Attraction Marketing - Earn Attention, Don't Buy It
06 Feb 2014
The continual bombardment of our senses with commercials and branding messages has inoculated us with strong advertising resistance. With so many competing messages, it's no wonder we are choosing to tune out. TV, newspapers, magazines and billboards are fast losing the battle to interrupt our diminishing attention spans. This process has been amplified by the wide spread adoption of the Internet, with its power to enable us to search for and select only messages that interest us. How can your business attract new customers? By being relevant and interesting, with a focus on getting found by customers, rather than chasing after them.
Attraction Marketing - the focus is on getting "found" by customers
Online Attraction Marketing
At present, the channels online for attracting customers are the search engines and social media. Search engines rank websites by perceived quality and relevancy of web-page content. Search engines by design have been created to help users find great content, not great products and services. As such, all online businesses must focus on becoming content creation experts in their industry or niche. Many of our clients initially resist this idea, preferring to throw money at the online version of traditional marketing, online banner ads. This is often a good point to step back and consider what the Internet actually is and why content is so important.
The Web is content!
Wikipedia defines content as information and experiences that may provide value for a user. The web is made up of content in different formats - text, images, audio, video, animation and software. Digital bits combining together to represent what we perceive as content. As such, successful online businesses must embrace content creation as part of their strategy. Great content that educates and entertains, in order to attract visitors (and search engines) that may ultimately result in a converted customer. Content must be relevant to your target customers and help build trust with your business, often through generous advice and free assistance. Great products and service is no longer enough!
Your Online Marketing Strategy
We have established the importance of content creation to your business. But what to do with this content once you have created it? Most online businesses focus their efforts around their website. The approach we use at IdeaBank is shown in the diagram below.
New Visits to your website
Attraction marketing strategies focus on 1 - Search Engines and 2 - Social Media.
1 - Search Engines
To rank in the natural search results for keywords relevant to your business, follow these steps:
1. Create great, relevant online content around your products, services and industry niche. Produce this content regularly and integrate the creation process into your business (assign content creators on your team, set deadlines and hold accountable to these targets).
2. Provide this content on your website. Ensure your content web-pages contain your business keywords so the search engines recognise the focus of each page of your website. This means listing keywords in titles, headings and sub-headings across any content page.
3. Syndicate your content across the Internet (for free) using inbound marketing methods, including: video sites, article directories, blogs, social media, twitter, facebook, linkedin, forums. Use your content as a tool to engage with users through social media and email.
How it works: 80% of your website search ranking depends on hyperlinks to your content web-pages from other websites. If you have popular content, this content will attract links from other web-pages that reference your content. For example, if you provide authoritative information on a subject of relevance in your industry, other industry websites are likely to link to your web-pages. The search engines measure these links as votes of confidence for your content, and rank your website pages accordingly. Syndication of your content amplifies this process, as the more people that see the content, the more websites links you are likely to gain.
2 - Social Media
Use social media to support your search campaign. Notify your social media fans and subscribers of your new content posts, and allow them to interact with your content through comments and voting capability (e.g. the "like" button in facebook). Ask your fans engaging questions and create content around the discussion. Ensure your website is linked to social media so there is a strong connect between your social media interactions and your website. Fans of your content will post links to your content on other social media platforms and websites, assisting your search ranking and improving the chances of new users finding your content and website.
Repeat Visits to your website
A major focus should be on building a relationship with current customers or visitors to your website. This requires interacting with customers and building a database of loyal fans. The famous marketer Seth Godin refers to this principle as permission marketing, where a user give permission for you to make regular contact. The success of permission marketing online is deeply tied to great content and ongoing interaction with users, with the typical methods focusing on emails and social media. With regular interaction, trust and relationship with your brand is built, often leading to repeat conversions.
To succeed online businesses need to embrace attraction marketing. This can be achieved through creation of relevant and engaging content, backed up inbound marketing techniques used to promote this content. Online, typical Inbound marketing strategies focus on visibility in search, followed by ongoing interaction with users through social media and email.
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