How Can Your Website “Make Love”: 5 Internet Marketing Tips
The Beatles Were Right
When the Beatles said, “And, in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make” they were both right and prescient. The Beatles were speaking about web marketing long before there was a web. Creating websites that people LOVE is rarely discussed. I’ve heard, “Create great content” at least a hundred times. I’ve yet to attend a conference where anyone pitched the need to create LOVE. Big mistake.
Why is Love so important?
Here are some great reason “why we love” from Mari Ruti, Ph.D. on Psychology Today:
I think that love ushers us to frequencies of human life that we might find difficult to access otherwise. It opens to something more transcendent than the ordinary flow of life, summoning us, precisely, to a different (and potentially more interesting) edition of ourselves. As Julia Kristeva puts it, love has the power to give us the impression that we are “speaking at last, for the first time, for real.” It (momentarily at least) elevates us above the daily grind, allowing us to observe the world from a more exalted perspective. It adds a layer of luster to our mundane existence, making us feel empowered and self-connected even as it “decenters” us from our customary concerns.
There are those who would caution us against this aspect of love, ridiculing its capacity to draw us into fantasy-worlds composed of shimmering lures, illusions, and idealizations that are designed to let us down. But I would say that one of the most compelling components of love is precisely its ability to derail us from our pragmatic preoccupations so that we, however fleetingly, manage to touch the sublime and the extraordinary. Our world is already so levelheaded, so stripped of ideals and grand passions, that we sometimes need the energizing jolt of love to feel fully alive. Again, I’m not saying that love is the only thing that can give us this jolt. But it is one of the most effective, which is why so many of us covet it.
Why Fall In Love, Psychology Today emphasis mine
Why Do We Love Websites
As a former Director of Ecommerce how many meetings did our team discuss creating something that would help customers “touch the sublime and the extraordinary” – ZERO. Our site was our JOBS. We dug pragmatic ditches. We saw web marketing was a series of tasks. We did great, but times are different. The bar for “great” is much higher. Today’s web marketers need to win hearts and minds.
Time to make “touch the sublime and extraordinary” your website’s marketing tactic. When everything is “pretty good” we buy from those we love. HOW do we get people to LOVE our websites. Here are 5 Tips to help your website make the love you need.
Love Your Website Tip #1: Like Me Content
Curagami, our Triangle Startup Factory sponsored startup, earned a Duke Law student Intern for the summer. Sitting next to Michael Herrera, our Duke Law student, today I’m reminded how different ages and people need different “like me” language and images to create connection. Michael will be interested in our Hack Your Headphones event for Moon Audio because he loves Beats By Dre.
Beats by Dre = “like me” content for Michael. Michael’s friends own and talk about “Beats by Dre” headphones. Discussing Moon Audio’s Silver Dragons without a “Beats By Dre” reference and there is no “like me” content for Michael and his friends. Finding ways to send key consumer “archetypes” or “segments” the right signals FAST can be a challenge.
Audiophiles, the core Moon Audio customer, could be turned off. Balancing connecting with a new group while NOT turning off current supporters is the rub. Moon Audio can offer to “hack” Beats.
Hacking, or improving the sound, with Moon Audio Silver Dragon headphone cables creates a new generation of audiophiles. The first of Michael’s friends to upgrade and hear the significant difference Drew’s Silver Dragon cables make is sure to tell five friends. Audiophiles can help create the next generation of sound obsessed consumers.
Everyone wins. Easy to see the many challenges of “like me” content. Sometimes “like me” means “unlike someone else”. Websites trying to have cake and eat it too often starve. Better to narrow a site’s “like me” focus or test an idea such as Hack Your Headphones and ask for customer input.
Love Your Website Tip #2: Content Marketing
Many plunged into content marketing as “the new advertising”. The idea we could write content and have people find our sites was seductive. The “inbound marketing” movement launched a thousand ships (and a million websites started writing content). Content marketing, as Mark Schaefer points out so conclusively in Content Shock: Why Content Marketing Is Not A Sustainable Strategy, is a means to a greater end – the creation of sustainable community.
