Traffic was the former currency of the internet. In previous years people focused on driving traffic to their website. This was the end all be all solution to revenue for site owners.
The times have changed. Online marketing has developed. Marketing has grown. Now we understand that a targeted audience is a must. That audience needs to know you and trust your content. That need for trust is the reason it is the new currency of the internet.
This is a followup article to my post in Search Engine Journal. Read that first.
Trust is Definitely the New Currency Online[tweet class=”full”]
Trust is Definitely the New Currency Online[/tweet]
Marketing and the internet has evolved. Today traffic can be had. You have social media and PPC advertising. There are countless other ways to “turn on” the traffic.
Traffic isn’t as important as engaged readers.
Today the new currency is trusted engagement. That type of engagement online that leads to real relationships. Engagement doesn’t explain it quite well enough. You have to look one step further. The trust is the key.
Trust. Trusted readers are what make a website thrive. A relationship with readers where you trust them and they trust you. It is the formation of kindred spirits that understand the goals of each party.
Why Trust is So Hard To Gain
Don’t forget that 100 pageviews does not get you as close to your goal as 10 subscribed, engaged readers. We lose that when looking at only traffic.
An audience that trust your content and studies is key. This will take your marketing efforts to another level.
Trust is difficult to get for seven reasons.
7 Reasons Trust is Hard to Gain
- Your Audience has an attention problem.
- Analytics Give False Impressions
- Content Fatigue
- First Impressions Are Difficult
- Previous Experience
- Personality and Voice of Writing
- Problem Evoking Emotions
These seven points make clear that “common” knowledge is counter productive. Let’s make sure we understand them.
1. Your Audience Has an Attention Problem
Your audience is getting blown up. Facebook alone is exposing its readers to over 1,500 pieces of content daily. Then you have their work, email, cell phone, and other social networks. Those are all taking priority over reading your latest post. No matter how epic it is.
Don’t feel in despair. There are ways to overcome this. We will go over the ways to gain trust in another article.
2. Analytics Give False Impressions
Analytics are great. They serve amazing purposes. Those purposes are for data and conversion.
When you are the “Engagement Manager” of your content you have to stay focused. Focus your effort and time on gaining subscribers, shares, and comments. Those are the only numbers that matter. If those are increasing then you are finding ways to do your job better.
Looking at total traffic will drive you crazy. I realize that a larger number gives you a higher chance. Percentage wise that may seem correct.
Here is the major point to understand.
10,000 readers versus 1,000 emotional connected readers is a big difference. The first group, 10,000 readers, are just viewing the content. The second group, 1,000 emotional connected readers, are living the content.
Again, there is no reason to get down about this. There are fixes. There are ways to produce amazing content that connects.
3. Content Fatigue
This may seem like the same problem as number one. Your audience does have content fatigue. The point is are you part of it?
Are you over publishing less than amazing content just to stay in front of your audience?
There is a lot of bad advice on the internet. Especially around the ideas of marketing. I have even given some in the past.
If you do not see proven information then discount it in total. Proven information shows the increase in sales and revenue that happened because of something. Proven info shows the cause and effect. It shows the direct correlation between the two.
The one huge myth we want to get away from is that you should publish something everyday.
Realize that each site has a different goal. If you are selling hardware and appliances then you will have a different path to success than my site. That path is different than say an institute. Each site is different.
Everything you publish should be amazing.
Yes Write Everyday. Don’t Publish It All.[tweet class=”full”]Yes Write Everyday. Don’t Publish It All.[/tweet]
4. First Impressions Are Difficult
When you first meet someone there is a moment of awkwardness. There are a ton of fears that come racing forward to yours and their mind.
This is the same way online. The person that just visited your site is analyzing what you want to sell them. The worst is if they have fears that you have a virus. When you first visited this site you didn’t know if you could trust what I said.
You had to see that I was a real human first. Then you needed to see if my advice was worth reading. I mean how do you know? You have to build that trust in your readers as well.
Time will help your gain trust. If your prospects see you over and over then it of course helps. That is why remarketing has been such a hit of recent.
You have to look at what your readers see the first time they visit your site. It is critical.
5. Previous Experience
Your readers have been to some shady places.
Sketchy websites that have spam ads.
These websites are the fear of every first time visitor. They are cautious and guarded.
The second moment they are on your site is where you have to break their attention barrier. The first impression is where you have to gain that critical trust. You have to overcome their past experiences.
6. Personality and Voice of Writing
You have to evoke emotion through your content.
If you do not evoke emotion then you will never gain leads, subscribers, or sales.
One of the largest factors in evoking emotion is your personality and voice. These are two different things that go hand in hand.
Your voice comes from your life experiences. It is the sum of you. It is what makes up how you communicate.
Your readers should read your post and know that it is you. They should gain a kindred spirit relationship to the way you write. This comes from your voice.
Finding your voice will be a future article. For now you can know that you do not need to ask friends. You need to think of yourself as the best you and write as that person.
Take out the doubt and fears you posses. Write for one person but write as the best version of you.
Your personality injected into the article through the story. Stories and storytelling will be around forever.
So think of your voice as you and the personality as the story you are telling.
7. Problem Evoking Emotions
If are not evoking emotions in your content then your site will hear crickets. That is for sure. No one reads, more than once, a dry fact based article. Not for more than just a piece of info.
Most of your viewers are going to scan your site first. That means that you need images and subheadings that evoke emotion as well.
Emotional connection is what brings readers back. I will go over the various types of emotional connections later. You have to see that your readers need to want to check on the story.
You have to have cliff hangers. You need them to want to read the rest of the story. They have to want to interact.
Emotions and Readers Are Two of the Same
When you learn how to captivate an audience then you will find that you have readers. You will gain followers. You will gain influence.
When you have influence over readers/followers then you can persuade them.
That is the next article. For now know that you have to fix it. You have a problem. You now know why your site isn’t getting leads, comments, shares, and sales.
If you are struggling evoking emotions then fix it. If you have already fixed the other six item on this page then dive one step deeper.
Good stories and storytelling last forever.
It is that simple.
You need to learn to write in a story fashion. Not some generic blog post that doesn’t contain much more than facts. You need real content. Edge of your seat and have to read the end first content.
Emotion will come when you give a character that the reader cares about. A character that they can identify with. Most people give themselves. Others give a made up character based on real events.
Now give the readers a story of you that plots your demise. Something where you have to make the decision between good and evil. Something like you have seen a million movies do.
That is where you emotions will connect to theirs.
Still not finding it? Time to keep digging.
Just know that by identifying the problem you are leaps and bounds ahead of your competition. No matter how much they publish.
Read the next article in this series here. Engagement Comes From Trust.