What is the main motivation to interact with a brand online? Why do people come to your website? Why do they follow you on Twitter?
Most of them are seeking information. They want to learn what they can to make a smart decision. Should they buy your product or your competitor's? People are online to educate themselves.
This infographic from Predictable Profits shows how customers interact online to learn about products.
How many sources of information do people tend to look at before they make a decision about what kind of car to buy? An average of 18.2 sources. People buying technology tend to look at 14.8 sources. People making decisions about what insurance to buy look at 11.7 sources, but those choosing a credit card only look at 8.6 sources.
As a brand, you should know what kind of information your customer's need. They are educating themselves, not only in your product, but in the options they have in relationship to your product. Building your online strategy to educate your customers is a smart (and empowering) way to approach your brand's online relationships.
Seventy-nine percent of people who follow a brand on social media do it to learn more about the brand. Seventy-three percent hope to obtain exclusive information.
Some of the top industries that people try to learn about on the Internet are health care and children's products.
Where do most people start their search for information? You guessed it: Google. Then retailers' sites. Then manufacturers' sites.
Even when people are in physical stores, they use their smart phones to look for promotional coupons and compare pricing to Amazon or other sites. Some of them even use their smart phones to scan bar codes to compare prices.
The good news is that more informed customers will choose your product or service if it is competitive, which, in turn, makes the market more efficient.