Your content marketing should create community. How to create online communities is something Curagami, our Durham, NC based startup, team thinks about daily. Here are our 5 Pillars of Creating Online Community (discussed last week in Escape from Google):
- Creation Story – Who Are YOU (About page should map core values and tell a story referred to over and over).
- Authoritative Content – Become the expert for your entire business segment.
- User Generated Content (UGC) – Must be valued by actively curated and rewarded via gamification.
- Gamification – Defined system of rewards that may include “jobs” so community begins to scale and take over.
- Movements Not Campaigns – Umbrella ideas that incorporate major calendar events but whose genesis you own.
When your content serves a greater good – the creation of community – you avoid Schaefer’s “content shock” and increase chances visitors will become customers and love your website / company / brand / products .
Love Your Website Tip #3: Educate, Inform, Share First
When you crush visitors under your need to SELL, SELL, SELL instead of sharing, informing and educating you reduce chances anyone will love your website. They may buy from it if and when you have the best deals, but such loyalty is fickle. Better to create great content about who you are and why your website exists – to help first and figure out everything else out second. Gary Vaynerchuk chronicled the “new marketing” in his book The Thank You Economy.
Bet your CFO is going to love that last sentence.
The truth is Return On Investment (ROI) goes UP when you don’t have to work as hard for new customers. Why aren’t YOU working so hard? Your “team” of brand advocates are working for you BECAUSE you’ve, how did Mari put it, your web marketing found ways your customers and loyal advocates could “manage to touch the sublime and the extraordinary”.
One HARD lesson having cancer teaches is how present and available the “sublime and extraordinary” is. We just THINK the day was boring and nothing happened. If you look and listen more carefully you can find MAGIC in how your customers speak, share and communicate with and about you. Educating doesn’t mean YOU have to be TEACHER all the time. Find ways to hand the eraser and chalk over to members of your community and you will be amazed.
Love Your Website Tip #4: Create Movements Not More SALES
We want to be very CLEAR. The word SALE is an important word and NOT something we are saying you shouldn’t do. J. C. Penny just tried the No Sale routine and got slaughtered. We are saying place your web marketing in A LARGER CONTEXT. Moon Audio provides another great example. We are working on a year long celebration of music called Music Is A Movement. Moon Audio will still have sales every now and again, but every piece of marketing will relate to the larger “movement”.
Movements are powerful because, as Faith Popcorn so famously said, we don’t BUY brands we JOIN them. Here is a table that shows the difference between MOVEMENTS and CAMPAIGNS:
Love Your Website Tip #5: THEIR Content on YOUR Website
Here is a list of “like me” User Generated Content that helps a website win love and affection:
- Testimonials with picture and social linkage.
- Reviews with “review the reviewer” ratings.
- Profiles On Your Site created from mashing up existing content on social nets.
- Facebook Friends “like this” too.
- Thermometers and other public feedback loops.
- Easily compare to aggregates.
- Results from previous polls, surveys or contests or games.
The more of THEIR content on YOUR website the easier LOVE is to create. “Curate in” customer tweets, comments and reviews. Create specific ASKS. Assign jobs to your 1%ers (1%, 9%, 90% rule sales 1% visitors will contribute meaningful content, 9% will vote on the content created by 1%ers and 90% read). When you USE THEIR content with attribution and permission chances are good you will earn social shares.
When you feature someone’s content on your website and they reach out to their followers on social networks like Twitter, G+ and Pinterest your content reaches “friends of friends”. Friends, people the content creators may not know, share with their friends and magic happens. Breaking into circles of “friends of friends” is the “new advertising” and the only “advertising” most are willing to watch or be influenced by.
The Beatles, as I remember insisting to my father when my hair was way too long and I was too young, were right and prescient. Websites GET the love they MAKE. Hope these 5 tips help your website make the love.