If you're a business owner or marketing executive who wants insightful, jargon-free tips on making social media work for your business—FAST—you're in the right place. Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He's an international speaker, publisher, adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University and an entrepreneur who co-founded the Google Affiliate Network. His book, "Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You," is first to show how fans, readers and followers can be converted to leads, subscribers and sales. Make Social Sell is your practical resource on making social media produce leads and sales.
Does your content marketing create reaction beyond sharing? When using LinkedIn, Facebook and blogs, creating response is critical to netting B-to-B leads and sales. The key to success is getting your target market to take action—moving them off of social media.
At some point you've got to disengage and get the inbound in the term inbound marketing going!
Many inbound marketing experts claim being engaging within LinkedIn groups or telling compelling stories on your blog will help you net generate more leads and sales. It's simply not very effective. In fact, most content marketing plans fail because popular wisdom the practice is fatally flawed.
Before you can net a lead, you've got to create confidence in potential buyers with social media. This is an exciting, effective, new way to generate business leads with social media. But where to start?
How can you start creating response-right now-without investing more time in what you're already doing?
How to Create Response-Now!
If telling compelling, transparent, authentic stories about your brand won't help you make sales what are you to do? Trash the idea totally? Never. All that's needed is this to make those remarkable stories you're telling actionable.
You've got to give prospects a compelling reason to ask for more content in exchange for qualitative information about them. Because when they do that they become part of your sales funnel.
I know it's fashionable to say marketers are publishers but the truth is you're not in the publishing business at all. You're in the response business. Not the reaction business (ie. getting shared) but the response business (getting leads).
The success formula is quite simple.
Step 1: Create content that solves a problem.
Step 2: Locate and/or attract qualified discussions.
Step 3: Lure prospects into taking an action that connects to your sales funnel.
Create the Honey: Useful Content
Pick an itch your customer has and scratch it with blog, video or some other form of content. Solve a common problem that relates to the end goal your customer is pursuing, for instance. Whether you're a service or product marketer, this is the best content for blogs or any B-to-B content marketing vehicle you publish.
In my case, I published a handful of stories and audio interviews on my site featuring a niche subject matter expert. My guest told readers/listeners how to take action on a burning problem-one that related to a specific solution I sell.
The idea is to use content to give confidence to buyers. The trick is to do it in ways that increase their ability to feel emotionally grounded and intellectually stronger-fully equipped to do what they want to do. Buy.
Attract the Bees
Next, simply locate and/or attract qualified "conversations" with prospects. You can hunt them down inside LinkedIn groups or blog in ways that attract search engine traffic based on questions (keywords) your prospects are asking.
In my case, I decided to begin using LinkedIn for sales prospecting. I spotted a discussion on a niche LinkedIn Group where I answered a question in a way that "brought to life" the specific valuable answers my guest expert was offering... but not in the usual way.
Provoke an Action
I did not link back to my content; rather, I quoted my expert's best sound byte. He was honestly provocative because he shared a new perspective and unique remedy. It then became easy for me to invite my prospects to join me on a journey... one where they would receive more useful content if they opted-in.
Of course, this moved them toward (or away from) my solution.
Remember, in B-to-B marketing you've got to go beyond telling a good story. Start netting leads by creating content that is provocative-compelling enough to cause prospects to sign up for more content they're craving. It can be a webinar, ebook, downloadable tip sheet, self-assessment or educational video series (like free sales training videos) that solves a common problem or addresses a popular fear or myth.