If you’re emailing your email list multiple times per week, with the only goal being to ‘sell’ stuff, you may be a spammer.
If you use your social media to pump out nothing but sales posts, you may be a spammer.
If you only send messages that try to sell your product/service to your LinkedIn contacts, you may be a spammer.
Most of us think of spam as only junk email but I think there’s a lot of variations. The bottom line is that any form of spam doesn’t increase sales or provide your business with solid relations. No matter which way you use it, people online are savvy … savvy enough to see that all you want is a sale and their interests are meaningless to your organization.
The digital age has brought automation which allows businesses (Lexabi included) to automate a lot of their communication and increase sales without having to take the time to meet people face-to-face, or even pick up the phone to have a conversation.
Automation is good but can easily be taken too far.
People do business with people they KNOW, LIKE and TRUST.
If every single piece of communication you put out there (email, social, blogs) is about pushing someone to buy something, you may not be creating the kinds of relationships that will continue to support your business. Worse, you could be representing yourself as a fly-by-night or dishonest business with bad ethics. You could be missing out on new business because your reputation isn’t solid.
Every single day Lexabi Communications works with business owners and marketers to enhance their digital presence, so we see these mistakes happen over and over again. We help people discover better ways of marketing themselves so they end up growing their business and reputation in a positive direction.
Communicating with people who have expressed permission to receive your email communication is worth its weight in gold! But, if all you do is flood their inbox with poorly designed sales tactics, how long do you think they will tolerate that? A couple of MUST-DO’s:
- use a mail provider like MailChimp (our fav.) or Constant Contact
- make sure you have an ‘unsubsribe’ option on every newsletter
- include links to your website or whatever the destination
You have the opportunity to communicate with people organically, every day, through social media. But, if all of your social media content is about trying to sell something, people become disinterested and discouraged by your brand. There’s absolutely no incentive for them to actually do business with you because… well, quite frankly, you’re annoying them. There are great ways to make a social media post informative, not sales-like at all, but personifies you as a leader in your industry and someone people should buy from. Here’s a few examples:
A well designed website informs people about what you do and what you stand for. Now, here you definitely want to capture a sale and showcase how you can help people, or the newest item you have that will make them happy. The website is where you get to brag and lead people through your sales funnel. It’s your storefront and it’s expected.
But even the website can get spammy looking if you’re not careful. Each word should be thoughtful, each call to action should be designed to encourage people to take action. Each graphic should represent professionally. Even if you’re all about humour, it should be done very well.
Any business owner knows that this is not always an easy task.
Automating communication on social media and the website is incredibly helpful! They can really get the conversation going and, in some cases, keep it going. Knowing when it’s time to get a human to take over is critical.
How many times have you been annoyed by a bot because your question simply isn’t being answered uniquely … super annoying, right?
Now, here’s where you should be selling. People know the difference between marketing and selling. When you’re paying for an ad to be served to your targeted audience, you expect to get results and people expect to be sold. But even ads can look spammy if not designed properly.
Digital advertising should be a necessary component of your overall marketing plan and you should have a monthly budget set aside for it. But it should be about creating professional ads that are geared towards getting a sale, from a targeted audience, on a platform that works for your business. Digital marketing is more like maintaining your organic engagement and should be more about informing, educating, entertaining and, most of all, building relationships.
Are we saying “never use your communication channels to sell?” NO!
You’re take away from reading this article should be to create a digital marketing plan that encourages people to do business with you because you are an industry leader, you can be trusted, they like what you present to them and how you engage with them which will make them feel safe to do business with you. It shows you care about what they want… simple, good ol’ fashioned customer service done digitally. It’s also about representing yourself professionally so people take you seriously and see that you invest in your brand for them. This will grow your business indefinitely.
How do you do that?
- Create a content plan that informs, educates and entertains.
- Design creative to impress your audience at every level and for every medium
- Sprinkle some sales into that plan with well-designed language and graphics
- Monitor your digital assets so you know when to answer a question or guide someone towards your website “for more information”
- Make sure everything your audience sees is professional – and, yes, this may involve investing in marketing people – THE BEST INVESTMENT YOU’LL MAKE INTO YOUR BUSINESS!
- Give your best ‘stuff’ away. When you share, people really get to trust you and like that you’re willing to help them without making them pay for it all the time.
When you’re not flooding people with constant aggressive sales tactics, people will come to respect your business and when the time comes, they’ll choose to do business with you over your competitors.