The buyer journey is ever-changing due to the dominance of social media in the social selling and digital marketing spheres. 57%-74% of the buying journey is done online, and because there is such a vast amount of information accessible via the Internet, there has been an evident shift in power from the seller to the buyer. This change in the buyer journey involves consumers being much more informed in relation to the buying process. They know a lot more than they used to, such as a company’s weaknesses and its competition, due to the abundance of information that can be acquired by the buyer online.
Here are four ways you can best adapt to this change in the buyer journey!
1. Don’t rush to sell
A lot of the time the urge to sell straight away can override everything else, and what should be digital marketing ultimately becomes social selling. This means that promoting what you are selling often comes before establishing a prospect as a lead, when it should be the other way around. While promoting your content online is a very helpful and necessary part of social selling and digital selling, prioritizing your following is much more important in relation to nurturing the leads and prospects you have acquired in the digital marketing stage of the buying process. This is because selling right away isn’t effective and the buyer is already aware of the different stages in the buying process. Don’t go in for the close when a prospect acknowledges you. Let them know that you’re grateful for their support and offer them help, rather than a product or service. The selling will come later, so don’t rush into anything!
2. Share information and ideas
Instead of selling straight away, try offering your prospects insights and information that will actually assist your followers in some way. This encourages engagement, which will ultimately work in your favor. Social media is first and foremost entertainment, so if you are offering followers information or ideas, they will more likely be interested in what else you have to offer. Promoting your content (blogposts, products, etc.) is fine every once in a while, but make sure you add worth to whatever you’re sharing with your prospects. Assure them that what you are showcasing is valuable and can actually benefit them in some way, without having to be sold something!
3. Be active
Establishing an online presence is very important, particularly when the majority of prospects are on social media. The increase in millennial buyers is definitely a contributing factor to the overall change in the buyer journey. Many businesses have adapted to this, but many are also holding onto old habits. Put simply, millennial buyers just don’t respond to the old approach. As long as you engage with prospects and post online regularly, they will be content both with you and what you have to offer. Don’t ignore your potential customers or leads when they ask genuine questions online. Let them know you care enough about their following that you would take the time to offer any solutions you can. The buyer is now trying to access as much information as possible online, so providing them with that information will assist them on their own buyer journey!
4. Don’t make it about you
No matter what you post or promote online, make sure you showcase the benefits of what you are offering to potential customers by making it about them. Rather than saying something like “We are the best business out there”, say “This is the best business for you and your needs”. Obviously, these are very general examples, but by simply including the word “you” in a sentence within a Tweet or Direct Message, you are prioritizing the customer as opposed to merely promoting you and your business. Otherwise, it’ Once you let prospects know why they need your product and how it can make their lives easier, you have a much better chance of achieving success in digital marketing.
While many B2B inside sales teams are embracing the change in the buyer journey, some are still preserving the old approaches to marketing and selling. The shift in power from seller to buyer means that marketing strategies need to be adapted in order to facilitate this change that’s happening online. Prioritizing the buyer is the most important thing to consider when marketing on social media as they now have a complete understanding of the buying process and want as much information about it as possible before they make a purchase decision. By sharing ideas, taking time to get to know your prospects, and prioritizing their needs, you will successfully adapt to the change in the buyer journey!