Grab ‘Em While They’re Hot (or Even Luke Warm)
Like water slopping around a bucket visitors to your website are a fluid lot. Here today, gone tomorrow. It doesn’t take much for them to run away, in pursuit of the next magical elixir. Welcome to the world of marketing, internet style.
It’s the way the internet works; loyalty is hard to win and even harder to retain. Why so? Lack of real contact is one of the reasons. Let’s face it virtual contact is a poor substitute for the real thing.
Another is due to the massive deluge of information online. It’s overwhelming for all of us, and so easy to get distracted. Before you know it your visitor has jumped onto someone else’s site. Poof – they’re gone.
Despite all of this, it’s obvious that some of your competitors have mastered the art of converting mere lookers and curiosity seekers into loyal fans and hot prospects.
Bear in mind that when I say ‘some’ I’m talking about the hallowed few, a tiny percentage of the massive number of sites in your niche.
The owners of these sites have cracked the code – they’ve finally figured out how to not only attract visitors in the first instance, but to hold them long enough, so they see the value, enjoy the experience, and develop a hunger for more.
They’ll be back.
So what’s the formula? Or is it just a trial and error deal – stumbling along in the dark till finally you see a shaft of light?
The good news is there are some practical things you can do to make a dramatic difference to your bounce rate, visitor ‘stickability’ and even your sales conversions.
Before I get into concrete and practical strategies, first up I want to give you some clarity about the game we’re playing here.
What Are People Looking For?
A Solution to a Problem. Do you see yourself as a problem solver and a solution provider? It’s important you do – chances are your audience have problems and are looking for some pain relief. Will you be the go-to person in your niche for these people? If you make the grade, you’ll be rewarded with more customers than you dreamed possible.
The Promise of a Better Tomorrow. Not all of your website visitors have a problem. Some of them have big dreams and wants. For example, your product or service may offer more fun, lifestyle, or ego satisfaction. When someone walks into the Ferarri showroom it’s not because she has a transport problem she wants to solve. Nope. For her, it’s all about ego and the ‘look at me’ factor. So if your product can be leveraged to appeal to these and related motivators you have the potential to extract big dollars from your customers.
Someone to Believe In. Are you familiar with the ‘know, like and trust’ rule? People will not do business with someone who doesn’t satisfy these requirements. Even if you’re an online marketer people still need to feel they know you. It also helps if they like you, even if they never meet you personally. You can establish likeability in the minds of visitors by using effective messaging techniques.
Regarding the trust issue, well, of course, it’s critically important they believe in you and your business. When people believe, the decision for them to move forward and send money in your direction becomes easy.
A Place to Call Home. Your business a home? Yes, why not? People want to feel part of something that gives them what I sometimes call the ‘warm fuzzies.’ They often also want to feel part of something that is bigger than themselves. If you can engender those kinds of feelings, you’ve got it made – no doubt.
8 Ways to Lock People To You – and No One Else
You can talk till you’re blue in the face about your products and services and how wonderful they are. But most people will not buy if you can’t prove that tangible results will match your promises. You can demonstrate competence (or business fitness) in many ways such as using case histories and testimonials. If you have qualifications show them. If you have test results, that prove efficacy, shout about it
If you have a tangible product, demonstrate product competence and effectiveness with pics and especially video, which is a dynamic way to prove that your claims stack up.
Stories motivate, stories sell. Simple as that. We grow up with stories; we love them. Share stories about your products, services, customer experiences, your team, and even yourself. The other type of story you should regularly feature is your overarching narrative. This is the story of you and your business. It can include your philosophy, your vision and your purpose. Always frame your story in a customer centric way – don’t make it too ‘you’ focused.
You can read more about the power of stories on my recent blog post How To Influence and Persuade With Powerful Story Telling
Use Humor If It Fits
Humor is an excellent way to show your human side. Of course humor is subjective – what one person finds hilarious, someone else may find it decidedly unfunny. Some may even be offended by it. But if you’re the sort of person who revels in making people laugh the judicious use of humor can work well. In particular, irreverence can be used to good effect, but be careful how you do it, or it could backfire.
I know this to be the case because on one of my other blogs I sometimes write irreverent and cheeky blog posts about my travels to foreign lands. While some people love the style, others do not. But that’s ok – I don’t mind losing people, as long as I end up with fans who love what I do. That’s the main thing.
Show your human side! I don’t care what type of business you run – even a boring old accounting practice – you need to show people that you are a ‘real’ business with real people working in it. You can convey warmth in different ways:
- The warmth of your text-based content
- The warmth in your videos (if you use them)
- The warmth in your images. Include a few pics of you and your team at work and also at play
- The warmth in your website design. Different colors and even font styles can make a difference.
Don’t forget – people don’t care how much you know they only know how much you care. So show your caring and warm side, and draw people to you and your business.
Stay on Message
While it’s fine to go off message from time to time (particularly if you’re showing the human side of your business), when it comes to the main game – attracting and retaining customers – you must stay relentlessly on message.
If you don’t, you’ll confuse your audience. This, in turn, will reduce their confidence that you and your business have the commitment, and the focus to deliver on your promises.
This is the test of relevance – so stay relevant always.
Show Social Proof
I wrote about this topic in a previous blog post. But essentially, social proof is about giving people evidence that your claims are valid and that you deliver on your promises. Social proof can come in many forms, but the most common way to do it is with the good old customer testimonial. Other examples of social proof are as follows:
- Case Histories
- Customer Stories
- Endorsement from niche authorities
- Being interviewed
Showing social proof is not just about demonstrating competence. It’s also about showing people that others regard your business highly and are happy to share their experiences with others. It gives prospective customers reassurance that they are making the right decision.
Start a Blog
Got a blog yet? No? Tsk tsk. Quick – get one fast! It’s one of the best things you can do to turn mere lookers and tire kickers into regular visitors – and hot prospects. Before you do anything more, read my recent post on this topic Why Every Business Should Have a Blog.
The beautiful thing about a blog is that the content is not static – new content is added regularly. The other sweet thing about it is that visitors can leave comments (see this blog for proof) and share it on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest.
Does a blog work? Well, the mere fact that you are here right now, reading this, suggests that YES, blogs work.
Traditional business owners are often loath to use video in their online marketing activities. Fortunately, things are finally changing. People love to watch videos. Look at the extreme popularity of video platforms like YouTube.
Because it’s probable that few of your competitors are using video, a window of opportunity is open for you right now. The efficient use of video will not only keep visitors on your site for longer it will instill belief – belief that your business is the one they want to deal with and buy from.
Do yourself a big favor – embrace video today.
Your Turn – Time to Comment!
What was your biggest takeout from this post?
What methods have you been using to convert mere lookers into fans, and customers?
Make a comment below!
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