Just as quickly as advertisers have learned to find new ways to shove their ads and sales pitches into consumer’s faces, consumers have learned to shut them down. They change the channel, mute the sound, click to another website and ignore anything that smells, looks or sounds like an ad. We thought SEO and technology would help us figure out how to optimize our ads, but it only highlighted how much our advertising failed. Advertising fails for the same reason parental lectures fail. No one wants to be talked at. They want to engage. People want to feel valued and important, and you don’t get that through talking to them. You get that by engaging with them. Paul Dunay of Forbes reports: "[w]hen an individual seeks information about something and is able to act upon it, the conversion of that intent will be 70 percent more efficient than a classical push ad"—a study-proven statistic. So what are you waiting for? Engage, don’t push.
What is engagement anyway? Engagement is when you see an online ad for a movie and when the trailer ends you get a dialog box that says, “Want to see how they filmed that chase scene?” ... and there’s a link to the behind-the-scenes action. Or there’s a button that says, “Find out where this movie is playing in your area,” and there’s link for that. When you provide your audience with the information they want and need at the moment they want and need it, you engage them. Are you providing the information your audience wants and looks for? If you’re touting a book or a service or product online, give your customer an easy to find “buy link,” so they can buy right then. Post free chapters of your book they can download, or a video showing how easy your product is to use. If you have a restaurant, provide an easy to search and read menu and a PDF of your offerings. Don’t just get your customer’s attention. Get their investment by engaging them at the instant of contact.
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