand is the golden ticket to potentially converting them into a lead, and then a sale. You can capitalize on people’s assumed interest in your brand and offering by re-sharing their photos. This is a great way to capitalize on their use of social media.
By re-sharing program attendee photos in your feed, you will be able to unlock ‘digital word of mouth marketing’ by users tagging their friends on the post. People get psyched when a brand mentions them directly! They’ll want to tell all of their friends about it, and when they mention them in the comments that is free word of mouth marketing for you!
So, in a nutshell, encourage all of your program attendees to share their experience. You can also sweeten the deal by mentioning that you select 1 winner per month for using your branded hashtag on social media. This is a great way to offload old products or fill spaces in upcoming events, gain media, and amplify your social media marketing.
Create and run contests.
A great way to gather program attendees is by utilizing a social media influencer to spread your offering to your niche. Because the influencer’s audience trusts them as an authentic individual, it is essentially working like word-of-mouth marketing. Like any marketing, you have got to put a little in to get something out of it. Offer the influencer a spot on the program/activity, and the contest/giveaway will be another spot on the program. You must be strategic about choosing influencers to work with, and select influencers with a strong audience base in your niche market. Keep in mind, your influencers don’t have to be famous; but, they do need to be a social media star where every post they make is shared, liked, and commented on, garnering high engagement numbers. Remember, for contests to work, you must make it insanely easy to complete the steps to enter the contest. Free tickets are a great giveaway! Additionally, it is safe to say you can make the assumption that anyone who enters the contest is interested in attending your program/offering.
The path to purchase is always evolving, and your customers digest information faster than ever before. Improving your online presence is a largely important part of your company’s ongoing digital transformation initiative and video should be at the forefront of your marketing efforts. Remember; the more authentic the video is, the more likely a viewer is to click on your ad. You want to be completely (or almost) transparent to your audience so they really get the feeling as if they know you and you know them. Remember, this is the age of the customer, and your digital sales and marketing strategy need to align to help you attract more leads and turn those leads into sales.