Today’s buyers and prospective customers who are seeking specific services get the majority of their purchasing information from online searches, comparison websites, and other customer recommendations (satisfied, or not).
No hard-sell, but online reputation is key
Buyers of services no longer like a hard-sell tactic, they prefer to make self-sourced decisions and shopping around. For a service like a house move, for example, they are particularly reliant on basing their choice on online reputation, These happen in the form of review sites, google reviews, word of mouth in the social media community, personal recommendation, and overall online digital presence at all touchpoints where they may encounter your brand and business.
But there is a place for promoting offers
But buyers are also not averse to market-messaging that creates brand awareness with useful information, or a special offer promotion, from which they will make a purchasing decision (and, in the case of a promotional offer they are happy to receive a discount during a costly moving time!). They are also used to being exposed to promoted ad messaging.
Buyers evaluating your business without you knowing they are even looking at you
These buyers are researching, evaluating, and making decisions about companies without a single contact with a company salesperson.
They prefer to be self-sufficient in their research — mostly through digital sources. In fact, they are usually 60% down the sales path already before they have any interaction with you, or are even known to you in many instances.
This is why your website content and overall digital presence across all platforms/social media is key, as this is where your customer may be seeking services like yours – and making their purchase decision.
Content is key to influence buyer decision-making
From a content marketing perspective, knowing where your buyers get their information is critical. It is about virtually meeting prospective customers and potential buyers where they are.
It is important to understand the buyer’s/prospective customer’s journey, so that one knows how to target and position different campaigns to reach specific buyers in their place on their journey, especially in today’s online world and nature of purchasing decision-making.
There is no linear, one-size-fits-all, but there are some key basic stages in today’s buyer’s journey. The buyer needs different types of information to answer different questions and address unique challenges at each stage. This is where a diverse range of targeted high value content comes in, with CTAs and funnel process in place, to lead to engaging with and contacting you.
Over 80% of people search for products and services online, before making an actual purchase. They may be 60% of the way to making a decision before they first interact with you.
So online presence is crucial.