Bucking the Crowd with a Different Perspective
As you well know, there is tremendous pressure for businesses and organizations to market on multiple platforms. Having a website is no longer enough, one is supposed to publish multiple times per week on social media, too. To populate these various platforms and capture clients’ attention; marketing staff are charged with the creation of engaging video, images, and text. These materials must then be linked to cleverly placed calls to action. It truly makes for a marketing/Internet wilderness challenge as companies work to create and publish all of this content.
Many companies have small marketing teams with limited skill sets and resources. In addition, they are also besieged with offers from marketing companies which build and deploy content. These unsolicited offers may have appealingly low-price tags but they often come from companies overseas or from spurious, unbranded Gmail accounts. Even my company email is cluttered with junk offers to create white-label marketing materials. Given the size of marketing teams maintained by many companies, these offers can seem like an attractive solution. Combine limited resources with the messiness of search, the growing ennui of internet users to ads and social media and the questions becomes “how do you really engage potential customers to learn about your products and services in a meaningful way and then consider a purchase, e.g. generate leads?” This question becomes even more vital when one considers that most potential clients are roughly 60% of the through the purchase decision process before they contact you directly. It makes one wonder, where do best the leads come from and how can I support and encourage them?
The title of this blog is the Heresy of Referrals. I use the word heresy, because no matter what anyone in marketing tells you, your best leads will come from referrals, not the myriad of other sources. This position seems a bit heretical in today’s multi-message, multi-platform, multi-media marketing world. A personal referral, from a colleague who has purchased from a company, will carry more weight with a potential customer than any ad or social media post. A strong referral might even trigger a call earlier in the purchasing process. In addition to directly telling others, a satisfied customer may also provide a testimonial, a Google review, or even a shout out on social media. Any of these web-based items are shareable, will support SEO, improve your visibility, and might even go viral. A cooler referral, simply based on knowledge of one another’s needs and available companies, might originate at a networking meeting or come via a tradeshow. No matter what their origin, the best lead still starts with that personal referral, e.g. the story of someone’s success, with your company’s product or services.
By now there may be a few of questions you are asking yourself.
1. If referrals are so great, what is the real point of developing my web presence?
Your website, blog posts, and more generic social media posts provide supporting evidence for clients seeking to purchase goods and services as they move their purchasing journey. Its an excellent bet that amy referral is followed up with a trip to your website. The content that you provide through these various outlets should allow a potential client to:
- learn if a solution solves their challenges
- gather additional details about a product or service
- determine if it fits their budget
- discover additional skills or equipment requirements
- ascertain the availability of your company’s products/services
2. Is there a way to support referrals and improve visibility without over-stretching resources or using a discount provider?
Your company may need a fresh perspective and support with tasks such as:
- identifying and developing site content
- updating site appearance, functionality, and usability
- posting to social media
- creating a strategic marketing plan
- comparing your presence with competitors and peers
- improving SEO
3. How do I find the best fit to build and deploy marketing collateral?
Make sure to pick an established company, like Link to Visibility, who takes the time to learn about your company’s:
- unique qualities
- ideal customers
- preferred channels used by customers
- targeted messages
Most important: make sure that it is possible to discuss directly with the professionals who support you and develop your materials. To get the best from your provider, build an ongoing relationship that will support you as your company evolves.
Contact us today to make it easy for referrals to become customers and support your company’s visibility on the web.
To learn more about corporate story telling, stay tuned for our next blog.