89% of people who follow a brand on social media will buy from that brand.1
At a time when, despite a Global pandemic, customers from across the globe can buy almost anything from almost anywhere, consumers are overwhelmed with choices. When so many products and services suit their needs and fit their budget, how do they choose just one?
In 2020, it’s not enough to offer a new service that solves a problem or fits a niche, and expect consumers to buy it. Even if the service you offer is the most innovative, well designed, and reasonably priced version on the market, if a customer doesn’t know your brand, you won’t make that sale.
If one service is sold by a company a consumer knows and loves, and a similar service is sold by a company they’ve never heard of before, it’s not hard to guess which one they’ll pick. It’s no longer enough to say that ‘a good service will sell itself’. It won’t.
Create a brand that your customers engage with and trust, and you’re more likely to sell your services. In other words, consumers buy brands, not the services they offer.
Building a Rounded Brand
Your ‘brand’ is a lot more than your company name and logo – and it takes a lot more than an eye catching image or catchy name for a consumer to begin to trust your brand.
Imagine you are going to a networking event. On the way into the event, there’s a list of all attendees, with a photo of their face next to their name. You can read the list of names and see what they look like, but this list doesn’t tell you if you’ll like these people, or if you’ll want to do business with them.
Once you go into the event, and start chatting to the people on the list, you’ll get to know who they are, what they do and where they come from. These are the people you’ll remember in the future, and the people you’ll decide you want to do business with. It’s the same for your potential customers. Just because they know your name and logo, they don’t know enough about you to decide if they like you – or want to buy from you.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier in 2020, online sales have increased dramatically, and consumers are spending many more hours trawling the web looking for their next purchase.2 But they aren’t just looking at the description of the service you offer. A quick search will tell consumers all they need to know about who you are, and how you treat your customers.
Make your voice heard.
Your website and social media channels are a fantastic form of advertising for your brand that are completely within your control. Often, websites and social channels are interlinked, and having an engaged following on any one of these platforms will increase engagement on another. Your website should have as much information about who you are as a company, as it does about the products and services you sell. Once a consumer understands more about your values and ethos, their trust in you will increase, and you are one step closer to a sale.
Having a clear and consistent voice aimed at your target market is essential.
Your social media channels should be led by the same values and ethos that are prominent on your website. When consumers follow your brand on social media, 91% will go on to visit your website, and 84% will visit your physical shop.3
We all know it takes numerous touch points with a consumer before you finally nab that sale, but the interactions you have with your customer base need to go deeper than sales adverts. In fact, 64% of consumers are now belief-driven buyers.4 These consumers will engage with or reject a brand, depending on the stance the brand has taken on social issues, and issues outside the confines of their brand or the services they offer.
Use your website and social media pages to be transparent with your potential clients, customers and partners. Tell them who you are, where you’re from and why you love what you do. Respond to customers and interact with your followers. Share your thoughts and ideas in blogs, your research in statistics and your aims in your newsletters. Become a brand that consumers understand, and the next time they go looking for a service and your name pops up, they’ll know exactly what to expect.
Take small steps
You don’t have to be a huge business turning over hundreds of thousands of pounds to be a reliable brand. You simply need to have a clear voice that transposes across everything you do. Make sure that someone going on your website would immediately know that your Twitter feed or Facebook page is written with the same goals in mind. Write about topics your customers are interested in, engage them in content they care about, and answer their questions, and over time, their trust in you will convert into sales.
Just like when you meet someone new, communication is key.
Sell your brand first, and your services will sell themselves.
1 Sprout Social Index, Edition XVI: Above & Beyond, ttps://media.sproutsocial.com/uploads/2020-Sprout-Social-Index-Above-and-Beyond.pdf?utm_medium=Email&utm_content=GuideTrigger, p.7.
2 Office for National Statistics, https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/retailindustry/timeseries/j4mc/drsi.
3 Sprout Social Index, Edition XVI: Above & Beyond, ttps://media.sproutsocial.com/uploads/2020-Sprout-Social-Index-Above-and-Beyond.pdf?utm_medium=Email&utm_content=GuideTrigger, p.35.
4 Smart Insights, Consumers are increasingly trusting brands that take a stance, https://www.smartinsights.com/online-brand-strategy/consumers-are-increasingly-trusting-brands-that-take-a-stance/.