One of the biggest buzzwords in online marketing is “engagement” – building it, growing it, finding audiences for it, everyone wants more engagement. However, defining what engagement is can vary depending on the target market and overall online marketing plan.
For the purpose of our post today, “engagement” refers to the depth of the relationship with your brand. Casual website visitors have a low level of engagement; long-term customers have a high level of engagement. Therefore, the process of building engagement is also part of the process of growing your customer base, and increasing the loyalty of the customers you already have.
With that definition in mind, we’ve put together this two-part series with our top recommendations for using your copy to transform your website into an engagement-building machine.
Trust is the foundation of any true relationship, and it’s no different in online marketing. At a time when 34% of American households reported that online trust issues such as security and privacy stopped them from buying goods or services online, first impressions are critical. And there is no shortcut: building trust online is a continual process that happens one interaction at a time. Unless your brand is very well-known, or what you offer is in very high demand, you can expect that it will take website visitors multiple touch points before they become a customer.
- Does my content demonstrate true understanding and empathy? Go beyond your initial customer personasto delve into the concerns and needs of your target audience.
- Does my content fulfill a need potential customers have right now? Writing blog posts solely for SEO purposes will only serve to alienate potential customers. Instead, find ways to entertain, educate, and illuminate your value proposition within all of your content.
- Does my content make it easy for potential customers to engage beyond the initial touch point? You’ve just written a great blog post that’s performing well – now what? Figure out the next logical action most people will want to take after reading your post, and give them the resources to do it. If you need help setting up your content funnels, let us help.
One of the best ways to engage with a potential customer is to demonstrate the value of your product or service. For software companies, a working demo is often the go-to option. For products, value can be established through samples, video demonstrations or even customer reviews. And when it comes to services, case studies, client testimonials, and process demonstrations are also great ways to show how well your business can meet the needs of your target audience.
Look for creative ways to let people test drive what you have to offer, so they can see the value first-hand.
Uplift Your Current Customers
Customer success stories can be a powerful form of content marketing when done correctly. On the one hand, it gives some of your best customers a chance to be recognized, which in turn boosts feelings of loyalty to your brand.
On the other hand, these success examples serve as living proof that your business gets results. Combine these two benefits, and it’s easy to see how powerful this form of content can be. When creating customer success stories, it can be helpful to write with a set framework designed to build and hold interest:
- Set the stage with background information that illustrates the problem. Direct quotes are good to have here, as the customer telling about their initial struggles before they bought your product or service will resonate with potential customers who are going through the same or similar situations.
- Highlight skepticism and the decision-making process. Why did your best customers choose you? What initially made them hesitate? Getting to the heart of what influenced the buying decision not only helps to overcome resistance of potential customers, it provides valuable insight on which areas of your business customers truly value.
- Define the turning point. When did the solution really start to make a difference for your current customer? In some instances, this will be an instant benefit, but for some products and services, it takes time to see real results – realistic time frames are important when building new customer loyalty, and they help potential customers plan for what will happen next.
- Wrap it up with current successes. Always end on a high note. The current success of your best customers, plus their plans for the future will reflect well on your business, while also creating that all-important sense of urgency – if successful competitors are already buying from you, potential customers may feel they are missing out, which in turn makes your product seem necessary for their continued success.
In part two, we’ll discuss how you get customers to buy-in to the action you want them to take, as well as some concrete ways you can boost loyalty and engagement after the sale. Can’t wait to learn more or want help getting started on your own content engagement strategies? Get in touch with us and we’ll help you set up a plan that will get results.