Learn how soliciting feedback from your customers can improve your SEO marketing campaign.
Know Your Audience and Target Your SEO Campaign
By Heather Lloyd-Martin
I was watching Mad Men on AMC the other night and it struck how much TV mirrors reality… at least sometimes. The show had a classic marketing lesson in it-one that SEO copywriters are often guilty of ignoring.
Mad Men is about 1960s-era advertising executives. In this episode, Playtex turned to the agency for a new advertising campaign. A group of men (who, I think we can assume have never tried to squeeze their man-breasts into a push-up bra) and one woman were assigned to create the campaign. The men (without asking for the woman’s help or input) assumed that women wanted to be like either Marilyn Monroe or Jackie Kennedy, and that the campaign should center around one of those two female icons.
Problem is, the men didn’t take any time to learn about their target audience. They didn’t ask any women how they felt about Marilyn or Jackie. They ignored the input from the woman on their team. This type of thing happens at ad agencies across the country every day. And trust me, you cannot reliably develop a successful marketing campaign by making assumptions about your target audience.
It’s not smart marketing. And it certainly won’t lead to smart SEO copywriting.
Another case in point. I had a conversation with a client the other day about “free shipping.” This client positions free shipping as their top benefit. “Why?” I asked. All their competitors make the same offer, so it’s a weak benefit, at best. The answer. “We think people like free shipping.” But they hadn’t done any research to confirm this… not even a basic customer survey. They just assumed they knew what was going on in their customers’ heads. In marketing, assumptions are dangerous.
If you make a faulty assumption both your messaging and your SEO copywriting strategies will be off the mark. You can’t tell your customers what they think. They have to tell you what they think. To find out what your prospect is thinking, the solution is simple. Just ask.
Rolling out an SEO marketing campaign based on assumptions and hope is a surefire recipe for wasted dollars and heaps of frustration. Stop for just a minute and ask your prospect…
“What’s on your mind? What concerns you? What problem do you have that we can help solve?”
It’s simple, but so often overlooked.
Open up the lines of communication and really nail your SEO marketing campaign.
Here are some proven strategies you can use to open up the lines of communication with your prospect:
Follow-up with customers after they purchase. Send them a survey or make a phone call. Find out what they liked and didn’t like about the experience. Although time-consuming, a personal approach can yield marketing gold in terms of the data you gather. Take what you learn, use it in upcoming SEO copywriting campaigns, and test the response.
Conduct a focus group. Invite a small number of your customers, and ask them questions about what they currently like about your company – and what they’d like to see. Listen closely to the feedback. You’ll find all sorts of ideas about improving customer experiences, launching new product lines, and of course, targeting your SEO campaign.
Get in the customer service loop. The CS representatives hear first hand what people think about your products-both the good and the bad.
Get objective. It may be a good idea to hire a content development consultant to comb through your feedback, talk to your customer service department, and retool your marketing messaging. Outside experts can help you see your services in a different light, get a new take on your messaging, and rewrite your SEO content to be a better fit.
Finally, don’t resist change. Your customers’ comments may sometimes be hard to hear. Shut up and listen anyway.
Researching your target audience can be tough. It’s time-consuming, and you might learn things about your business that are difficult to swallow. But no matter how off-putting some feedback might be, if you look close enough, you’ll find there are always nuggets of gold buried within. Learn from them, make the necessary marketing tweaks, and move on.
Change in this case is very, very good – you SEO marketing will be more targeted, your message will resonate better, and your bottom line will be better for it.