Customer engagement is all the rage. As behavior and preferences are shifting, the marketing world is recognizing that today’s consumer is not interested in a sales pitch. Instead, today’s consumer wants personalization, useful information and content that helps make a connection between them and their favorite brands.
With 78 percent of Americans accessing at least one social media account regularly, and 40 percent of consumers saying their purchases are influenced by social media, it seems like a no-brainer for marketers to focus their engagement strategies on channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, as social media provides a practically perfect forum for the type of engagement and online community that today’s consumer is looking for.
With this focus on social channels, many companies forget about their website as a tool to engage key customers. But they shouldn’t.
Websites remain a foundational marketing element for companies of all sizes and they are likely the “home base” for customers finding the detailed information they desire as well as the basics, like store hours, contact information, product details and links to social channels.
While on the surface it may seem like websites are the opposite of engaging—static, one-size-fits-all, impersonal—the fact is with a little bit of strategy, businesses can create a website that provides customers with a truly engaging experience with clear calls to action as part of the customer’s journey.
Customize their point-of-entry
Customers come to websites with different needs and levels of expertise. To give a customized experience, companies can add functionality to their website to meet customers where they are on their journey and provide personalized points of entry to help them find what they are looking for. At Vivial, we took our own advice and included this in our recently revamped Vivial website. Now, when business owners enter our site, they experience personalized content based on their industry, digital marketing knowledge and the type of help they are looking for.
Provide value-added information
It’s easy for companies to provide the basic details about their products and services. But a company’s website is a great way to go above and beyond and share information that adds value to what the company already offers. Articles about unique product features or uses, specific expertise of team members, trend reports, white papers and other educational opportunities are all examples of interesting website content that speaks to customers and keeps them coming back for more.
Make it conversational
While a website may seem more like one-direction communication, there are ways for companies to allow customers to provide feedback and get questions answered. If there are commonly asked questions, include an FAQ to help customers easily find the answers they are looking for. It’s also important to make sure website visitors can easily find contact information. There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than not being able to contact a real person for assistance through a phone number, email or text messaging. And finally, make it easy for customers to keep the conversation going through following social media channels and signing up for email updates.
In today’s world, making, maintaining and growing connections with customers is vital for every business. And a company’s website should absolutely be part of the customer engagement strategy. To learn more about how Vivial helps businesses of all sizes create, build and manage websites that attract and engage customers, visit https://vivial.net/solutions/websites.
Todd Renard, Vivial’s Vice President, Digital Product Management, is a digital marketing executive with an established performance track record for innovation and execution, balancing strategy, tactics and logistics. As an industry leader, Todd has over 20 years of experience bringing products to the SMB market place and has been recognized for his leadership in operationalizing, promoting and fulfillment of online advertising solutions for local businesses. Prior to joining the company, he served as Vice President, International Business Development and Channel Partner Account Management for WebVisible, and held senior management positions for TriZetto, R.H. Donnelley/Dex Media Cohere Networks, Inc. and CommNet Cellular.