How To Improvement Engagement

How To Improvement Engagement

Is Marketing now — Engagement?

This post is about something you’re probably failing at badly and it’s costing you a lot of money – Engaging your Visitors and Customers.  Whether it’s in your tone of voice, content and social post topics, content types, ideas expressed, or in the stages of your lead management process, prospect engagement is where conversion happens.

In my new content strategy book, I go in-depth on this topic of engaging content. It expands on many of the topics you’ll read below. It expands on many of the topics you’ll read below. If there’s one aspect of SEO and Content Development you must mast for 2018, it’s content engagement.

fun

Engaging with your customers should be fun if you have a passion for your business and mission. Pic courtesy of quoteaddicts.com

The old marketing is dead, gone, buried. The new marketing is all about content engagement and how your content encourages and invites visitors to interact with you in a personal, relevant fashion. This evolution of sophisticated marketing will let you have more fun with your business. Slow down and enjoy it.

How to Improve Visitor Engagement

How to improve engagement with visitors/social connections is such a hot topic, that I want to encourage you to focus on this right now. There are 21 useful tips, some infographics, examples, and more insight into powering up your new engagement strategy below. You’ll get an even more impressive view of the whole of engagement strategy via these posts on creating a powerful content strategy, developing interesting original content, making an emotional impact, and why outsourcing to an digital marketing specialist is smart.

Understanding visitor/customer engagement can make your job more fun, increase customer retention and grow your revenue in 2017. This post should be an ongoing resource for you to Kaizen your way to engagement mastery. After you’ve read it, share it with your friends and associates.

Engagement the most difficult aspect of digital marketing with surprisingly few having mastered it. If you’re a mortgage agent, real estate agent, lawyer or professional services worker, it could be the edge you need. What you may learn is that your current brand image and content is a turnoff for prospects. They’re looking for something else, but what?




Make Sure Others Give this Post a Read

This is likely the most thorough look into web engagement and social media engagement to date. It’s a resource of EPIC proportions because it’s that important. 18 years of digital marketing has told me that if you don’t engage your audience, it doesn’t matter how much traffic you get or where you get it from. Yet engagement isn’t a spontaneous chat, nor is it a bunch of related content for visitors to explore. It’s a process of becoming an emotional presence – someone likeable, relevant, and irreplaceable in their lives. From initial impact to signing contracts, the focus is now on the customer experience.

[bctt tweet=”Here’s the top 21 things you need to know about visitor engagement in 2017. #marketing #engagement #leadconversion” username=”@gord_collins”]

artnewspaperDo a search about visitor or online engagement and you’ll get a lot of museum websites in your results? Why are websites semantically associated with engagement? Well, think about how people experience a museum. They walk around and look. There’s no touching, and shhhh, no talking — and almost no interaction. It’s such a vexxing problem for them that they’re blogging and talking about it like crazy. Google is catching this issue via their algorithm. How will museum managers solve this deficit with museum goers and enrich the experience?

Why aren’t websites and social pages engaging? Why do you have no digital rapport? Mostly because professionals don’t know how to create great, engaging content nor chat it up for real exchange and agreement.  If laziness, lack of confidence and confusion playing a role here, then this post should ease those issues and help you believe you can be engaging.

“Companies and brands need to recognize that social media is the best way to engage their customers. What other media allows them to have one-on-one conversations and address customer service in real time?  Social and blogging done right, is an opportunity to show the human side of your brand and generate emotion. Take the time to develop a relationship with customers and use your social media soap box effectively”.

— Maureen Turner, Public Relations Manager at Homewood Health.

Video can be engaging. As you can see in this short video, the realtor gives an “on the go” tour of available homes for sale in the La Jolla area.

There’s some amazing, actionable tips for you below. You can just skip right to them or you can discover more about the vital process, resources, and insight that will really power up your engagement strategy.  If you can double or triple your leads and revenue via better engagement strategy and practices,an engagement strategy is a sure sign you’re a smart business person looking to spin gold out of straw.

Think Engagement and Create a Customer!


They Arrive and Then They Leave!?

If your website stats indicate your visitors arrive for brief visits with few page views, you’re either getting the wrong type of prospects or your content and engagement strategy truly stinks.  Relax, because we’re going to find out how to improve your visitor engagement and at the end of it, you should be getting more inquiries/leads, higher Google rankings and more social connections.

Think about the experience visitors are having to your website or social pages. What do you think is wrong?

