Marketing has always been a struggle for businesses – and some methods require more finesse than others. For example, some experts suggest running Facebook ads is a valid marketing method to sell products. But after spending $500, it is possible to not get even one purchase.
That’s when you slam the keyboard and tell yourself Facebook is a hoax. And many would agree with you. But, ask yourself this: Have you ever bought from a stranger without some sort of trust there? Um, no.
Back to my example.
You’ve spent the $500 in ads and you’re just blown away. Questions flood your mind.Why isn’t anyone buying my product? Is the traffic bad? Is my product bad? What could be the reason?
The answer is relationships. You must invest in building trust with your readers before you try to sell.
How to Build Trust
What platforms are most effective for building trust? It depends upon your business and your market. Look for a platform or medium that matches your goals and you are willing to use daily. You can build trust many ways, including through blogging, podcasts, webinars, and social media.
For blogging, Neil Patel suggests these factors work best to gain trust on your site:
- Clean and beautiful design
- Correct spelling and grammar
- Thorough about page
- High-quality photo of the author
- Signs of social sharing
- Links to trustworthy sources
- High-quality images and visuals
- Short, easy-to-read domain name
- Professional logo
- Solid, detailed content updated frequently
- Presence of community and conversation through comments
Podcasts are probably the most trendy right now because the market isn’t over saturated. Yet. Total Picture stated:
“The percentage of Americans who have ever watched or listened to a podcast is 45%, up from 43% one year ago. This equates to approximately 70 million Americans 12+.” – Total Picture
Then you have webinars, which I believe is the easiest and most effective method. They take more work, sure, but they work wonderfully. Many software companies are looking to webinars, simply because the conversion rates are quite high.
No matter how you choose your platform, you must do one thing. Build relationships. Consider this your outreach program and find a way to build connections and bring on the traffic.
Build relationships by entertaining, solving problem, educating, or simply spending time by being social.
By talking about topics your audience is interested in, you become a fountain of knowledge they turn to when thirsty. You’ve gained their respect.
Gaining trust is a big deal. You must first gain their attention, build a relationship, get their email address, and then pitch your product. Sending random traffic to a product page doesn’t work well anymore – particularly if your product is new with no community.
McDonald’s can put up a billboard for a $5 meal and sell plenty. Why? The relationship is already built, true, but they also work hard to keep that connection alive. Investing money into a huge billboard also shows how much they want business.
By writing and creating content, you’re doing the same thing as McDonald’s. You are reminding your clients that you exist, that you have expertise, and that you want to build a relationship.
But, whatever it takes, get that email.
How Your Site Can Turn Emails Into Customers
Once the content and email sign ups are flowing, you can start building a relationship. You do this by sending emails with great content. Then, provided a call-to-action and send them to your post so they can finish reading. From there they will likely share your content – and that brings in more emails.
Soon, every word you speak becomes more and more trusted. If you capture people’s time, you have everything else, and most importantly their trust. That’s key to conversion and purchasing.
Once you make that pitch, and the services are needed, you will make sales. But you must have that relationship first, and that’s my point.
Are you investing time into potential customers? What does your outreach program look like?
What About Traffic From SEO?
Even with SEO, the conversions are lower than what email marketing can achieve. Why? SEO brings fresh traffic to your site, but there’s no relationship built and there’s no connection between you and the reader.
In fact, 66% of online consumers admitted to buying online because of an email according to thedma.com.
After several emails and some amazing content, that reader now feels close to you. Soon, they will long to hear from you on a podcast, read your blog content , and want to pay you back by purchasing your product.
I’ve even seen blogs get 50k visitors a month and not make more than a few dollars. Why? Poor relationship building and the email list was dead.
Am I knocking SEO? Definitely not. I’m simply proving my point about relationships. Can you take SEO and turn those people into raving fans? Absolutely. You just need the right content in place that makes them adore you.
Remember, outreach should always be where you spend most of your time. People want to feel close to someone one before they are willing to make a purchase.
By giving a helping hand in your content and solving your readers’ problems, you can draw traffic to your site to gain leads. They say 2015 will be flooded with content creation, are you ready to compete?
Featured Image: Created by author for Search Engine Journal
Image #1: photosteve101 via Flickr
Image #2: Maria Elena via Flickr