“If you engage people on a vital, important level, they will respond.” – Edward Bond
RESPOND, the seventh step of ETSZONE’s Seven Step Process, takes account of how your message is resonating with your target audience, and furthermore, how you and your business or organization respond to that. This step is conducted in a loop with PROMOTE with the benefit of professional reports and interpretations to review.
How can you tell if a message is reaching your audience and resonating? First, do not overlook what you, the business owner or leader of an organization, are experiencing directly with your eyes and ears, plain and simple. What do your colleagues say? What about those among your close and trusted business relationships? Does a customer, partner, or potential new hire take notice or make a comment? Perhaps the inquiry form on the website is being viewed or used more often. Or a congressman takes notice. Or there has been an uptick in the number of calls requesting quotes. Or a larger than usual crowd with new faces showed up at a sales event. Or a supplier uses your web strategy as a leadership example. While some of these examples are nuanced, it is important to notice and observe these cues when they come up.
One ETSZONE customer wanted to attract their target audience to a live event that occurs annually. Their staff noticed a large crowd and many new faces there. They casually asked some of the visitors what brought them to the event and discovered that they had found out about it through our digital campaign. Even a small ad hoc sampling like this can point to a larger response to a call to action, which in this case was further backed up by data showing a large number of views and clicks on the event advertisement from the relevant geographical area.
Digital metrics and analytics are central to this step. Are your important keywords ranking in Google and other search engines, and are the rankings improving with time? Is your audience engaging on the website, as evidenced by unique visits, page views, and web events relevant to your goals? Are they opening your email newsletters, as evidenced by open rates and other actions? Are social media posts being read, liked, and commented on? Perhaps some new authoritative backlinks have been produced that reference your website.
RESPOND also means what new actions you take based on the observations and insights gained from the factors outlined above. Some are obvious. If a backlink to your business is absent from a vendor’s site, it may be time to call the vendor and request it. If your intended keywords or phrases are not ranking well in search engines, find out why and optimize. It may be difficult to rank for a very competitive keyword or phrase. However, modifying it by narrowing it down could produce a key phrase that is easier to rank for and is also more tailored to your specific audience.
After this step, we loop back to PROMOTE and continue the cycle of continuous observation, learning, and improvement.
RESPOND is also a time to look at other needs or changes that may be required for the digital communication strategy. These may loop back to any of the preceding steps. If you have just acquired a new business or expanded to a new location, then update your website to keep it current. If you are adding a new service or operation, then your digital communication strategy should reflect that. If your vendors or partners are asking to be included in your promotion, then evaluate it, and if it makes business sense, act on it.
RESPOND is to observe, reflect upon, and update your strategy with participation and management from your professional team at ETSZONE.