RHO Quick List
RHO stands for Real Human Optimization; a different way of looking at the best practices for building a strong online customer base.
- Create content that viewers want to see
- Get relevant and reputable sites to talk about you (with links to your site)
- Repeat (keep the content fresh and up-to-date).
Make Them Say “No”
There’s a marketing concept known as “top of mind awareness”. It basically means that when someone mentions an industry or product type, you automatically think of a specific vendor. For example: When someone says “search engine”, the first thought is “Google”.
Many years ago, I was at a workshop where this was being discussed. The speaker put it this way:
“You want to be the first company they say ‘no’ to.”
And, just like you I thought “No! I want them to say ‘yes‘!” The speaker went on to explain: You’re never going to land 100% of potential customers. However, before a potential customer says “yes” to someone else, you want them to first think of you–and then consciously think of reasons to not choose you. Most customers look at positives, not negatives. If they can’t find a reason to reject you, they’ll probably choose you.
This “top of mind awareness” is a tricky thing. It needs to be built up over time. It comes from having interesting content and a good reputation. It takes a lot of work without seeing any immediate, quantifiable payoff. It is the very heart of marketing.
Within sales and marketing, there’s a concept called “the Rule of Seven”. It states that you need to “touch” a potential customer seven times (usually within 18 months) in order to turn them into an actual customer. A “touch” is some form of contact–an advertisement, an e-mail, a tweet, a phone call. And they have to be different touches. Seeing the same billboard seven times just becomes background noise on your morning commute. The number “7” is arbitrary, it just big enough to say “you have to keep at it” and small enough to say “you don’t have to be in their face every day”.
There’s a catch: You can’t just put 7 things out there and say “I’ve followed the rule”. A few decades ago I was reading an interview with a well-known comic-book author who was talking about the challenges of working in the medium. One of the things he said stuck with me over the years. “You have to remember that every issue is somebody’s first issue.” That tidbit has followed me through into my work in marketing: “Every bit of content I create is someone’s first impression of the product.”
Producing new content–even if it’s just a quick tweet–creates opportunities for more “first contact”, and keeps you “top of mind” for those who already know you.
Also…? Google pays more attention to sites that continually update with new information. If you get “stale”, you’re no longer interesting.
Getting Fresh on Dates
One last bit of advice: On any blog post, article, op-ed, tutorial, or other such content, be sure to include the date of publication. Google pulls results from the entire history of the internet. Potential customers want current information,. There’s nothing worse than looking up “fall fashion tips” and finding out too late that no… mullets and leg-warmers aren’t back in style; the article was written in 1985.
Blaze is the founder of Redleaf Consulting. He started as a dishwasher at the age of 15, and worked his way up to Director of Marketing for a Sino-German joint venture in Jiangsu, China. He has over 25 years of experience in education, communication, and marketing.