Your Target Audience Hates You. Here’s Why.

Note: This post was originally published at NakedPR.com / SocialRealist.com and was moved to BizAmmo upon that blog’s retirement.

Does it feel like just can’t reach, or relate to, your website’s (or business’) audience (whether it be buyers, visitors, readers, etc.)? Do you sometimes feel like they just flat out hate you? They probably do. Here’s why:

1. You’re probably treating them as a target “market” rather than an “audience” at all.

Sometimes the soft sell of PR kicks the ass of any blatant marketing tactic you can throw at them. Yet online, it’s too often about instant gratification. Image-building turns one-time buyers into repeat buyers, one-time site visitors into regular visitors, and casual passersby into trusting, devoted followers. So stop kissing your Internet marketer’s ass, and get busy on some real reputation-building. The money, visitors, or whatever you’re after will generally follow naturally (and with more staying power).

2. You have nothing to say.

People don’t visit your website for a blatant sales pitch. If you’re selling something, they probably won’t mind it all that much either, if they’re interested. But you need more than that. For every target audience (key public) your site addresses, your site has to convey a message they can relate to. Are you there to help them find business advice? Are you there to solve some other need? Why do you exist? What can you do for them? Your logo, site name, slogan, and other branding efforts should all play a part in conveying this.

3. You’re a self-centered ass.

Too many people and companies launch a website like it’s just their own little playground. Remember that your site is public (unless of course it’s not), and that it should address a need, and put your public first. Does that mean you have to give them everything they want? Hell no. But learn how to compromise, and you’ll keep everyone happier.

4. You’re not trustworthy.

Why should visitors of your website trust you? Is your site secure? How’s that privacy policy looking? Do you offer guarantees? Do you have a solid track record that precedes you? Then tell them about it!!!  Always let visitors know why they should trust you. Let’s face it… we’re not all trusting by nature.

5. You made a lousy first impression.

Are you a fun, hip, and trendy online business? Then why does your site look like something that predates my grandmother? Again, it’s all about image. Forget about marketing for a minute, and worry about how you look in the eyes of others, especially in regards to the target audience’s expectations going in. You’d better meet… no, exceed, those expectations if you want your target market to love you, keep coming back, spending money, giving you traffic, clicking your ads, etc.

To put it simply, PR for a website is a lot like when you first start dating someone. You need to turn on the charm, pretend you actually care about the other person more than yourself, look snazzy, and keep it up. Once you stop, that’s when the bickering begins and eyes start wandering… and in the world of Web competition, it’s pretty easy for your audience’s eyes to start wandering over to Joe Schmo’s site.


Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger and business writer and the owner of 3 Beat Media -- the company that operates BizAmmo.com. In addition to blogging about small business issues she also writes about freelance writers, social media, independent publishing, personal finance, and more.

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