3 Tips You Need To Know To Engage More Customers On Your Site

Since the dawn of websites, brands have been looking for ways to take their client relationships to the next level. Yet, the vast majority of companies — including the top global companies — still treat their website like a soap box; while standing on it, they shout their message into the dark expanse of the internet.

Still, instead of stepping down from the soap box, we’ve decided that competing to build the tallest soap box is the best way to stand out.

When compared this way, our user engagement strategies seems terribly short sighted — and many are.

Yet, when it comes to content creation, were not awful at it. Almost everyone, 99%, includes information on their website about their products or services. More so, theses days everyone ensures their company news, announcements, events, promotions and new offerings are floating around on the web (Journal of Business and Technical Communication).

Again, we’ve got the talking-about-how-awesome-we-are-all-the-time part nailed down.

However, we keep forgetting that all of these super-awesome-nuggets-of-content are only helping us build taller soap boxes.

So how do we stop proclaiming our greatness and start engaging with our audiences in a way that grabs their attention? We need to step down from our soap box and actively engage the crowd.

Here are a 3 interactive website ideas to help increase customer engagement:

1. SIGN-UPS

This is not my favourite engagement method, but I’m adding it in here because a large chunk of websites use a sign-up or registration page to engage their users — around 87%. My beef with this tactic lies with inbox harassment. The more websites I sign-up for, the more websites I have to unsubscribe from.

Now, sign-ups are not all bad. They are a fantastic tool for reaching out to your brand advocates. But the trick lies in HOW you proceed once someone signs up.

Therefore, using a critical eye whenever sending out content needs to be a part of your email marketing checklist. Would you open this email based on its subject line? Would you click on the information in your newsletter?

As long as you’re putting your audience first, sign-up forms are meaningful relationship building tool for your website.

2. POLLS

I know what you’re thinking, “people hate surveys!” And, “don’t try to convince me that a survey is going to make a difference”.

Well, it’s not going to make a difference the way you’re doing it. Allow me to elaborate:

Polls are different from surveys because they create an opportunity for you to engage with your audience on a friendlier level. Not all polls ask serious questions.

HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES:

  • Should we pair shoe A or shoe B with these pants?
  • In our next blog, do you want to learn about Content Curation or Content Writing?
  • Do you want brand A or brand B featured in our next 24 hour sale?

We exist in a world where it only takes one person to change a company’s way of thinking. If you don’t believe me, you may want to watch a little documentary called “Supersize Me”. As a consumer, I can tell you that THAT much power is pretty darn exciting.

Featuring these types of informal polls on your website not only suggests to me — the consumer — that you care about my opinion, but it also suggests that you are willing to take my input seriously.

3.GAMES

Let’s take engagement one step further. Although the videos on websites would definitely take away from your message, “Gamification” is designed to improve your customer engagement.

If you’ve never heard of the term before, here’s a great definition by John Boitnott of Entrepreneur Magazine:

“It’s the practice of synthesizing the best ideas from gaming, loyalty programs and behavioral economics, with the aim of driving user engagement over indifference.”

Pretty nifty, right?

Having witnessed so many Facebook contests that have failed to attract the company’s intended audience, it should come as no surprise that I’m a little jaded. Gamification, on the other hand, allows you to increase customer engagement on your site while ensuring that those coupons, prizes and sweepstakes help to create quality brand ambassadors.

Projected to grow to $2.6 billion in 2016, Gamification has already caught the eye of a few big players — 6.1% of the top global brands — and is rapidly becoming a powerful website engagement tool.

Taking these recommended tools into consideration, I invite you to turn a critical eye to your own website. Identify areas where improving engagement could significantly impact the quality of your audience relationships, and try spicing them up with interactivity that gives your audience an influential voice.

Twig Communications is a Calgary based PR and communications firm that specializes in helping small and medium sized businesses build communities. Check us out!