In today’s new media world, we all compete for the attention of our prospects. For the most part, whoever has the most attention wins.
But is that attention enough? We often possess this attention only for short snippets and fleeting moments. If you want to really connect with prospects – and convert them – you want to grab their attention and hold it long enough to get your brand’s message across and develop a relationship with each individual.
So what can you do to increase your brand’s time of possession? Let’s look at a few tips:
Digital Presence: Hang out where your prospects hang out.
For most brands, customers aren’t spending hours and hours on their websites, so you have to connect with them where they are spending their time.
- Social Media: For most web users, social media takes up a significant portion of their web usage, and different demographics prefer different social networks. Most brands should have a presence on all major social media channels, but it’s also important to determine where your key prospects are really spending their time. This is where you should focus your efforts in relationship building.
- Referring Websites: Not sure where else your prospects are spending time? Check out which websites are referring the most traffic to you. These are places your prospects are visiting before coming to your site, so it’s likely they consider the content there valuable. Stay up to date on the content on those sites, participate in conversations there, and even considering contributing or developing a relationship with the sites.
- Forums: You want to be a part of the conversation, and that conversation is often happening in forums and comment sections of blogs. Determine where people are talking about your area of expertise and start contributing regularly.
Remarketing: Follow your prospects around.
You can’t trail after prospects on the street reminding them about your brand’s value, but you can do the equivalent in the digital world. When someone visits your website but doesn’t convert or make a repeat visit, give them a second chance to consider what you have to offer.
- Google AdWords: Google gathers cookies that not only allow you to capture website visitors, but also sort them into lists based on where they visited. So, if someone visited the shoe section of your store, for example, you can show them shoe ads as they surf elsewhere on the web. The more specific you can get about your prospects’ interests, the more effective your remarketing campaign will be.
- Facebook: American users spend an average of 40 minutes a day on this social media juggernaut, and 71% of online adults use Facebook. So it’s no surprise that many brands find that it’s an effective channel for remarketing campaigns. You can take your lists from Google Analytics, your newsletter subscribers, people who connected with you at a conference or event, or any other list of email addresses you have. Read more about specific strategies for remarketing on Facebook.
- Twitter: This social network skews a younger demographic – 18 to 29 years old – so it may not be the right fit for all brands. But it does allow you to take part in conversations as they occur. Twitter offers its own remarketing code that you install on your website in order to get started.
Great Content: Be relevant and provide value.
This is where you can score really high points. Consumers head to the internet to consume content, so there’s nothing that beats relevant, high value content for capturing their attention. For most brands, the primary channel for sharing content is a blog that is updated regularly, so here are a few ways to ensure your blog content is delivering the goods.
- Keep it simple. Simple doesn’t have to mean basic. You can offer advanced advice on a topic but still keep it simple to understand for your target audience. As a general rule, blogs are conversational and informative. Avoid jargon and long sentences. People tend to skim on the web rather than read a piece entirely, so make it easy for them to jump to relevant information by using subheadings and bullet points.
- Don’t shy away from emotion. You want to let people know why your content matters. What problems are you solving for them? How does the blog post connect with their needs or feelings? Let people know in your title or introduction to get them invested in the rest of the post.
- Cover useful, newsworthy, or interesting topics. Or better yet, find a topic that covers all three! If an article topic doesn’t fulfill one of those three adjectives, toss it and find another idea. Another goal is to find content that is unexpected. This isn’t always easy to do week after week, so if you’re having trouble, try to find a new way to approach a topic that has been covered before.
- Build trust. Make sure the content you provide is accurate. Small things, like including your source when sharing a statistic, can go a long way towards building your credibility with your audience, and keep them reading on and coming back for more.
Email Marketing: Hit their inboxes regularly.
Email marketing isn’t as “sexy” as other forms of marketing, so many brands make the mistake of overlooking it. But the truth is that email is consistently a high performer for marketing.
A study by EmailExpert found that for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return was $44.25. And for those who think that people don’t want to receive advertising via email: 90% prefer email to other mediums for receiving updates from companies.
Of course, not all email campaigns are created equal, so make sure you’re using tactics that are tried and true:
- Offers and deals. If someone is already interested or invested in your brand, then they’ll appreciate being kept up to date on discounts. In fact, many consumers sign up for daily offer emails from sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. Why are these sites so effective? Because they’re only available for a limited time. This gives people incentive to pay attention to that email and take action when they read it.
- Email courses. This is another way to share relevant, high value content. A drip email campaign which slowly doles out information on a topic can be a good incentive for initially capturing their email and paying attention to what you have to say. The key is finding the right topic. Uncover a problem that your prospects are facing, and then share the solution.
- Newsworthy content. Most people want to stay on top of changes in the industry they work in as well as hobbies and other interests. If your company can develop an email list that provides your prospects with a way to stay on top of the latest trends and updates, then people will stay tuned.
Video: Let people see your brand.
Don’t make the mistake of sticking solely to the written word. With high-speed internet access, many people prefer viewing their content rather than reading it, and it provides you with a new way to connect with your prospects. But not all video content is created equal; it’s still necessary to be relevant and provide value.
- Think outside the box. Your video doesn’t have to be strictly informative. In fact, that can be a mistake. There are many ways to communicate what your brand is about besides simply listing your values. Videos that focus on entertaining their viewers (or better yet, making them laugh) are often more effective. Get creative, and let your brand’s personality shine.
- Hire a professional. Many businesses make the mistake of going it alone, but there are few things that reflect as poorly on your brand as a low quality video. If you are capturing cell phone video for a more guerilla-style of marketing campaign, it still pays to have a professional edit the final piece together.