Playing it safe will keep you from getting hurt — and from getting customers
Fast Company columnist Sam Ford offers an insightful and entertaining treatise on how Corporations — and brands and small businesses – can take a page from the world of “professional” wresting.
In short, Ford follows his own advice with this column.
His assertions are well-suited to illustrating what it takes to communicate online; to communicate in a way that gets visitors to stick around and take action.
“An Appropriate Level of Spectacle Is Crucial”
The outrageous costumes, the drama, the crowd: all contribute to an air of excitement that inevitably makes you stop for a moment while channel surfing. This will also stop the visitor that is surfing the Web.
On your site, you need a hook to draw your visitor in. To assume that they are visiting because they know they want to learn about your company is naive. You’ve got to hook them first.
“Humor and Charisma Always Make a Connection”
It is especially true in the B2B world that humor and charisma seem to have no place. “After all, we’re all serious business people here.” If this is your attitude, kiss the customers goodbye.
“Create a Serialized Connection with Your Audience”
Conversion happens around great content. Great content happens more than once.
There are so many ways to send serial content – email, social media, news wires, blogs – that you should be frothing from the mouth to crank out the articles, posts, papers, audio and video to feed the monster. This monster poops business.
You can even serialize an article. For instance, there are 10 tweets in this post alone. Can you guess what they are?
“Shiny New Objects” Don’t Last
This is a corollary to the last item: Big ideas may carry the day, but what about the next day and the day after that?
Marketers need an editorial calendar for your communications. Get the budget and the resources to be a content machine.
“Your Audience Uses You as an Excuse to Build Community”
Facebook groups can work. LinkedIn groups can become vibrant. When this happens, it is because you have found a seed group of fans who love the product and the opportunity to associate themselves with it.
This doesn’t happen because of price discounts. It happens when you join the conversation.
Wrestlers throw each other into the crowd. What are you throwing in to your crowd?
“Your Audience Is Always Performing”
The other thing that works in Social Media is giving your “crowd” a stage on which to become a performer. Blogs offer comment sections, for example. Let them post, upload, rate, review and comment. Give them a stage.
Photo courtesy Flickr