The internet is like the noisiest bar you could possibly imagine.
There’s a shoegaze band in the front, and a bluegrass group in the back playing concurrently, half of the bar is singing along at top volume and the other half is shouting drunkenly about the stock market, the beer, their kids, and the weather, collectively competing in volume with the music.
What are we talking about?
|1.66 billion daily active Facebook users
270 million daily active LinkedIn users
152 million daily active Twitter users
|Half a billion Facebook comments, daily
Half a billion tweets, daily
95 million Instagram posts, daily
According to a 2018 article from Forbes: “Over the last two years alone, 90% of the data in the world was generated.”
You get it. It’s loud in here.
So, how does a business go about getting heard over the din? Consider that when the bartender shouts “Last call!” every single person shuts up for a second. Why? The barkeep has a little piece of magic called AUTHORITY.
The Magic of Authority
Authority on the internet isn’t something you just self-attribute. Proclaiming that you’re an expert neither makes you an expert, nor does it persuade anyone to listen to you.
Or, as Monty Python once said, “You can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!”
Authority is earned through consistently delivering quality
content to the right audience. If you’re feeling like your
marketing is stuck in the mire, this is a call to RISE UP.
3 Lessons to Gaining Authority in a Noisy Market
Lesson One: Give a Shit
That’s really the simplest way to put it. Don’t put out thoughtless content. Don’t distribute errant or haphazard information. Don’t shamelessly plug yourself.
Instead, do your research, and focus on being helpful. The whole process starts at the ground floor. In order to provide the best, most helpful content, businesses need to know who they’re talking to.
If you haven’t done the research to develop your ideal client persona, you might as well be shouting into the void.
In 2015, cloud service provider Skytap published a case study detailing the results of a marketing strategy overhaul in which the company focused their marketing efforts around the development of ideal client personas. The results?
57% increase in organic search traffic
97% increase in online marketing leads
124% increase in leads
Studies have shown that marketing to personas increases page visits, length of visits and email open rates as well. That’s the value of making sure your messaging is speaking to your ideal client.
Your content can only be as strong as the persona you’re creating it for. Only once you have developed your persona(s) should you begin the work of creating valuable and helpful content for them.
And actually, while we’re on the topic, we should zoom out a little, too. Let’s assume that you’re not the only person on your team putting out content.
Giving a shit also means making sure the people you work with are invested in what they’re doing. It means sharing information with them to help them excel and lending a helpfully critical eye at all times. It means continually evaluating your personas, and ensuring that your message is in alignment with them.
Okay, good talk. Let’s move on.
Lesson Two: Listen and Learn
Not a very good conversationalist who talks a great stream of words and then immediately covers their ears when the other person opens their mouth. Even the toddliest of toddlers can’t get away with that stuff.
We’ve already mentioned that authority is not a tower built by one. It’s an exchange.
Now, this can be tricky. Because they’re not necessarily going to dispatch a carrier pigeon to let you know that your latest blog didn’t provide the information they were hoping for. One of the hallmarks of content that isn’t engaging, in fact, is that nobody engages with it.
What you’re listening for is a bit more subtle. The online world - your marketplace - speaks in a variety of different ways. That means you need to monitor both written response and action response - people comment, sure, but they also click. Or don’t click. Or share. Or don’t share.
It’s a sound idea to establish KPIs (key performance indicators) around the type of response you are seeking. That way you can have a benchmark against which to compare the nuanced and multifaceted communication you are receiving. KPIs, in order to be meaningful, need to be rooted in reality. Not like, “We wanna go viral.” Analyze your current performance metrics, and set a realistic percentage-based increase. Then, watch and evaluate, and be prepared to adjust your tactics based on the results.
Lesson Three: Forest for Trees
All the above lessons are pretty straightforward. Know who you’re trying to reach. Create content that resonates with them. Monitor the results. Always check for quality. Be ready to adapt, if the results deem it necessary.
These things are all conceptually easy - technically not-so-easy. In fact, it can be easy to become so myopic on the marketing process that you forget the goal: generating viable leads!
One of our most enduring office phrases at Little Bird is:
“Put pressure on the system, not on people.”
You know what happens when you put pressure on people…they get all crumbly. Not just other people - you can get crumbly too. Systemizing your process, from the persona creation right through to the monitoring/adapting phase ensures that you’re not overextending your mental capabilities.
Honestly, there’s a lot to keep in your head otherwise.
At Little Bird, we have a proprietary Trello system that we use, splitting a large overarching process into attainable task lists that can be distributed amongst a team without losing track of anything.
You can use whatever works for you, but our system is kind of the best.
By the way, we specialize in propelling our customers to marketing greatness. We created this free guide to buyer personas to help busy professionals like you narrow in on their most ideal clients.