5 Heinous Mistakes Companies Make When Audience Engagement Isn't Your First Priority

Content marketers, what do you do when you have a tool or a service that you know can help a business but they tell you they don't need your help?  What happens when they tell you that their site gets so much traffic that they cannot even monetize what they currently have with recurring ad revenue?  What do you tell these companies?

Introducing an innovative tool is never a piece of cake.  This tool in particular helps perfect content with results that will not only help create better content but also grow traffic and engagement across web and social properties. I am not going to plug the product I represent, however, it is the response that I would like to share, because when you hear this, it will blow your mind!

Even when I am about to type this out I am cringing and want to shout out a thousand words of profanity.  Here we go, I am ready to tell you.  This is the best one I've come across thus far; "We do not need to improve our content and increase our web metrics because we cannot even monetize all the page views that we currently have".  "Deep breath sister," I tell myself inside my head as I feel the steam coming out of my ears  "Listen to this objection and react appropriately."  So instead of acting impulsively, I decide to nod and smile and say absolutely nothing until I can reflect and think of an appropriate answer.

When I do not understand (or maybe disagree is a better word) with a potential client's rationale, I sit on it until I come up with a solution or answer to their objections.  Persistence and patience, which is not typically one of my best qualities, is something that takes work.  Truth is, I really just want to shout, "What the hell is wrong with you? How can you say that you cannot monetize what you currently have?"

After I have taken a deep breath, here are 5 great things to ask a potential client when the objection to audience engagement is ridiculous:

1.  It is all about Audience, Not Monetization.

In 2014, your monetization strategy is not exclusively about outselling your inventory.  That approach is not sophisticated enough for today's marketer.  Having a solid monetization strategy, in my opinion, includes having a highly engaged audience.   When it comes to engagement and audience, it is hard to know How to Measure ROI, Even When It Isn't Obvious.

2.  It is NOT about Banner Ads:

Contrary to what you believe, your audience is not coming to your site to click on banner ads.  You are lucky if they do and maybe they will but that is not the driving force to get them to your site.  Great content which is highly engaging is what brings them to you and keeps them coming back for more.  If you do not a fundamental purpose then you will not have the followers which means for certain, you will not grow advertising revenues.  That is why an organic strategic approach to content and advertising is so integral to your overall strategy.

3.  Be Up to Date on New Tools, Trends and Technology that is Relevant to Marketers.

There are so many viable business solutions to help create an environment where monetization can take place.  Even when you think you are moving in the right direction there are always new technologies to help move the business forward.   If you don't stay on top of the latest and greatest tools, you can take yourself out of the game.  Think about Silicon Valley, HBO has even made a series about the Technology Start-Up Incubator.  Watch Season 1 Trailer here:


4.  Ask about KPIs.

Audience Engagement is not exclusively about ROI.  In the long term, it is about building relationships and a connected audience.  So when you strip it down to each KPI, I am sure you will see that is not exclusively about monetization but more about doing it right and focusing on the reward of an engaged audience.  When you win the audience over, the rest will fall into place.

5.  Focus on Brand Evangelism and Loyalty.

Is brand evangelism and loyalty a strategy that produces instant revenue or is this a long term strategy that accumulates over time? Content marketers and social media evangelists understand that it is necessary to build a society of fans.

In this article Brand Loyalty: The Psychology of Preference by Bill Nissem, it states that ”You learn that creating customer loyalty is neither strategic nor tactic; rather, it is the ultimate objective and meaning of brand equity. Brand loyalty is brand equity.” Daryl Travis, Emotional Branding.

So next time, someone throws a ridiculous and heinous objection at you, instead of turning into the Incredible Hulk during your meeting ('SMASH') while shouting profanity, just think how knowledge, skill and expertise can help turn the conversation around in your favour.

Tags: audience, Brands, content, Content Marketing, engagement, Strategy, tool