Party at the busstop

Party at the busstop
6 March 2017 Rutger Verhoeven

Party at the bus stop

Last week I had a strategic conversation with the editor in chief of a large Dutch news platform. He believes that having large amounts of unique visitors on his own site shows that his brand and platform have impact and are meaningful. I told him that unique visitors normally don’t return after the visit, that they either bounce on the page they visit or they will leave after the short satisfaction of hopping on the waves of clickbait. Unique visitors don’t read multiple articles, don’t share or engage on content on your site and won’t return. They are what we call accidental tourists, lost in translation. I believe there’s a mind gap between trying to create loyal and engaged brand ambassadors but focussing your online content strategy on unique visits on your own channels.

The mind gap is best described with the bus stop metaphor.

I believe that content marketers, online storytellers, brand- and content creators think of social channels as a bus stop. People (your target audience) in this analogy wait for the bus to come. As long as the signs are clear and the direction is known, marketers believe they will get on the bus. From this idea it makes perfect sense to think that someone on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, SnapChat, LinkedIn or Twitter is waiting for relevant content and once it’s exposed he will hop on and travel to a next destination. Meaning will read a newsletter via a link on Facebook or will go to your homepage via a picture or header on Twitter. Bus stop = channel, content = bus, KPI = final destination.

And where did this go wrong?

At the bus stop! With the KPI’s.


Because for the target audience you want to catch, seduce, engage, connect, subscribe, invite or sell anything the bus stop is not a boring waiting room where nothing ever happens. It is the final destination! The party is at the bus stop. It’s the most fun place to socialize, it’s the place where you meet all your friends, where you catch up on all the latest news, where you fantasize with others on potential destinations and where you might catch a bus once in a while.

So, don’t try to make me catch a bus! Make my stay at the bus stop more engaging and relevant. ‘Cos guess what? I’ll be here again tomorrow!