3 Tips to Improve Your Digital Vibe to Attract Customers
A “digital vibe” is the immediate “Heck No!” or “Oh Yeah!” feeling someone gets when reading your digital messages. It is a natural response based on how your message resonates with them at that moment. So we are clear, when I say “messages” I am including email, social posts, or the message contained in your website.
With that in mind, let me ask you a question specifically about your website:
If you were your ideal customer, searching online right now for your product or service, and found your company website and the website of two or three of your competitors. Who would you call?
Now, if your mind said – “Mine!” but at the same time, your gut cringed a little, or you snickered, then keep reading – your “digital vibe” is telling you something.
Now more than ever, your customers have more options to choose from, so improving your “digital vibe” to attract their attention is a real thing. If you are relying on the search engine and social media game to help you get noticed – well, think about things from your customer’s perspective. See, only so many companies fit on the first page of search, so how do they find you How do you make connections? Social media can help, but you have to be creative to create an impact.
Frankly, it seems as soon as you get a handle on things, with Google or Social Media, someone makes changes. In fact, there are more and more businesses spending money on advertising both with Google AdWords and Facebook promoted posts these days just to remain competitive. Running ads is a great tool to help you drive traffic to your company website but, unless you can truly communicate and make a connection with your audience within the first 3 seconds after they land there – and I mean in a unique way – like something else other than a “bait and hook” situation – you could be wasting resources. You need something that clearly helps your visitor connect with you right then and decide, “oh yeah, I want to do business with them.”
Why? Let me explain, with a short story…
Earlier this year, we did a competitive search for our company and we discovered a few really big things. First, we noticed that with the many recent changes in the search landscape there were new companies showing up as competition for us to consider. What I found interesting, was that although many of the websites looked different in color and design, they all said the same thing and offered no real appeal that made me say “Yeah… I like them!” In fact, the use of technical language and images came off a little intense too quickly so I left some sites without effort to learn more, and generally underwhelmed and actually a little disappointed in my industry.
Full disclosure – even our own website was a little too technical. After a quick review, I was unclear as to whom I was really trying to impress – my potential customers or other professionals in my industry. You could tell that some of the pages I must have written totally thinking like a “programmer” while others were less intense, but still a little wordy. Either way, it left way too much “so what, who cares” out there for everyone to see. It really lacked the clarity of what we do and the true passion we bring to our clients.
To be honest, I felt that if someone met my website on the street, it would be an awkward moment – you know – where you avoid eye contact and walk the other way. Like that moment when a teen going through puberty runs face-to-face with their crush and blurts out something embarrassing. While appealing in design, it looked like it was trying too hard to be impressive in a technical manner. That can easily happen with a website. With our true personality absent, we needed to make some changes – and fast!
Standing in the shoes of our customers, it was clear that we were technically adept, but there was nothing that emotionally interested our ideal customer or helped them see why we were clearly different than any other options they may have found in their search.
I chuckle now because this is an ironic situation.
To be honest, this is exactly what we do for our customers. We become the mirror on the wall that helps a business owner see what their customers see about them. It never fails, when you look at a situation from another person’s shoes, you can more easily understand how what you meant to say can sound different to someone else. This reflection is the energetic “vibe” your business is sending to the world, and needs to be expressed quickly upon contact, so every word counts!
I should have known the challenges. The proof was right there in our analytic reports (but apparently I was behind in reviewing.) See, I had been paying for Ads and driving traffic to our website – which was creating awareness, but without the proper message or “digital vibe” that traffic generated left without connection or closure. When that happens, it is sure-fire proof that something is wrong with the message on the page.
So, what do you do?
Well, here are three tips to consider, that we did ourselves, to improve our “digital vibe” with our customers.
1) Ask Yourself: Is It Time for a Renovation or an Upgrade?
