We talk a lot about connection and conversation at Wayward Kind. There probably isn’t a post that goes by without at least one mention of the importance of connecting with your audience and engaging in conversations with them. And we still stand 100% behind that. But, there’s also a need to clarify the difference between the two.
Connection is that first spark. Conversation is what grows from that first spark.
So many small businesses want to know how to engage an audience with digital marketing. The truth is, they need to incorporate both connection and conversation. It’s great to make that first connection, but if the conversation ends right there, so does audience engagement. And you want that conversation to keep rolling on for a long while.
Taking the First Step
Sometimes it’s really hard to take the first step in marketing. Where do you start to build your audience, get eyes on your business, and sustain growth. All great questions. But really, they boil down to one question that really matters: how to engage an audience with digital marketing.
It starts with a spark. Kind of like Marie Kondo asking if something you own sparks joy!
Ultimately, when we talk about connection, you want to spark your audience enough to challenge them to do something. It may be commenting, opting into a campaign, or simply hitting the ‘like’ button. Whatever it is, that connection, that spark, is the segue to a good conversation.
So, how do you light that spark?
This is where the good stuff is—that spark comes from understanding your audience. What do they want? What is their biggest pain point? What makes them happy? What do they love? Basically, who are the people you want to start conversations with?
Once you know more about who they are, you can tailor digital marketing to speak to those needs and desires. That way, when they scroll across your post, or your blog turns up in a search query, they immediately feel that spark of “AHA! They know what I’m talking about!”
Audience segmentation can be a useful thing to do to make the most of your connection efforts. You can break down the different personas so that you’re not just throwing things at the wall trying to connect. Rather, you’re intentionally creating content that matters to the people it needs to matter to. That way, when you’re up late wondering how to engage an audience with digital marketing, you know who the audience is first.
You’ve got the connection. You lit the spark. Now what?
It’s time to get that two-way conversation going. One of the great things about digital marketing is that it really is about a conversation. Traditional media, like a newspaper or magazine ad, is typically a bold statement about a product. It may spark connection, but rarely does it start a conversation.
With the ubiquitous use of social media, email, and blogging, small businesses have the opportunity to respond directly to people. That may be in the form of a personal response to a blog comment, or an automated email campaign. Either way, there is a response that continues the conversation.
So much of our work at Wayward Kind is about how to engage an audience with digital marketing through meaningful conversations. Here are some of our favorite ways to take that initial connection to next-level conversations:
People love to talk about themselves and their experiences. It makes them feel valued. When you ask a question and respond with validation, you are sure to open the door for further conversation. It’s also a great opportunity to learn more about your audience and what they need. It’s a win-win.
This is a fancy way of saying to send a series of helpful emails. Have you ever signed up for a newsletter or product information and received a handful of emails? Well, that’s a nurture campaign.
The idea is that a business keeps the conversation going by nurturing the relationship through education, offers, and awareness. Sending one big email blast doesn’t typically show that a business cares about their customers. But continual check-ins that truly speak an audience’s language can lead to a dramatic increase in engagement, and eventually, action.
Relationships are a process of give and take. Question and response. That’s a conversation, right? So, if you send and email, post a photo, write a blog post, or Tweet a video, and DON’T respond to anyone, your audience will likely feel like you don’t really care.
Keeping that all important conversation going really is about putting in the effort to show you care less about self-promotion, and more about fulfilling the needs of your audience. And don’t forget to respond to reviews. People love to know that their opinions matter!
Remember, that when it comes to engaging your audience through digital marketing, it’s going to be a combination of connection and conversation. You really can’t have a conversation without a connection, and you can’t keep the connection going without a conversation.
Be sure to focus on both, but also to differentiate between when you’re trying to connect, and when you’re trying to converse. When you find the balance, you’re sure to engage your audience and create sustainable lead generation and growth!
Connection is like planting a seed. Conversation is watering it. We love to do both. Wayward Kind loves to connect and get people talking, and we want to help you! Contact us today to learn more about creating a plan to engage and nurture your audience for the long-term.