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How to Cultivate Customers in an Age of Content Fatigue and Cluttered Markets
By Penny C. Sansevieri, Adjunct Instructor NYU & CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
Does your daily social media regimen leave you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed? It’s not you, it’s the amount of information posted online. Amazingly enough, it’s estimated that the amount of data online – in the form of blogs and social media – will increase 600% by 2020. The noise online is only going to get louder, so how can you get your message across?
Your target audience is probably feeling Content Shock too. It takes work to keep up with all of that information. Even the best social media tools can’t take away the fact that participation involves time and focus. All the noise makes it that much harder for your consumer to find what he or she wants.
Fortunately there are ways you can reach your consumer. Here’s what you can do:
Become an authority your fans can turn to: People love experts, and you can become the go-to person your fans can trust for information. All this clutter online makes people want to focus on that one person who can give them what they want.
Partner with others in your market: Consumers may be wary about marketing messages, but they will trust experts. When you get to know others in your field, and cross-promote, you both benefit by expanding your audience. Aim for alliances with people who have a bigger audience than yours.
Stay on message: All this clutter online means people appreciate brevity and a targeted message. Sure, there are some super experts who can go off point, but most of us need to identify our key points and stick to them.
Get email addresses: When you have your fans’ email addresses you have a direct means of contact. That list is valuable. Email manages to break through the clutter of social media and stay in front of your fans. Create an opt-in list and then share useful information with them.
Know where fans draw the line: If you’re going to do an email newsletter, stick to twice a month, possibly weekly. Don’t inundate them daily. You’ll only create more of the content fatigue we’re trying to avoid.
Keep it light: There’s plenty of negativity online so you don’t want to contribute to that trend. Your fans don’t need negativity, they need and want solutions to their questions. Give them ideas and inspiration along with ways they can succeed despite the challenges they face.
Focus on a smaller market: Find your niche, that’s where you want to shine. Your fans are seeking specific solutions, not broad strokes. This is true across the board – the trend is shorter books, more concise posts online. Develop your areas of expertise and hyper-focus your knowledge. Your fans will love you for it.
The human touch still matters: We’re surrounded by automation – automated emails, automated social media replies, etc., so you’ll stand out and earn the gratitude of your fans if you make authentic connections. After presenting at a recent event a few attendees told me they were surprised that I responded to my own emails. They loved hearing directly from me. Again, this is a way you can stand out from the rest of the noisy crowd.
Get the fans engaged: Think of ways your can fans can participate in your promotions. Put a twist on the current selfie trend, for instance, and have fans take selfies of themselves with your book so they become eligible to win a prize. Be creative and get your customers participating. It’s a sure way to be heard above all the noise.
The noise online is only going to get louder and while your instincts may encourage you to try something flashy, it’s the wrong approach. If you want a long-term fan base, you need to give them substance. Start planning now for how you can maintain a strong presence and stay on message. Your consistency will help you build a loyal following. And then you won’t be just another flashy messenger who quickly got lost in the clutter.
Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. Follow on Twitter @Bookgal.
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