Digital Marketing Audit

Digital Marketing Audit for Small Business

In all the years managing my own freelance business and while working with digital marketing agencies, I discovered that small business people are great at what they do. Unfortunately, they’re not experts in digital marketing which is a discipline exploding in complexity.

To Do List: A blueprint and a compass

My first recommendation for those who want to improve would be to get my SEO Content Strategy Book and secondly and more importantly, have a digital marketing assessment done. It’s a blueprint, foundation and compass for success.

The insight from a digital marketing audit can grow your confidence and give you focused path with your digital marketing strategy. It’s tough to have a strategy without a good study of your business and market opportunities.

Most SMB entrepreneurs wing it without a guide, and ironically most startups fail. How can you be confident if you’re unsure of what actually drives your online success or where you’re going?

♫Tell me Something Good♫

With understanding comes focus. Focus is an amazing emotional state where friction disappears and a feeling of wellness, clarity, and success appear. Focus is like taking a happy pill.  And this is where myself and your digital marketing audit comes into play – it generates focus, energy and a strategic plan of action. How can you not like that? And learning? You’ll discover a wealth of key insight that you can build on.

From a study of the elements that actually do impact your online success, you can decide whether you need a new content strategy, SEO services, or to use artificial intelligence marketing solutions, among other improvements.

An audit is a study of your situation and some suggestions about how to improve it. That’s excellent value when it’s all contained in one handy report!

An objective audit helps you discover your digital marketing problem, not to sell you a solution such as a marketing automation subscription. While tools are helpful, it’s almost certain that your content and outreach strategy are the issue. If you don’t discover what you’re doing wrong you won’t progress with something that will work.

The main point or purpose of your assessment is to create an actionable plan and strategy to grow your business. An audit focuses on issues that matter to performance

A website audit isn’t for finding duplicate meta tags and other unimportant facts. The main purpose to discover why you’re not getting traffic, not maximizing what you have, and discovering what’s missing. Here’s some of what I will examine in a detailed report, which by the way is much more than the “technical spidering report” you’ll see most often offered.

DM Audit Checklist:

  • Your company, UVP and market opportunity assessment – how are you positioned?
  • review of your top competitors and how they’re positioned
  • SWOT analysis – what strengths can bolster your digital content strategy?
  • where are you competitors getting their traffic from?

Content Audit

  • Identify anchor content
  • Identify supporting content
  • Identify main business/services pages
  • identify downloadables/sharable content
  • identify main content pathways and conversion success
  • assess copywriting and visual content
  • Assess site appearance and UX design – mobile, desktop, layout, scannability, speed
  • discuss copy tone of voice, content quality, vocabulary, information value
  • recommendations for improving all of the elements above

SEO Performance Assessment

  • assess keyword rankings
  • assess web traffic
  • assess search engine traffic
  • assess social media traffic
  • spider your site, find and assess technical website issues – speed, broken links, meta data, duplicate content, over-optimization, link penalties
  • setup/review your Google webmaster console issues and warnings
  • Assess: titles, headings, and Google SERPs snippets, etc
  • assess backlinks, keyword reputation, domain authority
  • recommendations for improving all of the elements above

I don’t assess video, web design coding, email, or commerce sales statistics. Anything that relates to content performance and how you get your online traffic and how you can maximize performance is what this is all about.

Key Benefits of a Digital Marketing Audit:

  • assess your analytics and discover what’s wrong with what you’re doing currently
  • find weaknesses in your website technically and in terms of user experience
  • assess your conversion funnel and the ability of your content to move visitors from impact to sales
  • analyze your significant, personalized unique value proposition and what you might do to improve it
  • find weaknesses in your content’s power to impact, engage and convince your audience
  • discover why your SEO strategy isn’t working and what can be done to turn it around
  • check rankings and assess your keyword strategy and copywriting effectiveness for Google rankings
  • discover content ideas that may give your business a boost and which assets you absolutely must build to compete and generate awareness
  • reviewing competitor’s strengths and weaknesses and what opportunities they are pursuing and capitalizing on
  • become aware of opportunities to rank, build epic content, and convert leads
  • become aware of new models of success such as excellent websites and content leaders
  • assessing your social media strategy and how it could contribute to digital marketing

The key to a good digital marketing audit is to assess your content. If you have a few broken links, your site’s running a little slow, or your calls to action aren’t aggressive enough, it’s good to know. However, it’s your content that’s the foundation of your success. This and your outreach strategy is where your focus needs to be.

If your unique value proposition and your content both suck, why not find out why? The sooner you get on the path to optimization and creating value for customers, the faster you’ll grow your profitability.

And with more, happier customers and higher profit, you’re bound to feel better yourself. Contact me now about a digital marketing audit. It’s the foundation of big successes ahead regardless of what industry you’re in. The fee for the complete assessment is $US 695.00

Call me Now: 416 998 6246.

 

SEO Company | San Diego SEO | Los Angeles SEO | San Jose SEO | Phoenix SEO | Seattle SEO | Content Strategy | Digital Marketing Audits | Real Estate Marketing Services

Are You Ready to Work with a Marketing AI Robot?

Artificial Intelligence is Going to Rock Digital Marketing

The future is here and it’s an exciting one we can share in. It involves software that uses artificial intelligence to manage nearly all aspects of marketing. And a software robot named Albert might be your next coworker. How do you feel about that?

AI represents fears and hopes for many workers in business so I thought it might be a good time to investigate with the goal of discovering the specific skills we’ll need.  The capability of AI is so promising (even without the hype) that it makes you sit back and consider what your role will be? At first, it’s intimidating with the thought that perhaps there is no role for us. Yet there will be roles for us.

Yes, it’s a big change for the marketing world and some managers are in denial about it. They’ll accept AI when they’re ready. If you’re managing an agency, brokerage, or you work in digital marketing, you’ll want to be ahead of the curve on this one. The cost efficiencies and productive power of AI could mean the difference between being in business and not.

AI will create a demand for marketers with entirely new education and skill sets

For us, it’s a chance to take a quantum leap ahead of slower, less optimistic competitors.  In this next series of posts, I’d like to delve into AI and explore how marketing AI can build success upon success.   In fact, with marketing AI, we should expect an entirely new type of digital marketer to arise, free from manual drudgery to explore their best marketing skills and creative powers.




Some Initial Questions for AI Marketing Workers

It’s all about finding the best questions. And here’s some questions regarding what we’ll be doing in future.

  • how do we use AI to increase social engagement?
  • how do we improve content recommendations?
  • how is the AI robot botching email and social communcitions?
  • how do we align and integrate all digital and offline channels?
  • how do we automate customer communications?
  • who will train us to find the right answers to marketing AI problems?
  • how will we respond after the AI system has moved the customer somewhere through the sales funnel?
  • who will use the AI software to optimize SEO performance?
  • how will we repond to the AI system’s content recommendations?
  • what is the AI system not learning about which content is working well?
  • how many different marketing tasks can we do well on our own in concert with marketing AI?
  • when is the best time for the AI system to warn us about performance issues?
  • how do we help the AI system do real-time customer research?
  • will we have to get involved in data collection and management?
  • who will do media planning and strategy?

