Having an online presence hasn’t been enough for over a decade now; everybody has one. A strict diet of email marketing is now a one-way trip to the spam folder. And every viral ad is outnumbered 10 to 1 by a viral pet video. SEO is old hat, perpetually undermined by Google’s constant algorithm updates.
So, how do you make your site stand up and get the attention it deserves? The answer is a mixture of both traditional and creative sensibilities that enhance each other and spread the word about your site loud and clear.
2014 – The Year of TL;DR
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Anyone familiar with browsing forums or content aggregate sites is familiar with the acronym “TL;DR” which stands for “Too Long; Didn’t Read.” What started as a helpful suggestion that users were being too wordy, the four letters and a semicolon have become a combination insult, summary preface and way of life.
With things to do and a complete database of information always at everyone’s fingertips, you need to make your point and sell your site in as few seconds as possible. The best way to do this?
According to Forbes.com, it’s recommended that you employ an images-first mentality to your content. While an article can be far more elaborate than an infographic, you need the infographic that someone can quickly scan to let them know in less than ten seconds that the subject of your article is relevant to their interests.
Word of Tweet
One way that you can get people to generate buzz about your site is to give access to people who do the most talking. By engaging active social media users with a strong following free, unfettered access to your products and services, the odds are pretty good that they’ll be inclined to talk about it.
Their followers, who trust their opinion, will feel not like they’re being marketed to, but getting a recommendation from somebody that they trust.
Turn Your Customer Into The Star of Your Campaign
Interactive marketing has some truly desirable qualities. It’s eye-catching, infectiously shareable and quietly effective. Whether it’s something as simple as a photo contest or having customers submit Vines to build into a larger campaign, everybody wants their 15 minutes, so spare them a few seconds if you want results.
Another example is collaborative design, offering incentives and infamy for taking work out of your hands by designing a new feature or variety of the services offered by your site.
Ads with Substance
A 15-second YouTube commercial before a video is begging to be skipped. A promoted tweet is going to be quickly scrolled through. Something that offers value or interest to a potential consumer though is more likely to be digested, whether that value is in humor, education or emotion.
Consider the situation of someone furiously mashing the “Skip Ad” button to get to the YouTube version of a commercial everybody’s talking about. Now ask yourself which side of that equation you want to be on.
Be The Human Face, Not the Press Release Page
Unless you’re prone to situations where your foot fits nicely into your mouth, use your social media accounts the way your followers do– get excited about upcoming events, engage in public Q&A with customers and treat people like people, not wallets.
Even large, unwieldy corporations develop enthusiastic followings based on their personable social media strategists. If you’re a small business, consider it one of the many hats you have to wear and show customers there’s more to you than quarterly earnings.
It might just have a positive effect on your bottom line with none of the advertising costs.