Creating a Customer Experience to Match a $311,000,000 Digital Investment

Your company was pretty eager to invest in new media, but now it’s a struggle to match your marketing message with the digital platform. Now you’re active on 14 different social channels, you have 3 apps for iOS, Andriod and Windows users, and your email list just hit 10,000 subscribers! Great, right?…

Then why are your blog posts not getting shared, why is it impossible to measure any return on your social profiles, and why are your mobile apps not seeing any enduring use?

Many people believe that investing in digital media is all it takes to provide customers with the digital experience they expect.

Gartner-2013-digital-marketing-bugdets Open Sky Copywriting

I highlighted Digital Commerce, Social Marketing, and Mobile Marketing above because they have taken priority over Content Creation. That’s not to say content creation has fallen out of the picture, but companies are investing more on technology than on communicating value.

Some might say I’m splitting hairs and that I should be grateful that businesses are putting the money into becoming digitally relevant.

My point is, the technology is not the experience.

You can have all of your gateways open, but if the customer is getting slightly different versions of your message at every entry point, they are going to get confused, or just lose interest.

The message has to be exactly the same across all points. When you upgrade to digital platforms, you’re opening new doors for customers to access your world. The detail and effort that is given to your customer’s experience in the store should now also be given to digital gateways.

That means that just because Comcast spent $311 Million on Internet advertising in 2013, doesn’t mean they were providing their customers with a great digital experience.

From search engine descriptions to your product descriptions. From Youtube content to image captions. From email blasts to blog posts. The digital customer experience is defined by the attitudes you present in your content. If you’re investing big bucks into technology, why not make the effort to capitalize on your investment?

Here are three things to consider when adapting your marketing message for a better digital customer experience:

Context: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

Digital is mobile. Our environment shapes how we discover companies and products. What are the ripe environments that your customers find you in: at work, in the bathroom, on the way to school, after a breakup, leading up to a promotion?

That’s context. It can be geographical, emotional, and situational. For the WordPress plugin developer, who’s following you on twitter: web-developers, web masters, or small business entrepreneurs? For the chocolatier with a boutique shop on main street, who’s searching Google for your store: tourists, a smitten lover, or a heartbroken college student?

This can be hard to tell unless you’re mapping out your customers initial interactions and discovering the language they are using to find you. This is where market segmentation is important. Define the most popular contexts that customers find you under and market accordingly.

This is easy when it comes to your e-mail list. E-mail autoresponder service providers such as MailChimp will offer you the ability to segment your lists. Then you know that customers are getting customized messages that better match their circumstances.

The chart below demonstrates the increased performance of lists that are properly segmented compared to average e-mail lists.

Source of data: http://mailchimp.com/resources/research/effects-of-list-segmentation-on-email-marketing-stats/
Source of data: http://mailchimp.com/resources/research/effects-of-list-segmentation-on-email-marketing-stats/

The one quirk in this chart (that even MailChimp scratches their head at) is the increase in unsubscribe rates for segmented lists. It’s speculation, but I believe it’s mostly due to certain people being put into the wrong list segment.

Segmentation by geography, purchase history, and interests will start you out on the path to meeting customers in their environment.

Your Customers Are Always Searching. Be Easily Found. (The Non-SEO Methods.)

Everyone multitasks now. Whether we’re good at it or not. Most of us are checking Facebook while watching Netfilx. Or searching Google for something we just saw on TV. The fact is, our attention is split.

Take advantage of that. Provoke that instinct to google something while watching TV, scrolling Facebook, or shopping Amazon for sweaters. Pinpoint key terms or concepts that you want to focus your marketing message around, then dominate those concepts or terms.

This way, when they run across your promoted tweet, its hashtags or key phrases will trigger memories and recognition from what they’ve seen before.

That’s largely the point behind companies creating hashtags for marketing campaigns. They are meant to link people to content that they can enjoy and share.

Live events like concerts or conferences are good at this. They will create hashtags for their events. When people share photos, tweet memorable quotes, or share awesome products they’ve found, they include the event’s hashtag. By searching the event hashtag, anyone can see an incredible social documentation on the event.

Example: #sfsummit was trending on Twitter while I was writing this post. It’s for the Spredfast Summit in Austin, Texas, a social media marketing conference. Here’s a picture of the kind of exposure their hashtag has given them on Twitter.

sfsummit-hashtags

The ultimate strategy to help reach customers that have been exposed to your company before is called remarketing. Through remarketing you can identify people who have watched videos, viewed pictures, read posts, or visited web pages about your company. When those people go looking for products or services in your industry again, your ads will appear on any participating websites.

Here’s an infographic from Google that simply describes their remarketing service.

Click for the full infographic.
Ctrl + Click for the full infographic.

Companies that encourage our instinct to search for more information, and meet those searchers with quality content will quickly stand out in any crowded market.

Embrace the Relationship between Short Copy and Long Copy

There is a unique dynamic between short copy and long copy now. Thought provoking short copy will get the click. In depth long copy will engage the customer (whether it generates a lead, a sale, or just jump starts their purchase process).

I’m sure you have your tweet-ready marketing message, but long copy still works. Your tweets and sales pages don’t have to be directly connected by a link, but the messages should be a seamless flow. A readers path could go from tweet to blog post, to company “About” page, to a features page, and then to the sales page. Whatever their digital journey looks like, your message should remain constant.

Facebook posts, LinkedIn updates, comments on Instagram, and captions on Pinterest are all good examples of digital short copy. Also think about product descriptions, Google descriptions, PPC ad copy, and video summaries. Crafting your marketing message into tantalizing bite size portions will provoke people to click through to the deeper content.

The short copy will appease anyone looking for the quick fix. Often we scroll through our social feeds, just wanting to waste time, not looking for any commitment. Having short copy that is quickly entertaining or educational will keep you valuable in those moments.

But then there are moments when the hunger strikes, when the readers want to chew on something meaty, full of flavour and substance. Your short copy will serve as the magnet to draw bigger appetites into the deeper content. That’s when you have the opportunity to wow customers. You want to become a resource. A place people go back to over and over again, trusting that you’ll deliver filling content every time.

That’s the ultimate in lead nurturing.

Check out this tweet from Neil Patel, a successful internet marketer.

The post he’s tweeting about is 2,300 words long. Neil is successful, not only because his products are valuable, but his free content is extremely useful. I know I’m constantly going back to his posts and guides because they are so useful.

Short copy and long copy exist side-by-side in digital media. The companies who embrace that relationship will become the most remarkable to their customers.

Conclusion

Investments in digital media are exciting to see. But this is one of the few areas where your mouth needs to be where you money is. Invest quality time and effort into your marketing message.

Stand out from the mass of companies that are dumping money into technology, but doing nothing about the confusing puddle of messages they throw at their customers. You can deliver a digital customer experience that wins people over and keeps them loyal to your brand.

Make each customer feel special and honoured. Meet them in their environment. Offer products that are exactly what they were hoping for. And feed them quality content that they can use regularly.

What are you doing to make it easy for people to find and interact with your brand digitally?

Comment below with your stories. And share this post. Let’s find out how others are crafting their digital customer experience.

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