Engage! Requesting Feedback From Our Readers (And Yours, Too)

A few weeks back, we launched this blog as a way to engage our clan members and stay in touch in the midst of our increasingly busy lifestyles. We got a bit spoiled by the almost instant boom in traffic. We had a daily site visitors in the three digits, which is impressive for any small blog, especially a new one.

We succeeded in engaging each other and our already avid supporters.. But we failed to engage our new site visitors. Why is that?

Well, the correlation between our activity and site metrics is pretty self-evident: we did better when we posted less updates and had more unique content. Maybe your site, if you have one, is experiencing the same. Here are some tips that will help us all out in the quest to gave a creative outlet that engages and isn’t a complete chore.Forget About Huge Numbers
Old sales and marketing dictates that you play a numbers game. You establish massive reach and amplify your message in hopes of getting some conversions, even if it is a mere 1%. Hey, when you have huge numbers, that sort of thing works but it is a real drag and you’ll lose some of your loyalists.

Instead of focusing on raw traffic, we should…

Engage Our Audience
You may have heard this before. Books like UNmarketing and Content Rules sing heralds about engaging people. What is engaging all about?

In simple terms, it means interacting with your audience on and off-site. It means providing a powerful call to action at every opportunity. Make each person feel compelled enough to participate, come back, and tell others about what you are doing.

Landing Pages 101
One thing I know a few of us can get better at is setting up landing pages. Blogging is an art but landing pages are more of a science. The basics of an effective landing page are as follows:

  1. Strip away the extra junk like sidebars so that your site visitors can focus on the core message. This is tough if you don’t know CSS but, at the very least, you want to make it easier for site visitors to get right to the meat and potatoes of your content.
  2. Speak to the specific audience. Each landing page should be as intimate as possible, inspiring the visitor to read through your short presentation and complete the next steps in your journey together.
  3. Provide a single, simple call to action. Maybe it’s a sign-up form or subscription button. Whatever your main goal is, put that in front of your visitors.
  4. Leverage social proof and new media. Videos, Twitter followings, Empire Avenue stock prices, Klout scores, and other items can help you establish your authority, credibility, and/or influence, making visitors more inclined to support your efforts.

A landing page can help with acquiring guest bloggers, potential sales leads, new subscribers, and more. Each page will be highly contextual, targeted, and action-focused. For more info, check out Copyblogger’s Landing Page Tutorials and Software.

Consistency Plus Quality WINS
The temptation at times may be to put out lots of content as often as possible. I say, “Don’t do it!” It’s better to update a few times a week at regular intervals than it is to churn out lots of content.

Keep your human visitors in mind as the search engines are wising up. They’re looking more at social signals than keywords and underlying themes. Don’t overwhelm your audience with constant updates unless you really have something special.

Acquire Active Feedback
Even the biggest blogs have trouble getting people to share, like, and comment on content. The most successful blogs usually focus on a core audience, their loyalists. Those are the ones they drip information to little by little.

With the landing page and opt-in route, you get permission to keep communicating. Build up the relationship until you can naturally sell. That’s when you ask for a survey or feedback.

You can spot-check site visitors using plug-ins and scripts, but that will mostly be ignored or reach the wrong people. You want feedback from those that are interested in the direction you are heading into. Of course, you need to have a deliberate direction and measurable goals first…

Socialize And Refine
You often find me going up on a soap box about the importance of social media. Well, I’ll do it again!

The extra time that would be spent doing daily updates could be spent making videos or podcasts to add value to your site. More importantly, you could be networking with key influencers that will appreciate your site.

Again, focus on the people that care. Those will be your avid fans. They’ll help you get your content in front of like-minded people.

You’ll find that, the more you interact with other bloggers and key communities, the more you’ll learn about yourself. Support others and not only will others support you, but you’ll also be able to share best practices, tips, and tools. It’s a beautiful thing!

If I did not drive the point home yet, focus on building relationships.

New Marketing
New marketing is about building long-lasting relationships and conversations. It’s a two-way affair. You can’t build conversations or get feedback if you don’t have active visitors that participate or care. We have to start somewhere soooo…

We’d like to know one simple thing here:

What do you enjoy most in a blog and what makes you come back? How about our blog?

Let’s see what interesting nuggets we can draw from this conversation.. Don’t be shy, now!

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Posted on July 7, 2011, in Social Media Geek and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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