Your stunning new website just went live. Or, your old site flat-lined and after an emergency operation is now out of recovery and stable. Maybe…Viz Tailor was called in to add a touch of makeup and sense to your online customer connection tool. Life is good, but you can hold off on that exploding fist bump celebration just a wee bit longer.

This new or revamped business site was pieced together with care in that it speaks directly to your target audience. The inter-workings were designed to allow swift and smart navigation from headline to article to photo to video to information to product to contact to sale. The color and spacing and attractive imagery pivots to perfection with well-written words that define your company and offers content that your future clients crave. Don’t just sit there and wait for a convoy of traffic. Lure them in with shiny objects that we know will dazzle your target audience.

You have done the research and you know your customer. Where do they hang out? Is there one social media platform that this group prefers? Do they read the newspaper, listen to classic rock or will they never, ever miss a night of FOX News? Find them and bring them home.

The message and the elements included will vary a great deal from business to business. But the gist of the ad or post must involve the same thought for every business, and that’s knowing the viewer or listener is asking, “What’s in it for me?” What they might “get” in most cases is a product that they need or are looking for. A brick and mortar retail business is most interested in motivating the consumer to the store itself, not so much the website, although a site visit is not a bad alternative if that click provides additional information that eventually leads them through the door.

There is also a difference in the timing aspect of getting a consumer to act on an ad or message for a retail, service and even a professional services business. A sale ad, in all mediums, is designed to get a consumer to act pronto – either that day or week. But ads, including sale ads, do not always get immediate results. Let’s look at my retail wine shop. I made it a habit of asking unfamiliar faces as to how they were made aware of the shop. Some could not remember and many said they had a recommendation from a friend. Most of those asked though — and this was consistent –first read about the wine shop in a newspaper ad or heard about us on the radio. And the majority of those would remember seeing or hearing those ads for weeks and even months before finally pulling the trigger and make their first visit.

Waiting for months to act on a retail ad is a regular occurrence for most consumers. I’ve often stumbled upon restaurants in articles and ads only to act on the sales pitch well after the printed invite has reached the recycling plant. We’re either too busy or too attached to our list of favorites before taking that first leap into the unknown. But that is how most ads work. Social media campaigns – when designed correctly – can produce immediate results and cost far less than typical advertising. This is marketing and the response we’re after are actionable metrics.

An actionable metric could be an immediate sale or a same-day request for service, but there are other measurable consumer responses that can also produce favorable results. The Viz Tailor team focuses on developing social media programs that lead to website traffic, data base additions, e-newsletter subscriptions, content clicks, product inquiries or requests for quotes. We want to develop messaging that causes an immediate action that will give your business something useful in return. Getting 200 “likes” can feel really good but does nothing to help build your consumer base or sales. Ego metrics are completely different than actionable metrics.

Working the social media circuit can be time-consuming, so don’t waste it on platforms that won’t reach your target audience or provide a useful response. Each messaging campaign should have an actionable metric goal. Gaining subscribers and clicks is proof of your time being worth the effort. Counting site visits and storing information requests is more useful than a “like.” Find a realistic response number that can be measured and start posting.

This is where the creative team at Viz Tailor steps in. A post is just a post until it becomes a POST. You may not write well or present well on camera but you do know your business better than your customers. Inside knowledge coupled with a creative plan will attract attention. The message content could be your know-how edited tightly into a short “How to” video. An experience could become a blog about an entertaining aspect of your work. A link to your site could uncover a teaser line of text and a link to an article featuring one of your products. An email blast, an Instagram post, a well-timed tweet or a Facebook video are platforms that are all in play.

Your messaging must be descriptive, colorful and informative – with a personal touch that only you can provide. Don’t waste an empty post on your catch-phrase or only to tell your audience “we’ve moved…check out our new location.” Tell them why they should visit your new digs or website.

Be aware of over-saturation. Make them crave your next message. I learned a good lesson while posting blog teasers for my wine shop and winery tours on Facebook. Early on, the informative and promotional blogs were liked and clicked at a feverish pace. My followers soon grew tired of the weekly posts and the clicks slowed down. But, when I posted random vineyard shots, food pics or simple poses with my wife and a glass of wine, the clicks came as fast as ever. Why the cold shoulder with the blog?

I realized that the blog morphed into a business first pitch where my directives to shop, join, taste and buy — in time — had smothered the adventuresome spirit that mixed learning with play. I tested the theory by reversing course and returning to a design and voice that sang the pleasures of wine and food instead of pushing a 20% discount sale.

This is marketing at its best. Gaining the attention of your target audience without them ever realizing they have become awakened to your brand. They liked your message and they’re ready to see more.

Our creative team at Viz Tailor has a name for this informative message or “How to” video or blog. The “Howitzer.” We lob information in the proper directions and gain actionable responses. The “How to” video on carpet cleaning or history lesson on gemstones is our ammo and we fire this off to get new and old consumers to respond. We may not secure an immediate sale or contract for service but we did get a response. Your target noticed and arrived at the website. Now, that newly designed home page with intelligent and alluring spin-offs is ready to go to work for you.