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Your Online Marketing: All Talk; No Listening?

Online Marketing is about listening not talking.

In today's world, it is common to feel that everyone is talking but no one is listening. From websites to social media. Today we'll talk about a couple of ways to talk to (not at) your site visitors to draw them in.

When creating websites, the site owner is all about what they want site visitors to know. Not what the site visitor is looking for. Opportunity lost.

Then there is social media where the poster wants you to know about what they stand for, what their company's positions are so as to leave an impression. As though they know for a fact that you care about that particular set of marketing information that may have nothing to do with their product or service.

While some aspects of the information are part of an overall portfolio of a company and its branding efforts, the primary message should revolve around customer's needs. Nothing else.

I see this type of messaging in big and small companies alike. For some, I've wondered why they don't care about their customer service practices as much.

So, where does the customer come into the conversation? You have probably experienced this too. How often, when experiencing these efforts, do you feel that the messaging does not apply to you at all?

Time to Start Listening

When it comes to the topic of messaging, here's my methodology:

  1. Listen to my client's questions and concerns. Then, cater to that information if it is in my wheelhouse and collection of services.
  2. Advise my client's to do the same for their target market and help them implement a customer-centric messaging strategy.

How do we accomplish that? By listening. Carefully. Then applying.

Time to Listen to Your Customers

My 3X Rule

When I first notice a concern or am asked a question I make note of that in the client's file. This helps to remind me of their preliminary concerns as we proceed.

If that topic or concern is brought up again by another client, I also include that information in a separate file that I have on my desktop to investigate in more detail when time permits. This allows me to track the concerns of my client base as a whole.

By the third instance that it comes up? At that point, I take into account that a pattern is forming. I investigate ways to integrate that information in detail into my website, FAQ, or future blog post. When that very same topic comes up again, I then have the ability to provide a link to more details along with my personalized response.

Moving forward, those with similar concerns or questions can seek out and find my response on my website in detail with little effort. I also then do not have to keep providing the same information over and over again.

Win-win.

Blah-Blah-Blah

How many times have you visited to a website to discover content that is wordsmithed to death? You know, all the corporate gobbledygook that sounds like a team of attorneys or so-called intellectuals wrote what they thought they were supposed to say.

Words that have no meaning or impact on you. Content that makes you feel there is no sincerity behind the site or that the person who is making an attempt to try to appear as something they are not.

I see this on websites I am asked to critique all the time. No personality, no humanizing personal details, not a single sentence that you, the site visitor (or potential customer), can relate to.

The content is barely readable. Nothing stands out as special or unique. Just blah-blah-blah. The company doesn't appear to be approachable. Where's that back button!?

While I now know how “great” they are, in their eyes that is, I really have no idea if they are a company that wants to do business with me. Or I with them.

Create Relatable and Understandable Content

The very same analogy goes for your website no matter your size. Is your site filled with all the flowery superfluous information YOU want potential customers to know from YOUR perspective? (Your perspective may not be theirs.)

Does your site talk TO your site visitors not AT them? What may surprise you is that these are two entirely different approaches in how you present your information.

A simple example:

Talking AT: We pride ourselves on being the company that produces the most widgets.

Talking TO: We would like to make your life easier by being the one-stop-shop for all your widget needs.

See what I did? I made the statement about the customer — not the company's production rate.

Epic Fail on the About Page

More times than not, the about page is a bunch of generic corporate speak. The verbiage you think will make the site visitor be impressed with little old you.

Don't use “we” when it is just you. No need to look bigger or have more people if you are a one-person show.

Avoid writing in the third person. Write your About page as if you are talking directly to that one person on the other side of the screen. Being just you is actually an advantage — one that correlates to personalized service and attention.

If you have a staff, let each have their own section where they explain their work ethic and passions, again in the first person. This approach allows visitors to get to know the people behind the scenes. Humanizing your business.

The fact is people do business with those they like and feel they can relate to. Don't make the mistake of trying to be something you are not. It's inauthentic and site visitors will know that.

For example, if you read anything on my site, you “hear” my personality come through. Those who end up talking with me then find that I am what I portray on this site. A knowledgeable experienced straight shooter.

Customers First Site Content

Make the time to put on your customer hat and review all your site content. Think about what questions your site visitors have and what problems you can solve for them.

Avoid words or concepts that your target market cannot relate to. Create content that speaks to them in their lingo.

You do this by directly addressing their doubts, concerns, and needs. With this approach, you'll cater to what they want to know (and need to know) so they can choose to do business with you.

At your service,
WordPress Consultant Judith