How to Hold Their Attention

August 27, 2014 by John Stiernberg

BUSINESS CHOPS™

BRAND MESSAGING IN THE 140-CHARACTER WORLD, PART 2CHF-1252-38

In the last issue, we talked about electronic media and the challenge of managing your customer’s attention. Your elevator pitch needs to start with 140 punchy characters (the Twitter metaphor) and invite customers to click through to get the details. But how do I make sure that they stay on my website or social media page long enough to understand what I’m selling?

Will paying for search engine optimization (SEO) make a difference? Are there pitfalls to avoid? This article (part 2 of 2) takes a closer look at managing your customer’s attention and suggests three action tips for creating a compelling online presence.

LONGER IS NOT BETTER—MAKE IT MODULAR

Let’s say that you have successfully convinced prospective customers to visit your website or Facebook/LinkedIn page. What then? You need to answer six questions, and do it in a modular, bit-sized way. Here are the six questions:

1. What does your company do? State the obvious and keep it brief. You are a mobile entertainer and your focus is on the kind of events and clientele that are described in your elevator pitch.

2. How are you better than and different from the alternatives? This is more about the other forms of entertainment programming (or no programming at all) than it is about competitive DJs. Mention your track record, focus, and list of services beyond providing music (e.g. video, karaoke, gaming, MC, recording, etc.).

3. Answer their question, “Why is all that good for me?” Clients will not hire you if they do not understand the benefits. Sure, they are in the market for mobile entertainment, but they also need to feel good about it. Remind them of things like happier guests, peace of mind before and during the event, and value for their investment.

The other three questions follow the flow of any good promotional message: promise, offer, and call to action. Spelling it out in Q&A format:

4. One more time, why should I hire you? This is your opportunity to summarize your brand promise. Tell them (in slightly different words) what they get when they engage you or your company.

5. Is there anything special going on now that would make a difference? This is your opportunity to do a trial close, such as, “When you ‘like’ this page and book your event, we’ll include a souvenir playlist” (or whatever—offer something extra).

6. What do I do next? If they get this far (let’s hope so), they still need to take action. Give them an option to 1) call your phone number to arrange a time to talk about your event details or 2) “click here” to fill in a brief input form about your event with no obligation.

So, what about SEO?

SHOULD I PAY FOR SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)?

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo charge for advertising. They do not charge for search engine optimization. Configuring your website and online presence for SEO only costs you what you pay your website developer or digital media agency. Here are three critical elements to keep in mind when you create online content.

1. Use of keywords. Words like “deejay,” “music,” “entertainment,” and “events” get you part of the way there, but they are too generic. You need to narrow the focus for your target clients by adding modifiers like “mobile deejay” or “corporate event entertainment.”

2. Frequent changes and additions to the site. Since search engines constantly look for new things, they will “optimize” a prospective client’s search by including recent updates and news at the top of the search results list—not two-plus-year-old, static pages.

3. Third-party links and references. Getting other people to talk about you on their sites will help drive traffic to yours. This is behind the concept of “likes” on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Once your online presence is “optimized,” then it may make sense to experiment with paid advertising. If it is not optimized, paying for ads is a waste of your money. The leading search engines have guidelines and FAQs for all this.

OPTIMIZING YOUR ONLINE BRAND PRESENCE

While your website or social media presence alone will not close sales, they are essential elements in your branding and competitive positioning. Here are three action tips for turning clicks into prospective clients.

Action Tip 1. Cover the six questions fully but briefly. Be accurate and inviting. Don’t disparage competitors, but describe the differences in a compelling way. Make sure that the promise, offer, and call to action flow naturally and make it easy for your prospects to respond online or pick up the phone.

Action Tip 2. Make the messaging modular. The buzzword for this is “Click here for more.” What a great tool! Digital media allows you to tell your story in layers. As the prospect gets more interested, she or he clicks through to a deeper level. Assuming that you can capture their activity in a report from your Internet service provider, you’ve got valuable information that can drive the sales process.

Action Tip 3: Measure effectiveness. In addition to basic ISP statistics, use tools like Google Analytics to determine how many visitors clicked through beyond your home page and which pages hold their attention the longest. Not getting enough click-throughs? Change the content, add embedded keywords, and link to other sites—then measure again.

HERE’S THE POINT…

Getting a prospect to visit you online is only the start. Managing their attention so that they stay with it, click through, and ultimately contact you is the bigger—yet manageable challenge. Remember to complete the Action Tips in sequence: 1) Tell your story in compelling language; 2) make your online presence modular and layered; and 3) measure the results and make adjustments frequently.
Next issue we’ll talk more about how to deal with those pesky clients that want to “curate” (program) their own shows. In the meantime, best wishes for big success in 2014!

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John Stiernberg John Stiernberg (16 Posts)

John Stiernberg is the founder of Stiernberg Consulting (www.stiernberg.com), the premier business development consultancy serving the entertainment technology and music products industry. With over 25 years experience in these fields, he currently works with audio and music companies on strategic planning and market development. His book Succeeding In Music: Business Chops for Performers and Songwriters is published by Hal Leonard Books. Contact John via e-mail at john@stiernberg.com, find him on LinkedIn and Facebook, and follow him at http://twitter.com/JohnStiernberg.


Filed Under: Business, Issue #158