Photo credit: Plume Creative
There was a time when company-centric content was all you needed for your business to succeed. But those days are far behind us. Modern consumers are subject to so many sales pitches in their day-to-day that most advertising is akin to irritating white noise.
That is to say, they’ve gotten very good at ignoring it altogether.
The problem is that too many companies are stuck at the narrow end of the sales funnel where their marketing content is concerned. They’re obsessed with pitching products and services, but they do so clumsily, without any sort of hook. As a result, their efforts tend more often than not to fall on deaf ears.
Never mind the fact that consumers simply don’t like ads. There’s a reason the use of ad blockers is on the rise. Countless studies have all reached this conclusion. I’ll name two:
- A 2017 study by ad tech agency Choozle found that only two in 10 consumers actually like ads
- A 2018 study by the McCarthy Group found that 84% of millennials neither like nor trust traditional marketing
You get the idea.
But if not through advertising, how exactly can you get your brand’s message out there? What can you do in order to get consumers interested in your organization? Simply put, talk to them, and do it in a way that they will find compelling.
Understand how they speak, how they think, and how they engage with your brand. First, draft up a few consumer profiles that identify your ideal consumer. Include as much demographic data as you can. You can do this by:
- Looking at the people who follow you on social media. How do they talk? What do they share? What are their interests?
- Doing the same with your competitors. Focus on the most engaged followers.
- Look at your own website analytics data. If you have a digital storefront, examine the information of people who’ve bought from you.
- Look at your competitor’s social pages and identify the most engaged people.
Of course, demographics research and audience profiles can only take you so far here. Eventually, you’re going to have to start drafting your marketing copy. And here’s where I find a lot of brands have trouble.
They know how their audience talks, but when they try to engage with them in that way, they come across as insincere.
It’s not easy, but you’ll need to train yourself to “talk” differently online. To establish a consistent brand voice that appeals to as much of your audience as possible you can actually look inward.
Presumably, you’re a different person at work than you are at home. You’re different to your family than you are your friends. You’re different to your significant other than you are your friendly acquaintances.
You use different words. Your body language and speech are different. And you probably do all of this unconsciously.
When you engage with your audience on social, that’s just one more group you’re interacting with. A group that requires a different persona and a different approach. Look at it that way, and you might be surprised at how easy it is to converse.
Terry Cane is the COO at SEOHost.net