 

AI within the agile workplace. Screen Capture courtesy of rullion.co.uk

Agile concepts and AI technology will be fully intertwined, where an increasing percentage of the population work in freelance, consultancy and temporary positions, moving from company to company. There’s no more “career” in the traditional sense, but instead we build a set of skills and move around companies, helping them to enhance and improve core business areas — Rullion.co.uk report.

Current Challenges

It seems the AI marketing solution companies lack transparency and educational services for customers. They require businesses to dive in with both feet with payment, with no trial period. That’s a problem, however we can see, as they know we can, that AI is undeniable.

What is happening right now, at an increasing pace, is the application of AI algorithms to all manner of processes that can significantly affect peoples’ lives — at work, at home and as they travel around. Although hype around these technologies is approaching the ‘peak of expectation’ there’s a potential fly in the AI ointment: the workings of many of these algorithms are not open to scrutiny — either because they are the proprietary assets of an organisation or because they are opaque by their very nature — from Inside the Black Box, Understanding AI Decision Making.




Leverage the Testing and Optimization Power of AI

The real matter is how well we use it, with what creativity, innovation, and exploration of best results. And that’s actually what this software is all about.  By all means, investigate these AI solutions when you can. It’s time well invested whether you’re like me, creating your next job in AI marketing, or to use to grow your business.

Everyone else is working with robots. It’s marketing’s turn. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen and infoplc.net

These new artificial intelligence solutions will help us do things better and allow us to access our highest potential. Just like they did in the factories, currently in medical fields, AI robots will spare us from drudgery in marketing and allow us to focus on what we enjoy, to vastly improve productivity and competence.

We have little choice really — AI is here. We should be innovative, broad-minded and optimistic about how we can improve business and make ourselves indespensable to our employers, or supercharge our own SMB.




Right now, automation is the buzzword, but soon the emphasis will be back on human creativity, innovation, and connectivity.  We’re evolving from machine learning and automated tasks to where more personality and a better customer experience happen.  The key question is, how will we adapt to AI solutions and add value?

You might have dreamed one day at the office, “wouldn’t it be nice to work with someone smart?” Well hallelujah, your Genie just came through for you. You’ll soon be working with AI marketing software and it won’t give you any backtalk or friction and instead, will come up with improvement ideas all day and night to make you better. And then you’ll be overseeing the process for even better results.

Demandbase conducted a survey that revealed 80% of marketing executives of companies with more than 250 employees believe that AI will revolutionize marketing by 2020 — from Marketo.com

Managers and CEOs who believe Artificial Intelligence as a marketing tool is still a long wayoff and can’t make a difference should reconsider that view. Robots and AI are in common use around the world and have made astonish contributions to product quality and customer service.  Now AI is set to force SMB owners and CEOs to reorganize their marketing teams.

Yes, there’s a lot of hype and it’s a little difficult to comprehend. But it’s wise to start learning how to plan for it, integrate it, execute it, and then optimize its performance.

You’ll need to choose the best AI software and then you need to hire your next generation of marketing employees. For those who fear job loss, the AI software will create all sorts of new digital marketing jobs. So you’re likely to be doing what you like, or create your own job. That’s what makes this topic so fascinating.




I’m in the midst of this revolution in marketing myself. Like 50% of the working population, I’m learning how to stay relevant within this trend of automation of marketing and sales.  Within a few years, it will force us into to a new role or pursue a new line of business entirely.  Do we want to react to these changes or build a strategy to be the best at it?

I’m excited about marketing AI because it offers power to really improve results in PPC, content engagement, testing content, testing SEO, testing conversion stategies and tactics, and optimizing our content strategy as a whole. It removes a lot of waste and friction and replaces it with potential.  With AI, traditional marketing skills become redundant, and new skills which I’ve listed below rise to prominence (I’ll expand on them soon, so bookmark this page).

With AI taking the DM dudgery away, we’ll be more creative, learn more and faster, and have more time for planning a multi-targeted, multichannel integrated DM strategy. Things that make a difference.

AI software can test, assess, and continually improve engagement with individual customers while giving us a good look at the overall picture. Everyone in the marketing and creative department will learn and grow because of it.

When the AI tsunami hits, those companies that use marketing AI will have an opportunity to take a huge chunk of marketshare. Without AI, old school employees and small businesses will be culled in the coming years. SMBs in particular need AI to keep pace with enterprise level competitors.

2017 State of Marketing Report Findings

The 2017 Salesforce State of Marketing report discovered 4 emerging trends:

  • Marketing is undergoing an AI revolution. The marketers surveyed anticipate their AI use will grow more than 50% over the next two years, helping them deliver more targeted campaigns, smarter personalization and higher ROI. (better performance)
  • Marketers are using AI to break down silos between sales, service and marketing, and bringing customer data together (reduce friction)
  • Marketers are making significant organizational changes to improve collaboration (reduce friction)
  • Over the next 2 years, marketers expect strong growth in their use of marketing technology (new opportunity)




Traditional Digital Marketers Will Go Out of Business

One estimate I read suggests $21 trillion dollars of business will transfer away from non AI businesses over to those which do use AI. That will make it the most dramatic business event of the past 60 years.

Will your firm be one of those going-out-of-business firms that sees your surviving clients/customers quickly slide over to your competitors? I hope not. The fact you’re reading this means you’ve seen the early signals and are wondering how you’re going to face this matter of marketing AI successfully. The transition will likely be awkward, with a learning curve.

I don’t have any in-depth successes to share with you just yet, and there aren’t many being told. But it’s early. We’ll hear more victory celebrations such as Harley Davidson and Cosa Bella.

A recent post on the Innovationenterprise.com submitted on Linkedin by Jennifer Von Amerom of Culture&Company recruiters is a case in point. It’s a high level post on AI marketing that’s hard to get your mind wrapped around. The essence of the post was in how AI is already being used successfully in the booming programmatic advertising sector. But it’s moving into all aspects of marketing.

Your Future Coworker Will be an AI Robot

If my next coworker is an AI robot named Albert or Aiden or Eistein, I’m okay with that.  In fact, it would be a quantum leap for me.  I introduced you to Albert, the versatile and helpful AI software robot from Adgorithms. It can make an ordinary digital marketer look like a powerful genius (they have a new small business edition released now I can tell you about).

What AI marketing solutions do so far, is help create better targeted ads, improve ad timing, and even improve ad creative. We all know conversion on clicked ads is about 1% at best, which means advertisers are wasting most of their ad budgets on paid advertising. That’s billions of dollars on poorly targeted advertising, and digital marketing teams stressed out trying to reduce it.

AI promises to help small business marketers understand the personas, click behavior, and needs of individual consumers and website visitors in more detail. At least some AI software solutions will offer insight. Finding the good transparent ones is something you have to begin doing now.




Career Decisions: Making the Transition to Marketing AI

It’s kind of a no-brainer. That’s why I am making a transition to the AI marketing field already. It seems AI marketing tools will require a whole new set of digital marketing skills, both software and creative abilities. It’s wise to begin the transition now.

