Skip to main content
Instapage

Are You And Your Customers Speaking The Same Language? Does It Matter?

ss-talk-conversation-speech-bubbleOver the past few years, I’ve observed an interesting trend, and it’s troublesome to me. I wonder if companies even realize they’re doing it. The company is creating content and optimizing it, but for some reason, it’s not working. They’re not getting the traffic or conversions they hoped for, and many times, they’re not sure why.

As we sit to discuss the situation, they’ll often say, “We’ve done everything we’re supposed to do. We created content. We optimized it. Why isn’t the customer buying?” Maybe they’re not quite that direct, but that’s what they’re trying to figure out.

Many times, it’s painfully obvious to me why something isn’t working, but it’s hard to explain to a client for fear of offending or alienating them. When you’ve created content, optimized it and followed best practices, and it’s still not working, you have to figure out what’s wrong.

In many instances, it feels as if the client and their customers aren’t even speaking the same language.

Right now, you’re probably questioning that last statement. “What is she talking about? We’re both speaking English. Do you mean I need to translate everything? What?”

No, that’s not what I mean, unless you literally are targeting clients who speak a different language.

Brand Terms Vs. Consumer Terms

What I see is more basic than that. It’s when brands are tied to their brand terms, rather than being willing to use consumer terms.

I worked with a UK-based retailer that was trying to compete in the American market but struggled to determine if they should go with US or UK English terms. I told them the way I saw it, they had to determine if they wanted to be a US retailer or a UK retailer selling in the US.

If they really wanted to compete in the US and rank for non-brand, broad keywords with higher search volume, they needed to use the terms in their product names, descriptions and on-page content. If they wanted to sell pants, they needed to sell “pants,” not “trousers.” If they wanted to sell sweaters in the US, then they should offer “sweaters,” not “jumpers.”

The list went on and on. Are you familiar with plimsolls or brogues, or do you buy sneakers and oxfords?

I always tell clients that there really is no right or wrong answer here; it’s dependent upon your brand and what’s important to you.

Decide What’s Important To You

I’ve had some clients decide to change their terminology, while others have stayed true to their roots. Either answer is OK.

What’s not OK is sticking to your roots and then expecting your customers to adapt instead. If you want to focus on terms that are brand-specific and not the mainstream, you need to accept that you will have less traffic potential.

I have a client that’s a very high-end designer brand, and they’re aware that they limit themselves. However, they are OK with it.

They know that someone who’s searching for a black dress probably isn’t going to buy a designer dress for hundreds of dollars. However, by going for the longer-tail black-lace designer dress, ideally, they’re going to connect with a customer base that is targeted to them. Yes, the market share is smaller, but those who are searching are more likely their customers.

Sometimes brands have very strong reasons for their preference for one term or another; other times it’s due to the desire of someone at the top, and that can be very limiting and challenging for the marketing team.

One client I worked with was not allowed to use the word “kid” because someone very high up didn’t like it; he or she preferred children. Consumers prefer the word “kid” more than 2:1 (110,000 vs. 40,500 average monthly searches).

These type of situations can be challenging for the agency, brand and customers. The brand manager is charged with increasing traffic, orders and revenue by a certain percentage year over year but isn’t allowed to use the word their customers use to search.

But the competition can, and does, and the customers find their page in the search results and buy from them instead. It’s a vicious cycle.

Speak The Same Language As Your Customers

So what’s the point of all this? As marketers, we need to ensure we’re speaking the same language as our customers. If we’re choosing a specific form of that language, there may be fewer customers to speak to, and that’s OK.

When we make these decisions, though, we have to remember that there are fewer potential customers to reach. If you want to sell a sweater but you call it a jumper and have it in a knitwear category, you’re probably going to sell fewer sweaters than if you just called them sweaters to start with.

As long as you understand that and make an informed decision, it’s OK to speak a different language from your customer’s. However, if you want to grow and reach a new audience, you need to adapt to them.

Are you a UK retailer selling in the US, or do you want to become a US retailer? That’s really the bottom line in this type of situation.

While the example is US versus UK, this obviously applies to any branding choice. It’s OK to opt for either strategy, as long as your goals make sense for the chosen strategy and potential audience.



via Marketing Land

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to Get SMS Alerts for Gmail via Twitter

How do you get SMS notifications on your mobile phone for important emails in your Gmail? Google doesn’t support text notifications for their email service but Twitter does. If we can figure out a way to connect our Twitter and Gmail accounts, the Gmail notifications can arrive as text on our mobile via Twitter. Let me explain:Twitter allows you to follow any @user via a simple SMS. They provide short codes for all countries (see list) and if you text FOLLOW to this shortcode following by the  username, any tweets from that user will arrive in your phone as text notifications. For instance, if you are in the US, you can tweet FOLLOW labnol to 40404 to get my tweets as text messages. Similarly, users in India can text FOLLOW labnol to 9248948837 to get the tweets via SMS.The short code service of Twitter can act as a Gmail SMS notifier. You create a new Twitter account, set the privacy to private and this account will send a tweet when you get a new email in Gmail. Follow this account …

Instagram Story links get 15-25% swipe-through rates for brands, publishers

Instagram may arrived late as a traffic source for brands and publishers, but it’s already showing early signs of success, driving new visitors to their sites and even outperforming its parent company, Facebook.For years brands, publishers and other have tried to push people from the Facebook-owned photo-and-video-sharing app to their sites. Outside of ads and excepting a recent test with some retailers, Instagram didn’t offer much help to companies looking to use it to drive traffic. So they had to find workarounds. They put links in their Instagram bios. They scrawled short-code URLs onto their pictures. And they typed out links in their captions.Then last month Instagram finally introduced an official alternative to these hacky workarounds: the ability for verified profiles to insert links in their Instagram Stories.Almost a month after the launch, 15% to 25% of the people who see a link in an Instagram Story are swiping on it, according to a handful of brands and publishers that h…

Five great tools to improve PPC ads

Every digital marketer wants to reach the top position on the search engine results. However, if you’ve recently launched a new website or your niche is saturated, starting with paid search ads sounds like a good idea.Strategically created PPC campaigns can drive leads, sales or sign-ups to your websites. You know what? In fact, businesses earn an average of $8 for every dollar they spend on Google Ads.Optimizing PPC campaigns is not easy, but it’s very powerful if you do it properly. Just like SEO, it is essential to conduct extensive keyword research, optimize ad copy, and design high-converting landing pages.Fortunately, there are a lot of effective PPC tools that will help you analyze your competitors’ PPC strategies, figure out tricks in their campaigns, and improve your PPC campaigns.If you are ready to take an evolutionary leap in your PPC advertising, take a look at my list of five amazing tools to save you time, give you crucial insights, and raise money for your business.Fiv…