The travelling salesman problem crystallises the biggest challenge traditional door-to-door salesmen have been facing since time immemorial: Given the distances between locations, how can a salesman best optimise his route, such that he visits each location once and returns back to his home base – at the shortest time possible?
It goes without saying that door-to-door sales is a numbers game – and hitting as many locations as possible at one go is the only way to increase the probability of landing a sale. And while cold calling has emerged to become a more common initial touchpoint nowadays than door-to-door sales, it does little to penetrate into deeper levels of engagement.
With the advent of social media channels, the scope of sales has become much broader, moving beyond door-to-door sales and telemarketing. Through social selling, there is now real potential for brands to drive the right conversations to better tap into the market’s wants and needs.
Social selling allows a brand to establish and strengthen rapport with potential customers on social media platforms, closing the gap between engagement and conversion. With Southeast Asian countries considered to be among the top performers when it comes to social media adoption (users in the Philippines spend four hours and 15 minutes on average each day on social media channels, for instance, the highest in the world among users aged 16-64 years), organisations that fail to leverage social selling are clearly missing out on all the sales action in Southeast Asia’s increasingly socially savvy market.
Social selling streamlines the process of finding prospects who are actually interested in the products and services brands are offering. This means less time wasted researching and reaching out to prospects and contacts that don’t even have much of a chance of converting in the first place (and who may even find such advances quite intrusive) – and attacking the ones that have higher chances of actually becoming customers.
It’s quite easy to determine who’s on the lookout for products and services – if one’s vigilant enough on social media. Today, most companies ranging from consumer-focused to B2B organisations are pretty vocal about their needs, with key leaders discussing some pain points as well as features in products and services they are specifically looking for. With the right social selling strategy in place, B2C companies can come up with more emotive sales pitches tailored to the respective needs of potential clients, while B2B firms can develop a more effective content pipeline that positions them as market leaders. This, in turn, can increase the probability of getting your foot in your potential clients’ doors – as you now have a higher chance of catching potential clients’ attention.
Nowadays, merely doing a simple search and viewing live streams of other brands can easily tell marketers a lot of things about customers’ pain points and the kind of features they are looking for. Armed with these initial insights, one is no longer pitching in the dark as in the case of cold calling or door-to-door sales.
With some help from renowned influencers, brands can take their real-time engagement strategy up a notch using platforms such as Facebook Live and Instagram Live. Consumers can interact with the hosts on the platform, and purchase the products being endorsed right off the bat. Influencers can better communicate and demonstrate the product experience to consumers who trust these influencers’ opinions. Furthermore, consumers get to shoot their questions in real time, translating to a more streamlined, interactive and intimate communication channel between consumers and brands.
Here’s a caveat, though: Brands should still think out of the box when it comes to conceptualising live events. Creativity sells as brands grapple with consumers’ decreasing attention spans. And this is why marketers should go beyond conventional experiences such as unboxing, if they want to really hook their audience all throughout the live stream.
Here are some tips to help marketers make the most of live streaming.
Suss out your audience’s behaviour. Determine when they are most engaged. Based on what you glean, set a time and date to go live. But also check if there are upcoming live-streams from other consumer brands (you wouldn’t want to be competing with other brands when it comes to consumer attention, especially if you’re just starting out) . If you plan to engage influencers, coordinate with them early on to lock in a suitable schedule. Also plan the venue and logistics for the live stream in advance to avoid issues on the day of the live stream.
Conduct dry runs
Prepare a program flow and a script. If you’re working with influencers, brief them properly about your brand’s key messaging ahead of the live stream. It is advisable to have at least one dry run, wherein everyone involved in the live stream will get to practice saying his or her lines. Also ensure that everyone is prepared for the Q&A’s that consumers will be asking in real-time.
Create buzz around your upcoming live stream using different channels across relevant groups ahead of time. Then ramp up promotional efforts once you go live. During the live broadcast, ensure that the hosts/influencers constantly remind your viewers to subscribe to your brand’s live notification. This way, your viewers will always be updated whenever there’s an upcoming live stream that may be of interest.
Check out metrics such as click and engagement rates to determine how you can further enhance your upcoming live streams. The good news is, livestream social selling is something that you can improve and further refine as you get to know more about your target audience and their behaviour on social media channels.
Above all, focus on building a great human experience. People buy from people, after all. And while it’s great to stay professional, remember to put your audience first and focus on building good relationships with consumers.
Tired of blindly knocking on a hundred doors, or wasting a significant amount of time waiting for people to pick up their phones? Get in touch with our team to discover how to get the most of livestream social selling to build better connections with potential clients.