As AI uses its own ever-improving learning processes (free of human marketer bias), it’ll assume more of all of the work of marketing, including testing of creative and estimating which generates better results. That means even creative people will have more time to think about creative planning and strategy and discussing it with an AI bot like Albert.

What Does an AI Powered Digital Marketing Specialist Do?

Anything or everything. We and copywriters, graphic designers, videographers, and web designers will work more closely with AI recommendations. Will workers need to be more specialized, or have more generalized skills? It looks like we’ll need both.

One of my biggest frustrations in working in digital marketing is the lack of information about the market and client’s website users. People make a big fuss about analytics but the insight it gives doesn’t really help us. We’re stumbling around in a black box.  AI software can test, assess, and continually improve on an individual customer basis while giving us a good look at the overall picture. Everyone in the marketing and creative department will learn and grow because of it.




And the reason for poor customer insight is that no one can test visitor’s interests, personas, and clickthrough behavior, and respond fast enough. Testing in real time, means you can get much more insight from visitors. Human’s can’t do it but AI can. It would be fun to orchestrate all of that.

Testing Out Content Strategies

I’m excited about how AI can provide more detailed insight so I can test out different strategies, or even build excellent content strategies in the first place. New possibilities. With AI, there’s no need to depend on big teams of digital marketers who may resist forwarding the info you need, nor aid you in what you’re doing.  That friction or lack of teamwork is a big element of “cultural fit” that many hirers obsess over. But AI might remove it entirely. You might say Albert gets along with everyone and is the ultimate team player.

With AI marketing software, the friction disappears and the strategist suddenly gets direct access to great information fast. Whatever thought, scenario, or supposition I can think of suddenly becomes one I can follow. The potential for campaign improvement and personal professional development is mind-boggling. A veritable dam burst of forward motion.

Old analytics systems will disappear as new ones arise to help us engage visitors and capture their buying intent. No more guessing or asking clients or managers for info and permission. Instead we can help the AI software do some harmless testing and discover the strategic potential of an insight. Clients and managers will be looking to AI marketing specialists for insight about how visitors feel and what they might purchase in the new year.

Yes, AI will be able to learn how customers and website visitors are feeling and what their buying intent is based on their interactive responses, questions they ask, and the content they view. AI systems can process natural language — almost like reading the customer’s mind to understand their underlying intent and issues.




Admittedly, right now, I’m a rank amateur in AI marketing strategy.  However, with anything, you’re as good as you want to be. It’s all about attitude. 1 year from now, I’ll be looking back at my newbie status with a smile.

So with AI, you or I won’t need big data expertise or experience. The AI tools themselves will take care of those deep insights and testing power. The software promises to ease time consuming manual work and let us work on higher level strategy. We’ll get excellent results.

It seems to me, that a digital marketing specialist or a content strategist I’ll be able to manage entire campaigns, which the AI software executes and provides feedback on. The purpose of a business is to create a customer, and AI serves that purpose pretty well.

AI Skills Digital Marketers will Need?

Basically, we’ll need to do anything Albert can’t do. In the SMB area, we’ll need to be versatile as our work touches on everything from client communication to creative strategy. We’ll need to weave campaigns together and attend to any aspect that’s ailing.

  • AI marketing software skills
  • content planning and strategy
  • intuition and emotional intelligence
  • campaign planning and strategy
  • search engine optimization
  • deep epic level content research
  • engaging copywriting
  • report generation and interpreting data
  • social media engagement
  • project management skills
  • web analytics and sales analytics
  • conversion optimization skills
  • client communication and management
  • outsourcing management

Additional Resource on AI marketing:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forrester/2017/06/15/how-marketers-can-prepare-for-ai-powered-marketing /

8 Ways Intelligent Marketers Use Artificial Intelligence

 

It’s Good to Share: Tell your friends and coworkers about the AI revolution in marketing. It’ll affect everyone in your office.

If you’re considering venturing into the AI marketing space and you’d like to have someone enthusiastic about helping you implement it, please contact me.

How To Improve Visitor Engagement | Customer Engagement Strategy Tips Website Social Media

Build Your EPIC Engagement Strategy for 2018

Is your website strangely quiet? Do your visitors from Adwords, Google, Bing, and Facebook leave quick? Well, you’re not alone. Do they hit your landing page and evaporate?

Most websites suck because the content is shallow and not engaging. It generates no emotion and moves the visitor nowhere. These are the issues a content strategist resolves (join me on Linkedin for updates).

To fix that, you will design a better visitor engagement strategy. Many other areas of business are into engagement strategy too, from shopping mall and retail store design, to urban planning, to software UX de

sign. Engagement is very important and can significantly improve leads and revenue.

While the website traffic you’re getting from SEO and PPC channels is wonderful, it’s useless if you can can’t generate the customer action you need. This post describes in great detail how you can power up your content and site design to make your site more “sticky.”

Let’s Explore Website Engagement (and social engagement)

You’ll enjoy discovering how to rearrange your content strategy and prospect journey to convert more leads and raise your revenue.

You’ll be able to peer into the depths of customer engagement strategy. This one improvement, might be the most important thing you’ll do in 2018.

Do we have to do it all in EPIC fashion? No, that’s just my branding thing. You’ll be able to pick out the most relevant engagement tactics and fill the holes to make your content engagement and converations super pleasant and easy to consume.  You can come back to this post forever and I’ll have new info for you.



Engagement is an Exploratory Process Leading to a Conversation

When you hear the word engagement, you might think of videos or chatbots and something interactive.  Actually,  engagement is a process of creating a conversation or experience with your visitors, so it’s actually what’s happening via the content or media.

Content won’t do it by itself, even if the content is very, very good. I have plenty of experience in creating deep, informative, helpful, sharable content and I still lost prospects. Even good content can fail if the engagement funnel process isn’t clear and achieve the conversion goal.




Even the smallest interruption in the conversation, could end it. That’s very frustrating when you’ve worked so hard on your copy and visuals. To do engagement strategy well, you need to really know your customers. Study them, meet them, ask questions, take notes, get feedback, and understand their views and pain points very intimately.

That’s the only way you can optimize this website content process to convince them.  And convincing them is more than making the solution laser clear andhelpful.  Making them feel good is the  last phase of a process, which may be complicated. That’s why an engagement consultant might be in your future.




Focus Means Not Confusing Them

As many startups, freelancers and SMBs discover the hard way is that visitor engagement needs a specific goal. As a digital marketing specialist, I’ve fallen into the trap myself by being too many things.

What the customer actually wants is a clear vision of the solution to their pain, and a direct route to it. Offering multiple, value-added paths could confuse them.

That’s why many companies just present “their stuff” on their site and let the visitor decide for themselves. Given how competitive the market is now, that’s not sufficient anymore.




The Visitor and The Customer Journey

The visitor’s journey begins on Google. They have intent. They’re following a path to find a solution. They’re looking for a practical entry point, one they can comprehend, and then building their confidence.  If your UVP or the goal is transparent, undertandable, and inviting, they’ll continue their exploration.

