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One thing advertisers don’t like admitting is the fact that finding leads is easy. In fact, many advertising platforms are so geared towards efficiently allowing you to send messages to potentially interested readers that it’s almost harder to not get clicks on your ads.
That said, it doesn’t matter how many leads you have if you’re not strengthening your connections and converting those leads into customers. This is the last in our series of lessons, so it’s only fitting that we talk about how to build on everything you created before reaching this point.
Why Your Ads Aren’t Selling Your Products
Most people are cynical when it comes to businesses - along with the statistics noted there, a full 86% of people don’t trust the advertisements they see, and they’ll be quick to quote the adage “anything that sounds too good to be true probably is”. That’s why your ads shouldn’t be about selling your products - instead, advertisements should be focused around getting people interested enough to learn more about your company so you can draw them into your sales funnel and attract them to your real content.
This takes place during the second part of the sales funnel - quality content on an ongoing basis is what solidifies and grows a group of leads. Now, what exactly “quality” is happens to be an elusive term - but in general, high-quality content is something that people want to see.
That simple fact is the root of modern marketing techniques, and it’s amazing to see how many companies don’t understand this. It’s not about what you want people to see. That’s right - you can have all the desire in the world for people to see that new video or blog post of yours, but it doesn’t matter if nobody else wants to see it. The only people who care are those whose interest you’ve caught - but the right followup once you have their attention can truly strengthen business contacts and help you convert leads into paying customers.
The Ultimate Advertisement
The best ad is the one you can’t buy - a recommendation from a friend. Less than one in five people is inclined to trust any normal advertisement, and there’s a point where people just start to tune you out. This is where the end of the sales funnel comes into play and you turn people into advocates for their product.
Most people want to help others that are within their social network. If one person mentions a problem, others will mention a solution - and any solution a friend offers (especially if it comes from personal experience) is immediately valued far more than any amount of advertising you could create. In short, your ultimate goal is to create advocates for your products. Each advocate can bring in several new customers over time, and while there is a limit to this - we’re in the real world, not the realm of infinite marketing theory - the ultimate results are quite impressive.
The Side-Effects of Strengthening Business Contacts
Content that gets shared more is valuable. People who share more are valuable, too. In fact, you both benefit when your followers are taking the time so share your content with others, and the end result is that you’ll soon find yourself ranking higher on web pages and continuing to strengthen your entire brand.
Strengthening your connections will also give you a better sense of who your followers are, allowing you to sort them into groups based on their interests and activities. This is an incredible boon for the targeted advertisements we talked about in Lesson 201 - better targeting leads to a higher conversion rate, and a higher conversion rate ultimately means success for your company.
Practice Makes Perfect
Like most things, you’re probably not going to perfectly accomplish everything you try when you first start strengthening your connections. Instead, try to keep these two things in mind:
- Relationships are easy to destroy. Try to avoid posting controversial content, especially if your business has nothing to do with the subject at hand. Even long-time customers can turn on you in a heartbeat if they’re sufficiently offended, so while you should still be providing at least 50% content that exists solely to entertain, be absolutely certain that your content isn’t built around mockery or put-downs. Positive content tends to work far better.
- It’s all right to mess up as long as you learn from your mistakes. The lessons we’ve provided here are the general guidelines for your success - we can tell you that picture-based ads are good for building up your brand, but it’s up to you to figure out what kind of pictures to use. Content marketing and self-promotion is about learning from your experiences and improving yourself over time. Don’t be too hard on yourself if something doesn’t work - instead, try to find out why it didn’t work and search for a way to improve. Oh, and don’t go all-in on anything until you have solid evidence that it’s working for your business plan. There’s no sense in spending money on a failure when taking a little time to research could tell you far more about your odds of success.