When it comes to generating leads and making sales, the very first step is educating consumers. After all, consumers can’t buy something they don’t know about.
So, sales begin with education. And education begins with communication. But what are the best ways to communicate? After all, we have more ways of communicating with customers than ever before.
Here is a how-to guide to educating consumers that covers the primary communication channels available for marketers.
Today’s TV comes in several varieties. It can be broadcast, cable or digital streaming. In each of these, you’re typically limited to a presentation of no more than 30 seconds. But those 30 seconds can be really powerful. A combination of video and audio is a great way to make an emotional connection with customers. TV commercials are also a great way to introduce yourself to a broad audience.
A typical commercial may be too short to tell your entire story. But they can raise questions, pique interest or get customers thinking about products and services in a way that makes them want to take steps to learn more.
Like TV, radio also comes in traditional and digital formats. Like TV, radio can also deliver a broad audience for a relatively economical price. It doesn’t have the benefit of visuals, so sometimes it might not deliver the educational or emotional “punch” that video can.
On the other hand, radio can use “theater of the mind” to convey ideas that might be difficult or too expensive to create in video. For example, a radio ad for roofing might say, “imagine thousands of baseball-sized hailstones hitting your roof!” Paired with appropriate sound effects, this creates a mental image that would be almost impossible to economically recreate in video.
Direct mail can be a tremendous tool for educating consumers. The ability to include diagrams, photos and infographics is powerful. Even relatively complex ideas can be communicated because customers can take all the time they need to examine your information.
Direct mail can be a great way to answer online or phone requests for additional information. A direct mail piece sent ahead of a sales call can answer common questions and pave the way for a more efficient meeting. When sending unsolicited mail, it’s critical to present – right up front – a compelling reason to read the rest of your message. Direct mail that saves its most interesting bits for the end, usually ends up in the garbage before it even gets read.
Email offers a good way to walk homeowners through a volume of information in “bite-sized” chunks. Using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, you can build an email marketing series that tells a compelling story about your company, your products and your services.
Best of all, once you build out various email series – called workflows. New prospects can enter at the beginning of the series and the automated workflow will make sure they move along sales funnel without any additional effort on your part. You can learn more about using email workflows to educate and generate leads in our blog here.
Technically, social media is made up of web plaftorms that allow users to post and engage with each other’s content. Sites like Facebook, Instagram and even YouTube offer good opportunities for companies to post educational content and create conversations with their followers.
Things like explainer videos, testimonials, FAQs, team profiles, case studies and other similar educational content can work really well on social media.
Your own website is probably the most important tool for homeowner education. Topics covered in less detail through other media can be expanded on within your web pages. Best of all, directing consumers to your site for more information can also expose them to your tools for lead generation like your contact form or phone number.
Communication, Education, Lead Generation
Every communication method has its own strengths when it comes to educating consumers. By using each channel and coordinating the information you present in each, you can help move prospects through the steps of curiosity, consideration, lead generation and finally purchase.