The goal/solution must be apparent and clear in their terms or the conversation will end

 

If they leave, it could be your content itself, lack of a clear solution, or perhaps how it’s laid out to be experienced. It’s this on site experience that may be the problem.

What I find with many sites and on those I’ve worked with, is that there is no invitation to a conversation. Lacking that invitation, visitors feel the company really isn’t sincerley interested in their needs.  The conversation afterall, is to explore the visitor’s needs.

For us marketers, the engagement is about finding out what they need and then clarfying and customizing our solution to them.

How Do Your Customers Feel?

Engagement is a general term marketers created to describe how people feel about your website and your content. Engaged means they like being on your site, find value in it, and are pursuing the path to become your customer.

Engagement is the New Scorecard

And if they are already your customer, highly engaging content will help to keep them away from competitors. And remember, your customers are always searching and interacting on social media.  Engagement is good business sense and ultimately big profits.




Strangely, so little is available online about this important topic and how to do it, that it’s driven me to write this ultimate guide to visitor engagement.

We’ll cover why it’s important, what engagement is, how to make content engagement your new strategic focus, why your site sucks, what are content engagement metrics, and lots of tips to optimize your content engagement strategy.

Don’t forget to come back because in typical evergreen content fashion, I continuously update and improve my blog posts. Please be sociable and pass this onto your friends using the share bar!

What do the Lifestyle People Know?

Speaking of social and engagement, take a quick first example look at these Twitter/FB posts from a lifestyle blogger. Consider how much effort lifestyle bloggers put into their posts and how focused the visual message is in them.

We can learn a lot about social media and blog engagement by studying the lifestyle bloggers. They show us that connection can happen via simple things like a bowl of salad and a tasty dipping sauce.

Practical, down to earth, visual, sensual, and people are what they’re all about. They focus on a consistent pain point of people – creating interesting, tasty and healthy meals.  The food begs a conversation in so many ways. But the focal point or goal is, “what’s in this and how do I make it?”  The conversation is launched, yet a good blogger will be constantly interacting via Facebook and asking visitors what ingredients they like, how they categorize this food, what dietary issues vistiors have, and what’s their favorite food.

Prospect Engagement is Critical to Sales Conversion

Customers don’t buy until they have a clear, positive feeling of confidence. So engagement is a process of creating that feeling of positive confidence. Engagement isn’t empty interaction and clicking, it’s purposeful movement like exploring, learning, assessing and deciding.

Engagement builds emotion, buyer intent, and sales velocity. It’s the most important element in marketing yet very few business people want to know about it.  It gets little respect even among marketers who are hard pressed to create an engagement plan or strategy, or to measure engagement performance.

The reason engagement was rated 3rd in importance in this survey below is because marketers are confused by engagement and how to quantify it.  Aren’t lead generation and brand awareness hollow goals if the audience isn’t engaged?




So why don’t we start solving this audience engagement challenge right now?

How to Improve Visitor Engagement

This post offers 22 useful tips, some infographics, examples, and more insight into powering up your new website engagement strategy below.

However, engagement shouldn’t be a hackathon. Hacking is in vogue yet that could reveal everyone has no plan or strategy and are making unwise choices. Better results come from a good plan and a powerful engagement strategy. Then you can hack your improvements.

Understanding visitor/customer engagement can make your job more fun, increase customer retention and grow your sales revenue for many years ahead. It shouldn’t take long to see results but you’re likely to see massive improvements over the years ahead. Have faith, you can do it.

What if Engagement is the New Focus of Your Website?

artnewspaper

Why aren’t websites and social pages engaging?  Because everyone uses them for “show and tell.”  But websites shouldn’t be an Amazon shopping page or like a museum where there’s no touching and no talking.

Your product and service pages are probably the focus of your website currently. What might be better is your very best content such as an informative blog that makes visitors feel they will solve their need and then contact you for the next phase of becoming your customer.

You can deliver engagement via a great video, amazing product pages, or a blog post with data, using compelling facts and stories. Even if visitors are visiting from other channels such as Facebook, or Pinterest, or Linkedin, immersion in your epic quality content is likely the clincher. Poor quality posts however can destroy your credibility so always — quality first.

Connecting with Your Visitors

Videos, podcasts, Facebook pages can be engaging if they provide real value and if they align with the prospect’s problem. The challenge of course is that each customer has a different problem and need. Your content strategy would then create a different engagement path for each major type of prospect.

Okay, so now you know you’re going to have to put your thinking cap on and map out these paths of fulfillment for all the people coming to your website and social pages. The goal is to peak their intent and create a 1 to 1 relationship.

Regardless of the media channel, we have to create an emotional commitment within them to connect with us. Depending on the nature of your service or products, you may need to find to find some simple pain point to make an initial conversation. That simple conversation piece builds a bridge between you and them. It could be a common experience (e.g., a shared travel destination) you mentioned that gives them the emotional justifciation for continuing to read your website. One more such connection, and they’ll pick up the phone!

One thing about Facebook is that it seems to put those events, people, places first and foremost, rather than the business side of things. Avid social media users seem to excel at conversations.

“Companies and brands need to recognize that social media is the best way to engage their customers. What other media allows them to have one-on-one conversations and address customer service in real time?  Social and blogging done right, is an opportunity to show the human side of your brand and generate emotion. Take the time to develop a relationship with customers and use your social media soap box effectively”.

— Maureen Turner, Public Relations Manager at Homewood Health.

Video can be engaging. As you can see in this short video, the Realtor gives a spontaneous  “on the go” tour of available homes for sale in the La Jolla California area. And on the go busy buyers like that approach.

 

Engagement is the strategic process of connecting with visitors/customers on an emotional level and making them feel that they are fulfilling their purpose

 

An Example of Creating Engagement Channels

Let’s look at a practical example of engagement.  Let’s say you own a kitchen design and renovation firm and you’re wondering how your content strategy might be organized.

You need an overall plan. And you don’t need to be a genius. You do need to understand what your customer actually wants, what drives their interest, and how they make decisions (and all decisions are emotional).

The visitor, a homeowner has searched for kitchen renovation Toronto in Google search and they click through to arrive at your designer/renovator website.  The website is ready for them because it was designed not for presenting “here’s our stuff” but rather to let them choose the path and to experience the solution they’re looking for.

The prospect wants a better kitchen, but they’re not sure what style, layout or cost. The best approach might be to give them a general slideshow, video, or before and after pics of a typical kitchen reno so they can visually experience the design/renovator firms ability to solve their need.

Giving them a picture gallery might only confuse them and they’re not ready to fill out a quote form. That’s not respecting this wonderful, emotional journey they’re on.  Content strategy means patience and a kind of romancing of the visitor.

Artisan Kitchens of Calgary, Canada uses a simple solution of showing the step-by-step process right away on their homepage. This strategy suggests that homeowner education is the top problem to solve, and that you should get them to contact right away.

