The meaning of any marketing program is to create customers, not readers. Visitors must convert to customers or you’ve wasted your time. Compelling, strategically delivered high quality content is how you get it done.
So, let’s pretend the right prospects are arriving at your site, but your content isn’t compelling. Ouch, they’re leaving. Time to get tactical, and make your visitors feel emotions that get them attached to your company and brand.
Tactics to Engage Your Audience
As I mentioned in a previous post on engagement strategy, knowing your prospect and choosing topics they are interested in is vital.
Unfortunately, most businesses don’t want to venture out of their comfort zone to create content that matters to customers. They only want to put out “stuff about us and our products.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t grab visitors emotionally and make them crave our products.
If you have to choose between building emotion and getting benefits across, choose emotion. People engage and buy on emotion, not on apparent benefits. Engagement is about making an emotional impact using many different tactics.
After you’ve designed an attractive responsive website and discovered a range of interesting unique topics, images, stories, and facts that will make your visitor’s salivate mentally, you need to have some tactics that will help them enjoy it more.
Here’s a collection of 15 powerful tactics that should spruce up your posts and pages nicely.
- A Tantalizing Hook: your page title (and page name) should contain phrases or words that intrigue, entice, and make a promise. The promise is a subtle cue to satisfaction. Make sure the font is large. You should write your headings and subheadings first. This keeps you on track.
- First Paragraph: this takes them from the heading/title into the copy. It can go further on the promise, explore a key benefit, or might have a funny quote.
- Second Paragraph: remind them of their pain and desire for satisfaction. Compare, contrast, and make them feel something. Your content needs to generate an emotion, especially the emotional satisfaction they’re after.
- Photographs: images of important satisfactions remind them of their goals and needs. You could use images that portray the opposite, such as bad things, fails, weak competitors, etc, but be careful not to appear patronizing. Readers know what they don’t like and why they’re at your page.
- Illustrations: infographics, charts can provide compelling evidence of your points.
- Pull Quotes: setting off some text is one of the most seen parts of a post/page. Add something interesting or stress a key point.
- Bulleted/numbered lists: lists are highly viewed. You can list benefits, uses, examples, and more to support your key argument.
- Scannable. Most visitors scan first and read the heading. Make your layout easy to absorb. Get rid of excess junk and let them see a clear path down the page. If it’s easy to follow, they’ll go back to the beginning and start reading your post in earnest.
- Vary Paragraphs: Vary the length of paragraphs to keep the flow interesting. Use a short curt sentence to surprise them and a long one to reinforce a point of value.
- Use Numbers: Numbers add variety and they’re easy to understand. Many people like numbers.
- Word Choice: besides relevant keywords, use words that inspire, attract, calm, and invite their feedback or response.
- Bold Key Concepts or Points: Some benefits or thoughts need to stand out.
- Use Outbound Links: link to other supporting and authoritative pages. They add dynamically to your presentation.
- Differentiate from Competitors: doesn’t hurt to show your product/service/brand is different from another they might be considering and overcome any objections.
- Grammatically incorrect/broken sentences: Good grammar is dull and induces sleep. Read advertising and you’ll see short, broken sentences because it excites the mind.
When you organize the flow of these elements like you were arranging a movie script or story, each one builds on the previous to create a strong desire. As you place your tactics down the page, keep their specific desire in mind. It’s the emotion they want to experience, and if you don’t hit it dead on, you’re at least nearby.
People buy on emotion, and rationalize with the points you make as well. From beginning to end, think about how you’re generating emotion using these tactics in your content. Then return to it and ensure your key benefits are infused in the proper places.
Have fun when you’re writing because that’s how you access the emotional impact you need to make.
Your overall engagement strategy gives you direction and purpose, while the tactics are hands-on applied psychology. When you keep practicing and improving through testing, you’re bound to get very good at this.
Good luck and don’t forget to tell me how things went!
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