If you’ve ever run into a narcissist in your lifetime, you’ll know it’s not the best experience. It’s a subject I had reason to look into not so long ago, but it got me thinking. Can narcissism be applied to digital marketing? Is it possible to be too selfish when marketing ourselves online, to the point where it hurts business?
It’s Not All About You
And if you made it to this line, you’re probably not a narcissist.
I write a lot of content for companies looking to promote their products and services. When writing, I tend to focus on the company, the benefits of what they are offering and a strong call to action. That content is often peppered with phrases such as “We are”, “we will”, “we have years of experience”, “we’re the best”, ad infinitum. It works, but is it really the best way to reach out to customers? Is it really tapping into their emotions, or are they rolling their eyes, and thinking “well, that’s great, but how is that going to work for me?” Is that kind of content compelling enough, or personal enough to have visitors champing at the bit to find out more? Possibly not.
I’ve seen and worked on many websites littered with fantastic adjectives, studio grade personal photos, and other fluff which isn’t personal to the person visiting.
Recent Google updates such as Penguin and Panda primarily focus on improving the search experience for users. Shouldn’t marketeers be doing the same for their online visitors?
Most websites offer the obligatory home page, about us and contact us pages, at the very least. These give a visitor fairly basic and uninspiring information about a company or individual, and tell them how to get in touch. However, unless they have a word of mouth recommendation or are already interested in doing business with you, we need to get them to that stage first.
There are many ways you can make your web content more personal and actually involve your visitors and customers in the process. Here are just a few ideas off the top of my head:
- Include customer testimonials, case studies or stories.
- Embed social media details such as Facebook likes and comments from your followers. This is a win-win for you and your customers. It gives them top-billing on your website while also promoting you.
- Include ratings from external sources such as Trustpilot and Yellow Pages.
These are fairly easy ways to promote your brand and involve your target audience. The best thing is that most of these techniques can be automated with the use of widgets, so you get maximum exposure for almost zero administrative overhead.
Have a Heart
As well as getting personal with your visitors, you can show your empathic side too. Customers want to know that you understand their problem, and that you can help them to resolve it. Whether you are offering window cleaning services or physiotherapy, there are ways to word your content so that it really comes from the heart, and shows that you care.
Think about the very real problem that you solve for your customers, and how to really dress them up so they offer real benefit to the customer. Let’s use those window cleaning and physio examples.
Okay, so your window cleaning services may be the best around, but that isn’t going to mean much to a potential customer. It also sounds a little meh and contrived. Instead, tell them that your window cleaning services will save them time and effort, give their property instant kerb appeal and make their windows sparkle.
As a physiotherapist you may have every accreditation or certification under the sun, but paper doesn’t mean anything to somebody who is stuck on the floor because their back has given out. Tell them you’re going to relieve them of their pain quickly and get them back on their feet using your years of professional experience and expertise.
Be Honest, Open, Warm and Direct
These are just some examples, but they highlight some of the things you can do to make your content appeal to a wider audience and really add a personal spin on things. That’s not to say you shouldn’t talk about your good qualities. Just don’t make it all you talk about. Be honest, open, direct and warm, or HODW as I like to call it. Not really. It just doesn’t work as an acronym. WODH? Nope. HOWD? Better! Anyway…
By posting regular, relevant and engaging content that resonates with your target audience and really strikes a chord, you’ll be remembered for all the right reasons and attract new business and loyal followers.