But is this enough of an experience where the visitor is ready to make that call?  Consumers want to be 80% through a process before they contact sales. Otherwise they’ll feel awkward, confused and vulnerable to high pressure tactics. That step-by-step process just described however does lead them to a high res gallery of kitchens. Have they answered the visitors vision, concerns and generated emotion?

This video shows a little more engaging approach with an interview with an actual customer.

After this, the prospect could be directed to a design studio for design ideas where they can click on features they want. A video is nice but it can’t possibly carry a whole engagement strategy by itself.

Once Fully Immersed in Your Content You Can Gently Move Them Forward

Once they’ve filled their imagination with design possibilities, you can move them onto kitchen layout plans, materials, and your pain-free construction solutions.

So now they’ve gone through a solution experience and are ready to ask questions, check your credibility, and contact you.  The solution experience helps to focus their thoughts and emotions in the direction you need.

You’ve built an expectation of fulfillment and they’re starting to feel emotionally ready to go through with a kitchen reno.

Their next action is to resolve their post-purchase anxiety, get the price, consider financing, choose the right kitchen design/features, and arrange the date for renovation.

That’s a lot of issues and tasks. Fortunately, your website content made it easy for them to progress from beginning to end. You painted the picture they wanted, resolved anxieties, and created focus for them. That created one single pleasant emotion and that’s what everyone wants before they push the buy button.

2 Aspects to Engagement: your Content and your Interaction.

Content:

  • your homepage, blogs, tweets, videos, pictures, data, etc is the experience and the your brand promise. If you can somehow discover what it is your visitors actually want to experience online (learning, purchasing, certainty, validation, confidence building, esteem, empowerment, getting rid of conflicts and problems) you might be able to research and develop richer content for them to read or view.
  • They  expect content that is relevant and significant to them and which is somehow personalized to their unique perspective and needs. The term significance is important to ponder.

Interaction:

  • this begins with scrolling, reading and clicking, and progresses  to them using their imagination and making some calculations
  • the next is to move them to content that creates excitement, surprise, delight, and awe, and it should have a good mix of emotion-laden content that suggests promise of satisfaction.  That’s why pics of kids, pets, meals, birthday events, and construction workers doing their wok makes sense. The next interaction should be with a real human being.

Monitor your Engagement

Assess your engagement success via your Google Analytics reports. See which links they’re clicking on in your page, where they go next on your site, how long they read the page, how many pages they visit, and whether they’re returning to your site.

If your engagement is low, you need to discover which of these root causes are suppressing it:

  • weak value proposition
  • ugly website with some unpleasant material
  • poor flow to the copywriting and other content
  • low quality, poorly qualified visitors
  • ranking on the wrong keyword phrases
  • hard to read and navigate content
  • negative or boring tone to content — too stiff and unimaginative
  • content too deep for shallow audiences – have some light stuff for them
  • irrelevant value proposition – they don’t want your stuff
  • lack of content – you have to have something for them to read or view
  • poor quality content – get a content strategist/writer/videographer to help
  • lack of credibility – your site, credentials and linkedin profile may be hurting you
  • lack of color and zest in your content – find something interesting — curate some content
  • lack of personal presence in your content – why aren’t you in your content?
  • lack of engaging stories to tell – you need to get out and about, travel, network and engage with others yourself so take some time out for those activities

Do You Need Better Sources of Visitors?

Sometimes websites are drawing the wrong crowd. You might have low Google rankings, your email lists might not be great, and your social traffic is flighty. Take at  look your analyitcs reports for info on what your visitors are interested in. Are these the customers you want? Could you incorporate something into your content to warm these people up?

Engagement Metrics

How do you know your website or social media content is interesting and engaging to your visitors? Are there any metrics you can use to assess whether you are moving them toward your goals?

We need to look deeper into the stats to see how people feel about your site, your content, your brand and whether they’re moving from stranger to friend.

Engagement metrics isn’t something most companies do well. It’s actually a complicated visitor statistics thing. Most peruse their web stats looking at single statistics which really isn’t good enough. Others just count how many sales or sales inquiries they get.

You get a lot of traffic to your site however, so plucking out the data is something you need a good analytics expert to set up.

They would drill down, by eliminating those visitors who came in and left right away. Those are poor quality leads, customers who needed a phone number or part number, or those you couldn’t impact right away. Those visits don’t tell us anything.

Experts would measure the engagement of those who spend at least a few minutes because they’ve been on the site long enough for you to have affected them somehow. To learn the most, we might only track those who reached certain pages or did certain things, and then track back to what they did on the site to get that far.

We might find out what interested them and moved them to the next phase.

But What to Measure?

In your Google Analytics reporting tool for instance, you’ll a bunch of stats to look at, plus other stats you can gather with other tools from social media and stuff out there on the web.

Here’s some of the metrics to examine:

  • time spent on site
  • time spent on your key pages
  • number of pages viewed on a specific topic (drilling down)
  • scroll depth – how far down the page do they scroll
  • click through paths – are they progressing through pages like you want?
  • video views and amount of time spent
  • reaching key target pages
  • downloads
  • subscriptions
  • blog comments left
  • return visits
  • visit frequency – time between last visit and most recent visit
  • pageviews per visit
  • direct visits (bookmarks)
  • social media shares
  • phone calls
  • actual purchases and amount of revenue

So what is it in all of this that you’re actually measuring anyway?

You’re measuring attention, interest, satisfaction seeking, relevancy, significance, involvement, commitment, information gathering, calculation, assessing, verifying, action, goal completion, and much more. You’re assessing whether they’re really checking you and your product/service out.

You can’t measure an emotion, but you can calculate how many purchases and phone calls you get. If they followed through, you must have made them feel pretty good.

A Visitor Engagement Formula!

Some believe everything in life can be reduced to a mathematical formula. Well, turns out that an engagement formula is exactly what we’re after if we want to improve measurement.

How about this homemade engagement formula:

number of interactive clicks x minutes spent on site / number of unique visitors.

This formula responds to the percentage of visitors who click a lot and stay awhile. Then we filter it further by applying it only to those who view any of this certain key content such as testimonials, product specs, price packages, contact and about us pages, key blog posts, and downloadables and who actually send an email or make a phone call.

A good programmer could set this tracking up on your site. Once you get into this, you’ll begin to see which customer touchpoints are the ones that result in more leads and revenue.  New AI marketing software is promising to not only do this for you, but also to experiment with your content to find out what works better. Learn more about AI marketing software solutions.

Marketo is a marketing platform that offers some engagement scoring.

Screen Capture courtesy of Marketo.com

At this time of writing, I have discovered no analytics solutions that track engagement at a serious level. So there’s a big opportunity for an analytics software firm here. If you know of any, please leave a comment below.

