Archives for generate sales

Branding the Sales Funnel

What does your brand say about you? Or does anyone even know your brand?

Something that you hear a lot of in social media is the idea of branding.  We also hear about branding in exclusion to sales. But is branding just a marketers excuse for not delivering the sale? What part of the sales funnel incorporates branding?

Branding

When a marketer isn’t deliver the sale you will often hear them say:

“We are building your brand recognition”

“Creating a strong brand”

“Getting your brand out there”

What does that mean? What is the value of branding? It might sound like a bucket of horse apples, but there might be more to it than you think.

A brand is a name you know, like and trust. So branding is the art of becoming knowable, likeable and trustworth.  Not sure you are fully seeing the value?  Lets look at some of the ultimate branding successes:

Kleenex – Your nose is runny to you ask for a facial tissue or a kleenex?

Coke- Have you ever said you wanted a coke and then were asked what kind?

Xerox– how often do you make photo-stats or do you make a xerox

Even Google has become one- “Let me google that” instead of “let me search for that”

These are words that have become a part of our vocabulary and encompass everyone in their category. Of course most people won’t achieve this level of brand recognition, but it doesn’t mean that branding doesn’t play a valuable roll in your business marketing.

Brand recognition is what separates you from the pack. Your name becomes synonymous with your reputation. If that reputation is good then your name carries its own capital value. If your reputation is good and your name is synonymous with your reputation, then you will breed trust with your brand. That trust then also becomes a part of the brand reputation.

Does branding get you the sale?

Not in the short run. But it will in the long run. When you are building your brand you need to focus on establishing your reputation. People don’t yet know you so they don’t yet trust you. If they don’t trust you why are they going to click your link and buy from you?  However, once you have brand recognition they will buy from you because they do trust you. Not only will they buy from you but you will have better loyalty and be able to command a higher price than your unbranded competition. People are willing to pay for reputation.

In some cases your reputation becomes a status symbol, like Bently or Rolex. There are plenty of other diamond encrusted watches that are good. But you know Rolex is good and that they stand behind their product. So you are willing to pay a premium for what you know to be a quality product with good customer service and a high retained equity value. That is another place where branding comes into play. The value of your brand also extends to its long term equity. If you are known for excellence in your products, that can generate a higher resale value, which intern makes buying your product an investment.

Social Branding

Branding is not the end all be all of marketing. You still need to go out and farm the lead and work the sale. Though it will great help you in the long run, you still have to get the sale in the short run.  This is why social media is so effective to accomplish both. With a good strategy you can generate leads while you simultaneously work your branding. As your branding improves, so will your sales.

Using the social networks to get in front of your audience and participate in topic relevant conversations are a great way to get your brand in front of your potential customers. By thoughtfully participating you can begin to boost your reputation by establishing yourself as educated and informed. This is the first step to being trustworthy.

Brand your Sales Funnel

You do not have to have a million dollar marketing budget to work on branding. You need to get the sales.  But your branding should not be separate from your sales, it should be integrated.  While you are finding your leads and closing your sales, keep in mind that your brand will be helping you along the way. So help it back. Hop onto your networks and jump into the conversations. Offer your knowledge and contribute.  You will be surprised at how many leads you can generate by simply participating.

 

Shop till you Tweet!…Black Friday on social media

Twitter bird tweeting the dollar sign

Black Friday is notoriously the biggest shopping day of the year and social media will not be excluded as a participant. But how is social media promoting it? Black Friday ads, Black Friday sales, Black Friday shopping! Are you shopping your tweets? Tweeting your shopping?

All you have to do is search “Black Friday” and you will see all the websites that are collecting sales information to become your personal Black Friday clearing house.  However, websites are not the only way you can learn about the special deals.  In fact, they might not even be the best way.

The best way to find some of the Black Friday deals might just be through Facebook and Twitter.

Many storeslike Staples and Walmart have been leaking their Black Friday deals over Twitter and Facebook for days, getting their friends and followers primed for shopping deal bonanzas.

If you search #blackfriday you will find an unending stream of tweets about deals and savings you can find online and in stores.  There is even a twitter account that is streaming Black Friday deals from all over the web and the twitterverse, @blackfriday.

If you do a search on Facebook for Black Friday you will not only find some pages that are listing sales but you will see what  Black Friday posts your friends are making.  This is actually a great way to see what deals your friends are sharing and what deals the pages you like are offering,

Many pages have been posting Black Friday deals, but because of the newsfeed optimization, or the time you get on your facebook, there are posts you might be missing.  Do a search for Black Friday and see what your friends and the pages you like have been offering.

If you are up for a shopping excursion, this may be the best way to find the best deals that are actually relevant to you.

Of course, outside of access to really cool deals, this is a great opportunity as a business to expand your reach and test your marketing.  Offering deals to twitter and Facebook fans is a great way to grow your network and test the efficacy of your reach.

…and if you didn’t do it for Black Friday you still have time for Cyber Monday!