Wondering how to spot your customers in a crowd and make the most out of your content marketing? Meet the latest customer to join the gang, the Lurker.
Meet The Lurker
The fans of content marketing aren’t always that visible. You know that customer that joins your social media and then two years later approaches you to make a sale? This is the Lurker. They’ll cheerfully watch the goings on of your company, like a little bit of social media, share the occasional blog, read your newsletters and yet, could takes years to finally make a purchase, if they make a purchase at all.
But before you bemoan the Lurker and the consistent content you need to supply them to keep them entertained, it’s important to realise that this may be your silent champion. These guys study your brand; they just don’t necessarily need to talk with it to make a commitment. And that silent study can and will generate you sales. You see, when a lurker’s friends are asking “where do I go for this?” or “how do I fix that?” these guys are usually the first ones in with the well thought out and (usually) most useful recommendation. They provide you customers by understanding your brand and telling their friends when it counts.
It’s estimated 90% of fans who follow you on social media will lurk. The trick here is keeping them interested.
The kinds of content marketing a Lurker enjoys include:
- Regular social media. Be a part of the routine of their day by providing fresh content.
- Regular blogging. Tuning in for a little content is what they like to do. So keep the volume regular if you suspect you have Lurkers’.
- Promote bookmarking. Lurkers collect info too, so making it super simple for them to add your content to StumbleUpon, Scoop.it or countless other bookmarks greatly expands the online spread of your information.
- Guest blogging and PR. Lurkers will follow you around if you give them a reason. And they’ll follow you if they discover you on another of their feeds and like what you have to say.
- If you can start talking to a Lurker when they feel like consuming information but don’t feel like being stapled to the computer, you are on a real winner.
When will you find the Lurker?
The lurking customer is commonly found on your blog and social media. They are usually attracted to the values of your brand and the associated meaning that brings to them as a character. Or they could be someone who really enjoys being the person in the know to their friends. Giving them high levels of information, and nurturing them by identifying what they share with friends is the best way to maximise the return on investment from this customer.
Lurker’s are most of us to some degree, but the hardcore versions are often found to have a significant investment in the online world. So if you have a game, app, forum or product that relies on loyalty for word of mouth, you definitely need to establish content marketing that reflects the Lurker’s desire for information.
The benefits of the Lurker:
- If you put the information out, the Lurker will take it to the customers via word of mouth
- Once a Lurker starts interacting with your product or brand, you’re in. They are very loyal, knowledgeable and helpful to other members.
The negatives of the Lurker:
- It takes time to build trust with a Lurker and they may never interact (unless they get mad at something you say- then all bets are off!)
- You need to get comfortable talking to yourself if you attract Lurkers. They want a volume of social media and blogging, and you will probably not see a payoff for a year or more on your efforts.
- An established Lurker will call you on needless marketing spin and will have no problem embarrassing you in front of onlookers if you try anything remotely shady.
How well you know your customers is really important. Does this guy sound like a customer to your business?