23 Tips on How to Increase Engagement

  1. Know what your conversion goal is before you begin creating the content that will take your visitors there.
  2. Know the specific type of client/customer you’re targeting. Are they serious and professional, fun and light hearted, ambitious and driven, insecure and cautious, or
  3. Know the specific type of client/customer you’re targeting. Are they serious and professional, fun and light hearted, ambitious and driven, insecure and cautious – include some content or an interactive widget (a game, test, or photo) to let them exercise that personality trait
  4. Remember why your visitor is visiting you since it’s your starting point
  5. Use visual content graphics video original relevant photos
  6. Ask them questions in your copy and in some graphics – warm up their decision making muscles
  7. Ask them to share or connect on social media and give them something to shre and react to
  8. Create more, deeper, helpful, spirited, open-ended content that invites visitors to explore. It’s content that beckons, surprises, and fascinates. Being fascinating is very hard work, yet customers love a fascinating person, brand or product. They talk about it, share it, and become a brand ambassador.
  9. Give your content some embellishment since content that’s too efficient is to dry and doesn’t build intent. And it could turn visitors off.
  10. Use relevant symbols and people to elevate your brand or make it more fun (e.g., the Charmin toilet paper Bear cartoon characters increased social shares 585%)
  11. Be distinct and memorable. Make your dialogue and voice distinct and relatable yet sound like someone who actually can help make their dreams come true by linking to your explicitly professionally worded services page.
  12. Create stories if you can but they must be very relevant — a story about how you helped a client with that very problem or how a person was made happier or more successful is always effective.
  13. If they like some of your content, create more of it, go deeper with insight and ask them if theyd like to ask you a question
  14. Stimulate emotion because people make decisions based on emotion
  15. Get them to visualize forward to how their dissatisfaction and future success will be impacted if they don’t get involved with you
  16. Create likability and empathy by discussing what you do for others, use humor, and tell them why it’s so good to do what you’re talking about — enthusiasm!
  17. Trust, crediblity and authority is important to readers so ensure youre building credibility with facts they can quickly verify so link out to relevant, high quality articles on other websites
  18. Create content continuity by publishing content that adds value to previous posts but all points to some key post/offer/event off in the future
  19. Toward the end of our posts/content, have links and leads to your social pages. This gives them a fuller view of you right now and what you’re up to.
  20. Have a good call to action. The body of your engagement should lead to a contact, but it’s okay to ask them to move forward and ask for a free consultation of some sort on a pressing issue.
  21. Use a contest and an online survey where possible. This enhances the visit and makes it more memorable.
  22. Ask them to email you for something for free such as special guide to solving a problem
  23. Ensure you link to your relevant content throughout your posts – in fact this is a key part of your content and SEO strategy.

Engagement Isn’t Isolated Events – It’s a Process

Engagement isn’t really a goal, it’s a process of achieving your goal of getting visitors into your content and to become emotionally connected to you.

Don’t be perfect. Show sincere intent to fulfill their need. Be interested in their need for fulfillment — your content will generate the spirit of following through on their intent or mission whether it’s to buy your product, buy a house, sign a mortgage, or travel to exotic locations.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this immersion in visitor engagement. Bookmark it for future reference because if there is one improvement you can make to your sales and marketing efforts, it’s engagement that matters.  I’ll be updating this post regularly. Check out the recent post on social media strategy.

 

Further Material on Online Engagement

 

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Real Estate SEO Specialist – Toronto Los Angeles San Diego San Francisco

The Art of Real Estate SEO

Real Estate SEO has been affected by a number of new technologies and by the growing use of social media to hone in on people’s conversations and online habits. New technologies help discover potential deals, but it’s good old high quality content and Professional Grade SEO that generates lead conversion.

From Los Angeles to San Diego, providers rely on automated messaging because it’s cheap. I’ve worked with 4 digital marketing agencies and I’m very familiar with the “cheap” formula. But it never works and it discourages clients. This is when they give up on SEO and go back to traditional marketing alone. Thorough, professional SEO strategies can actually work well with traditional channels. Given how long it takes to convert prospects, you need good exposure on Google combine with a good drip email campaign to nurture them.

Real Estate SEO advantage today is to get personal with readers – to make a connection that automated marketing can’t make

What is it that we focus on to make your site soar in the rankings? I’ve authored a ground breaking book on SEO and continue studies of Google algorithm changes including RankBrain, Trustrank, Mobile, and engagement factors. And I’ve provided San Diego, Los Angeles, Oceanside, San Francisco firms with high ranking and high traffic results. Big traffic and big reach makes things interesting.

Is Automated Messaging Killing Internet Marketing?

My quick answer to that question is yes. From obtrusive persistent ads, to autoplay video, to content that visitors aren’t even interested in, automated messaging is turning everyone off and threatening the viability of digital marketing. Digital marketing is heading for a crash.

If you’ve read automated social media posts, automated email you receive, and waited for ads to download on your smartphone, you’ve seen this blight first hand.

Powerful Online Marketing Solutions: LA Real Estate Marketing | Boston Real Estate Marketing | Real Estate Marketing SF Bay Area | Real Estate Marketing Company Toronto | Real Estate Marketing in San Diego | Vancouver Real Estate Marketing Company | Real Estate Websites

The Solution is Personalization and Emotional Connection

Automated marketing is rarely personal or engaging. What is effective now, are topics of interest written and presented in a unique way that adds value to your prospect’s experience. And those messages are person to person so they can be sent at odd times.

The key to all of this is whether you’ve chosen the right topic for the right audience — the topic they need to know about and a topic that gives you a special top of mind presence in their life.  It’s a crowded, congested, and over-competitive environment online and you must target the right people.  By taking your time with a good content, keyword, and SEO strategy, you’re going to take seriously. That’s when your prospects are eager to hear from you.




What Does Google Want in a Real Estate Website?

  1. Google wants lots of high quality, original content that is on topic and written in a flexible way that makes them think it is natural and not written for search engines.
  2. Trust is important which is why the TrustRank algorithm was created. Google’s system checks for spam, and other misrepresenting, poor quality content and links. You won’t see much spam via Google anymore so they’ve cleaned it up. However, if you have thin content that looks like everyone else’s — Google thinks that spam. When you have high TrustRank, Google will trust the links and words on your site more.
  3. Google wants to see lots of incoming links to your site. If you have quality content, are active on social media and do a good job of marketing your marketing, you’ll likely get those links (maybe some extra help here too).

Here’s Rand Fishkin of Moz in his video speaking about basic page SEO which is some of the work an SEO specialist must do. Rand’s an interesting guy and I don’t know how he remembers all that!

Ignore the Ill-informed Myths Floating Around out There

Pagerank is not dead. Google stills needs a number to rate importance and popularity of websites and webpages. An algorithm is simply a complex equation that generates or results in a numeric value. To rank things you need numbers. However, Pagerank is much more filtered now.  The new Pagerank is closely tied to Trustrank and keyword relevance (for instance, if you get a link from a site that is not related to your specific topical area such as a blog on a music site, there may not be much ranking juice awarded to your real estate site.

Instead if you get a link from a major, popular and trusted real estate portal such as Realtor.com or Remax, it may give you more Pagerank and Trustrank factor than you ever dreamed of. Almost inappropriately!