People and businesses experience change and eventually evolve into something new – be it a product, offering, or perspective. I realized that over time, as we added services, pages, content, etc. the direction of our web page and the message I intended it to have, got lost. Again, something that can happen over time, as a company grows and evolves. I call this the “funhouse effect”. Like a “funhouse,” it became a maze of pages that we created following different marketing strategies that may have made sense at the time but were no longer relevant now.
This is a problem we see often, especially with small businesses. They tend to follow trends instead of just showing up as themselves. For example, advancements in technology have provided many DIY tools to make websites, but that hardly means that just because the tools are available that you have the know-how to do it right yourself. Sure it looks easy, and some of the tools are fun to play with, but there are so many factors to consider that go into a functional design that represents your business – your livelihood, what brings money home for your family. Is the cost of “free” really worth the risk of gambling the first, and possibly only chance you may have to make a good impression with a paying customer?
Consider this. Just because you watch HGTV and it looks easy, is it a good idea to take a sledgehammer to your walls and start making that open concept for yourself? No! Same goes for your website. The same thing goes for hiring contractors. Beware that there are people out there that only know pieces of the process very well, like the Design part, but they lack the technical skills to make your site secure or truly functional. There are also those who are in it for themselves and your money and have zero interest in your success, so be aware.
This is where you should seek out a qualified general contractor of sorts – an agency/project manager that has complete oversight of the process, and will be your “Johnathan” (from the Property Brothers on HGTV) to make sure your web design (renovation) exceeds your expectations and gives off the “Wow-Factor” you really want your visitors to have.
2) Watch The Language You Use
There are many business professionals, who get caught up using fancy words related to their industry to describe what they do. But to be honest, only you and those people in your industry readily know what many of those words mean, or even care that you have such an expanded vocabulary.
Since it is unlikely that you are seeking to obtain your competitors as clients, it is important that you communicate in a way that your typical audience would quickly and easily understand what you do within a 3-second read. How can you tell if your content works? The first test is to read it to a 3rd grader. If you need to further explain words or any part of the message to an 8-year-old, then it is too complicated for the average human search. Keep it simple and have a direct conversation with your average customer.
Better yet, this is where a good copywriter comes in as a valuable asset. Good copywriters are really excellent storytellers and will do a much better job of sharing your company vibe than you can because they lack the insecurities you see or feel about yourself. It is like getting outside your own head. Good copywriters see your authentic self and, like your mother, find just the right words to make even your flaws sound great!
3) Prove You Are Human
While for some industries, this may be more obvious, with the internet these days, it can be hard to tell if you are a real, trustworthy business. A generic email, 800 number, or web form only proves that you have a way for someone to reach you, but it fails to prove if the person on the other end can be respected or trusted. Providing viable ways for people to validate your existence like a physical address, pictures of you, or your staff that show personality or company culture gives them the tools and emotional connection to begin building trust.
Work from home? No problem. If you are a micro or small business and work from your home, you can offer a P.O. Box or email web form, but explain to your visitors that for the protection of your own privacy, you have specific ways you wish to connect. They’ll get it, and most importantly – it will be okay. (Especially these days! – LOL!) Then, clearly state ways to reach you, an email, web form, or even DM on LinkedIn, are good ways to connect without putting your personal information out there. If you are giving a phone number, be sure to give the hours you are available and maybe even a suggestion of how quickly you might reply like “I typically respond to messages within 24 business hours” or “weekend hours by appointment only”. But honestly communicating how you do business is a good reflection of what they can expect from you, which will go a long way. If ever in doubt, honesty is always the best policy. 😊
In summary, it is not only you, your business, or technology that may have changed over time; but with the overwhelming amount of information available for a customer online in today’s world, your customer has changed and has become more selective. The question is, are you ready to step out of your world/comfort zone and walk in the shoes of your customer?
Remember…”Intention + Action = Manifestation”
My hope is that this information gives you some inspiration to evaluate your web presence or marketing strategy and reflect on ways to truly connect with your customers. But if you need some support to get started or interested in help with copywriting or project management, I would love to help. The best way to reach me is through our Contact form or a DM through LinkedIn.
Until next time, “stay groovy!”