Giving people what they want is the best audience development strategy
As a marketing junkie, I’m fascinated by how people react to different forms of marketing. For example, by simply asking people to retweet you on Twitter, you can increase retweets dramatically. Another example is how Etsy.com sellers can increase sales of a dress by calling it a bridesmaid dress, or simply suggesting it’s used as a bridesmaid dress by adding a bouquet of flowers to the hand of the model. Or how about the fact that you’re more likely to get comments on an article by starting it and ending it with a question.
The point is that people need probing. Your customers literally need you to tell them what to do.
They want you to SEO your articles. After all, if you don’t, how will they find your amazing article?
I know how tempting it is to write a catchy headline, I do. After all, that’s what we’ve been trained to do in print. We want someone to see our headline on the magazine rack, stop, and buy our magazine. Unfortunately, these types of hype headlines generally disappoint readers in print and will disappoint online readers even more quickly.
Try pretending that nobody knows your URL. You don’t have anyone subscribed to your RSS feed. Nobody goes directly to your website. You’re non-existent. How well will those catchy headlines work in this less visible container? You’re invisible, even if you start writing amazing content. Why? Because a search engine is the only way for people to find you.
Now imagine that you start adding keywords to all of your blog posts. Some of those blog posts bring in hundreds and thousands of visitors every month (this is not uncommon). Now you have tens of thousands of visitors every month.
Optimized blogs and periodical publishing sites bring in more than 60% of their website traffic from search engines.
Now add those regular RSS and blog readers back into the equation. You’ve got a pretty solid web audience now, right? The people who were already reading your blog posts aren’t going to care if you start using keywords, so you might as well start building that extra 60% of readers right away. Existing readers and customers are great, but SEO is your greatest strategy for bringing in new readers.
Two blog posts you need to read right now to start implementing this strategy:
- The Absolute Simplest Way to Find an SEO Keyword
- VIDEO: Using the Google Keyword Search Tool for SEO
Discover valuable information on link building, keyword strategy, creating free reports and gaining website visibility when you download our FREE SEO Campaign Management Basics white paper.
They want you to tell them what to read, and who to love.
No recommendation works better than a personal or professional one. How often do we praise other companies or experts in our niche without even letting them know? I personally recommend a product or a person on Twitter or Facebook almost every day, and those tweets and posts generate more commentary than anything else. As for myself, I’ve bought countless products online based on recommendations from the people I trust on the social networks that I follow.
That’s why it’s so important to recommend experts and products in your blog posts. Giving testimonials in your articles gives the other person or company a reason to re-tweet or share your post. Even more, when someone shares your article on their Facebook wall or on Twitter, it will give you a giant SEO boost.
Possibly the most effective social media and SEO hack I’ve tested yet is this one right here:
They want you to meet them on their platform of choice.
Some people just don’t join email lists. These people may very well prefer to get their information from you with less commitments via Facebook and Twitter. While we’ve spent so much time in the past talking about building your email lists, we’re finding that building your social media lists is just as important.
Building your following on Facebook offers many of the same benefits as building your email list. In fact, social media claims 60% “market share” on click through rates. Email only accounts for 31% (source: FastCompany). Imagine if you could build a Facebook list as large as your email list?
Asking for someone to “like” your page before they get access to a free white paper is a low-risk transaction for most consumers; Much less threatening than asking for them to give up their email address. Promising more free white papers (or other free products) when they stay subscribed will ensure that they stay on your list in the same way that people stay on the lists of their favorite retailers—for the sales!
I recommend reading this for the best strategy we’ve witnessed so far for building your social media lists:
OK now it’s your turn. Do you have something better to share? Leave it in the comments and we’ll discuss!