I’ve got a few SEO techniques here that might help a real estate agent understand what to look for in a Real Estate SEO specialist provider. There’s skills, tactics, creative innovation, semantics, and an understanding of what a good user experience is.  SEO isn’t simple when you want to be the number one ranking site. If you want to optimize like the rest of the common SEO herd, you’ll find yourself down the results page where searchers don’t  go.

There are a lot of ranking factors (Google still says 200) however these are the big factors you need to understand:

1 High quality, well written content with an intelligent flow to it appeals to Google’s quality filter
2 Content on your site flows well from a progressive learning perspective appeals to the Rankbrain Algorithm
3 Rich content that includes video, bulleted text, graphics, statistics, and other visuals that make it a more complete experience for visitors
4 Long form content – pages over 1000 words in length such as what you’ll see on my site (content that offers chances to link out and is what people like to share socially)
5 Long form content with more to read increases engagement and is more well shared on social media — Google is watching whether visitors stay on your pages
6 Content that uses synonyms, related words and stemmed variations of words in an intelligent way that Google reads as on topic and relevant
7 Websites with lots of content pages that have inbound links coming to them (not just to your homepage)
8 Keywords near linked items
9 Keywords within anchor text
10 Keywords in title tag of page
11 Content that is segmented or siloed to produce more power to capture high volume competitive phrases and long tail phrases (e.g., real estate agents in Los Angeles would have separate silos for real estate, real estate agents, and los angeles. Google even processes the word “in” so you work that into your page linking structure)
12 Google likes original, unique copywriting and linking – this is customized, personalized content generation that does well
13 Content that uses related words in links and text which helps Google determine precisely what your content is about (e.g., homes for sale 90210 or houses for sale in Beverly Hills, tells them with more precision than if you plastered your site with LA homes for sale). The words in your other page’s content will affect what Google believes about your page.

That’s the subtlety and complexity that applies to every word, link, and page on your site.  And Google is much more page-centric and on topic than ever. In the past, if you had a popular, authoritative, and trusted website, then all of your pages were given a golden halo. Not anymore, Google has increased its damping factor which means ranking juice doesn’t go very far through the links.  Sort of like the Colorado river. By the time it gets to the mouth, there’s nothing left.

gord2Do You Need an SEO Specialist to Review Your Site? Call me at 416 998 6246 and let’s talk

You Crafty Devil You! You Did that On Purpose!

An SEO Specialist is very crafty, sneaky, strategy-minded copywriter who wants to write some beautiful prose on your website and social media pages to hypnotize and capture your visiting prospects. Yet, we speak to Google in a way you won’t understand in how we read between the lines of Google’s stated algorithm to romance Googlebot and all of Google’s database filters. We run a gauntlet of nasty algorithm demons who doubt our every word, action and even our identity.

Google says it wants only the best stuff and a highly skilled SEO content writer is the one to make sure Google’s receives with wrapping paper and a bow on top.  A good specialist will be an expert on content strategy too. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have specialized expert contributors on staff creating copy. It may be best to let these writers research and create their in-depth expert pieces and to focus on what their content needs to express — the unique value proposition and benefits. A content strategist needs to ensure the content experience is fun and gets the brand message delivered.

Getting “On Brand” Means Having the Right Content Strategy

Yet these expert contributors will often not be “on brand” and true to the value proposition, meaning they’re not creating copy that sells you. In the end, all of your content has to create a customer for you, not for the top earning agents such as Merrily Hackett, Josh and Matt Altman, Jade Mills, Donald Trump, Melissa Wu, or Jason Soprovich, or for some cliche real estate agent image.

Your SEO copy and inter-page linking are all part of a branded experience in content. Your content is you. Reader’s weigh your content’s promise of value vs the benefits they want. Your content constantly speaks about the value you promise to deliver. It’s not enough to be pretty, you have to be effective in getting your significant, personalized, unique value proposition (your brand) across to visitors. But visitors love keywords and related words so they’ll be gobbling up our copywriting and calls to action.

I like what Dave Keys says about creating real leads via Real Estate SEO. We have to keep in mind that any exposure to buyer/sellers at any stage of their search is good. If they see you on Google in November, and then they see you again in May, they may feel comfortable enough now to call you. Visibility at any time is good.

If all those visitors don’t call you, it’s because your content doesn’t get your UVP across laser clear that you offer what they’re looking for.  In fact, your SEO copywriter can make it look like you do, when in fact you’re not the best agent around.

With a great real estate SEO specialist writing your web and social media content, you’re creating a weave of powerful content they can’t resist. It speaks to what they want with the words they love to see, and the wording that Google respects.

Targeted Link Building – Growing the Links that Create #1 Rankings

Quality Links = High Rankings: Creating Unique Value is Absolutely Needed

highqualitycontent
Quality inbound links aren’t limited to .edu, .gov and major portals. Links from relevant websites that generate positive interaction register nicely with Google.

Quality is more important than ever but so is creating value, good will, and sharing value with the right people.   High quality link building is the most difficult task in SEO and the route to creating high quality backlinks is even more complex.

An intelligent, expert strategy that builds specific, unique value for top sites and individuals is the one that moves the needle for ROI.

The vast majority of businesses still hunt for free or low quality links which Google treats as spam. Those links create no keyword value, buzz, or interaction. Google knows they’re worthless. Please don’t go that route. Adopt a strategy to build quality targeted links.

If you need high rankings and higher visitor conversion rates, then creating valuable, unique content and generating value for other people and businesses is paramount.  The process we’ll talk about here has two basic components: high quality targeted content and high quality targeted links.

As you’ll read below, this process of targeted link building is itself high quality and generates extended value beyond high Google rankings. It takes your whole business to a new plateau.

The Path to Nowhere

Quality links can’t be garnered via an Indian cheap link builder. These are created through your action and strategy of interacting with top companies, influencers, journalists, bloggers of high relevance and authority with authenticity. Building relationships with industry people is so fruitful.  You won’t create these powerful relationships using an Indian link builder. This is high quality connectivity with people you would never be able to reach — people who can take your business to the top in the real world. Sound exciting? It is exciting.

These new targeted connections, and outreach on the web and social media platforms will open up all sorts of new business avenues. Feel optimistic because it creates more value than anything else your digital marketing can produce.

What Google looks for are signals that indicate genuine interaction, transparency and exchange of relevant value. They assess your content and see if there’s meaningful interaction around it.

How Long Do Links Take to Affect your Rankings?

It used to take months for any visible sign of growth in rankings, but as this graph shows, the influence grows gradually over a number of weeks. You should be heartened that your efforts will be rewarded so quickly. Why does it take so long? Google wants to be sure the link is legit and it takes the indexing system that long to determine what the link’s significance is.

linksinfluenceranking
Chart courtesy of Smart Insights.

Google evaluates the trustworthiness, relevance, authority, and many other factors that top websites possess via its Panda update and Rankbrain update. The process involves over 200 factors. Trust arises out of genuine interaction, transparency, and exchange of value. Google can see and attribute this to your website.  High quality content is a cornerstone, since creating value for others has such a powerful effect on their behavior. Listen to Rand Fishkin’s interpretation of unique, valuable content:

This process will improve link building results, improve content strategy, grow social media engagement, increase likability and trust, and vastly increase your networking reach. So whether you’re building real estate leads, improving your marketing agency, or grow your profit, targeted link building brings the sustained results that are good for your business.

