Bryan Eisenberg and his brother, Jeffrey, need no introduction. The have written books with titles such as ‘Persuasive Online Copywriting: How to Take Your Words to the Bank’, ‘Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results’ and ‘Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing
An interview about social media and content with conversion specialist Bryan. After all, there is a strong correlation between content, search, conversion and social media.
My first question for Bryan was how, according to him, topics such as creating relevant content and conversion have been affected by social media.
People create content for two reasons
Bryan says that the most obvious thing is that social media have shown the content gap that companies have neglected for so long. I can only fully agree with that.
Bryan continues: “Consumers create content for two reasons: 1. the company failed to adequately answer the questions they have and/or 2. they’re excited (positively or negatively) about the company’s offering. That’s why consumers are more credible than the company. It is only because companies have spent so many years hyping up their “value” that the consumer B.S. meter has gone into overdrive, and we count on advice from others like us that we can trust. The fact is companies that learn how to leverage social media or voice of the customer effectively can see increase their conversion rates”.
Bryan is of course completely right when he says that people increasingly count on advice from people they trust. And who trusts companies that spread B.S. and don’t open up? Next I told Bryan that I remembered that in his book ‘Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results’ there was quite some advice on persuasion. Isn’t persuasion after all a big part of what conversion is about?
I asked Bryan, who described the clues to persuade website visitors, etc. very well, what according to him, are the best ways to persuade social network users to become connections and later real business relations?
It’s about people and relationships
Bryan: “It’s the same secrets to creating any human relationship. Listen, be worthwhile to know, be a valuable friend. People should re-read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People”.
Then I asked Bryan why he thinks it’s still so difficult for companies to act customer- and visitor-oriented. I mean, he wrote in 2005, that companies have to offer value from a customer-centric perspective, but five years later this is still an issue.
Bryan: “People tend to believe that their customers are just like them. They aren’t. I was just with a client who was doing a good job marketing to 1, maybe 2, of their personas, when, in fact, they had 6 personas in their target market. It is very hard to read the label when you’re inside the bottle. When you are inside your business day after day it can be hard to get the perspective you need to be truly customer-centric”.
Indeed, to have a perspective, you also have to take some distance and talk to people OUTSIDE of your company, like…customers for instance.
Since I’m in the “business of creating content” since many years now and Bryan is a content and conversion expert, I wanted to know his opinion on how (the importance of) content has changed.
Bryan: “The one main change has been the length of content has changed. We’re in a world that loves micro blogging and status updates. In the 60s copywriters used to say that copy should be like a woman’s skirt, short enough to be interesting but long enough to cover the essentials. I think that skirt would be mighty short today”.
Email marketing is the mule of Internet marketing
I guess that doesn’t need further explaining. Next I asked Bryan, who, again, is a conversion specialist, what email marketers should focus on to get the best conversion.
Bryan: “Email marketing is the mule of Internet marketing. It may not be that sexy any more, but it continues to deliver results day after day. You should continue to focus on developing great content and make it easy to share”.