News article

How to turn your Linked Listeners into prospects (and ultimately clients)

In last week’s blog, we helped you to understand the proportion of your audience that are “in-market”, and ready to buy your services, at any given point in time. This week, in the second of our three-blog series, we’re going to reveal what this research means for your marketing strategy.

Let’s start with a reminder of the data we revealed last week:

  • In the B2C space, approximately 3% of people are interested in buying right now, with 6-7% open to considering buying
  • In the B2B space, the 3% figure rises to 5%.

The other 90% are split equally between people who:

  • Are not thinking about buying at this time
  • Don’t believe they are interested, based on the information they have to hand
  • Are definitely not interested.

So should your marketing strategy focus on the 3-10% of people who might be “in-market” now, and ignore everyone else?

No. Absolutely not.

But you do need a different strategy for people who are “in-market” and those who aren’t. Also, the three audience types inevitably lead to further strategy differentiation. As a reminder, your three audiences are:

1. Linked Listeners

People in this group are already connected to you, for example, you might have their email address or be connected with them on social media.

That means you can control when messages are delivered and received.

2. Secret Suspects

These are people who know you, but you don’t know them. Yet!

They’re in the shadows, slowly getting to know you by visiting your website, reading your blogs and social posts, or listening to your podcasts.

3. Curious Consumers

People in the Curious Consumer group are aware they have an immediate or future need. They might have started to search for solutions but, so far, you aren’t on their radar.

Three things you must remember

Before we recommend the different marketing strategies you could use, we need to pause to explain three incredibly important things.

Firstly, each of the three audiences contains people who are:

  • Interested in buying now (3%)
  • Open to considering buying (6-7%)
  • Not thinking about it at this time (30%)
  • Don’t believe they are interested, based on the information they have to hand (30%)
  • Are definitely not interested (30%).

Secondly, the two things that differentiate your three audiences from one another are:

  1. Their awareness of your brand/business
  2. Your ability to communicate directly with them.

Linked Listeners: You have their email address or you’re connected to them on social media. That makes marketing much easier because you can control what they see and when they see it.

Secret Suspects: You can’t control the frequency they see your communications because you don’t know who they are. All you can do is maintain the frequency, quality and consistency of your marketing.

Curious Consumers: They don’t know you, and you don’t know them, which makes communication challenging, to say the least!

Finally, we need to recognise that our powers as marketers are limited; you don’t move buyers “in-market”, they move themselves. Your job is to make sure it’s you that they buy from when they are ready.

To do that, you need to connect chains of high-quality touchpoints, helping people get to know, like and trust you, and embedding your brand in their memory. So when they move themselves “in-market”, it’s you that they come to, rather than someone else.

To be more specific, Google’s Zero Moment of Truth study, released in 2011, suggests that before buying, a consumer needs around:

  • Seven hours of interaction
  • Across 11 touchpoints
  • In four locations.

The engagement strategy you’ll use is dictated by two things:

  • A consumer’s existing awareness of your brand
  • Your ability to communicate with them.

So let’s dive into the three groups by clarifying your objectives, and then the tactics to include in your marketing strategy. We’ll do this now for LinkedIn Listeners and next week, in part three, for Secret Suspects and Curious Consumers.

Turning Linked Listeners into prospects

Objective: Get the right people to take calls to action and book an initial meeting.

Firstly, we need to recognise (and I’ll try to break this to you gently) that you might not be the only adviser/planner on a prospect’s radar. Competition means we need to get the marketing foundations right, by:

  • Building an impressive collection of Google reviews (a prospect will see these when they search for your business) and VouchedFor reviews (they’ll see these when they search for your name)
  • Developing client videos so a prospect can hear directly from people like them, who’ve been working with you for some time
  • Investing in a compelling website, which is your shop window and where prospects ultimately decide whether you’re the right option for them
  • Sending a monthly newsletter: This is the foundation on which all other nurturing is built. Your newsletter should add value while showcasing your knowledge and sending it consistently every month builds a prospect’s confidence in your reliability. If you think a quarterly newsletter accomplishes these three things, it’s time to think again
  • Connecting with prospects on social media: The Google research shows the importance of varying touchpoint locations, so connect with your prospects on social media. Prioritise personal accounts over corporate and post consistently following our 8:1:1 rule
  • Remarketing: Consumers will often visit your website multiple times before taking a call to action. Remarketing (displaying adverts on social media to people who’ve visited your website) helps to maintain your brand’s profile in their memory and nudges them back to your door.

Once the foundations are taken care of, we need to develop content which adds value while also providing you with “intent signals”, showing which Linked Listers might be moving “in-market”.

Examples of such content include:

  • Webinars: Incredibly cost-effective and relatively easy to organise, webinars also provide you with content that can be repurposed endlessly. And it’s fair to assume that people who attend are moving closer to being “in-market” and choosing to engage you
  • Scorecard: A well-built scorecard gives your Linked Listener huge value while giving you information to personalise your follow-up
  • In-person events: Harder to organise than webinars, and more costly, but with the payoff that you meet prospects face-to-face
  • Videos: A great way to vary the location of touchpoints and a technique that’s trackable, allowing you to see who is genuinely engaged
  • Guides and white papers: By nature, these are longer than blogs, so if a Linked Listener takes the time to download and read one, it’s a pretty good signal of interest and, hopefully, intent.

Remember too, that a prospect regularly opening and reading your newsletter is a massive “intent signal”. They’re pointless though if you don’t use them as opportunities for follow-up.

Here are six ideas:

  1. Offer webinar attendees the opportunity to book a meeting online
  2. Phone everyone who registered for your webinar, even if they didn’t attend
  3. Personalise the results email that’s sent after someone completes a scorecard
  4. Call everyone who completes your scorecard, tailoring what you say based on their answers
  5. When someone watches a video, send a follow-up email, or pick up the phone
  6. Every three months, create a “hot prospects” list based on newsletter opens and links clicked, then reach out to these prospects either by phone, or email, to offer an initial meeting. Remember to make that offer as frictionless as possible, by offering multiple time/date options or giving them access to your online calendar.

Don’t miss part three of this series

Next week, we’ll finish this short series of blogs by explaining how the research should impact your marketing strategy to Secret Suspects and Curious Consumers.

In the meantime, though, if you’re struggling with online reviews, your website isn’t up to scratch, you don’t have the time to produce a monthly newsletter, or your social media presence needs a boost, we’re here to help.

Simply email or call 0115 8965 300. We’d love to have a chat.

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