What is your unique value proposition? What value can you generate for other businesses?

Your To Do List:

  • find which approaches and sites will give us larger outreach which then could create the high quality links you hope for
  • what resources do you have to create high quality content?
  • how much time and money do we need to create high quality content to share?
  • what passionate topics and presentation do we need to interest people in to link to your site?
  • what can we do specifically for other businesses which they can’t do for themselves?
  • find out how can we create common ground or points of intersection with people or businesses you need to get links from
  • determine which content type works best: infographics, case studies, news, statistics, or perspectives/blogs?
  • create a spreadsheet with url, contact info, and what you’ll do to reach out to influencers, bloggers and readers
  • let as many people know about your content as possible, and make it easily available
  • link to your linkbait from your current high ranking pages (visibility) as the readers are the most likely ones to share your content and message
  • execute and find something that works?

These above tasks/tactics above are what we need to do to get ourselves positioned to create a powerful links from sites that Google considers important. If all of this is too demanding of your time and energy, you would be wise to hire a link building pro.

Statistics show that small businesses which hire experts have a much greater chance of survival. Those which don’t, often fail within 5 years. Experts help you plan your long term strategy so you’re in business continuously even through recessions. Experts help you rise to a competitive level soon which brings significant awareness of your company and builds loyalty through your brand.

Link building is a tough task. Set aside a good amount of funds and enjoy the targeted intelligent process of link building. It’s a networking process you can use to build new customers or clients. There are so many add on benefits to doing professional link building.

To choose a good link builder, check out the quality of their blog and social media sites, and whether they’re actively involved in promoting their business.

 

Hunting for real estate leads? My expertise in real estate content, MLS listings, and how to compete for real estate rankings is a huge asset for you. Let’s get started and help you dominate from 2017 to 2020.

Purpose of a Content Strategist – To Make People Happy?

Everyone Wants to Feel Good – Are You Delivering Happiness?

We’re all up on the idea that people buy on emotion. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that the one emotion that pulls that buying trigger is happiness — from a rush of  your happy brain chemicals: endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. The one thing people want is to feel good, secure, and satisfied emotionally.

Happiness, surprise, delight and contentment should be central to your unique value proposition and business model. Yes, your business model.

This post is about what it takes to create a happy customer. It begins with building the right content to attract your new customer, designing content that gets them to do what you want, and supercharging their emotions to get them to break free of their own internal constraints.

If you want to create that rush of happy chemicals in your customer later on, you need to do certain special things now.

If you haven’t done them, then at the point of purchase decision, there won’t be any way for you to supercharge their emotions. And you’ll be unable to change their mental context and surmount their sales resistance.

The Precursors of a Happy Customer

I’m going to introduce you to the Amazing Kreskin, who’s used the power of suggestion to delight audiences for decades.  And, I’m suggesting you design such suggestiveness into your social and web content because later on, it makes sales conversion rates much higher.

A brilliant content strategy is built on customers happiness factors. It’s going to make your UVP compelling and your product/brand fascinating and irresistible.

Begin with your End Goal

Content strategists need a wide perspective, looking far above the dust, pebbles and broken branches that line the mountainside path — on one that’s paved with smiles. Creating a happy experience is vital. What “happy seeds” have you planted your current content? Do you know which happiness seeds will work for your customers?

If you haven’t looked at your content this way, I’d suggest starting now. This is applied psychology and in a sense you are conditioning your audience to accept your service/product as the right one. The ideas you plant in their minds now will provide the foundation for sales conversion later at checkout/contact time.  And they’ll believe these ideas were their ideas. Your customers will be delighted with their purchases, but only you’ll know why. Once they’re happy, they won’t care.

I talk about unique value propositions extensively, but your ability to beat competitors on product benefits alone is limited. You need something more. Seeding happiness is that something more. Then add hyperacceleration techniques later, and you should have them breaking down the doors!

In future posts, I’ll discuss psychological techniques in word choice, phrasing, and topic choice.

Choosing the Right Clients

While your sales team and top management appear to be driving new client/customer acquisition, it’s very likely that your content strategist/developer is actually determining which new clients/customers appear out of nowhere.

That’s the whole point of content strategy — to create the right customer.

Happiness Seeding should be a key part of your content strategy planning. Later on, it”ll determine how they will feel about you, the look on their face when they meet you, how much money they will pay you, how creative they’ll be in pursuing business with you, whether they believe in you, whether they believe in themselves, and how long they will be engaged with you.

If your new client prospect doesn’t meet you with total delight, you didn’t do a great job with your content.

After meeting so many clients over the last 17 years, I can tell you with certainty, that your content determines everything about what’s going to happen.

Focus on how you’re going to make them feel, rather than product benefits and features. If you read most corporate web copy, you’ll see it’s filled with “fact about us” and “aren’t we great” and product features. Now they’re scrambling to change that boring copy to focus on making customers feel good.

Amazing Power of Suggestion

When I was a kid, I loved the long uphill bike ride to my Aunt and Uncle’s house on Saturday afternoon. I looked forward to watching the Amazing Kreskin on TV (my family couldn’t afford cable). I had no idea how he did things then. I was amazed.

The Amazing Kreskin foretold what people would feel and say, because he planted it in their brain first. Kreskin was an engaging, distracting talker. That chatter is his content strategy and he expertly changes the listener’s context to make them susceptible.  He got the listener to accept a number, a card, or a location he somehow suggested.  Then when they uncovered the number or card, etc, he foretold it perfectly, like he had ESP.  And more, when people were delighted, it simply reinforced more susceptible behaviour. Viewers were “sold” on Kreskin’s act long before they watched the next show.

Kreskin enjoys talking to everyone. His ideal customer is pretty well anyone — or at least those who have an appreciation of the possible. Your content should have that playful, open and passionate flavour. If it worked for Kreskin, it may work for you too.

How he learned to do this is an intriguing matter, but we might never know. The point for content creators and strategists is how your content alters the viewer’s context and lifts them out of their non-buying rut.  Kreskin lifted viewers out of their skeptical rut. As  part of the conversion acceleration phase, you’ll be moving out of that buying resistance to a new “dopamine” induced euphoria where they’re delighted to become your customer.

Audience members believed in Kreskin and his context of magical omnisicence and thus his subtle suggestions worked so well. 72 and so mentally sharp!

So, going back to where we started, your content strategy suggests a state of happiness and pre-fulfillment, knocking out any negative or resistant mindset they’re stuck in.

Your content will foretell your client relations, how much they divulge about their business, and whether they will let you help them succeed. Never complain about them. You designed everything.

You are Your Content so Make it All about Them and Their Happiness

The beauty of digital marketing is that when you get it right, business is so easy and silky smooth, your Irish eyes will be smiling.

As someone who has influence over content development, you have incredible power. Keep happiness as the focus and you’ll achieve incredible profit and performance goals.