5 Ways to Kick-Start a Conversation With Your Target Audience
'Copy is a direct conversation with the consumer'
- Shirley Polykoff
Copywriting, or persuasive content, has always been a tete a tete between seller and buyer. Since the rise of the world wide web, the platform has shifted dramatically, from the printed word to online content, though words on paper still have their place.
So if you’re online, how can you start that conversation with your target audience?
We’re not talking online stalking here, just good old-fashioned observation and research. It may be time-consuming but it’s worth the investment in hours to get it right. Look at blogs in your niche market and start making comments on the high-quality ones. Make comments that are meaningful, that add value, and are potentially helpful to others. Start interacting with people as individuals, not just as business prospects/potential customers. After a while, if you invest some of your time in helping others, answering their questions and interacting in a meaningful way (for example, by genuinely making positive comments about their content), they will like you, respect you and start to see you as a go-to guy/gal: an expert in your field.
Forge Meaningful Interaction Online
Get on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. Start forging connections. Start with people you know and the network will gradually grow. Don’t force it by posting self-promotion. People will find this off-putting (and frankly, embarrassing) on social media. Social media is interactive, not a sales pitch.
Forge Meaningful Interaction Offline
It would be a mistake to assume that everything has migrated to the web these days. Ignore good old-fashioned face-to-face interaction at your peril! People still like to put a real face to a name (or a brand). Nothing can really replace a good chinwag in person.
Go to networking events in your local area, get to know people not just in your niche market but interact with people in a wide range of businesses.
Set up your own events such as workshops or seminars: this is a great way of sharing your knowledge and establishing yourself as an expert. A little bit of generosity goes a long way. You might not get leads/sales straight away, but you’re playing the long game here: if people have interaction with you, when they need a product or service like yours, it’s you they will think of first!
Open Your Blog up to Comments
Having a blog and closing comments on it won’t do you any favours. It could seriously damage your business prospects. Straight away, you cut the potential for conversation. You restrict any readers you have to a one-way street. If your readers can’t to-and-fro with you and the ideas you generate, they will quickly migrate. Online marketing isn’t a flat billboard proclaiming sales-spiel, it’s an invitation to interact. It should provoke thought and encourage a sharing of ideas.
Picture the scene: you meet someone at a networking event. You shake hands, exchange pleasantries, learn each other’s name. Then your new acquaintance starts on a one-man mission to bore the living daylights out of you by going on.... and on... and on.... about himself. His background, his business, his kids, his qualifications. Blah.... Blah..... Blurgh!
In the future, you will avoid him. You might even say to your friends: ‘Don’t get talking to him, all he does is go on about himself...’
So what’s a fail-safe way to get a conversation going, even if you’re not sure what to say? How do you get someone’s attention, keep them involved, show you’re interested in them?
Why it’s simple: ask them a question! Whether you’re off or online, this is a simple yet effective way of kick-starting a conversation: ‘How are you?’
‘What’s your take on x, y or z?’
‘What issues do you have in your business?’
‘What would really help you?’
Do you have any other ideas on how to kick-start a conversation with your target audience? Share them with us in the comments section below