A meadow lies hushed in the late day sun. No movement or sound among the long grasses. Crouched and poised on the shadow-treed edge, the hunter scans, working his scarred fingers slowly across a heavy wood shaft…
…your customer, the digital hunter on today’s web.
His attention span is the prey he follows. One false move and the quarry is sent scampering into the trees. Today’s web reader is tenacious and ripe for information now; not tomorrow, not in an hour. They need to feed. A wanting, keeping them loping down these dim cyber paths.
Web marketing must slake this thirst and hunger immediately. This attitude is a much different and urgent approach than in any other marketing forums. With print media, there’s an unspoken agreed upon timetable. A person may not read that ad lying on their coffee table now, but it’s still there, waiting. Not so in the digital world and here is where traditional advertising separates from today.
Once they enter, your reader-prospects begin to act and behave much differently.
Picture yourself on a lazy, cold Sunday thumbing casually through your favorite magazines. Laying back, legs stretch out on the sofa. Marketers can afford to and often miss their mark in this space as the reader gloss’s over pictures and headlines, maybe there’s something of interest they’ll return to in time. Even if the message is presented poorly, there’s an unspoken forgiveness. After all, they’re just reading.
Then imagine switching on your favorite TV program. You’re a bit more engaged as a viewer. You’re now sitting up as the story starts to entertain. You’re paying close attention and can excuse the annoying commercial interruptions, barely able to recall any if asked. Now see yourself on your computer. You’re looking to book a hotel reservation. You’re focused, unblinking, upright, actually leaning into the screen.
Your whole posture beams with purpose. You have one thing on your mind. You’re looking for information and you want and need it now. One image improperly placed or some vague wording on a landing page is the snapping twig among the silent trees. Dark eyes widened with alarm as your reader-hunter now dashes for the high brush – the dreaded back-click. If your purpose on the Web is to sell, then remember your visitor is demanding to be informed and any hesitation will cause them to leave for other sites.
Customers and prospects on digital media, unlike printed ads or TV, are terribly unforgiving and impatient.
Even more so today with mobile devices. Your potential customers are speaking into devices with questions needing to be answered. You see them on the move, on the sidewalks, in the crosswalks, waiting on Google for answers; answers your business site needs to provide. From your email campaigns, through PPC ads on social media, down to your landing pages, optimizing for the cyber wanderer is key.
The following are reminders for presenting in digital media when attempting the one thing your business must do…sell.
- Knowing Your Prospects Terrain:
Before you do anything, know your audience. Know who you want to visit your site. Calloused your hands with countless hours spent in their jungle psyche. Engross yourself in how they live and what they need, what they do and what they read. Know exactly who you want to speak to and drill down until you can picture them sitting across the table from you. Become familiar with their scents and signs of passing.
- Tending Different Web Customer’s Needs:
Audiences with different needs require different landing pages. Get this information before you do any building of your site or page. They’ve now entered your world. Know what questions they want answers to. Search for clues for these answers in reviews and social media comments for competing products and services. Become familiar with their different pain points. Try to become a shadow of familiarity, careful not to scare away.
- Headlines: Specific, Clear, Concise:
If your headlines and links are not front-loaded, then your quick reader may miss what you’re trying to say. Front-load your benefits and clearly state them in the first few words of your headline. Let your scanning reader know immediately what the sites about. Let them know they have landed in the correct space for what they’re looking for.
Remember: Clarity beats Clever, every time.
- Optimized for Mobile Devices:
More purchases are being made, whether that’s B2B or B2C, through mobile devices. Take a heuristic approach to testing your site on a mobile device. This will show any weaknesses if they exist. Also, does your page contain the specific SEO keywords matching the questions your potential customer asks when speaking into their mobile device? Google is becoming more and more aware of this natural vernacular and adjusting accordingly.Your keywords must be coupled with the natural voice and rhythms of your prospect. You’re not just planting words for Google’s spiders to find but creating a flow mirroring the spoken voice.
- Maintain Easy and Flowing Link Transitions:
If people are arriving from your site through an email or PPC campaign, does your page match what the email or PPC headline promised? Is your page is focused, flowing logically so, again, your customers know exactly why they are there? Once on your site, make the experience easy for them. Don’t make it hard for readers to locate your Call-to-Action. Your rate of conversions decreases with every click.
These reminders are nothing new…
Knowing the ground upon which you enter is a dark, revered mystery. Have patience. Researching proper words and imagery allows you to speak in low, warm tones. Your readers, listening, will rise upon their haunches and take notice. A clunky adjective or misaligned CTA will send a fleet of wing creatures screeching high into the blue, betraying your presence.
Web writing is a hunter’s game. Stay vigilant and keep your cooking fires lit.
Eric is a freelance copywriter specializing in web content and direct marketing focused on the fitness and health industry. And also, an AMA contributer! If you are interested in contributing to our blog, please reach out!