I have a point of contention with the way many people approach online marketing.
There appears to be an arms race to the number of likes, follows and blog page views with little regard to what they mean.
Let me explain, there are many services out there that will email a crazy large database or
pay convince people to connect with your social profiles so that you can admire how popular you are.
Even if these new likes, followers and page views are REAL (let’s not even get into the world of bot traffic) there is still a HUGE problem. All of these visitors and new social connections don’t mean ANYTHING unless they are targeted and filtered down to be qualified buyers.
Now I’m not talking about constantly pitching your audience, or needing to generate revenue out of them immediately as if they were just some cog in your wheelhouse. What I’m talking about though is getting the attention of the RIGHT people instead of just ANY people – a notable difference that seems to be overlooked too often.
Getting the right people
I’d rather have 1,000 decision makers and buyers engage with my content than 100 million non-buying traffic.
Unless you are simply in the business of selling ad space on an impression basis (which wouldn’t sustain for long with non-buyers), then you should want the exact same thing for anything you do.
A great example of people approaching their business backwards is the deep seated desire for tech startups to get on TechCrunch. If you privately ask any of them, they will tell you two things.
1. It’s not nearly as much traffic as you think you’re going to get
2. The conversion rate of sign-ups (even to a free product, but even worse with a paid product) are typically garbage
“How could this be?” you might ask yourself. After all, isn’t the demographic of such a site laser targeted with decision makers who can make or break your business?
A few of them, sure. But most of the people who spend a ton of time on TechCrunch are there because they want to be just another scrappy (read: broke) entrepreneur and likely aren’t in your target demographic anyway.
How’s that for a gotcha?
Sure they get a TON of traffic, but there are much more effective ways of building a business filled with qualified customers.
The code of qualification
So now you are probably on board with the idea that a smaller audience who is highly engaged and ready for you to solve their problems is more useful and effective non-targeted/non-qualified users.
Now your problem isn’t just “how do I increase the number of visitors I get”, but rather “how do I qualify my traffic and make it profitable”.
Here is the general forumla/code I use when trying to decipher what kind of value my traffic has and turning them into loyal customers.
1. Remove all the distractions and have a clear call to action.
Many blogs and company websites have the same problem: too much going on.
Simplicity is golden when you have just a few seconds to earn a prospects attention. Don’t waste it with your Twitter feed.
Decide (with confidence) what the primary and secondary things you want someone to do when first engaging with your content and stick to it in that priority.
(Example: Priority 1, Opt-in to a newsletter. Priority 2, Get them to read a particularly popular piece of content)
2. Capture the lead with a compelling offer your ideal customer would go crazy for.
It’s like beating a dead horse but some people still don’t get it. A targeted email list is key to building an asset online.
There are many services out there, I personally love what Aweber has to offer in terms of features & price.
Give your audience a reason to give your their email. Perhaps it’s for more great content, or in exchange for an eBook you wrote or free download you have to offer.
3. Write amazingly useful content that solves most of the problems your customer has.
Do you have any idea why “warm” traffic that already knows you converts infinitely better than “cold” traffic from somewhere else?
Because “warm” traffic trusts you and has learned a thing or two from you before.
It’s really that simple folks, create something unique that speaks to your audience and they will thank you for it in the form of joining your email list, attending webinars and more importantly buying what you have to offer when it solves their problems.
If you give people what they want and solve their problems, marketing is actually pretty easy.
4. Offer a speedier solution for a specific problem that costs at least $7.
After you’ve lured the right audience by creating the right content and the right offer the hardest work has been done.
You’ve gone the extra mile to get a users attention, congratulations. Now how do convert that brief moment of attention into an actual customer?
There is an interesting little threshold I’ve found with the way humans behave and I’m going to let you in on the little secret.
If you can convince a lead to spend at least $7, you can very likely earn their business for just about anything you offer as long as it’s a quality offering.
Make sure that in-between offers and launches that you continue to give them awesome value but that’s the basis of success.
Qualify a lead by leading them down a very targeted path and get them to open their wallets for at least a $7 purchase and the rest simply doesn’t matter. Don’t worry about the opt-outs of your non-buyers, you don’t want them holding you back anyway.
You should only care about earning the continued support of your customers not the reader only web traffic.
So what are you waiting for? Go clean up your call to action and build a list with Aweber.