Listen. If constructing your digital marketing strategy is like building a house, then social media is like the front porch of your brand. It’s the top of the marketing funnel. Its primary objective is to help you and the customer get to know each other so you can be friends. But the relationship doesn’t end there. Your social accounts should entice users to enter the house and find out what’s inside. But what are your new friends finding on the front porch? Are they welcomed and ushered through a wide open door? Or is it closed, and they’re left with no choice but to turn around and try another house?
It’s the same with social media content. Sometimes the purpose of your content is to very intentionally and specifically drive traffic into your house. If you’re optimizing content for clicks, you’ve left the door wide open. But why would you ever leave the door closed? Too often brands spend all their time decorating their front porch with flowers and chair swings but forget to do the work of opening the door. Sure, your viral content might be gaining you a ton of attention points, but if the door’s locked there’s nowhere else for that attention to go.
That’s why in all your digital content, you need to at least leave the door ajar. At every point of interaction with your brand, the customer should be free and encouraged to enter your house. You might not always greet them with open arms, but it’s clear they’re always welcome.
Look at this post from Nike. See the well-branded URL at the bottom? They’ve left the door ajar for you. It’s not a strong call to action. It’s not a CTA at all actually, it’s just a subtle reminder that there’s more for you to explore.
Similarly, by executing this strategy for Kansas Athletics, I was able to increase traffic to our website from social by 200% year over year. By including links to the homepage in each and every piece of content that lacked a clear call-to-action we were kindly saying “Oh, hi friend, want to learn more about us? Luckily we’ve got this website you can check out.” It’s not pushy, it’s an invitation, and that’s why it worked.
If you’re navigating the social media gulf well, you’ve got a nice combination of short and long content to appeal to your various audience groups. Leaving the door ajar is about connecting the two ends of the gulf. It’s saying, “if you’ve enjoyed this end of the gulf, we’ve got another side you’d just love,” and providing the bridge to get there. The front porch doesn’t tell the whole story, but if you’ve left the door ajar your audience can find the rest for themselves.