Everyone that has surfed the website certainly hit a website that has some popup video of person again a transparent background telling you why you should buy. Did it ever make you want to buy?
You’ve probably also ended up on a sales page, complete with pain points, features / benefits, and then an ask. Have you ever just land on that page, and within minutes plop in your credit card to buy?
As Savvy marketers are figuring out, the current age is one that favors two-way communication over slick elevator pitches, and the unilateral flow of classical marketing simply doesn’t cut it.
This means that those of us who’ve made the bold move of starting a home service business need to structure our online marketing efforts in a way that encourages communication and dialogue, as opposed to simply selling a product or service.
The secret? Audience collaboration: designing your brand to be flexible, dynamic, and possessive of a distinct persona that both potential and established clients will find easy to trust.
The following are four compelling reasons why audience collaboration should be your top priority, grounded in some examples I’ve encountered throughout the years:
Audience Collaboration Boosts Organic Reach
There are tons of metrics you can and should use to track the success of a digital marketing campaign, but the first one you should be keeping an eye on is reach. It’s a simple equation: more views = more chances of conversions (and, ultimately, more profit).
But raising that number through conventional means can be tricky work, even for the most experienced marketer. The classical approach usually requires one of two things: (1) pushing for expensive TV or radio ads that are sure to draw attention, or (2) taking a chance with static media (like print ads or billboards) that have little guarantee of being noticed.
Audience collaboration on channels like social media are a direct way of securing attention, and promoting reach through organic (read: unpaid) shares. Unlike the one-way communication of traditional media, efforts to collaborate give you instant results that you can track and leverage.
Audience Collaboration Means Better Informed Customers
No print ad could possibly answer every question a potential client could have, and you’d be surprised at how many willing customers shy away from asking because of the inconvenience of dropping by an office or placing a call.
Audience collaboration solves this problem by providing a direct line between you and your leads: a chat box or a comments section. Whether you run a blog on your website or manage an account on social media, there’s sure to be a way for customers to reach you with the convenience of typing out a message–if you’re on a platform that’s geared towards collaboration.
Take advantage of what the Age of the Internet has to offer by paying attention to your inbox. You’ll find that it’s easy to convince those interested that choosing your product or service is a decision that works in their best interests.
As an added benefit to going for collaborative marketing, a platform that lets you post regular bits of information is a much easier way of both hammering in an important selling point and updating your public info.
Audience Collaboration Builds Strong Commercial Relationships
One of the main features of a collaborative marketing strategy is tapping into a sense of community. Most successful small businesses don’t make it because of a steady stream of new customers, but a large group of repeat customers. While that kind of loyalty is built around the interactions they have with your employees and/or product, audience collaboration speeds up the process and allows it to include more people.
For a fine example of this, let’s go back to that friend I mentioned earlier. There was a time when he ran a hashtag on Twitter, that he promoted on local radio. I can’t recall precisely what the hashtag was, but the essence of it was that people would use it in Tweets describing problems they had with their houses. Many responses were given by community members who were monitoring the hashtag, but his business account replied to reports of what could be an opportunity.
Playing into an existing sense of community can work your business into the fabric of that community, and if you play your cards right, onto their speed dial as well. You could take another route and try to build a community around your customer base by hosting regular events (if your business has a physical store) or organizing community meet-ups centered on your field of expertise.
However you choose to do it, remember that you can’t go wrong with establishing a lasting bond between your business and your clientele. Doing so could land you repeat customers at least, and new customers to court thanks to eager recommendations.
Audience Collaboration is Cheap
Nothing helps a business more than cutting down on overhead costs; and, when it comes to cost-effectiveness, audience collaboration is the strategy to beat. Conventional marketing relies heavily on distribution, easily the most expensive component of advertising–just ask any savvy advertiser.
Audience collaboration, on the other hand, allows for content-creation to be a shared process, meaning the people who can see your ads might just do the job of spreading your business’ name around for you–in other words, free distribution.
Big companies caught onto this pretty early, by spreading hashtags that encouraged people to share cute, funny, or inspiring experiences they’ve had with a product. The thing is, small businesses can easily try their hand at this as well, provided they have the creativity to pull it off. Imagine running a contest on Instagram to see how well people could photoshop your logo or mascot into funny situations, or watching a hashtag about unlikely uses for your product blow up on Twitter.
The best part of all of this is that social media metrics are pretty easy to track if you know what you’re doing. All of the big platforms offer some kind of way to view and compare your analytics, and you can use those to craft your next big marketing tactic.
There’s no better way to get word of a business around online than audience collaboration. It gets the job of promoting a business (big or small) done, and comes with a broad set of perks as well.
Get creative, be engaging, and remember to always play to the interests of your audience. Once you get them interacting with your marketing content, you’re that much closer to winning their dollar vote.