Target Necklace by AgHalo
Want to create a strong connection between your brand and your potential customers? Looking for a fun way to turn random visitors into loyal followers?
I wrote a blog post once about leaving bread crumbs so that customers can find you. Today, I’d like to talk about a different type of bread crumb: the links you leave around the World Wide Web.
The links I’m referring to are the URLs that represent your brand on social media sites.
For example, take a look at this screenshot from the comment form on the Handmade Success blog. Each commenter has the opportunity to type a website’s URL in the third field down.
What website URL do you usually type in a field like that? Most handmade sellers type the URL of their online shop, but is that the best strategy?
As you know, there are many social media sites where we can set up profiles. We’ll talk about some of those in future posts, but today I’d like to focus on the website URL field on blogs.
Read on for some tips about this often-neglected strategy:
Step #1: Find blogs in your niche and be a thoughtful, regular commenter on them.
Okay, first things first. If you’re going to leave comments on blogs in your niche, please make them helpful comments. Add to the conversation. Share your input. Respectfully disagree, if necessary. But above all, add value to the blogs through your comments.
Leaving thoughtful comments on blogs in your niche is a great way to make friends and even share your brand with other readers.
Step #2: Create a web page (often called a landing page) that you will use as the “website URL” on blog comments.
This should be a page on your blog or website that only those who click that particular URL will ever find. Most blogging software and website platforms allow you to create dedicated pages for specific purposes. Make your landing page exclusive to those who click the link.
In the website field, most of us type the URL of our brand “hub.” For example, I often type www.onthedotcreations.com
Wait a minute, though. If readers click on that link and end up on the front page of my blog, will they really be prompted to connect with my brand?
I’ve got one chance to “hook” people when they arrive on my blog, and sometimes the front page isn’t the place to hook them (despite my best efforts to make my front page awesome!).
The same thing goes for your handmade shop. If you always put the URL of your online shop in the website field of a blog comment, what opportunity does a person have to connect with your brand? They’ll end up in your shop, browse around a bit, and poof! be gone before you know it!
On this special landing page, you could include some wording such as the following:
“Thanks for clicking over to my blog/website. Whether you found this page after clicking on a comment I left or just stumbled upon it -- welcome!
I’m a _____ (use your handmade biz elevator pitch here - keep it short).
You might enjoy some blog posts I’ve written lately. Here are some of the more popular ones: (include a couple fabulous links here). You might also want to subscribe to my e-newsletter. It’s chock-full of ___ (whatever is appropriate here).
Thanks for stopping by!”
Another fun way to spice up your landing page is to include a welcome video - what a great way to allow visitors to connect your face and voice with your brand!
Of course, if you sell handmade products, you’ll want to include a link to your shop, but don’t over-sell: let visitors connect with your brand first. If they are attracted to your brand, believe me, they’ll search out your shop!
Step #3: Provide some “sticky” content on the landing page.
Sticky content makes people want to hang around on your site. Provide something of value on your landing page, and visitors will stay around to learn more about you.
Some examples of “sticky” content are:
* a link to an awesome (popular) post on your blog
* a free e-book that you have created about your niche
* a welcome video
* a tutorial you created that is related to your niche
* the sign-up page for your e-newsletter
* a coupon code for a purchase in your online shop
The Problogger blog has some wonderful posts about creating “sticky” web content.
Step #4: Provide a Call to Action
The goal of the landing page should be to make a CONNECTION with the person who ends up there. Remember that this connection doesn’t have to be iron-clad (like a tight knot). It can be a loose connection (like a pretty bow). Loose connections are things like signing up for a fun newsletter or an auto-responder of some sort. For example, I could encourage people to sign up for my free e-course.
People who click on your landing page might not be in the market for your products right now, so cramming them down their throat might be a turn-off. However, if you gradually work them in to your subtle marketing messages (while providing value at the same time), you might just make a customer for life!
Step #5: Keep it short!
Remember that people who land on this page are probably surfing around and might not have time to read a lengthy post about the philosophy of your brand. They are probably looking for something that catches their eye. If your landing page is way too long, they will likely click away . . . fast.
Okay, here’s your challenge for this week: create a landing page that you will use in the URL field of blog comments. Use the tips above to create a rockin’ page!
Now, go forth and comment on blogs. Again, I’m talking about valuable comments, folks. The kind of comments that you would want people to leave on your blog.
Monitor your stats for that landing page, as well as the blog posts, videos, e-books, etc. where you direct your visitors. Can you see more interaction with your brand? I’ll be surprised if you don’t. I mean really try it . . . what have you got to lose?
I’ll be back with more ideas about special landing pages for other social media sites next Tuesday.
Have you ever used laser-focused landing pages before? On Twitter, Facebook, or some other social media site? We'd love to hear about it.