Why you should drive conversion by focusing on adding value instead of making sales
Updated: Dec 23, 2018
When you're uninterested in a product or service, how much convincing would be needed for you to buy it? In most cases none - because you're not going to buy it regardless because you don't give a shit.
Versus if you're interested in a product or service, you don't need much convincing about why you want it or how it's of use to you.
That's why branding and marketing strategies that work to drive interest and add value often work much better than ones that push to drive sales and make money.
When you focus on adding value your doing a few key things correctly:
You're confirming the consumer has an interest in your topic of choice and possibly developing it. The topic should in some way should be related to your product/service (hence a marketing company writing blog posts about marketing - see how this works?).
You're hitting the conscious need people feel to reciprocate favors, as stated by the psychological rule of reciprocation.(1)
You're removing the idea that your company is motivated only by getting something from the other person, thus when you shoot your shot, you won't come off as needy or deceptive.
People don't trust others who only want something from them but at the same time people don't want to waste their time with others who beat around the bush and who don't have a clearly identifiable purpose. It's a delicate balance that will vary based on your audience, industry, and location.
Gone are the old days where people were forced watch or listen to commercials, like on TV or radio. Internet sources, primarily social media, are getting an exponentially growing share of users and attention - and more than ever before people have a choice about the content they consume, specifically ad related content.
This is why using content marketing strategies and making your companies' values and beliefs clear and consistent works so well on social media. Because every second on social media, people are making choices about what they want and don't want to see. People want to see things they like, things they identify with - they don't want to be convinced of something they don't care about.
For example, remember the Samsung Galaxy commercials talking about how much bigger the screen is, the more memory space, the faster processors when compared to iPhone? Great - the Galaxy is statistically better. Who sold more phones? Whose stock price is bigger? Who has more market share? Whose brand is more widely recognized?
People buy Apple products for a variety of reasons, one being because they are so widely used and catered to. This is the psychological rule of social proof, perhaps the strongest of all persuasion, in action.(1) People use the decisions of others to help them make decisions. But how did Apple become so successful?
Were going to the age-old and time tested principle of "people don't buy what you do they buy why you do it.(2)" Great leaders (and great companies) don't sell products, they sell ideas.
People create the interest and define the purpose for the available products/services for themselves. People are great at creating opinions about things, that's mentally comforting, and much easier than adopting someone else's idea about why they need your product/service.
If a company believes what I believe, I understand and interpret what they do through the lens of those beliefs. Suddenly they don't convince me of anything but I convince myself. Kinda like the DiCaprio movie Inception. I don't often think about it in such a linear A-to-B fashion but essentially I can see it working like that if i attempt to define it to myself.
The takeaway from this is to create a clear and consistent image and brand that focuses on values and beliefs, focuses on the "Why" of it all. People try to influence one another all day, but if you lead someone to influence themselves, you'll make sales without having to "sell."
That's why it's critically important to have consistent beliefs and a focus on adding value portrayed across all online channels such as business website, social media, directories, and listings. If people aren't sure what your about - they will invest less of their time, and a lot less of their money.