When you ask an online marketer what frustrates them the most about reaching customers and prospects online you’re likely to hear the following:
- Finding a way to connect with their audience
- Moving prospects through the buying cycle
- Growing their network and lists
Marketers often talk about their prospects being overloaded with too much information which can lead to an indecisive audience, causing marketers to miss projections and sales goals. Lets face the facts, consumers are engaging online. Recent studies show that over 53% of active social networkers follow a brand. If there are that many people actively interacting and engaging with brands online what changes can be made to reach and engage target audiences?
Sign #1 – The Sounds of Silence – No One is Commenting On Our Blog
The first item to audit when trying to figure out why your blog is not getting the traffic and engagement that you want is to take a hard look at your content. Is the content being created too broad, too specific. Does it effectively address the pain points of your audience. If so, take some time reviewing existing customer research or begin surveying existing customers to determine what type of information they like to consume and share. Consider adding questions in the conclusions of your blog posts that encourage interaction. Another tactic involves promoting blog content on your company website and other social channels.
Sign #2 – Is Anyone Out There? – Activity Without Engagement
The key to increasing engagement is to be engaging. Have you made a point of reaching out? If not spend some time identifying key industry influentials as well as organizations or individuals you are looking to target directly. Your social engagement will not improve if you are constantly in self-promotion mode. Put some “skin in the game” by sharing original content which mentions those you would like to connect with, or re-share information they have distributed on their networks as a sign of good faith.
Sign #3 – Our Website is Awesome – But No One is Visiting
First question, is your content optimized? Is this content optimized for search engines and customer experience? Optimizing for search engines will undoubtedly increase your visibility online. However, if you aren’t getting the number of inquiries or even the organic traffic you’re aiming for there could be a variety of reasons. Take some time to review your Google Analytics and analyze your website bounce rate. Perhaps you’re ranking fairly well but once people get to your site they aren’t finding what they want or need and are exiting the site immediately and moving on to the next. It is also a good idea to assess the websites of your top competitors and identify what they are doing that is working and not working to draw in your target audience.
Sign #4 – A Sound Investment – Content Creation Without Representation
Before investing in the creation of white papers, infographics, videos, guides, or research you must first consider your audience. What type of information do your customers and prospects typically consume and share? Which websites social or otherwise do they spend the most time on? By identifying these key pieces of information it should help guide you down the path to creating content that is in the proper format and set up to receive adequate exposure.
What is the moral of the story? If you want your audience to engage with you and listen to what you have to say it’s time to do the same. Work to identify what topics and tactics work best for your audience, and evolve these strategies as their preferences change. Spend just as much time if not more monitoring conversations as you do releasing information on social sites.
What hurdles have been most difficult for you to overcome as an online marketer? If you could give one piece of advice to other content and social media marketers what would it be?