Honestly, it’s not easy to find the answer. One easy answer: your content doesn’t communicate your UVP, your site’s ugly and it’s got the favor of a boiled potato..  You simply don’t look like the big Kahuna of your industry and it’s stopping them from contacting you. Maybe your content is confusing, doesn’t generate emotions, or doesn’t even appear significant to them. Perhaps you don’t look approachable or friendly or sincere, and you’ve made no attempt to stimulate the visitor’s emotions and help them fulfill their dreams. If you’re not into it, why would they be into you?

Engagement Offers So Many Benefits

Not only is improved engagement going to make your site and social pages stickier, it actually improves your Google rankings. And as SEO people like myself know, Google watches everything. In this graphic below, Larry Kim of Wordstream reveals how Google organic search rankings rise as visitors have engaged with more content on the website. Larry believes, as I do, that engagement is a big Google ranking factor. That’s because Google can see how their search users are using your site. When visitors stay on your site and scroll through a whole page then visit another and then return later to your site, it’s a strong signal that your content is a compelling experience. Your rankings will rise.

googleengagement

Here’s Rand Fishkin of Moz.com discussing more explicitly the complete SEO value of engagement improvement and what may be preventing it from happening.

What is Online Engagement?

There are general definitions such as:

Engagement is the online catalyst that converts prospects to customers, customers to loyal customers, and loyal customers to vocal brand advocates.

And there are more specific definitions that help us understand what we need to do. This definition gives us the correct mindset:

Engagement is the strategic process of connecting with visitors/customers on an emotional level where you fuse your unique value proposition and brand to their specific needs and style of interaction. It’s an active resonance between your words/images and their feelings to bond with them emotionally.

This is why the significant, personalized unique value proposition is so important.  It’s designed more for your customer, rather than you. It’s relevant and emotionally significant. Strategically, your engagement tries to hit at the heart of their strongest drives and need for your service. Using interesting and helpful assets and conversations, we get the visitor to engage with the actual value our solution provides.

The real value they’re hoping for may not be your brilliance, helpfulness, nor the profit generation of a product or service. It may be they’re evaluating what it will be like to work with you or be served by you. The experience of engaging with you is the key to having them make the decision you’re hoping for. Maybe they prefer friendship, loyalty, humor, flexibility, chatter, connecting on key ideas, and spiritedness. It’s sort of dance to see if you’re sympatico before they spend time, money and emotion on you. And if you can make your intention apparent and transparent via your web and social content, their confidence in you and your solution should grow. It’s how you say it that might be more important now than what you say.

Engagement is the New Marketing – yet it has to not Feel like Marketing

I’m sure you’ve heard these terms “stickiness” or “content immersion” often enough. The term engagement never really existed until social media marketers realized a lot of their social marketing output wasn’t being read, viewed or interacted with. In many cases it was ignored, shut off, terminated, shunned and banned with unsubscribes, blocked accounts and unfriending.

That’s the exact opposite of conversion by the way, yet a lot of marketers are using aggressive squeeze pages, email, or annoying social posts and SMS texting to pressure prospects. There’s a huge cost to the brand and to the digital marketing industry when such non-engaging tactics are used.  And these companies rarely have a valid strategy — it’s always random tactics driven by the latest buzzword mantra.

If you fail to make an impact and engage with your connections, visitors and customers, you may lose them

It was the brief nature of social media platforms that actually created the issue of poor engagement, since platforms as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram don’t keep a person’s interest very long. They’re shallow and as much as marketers want to use social media (free marketing) to convert visitors to customers, it has some weaknesses that may not be overcome soon. Twitter for instance is having a major struggle with weak engagement and it could topple the company at some point in the next few years.

Social platforms can begin and ramp up engagement and launch conversations but you still need great content as a focus and a medium of exchange. This is business not a chat with your mom.

There’s 2 aspects to engagement: your content and your interaction.

Content:

  • Online, you and your company are your content (your homepage, blogs, tweets, videos, pictures, data, and more). If you can somehow discover what it is your visitors actually want to experience online (learning, certainty, validation, confidence building, esteem, empowerment, coflct resolution) you might be able to research and develop rich content for them to read or view that creates those emotions.
  • And it’s not just valuable content they’re hoping for. They also expect content that is relevant and significant to them and which is somehow personalized to their unique perspective and needs. The term significance is important to ponder.

Interaction:

  • Once you have content to share and demonstrate your unique value proposition, your next step is create a sharing experience so you can create an emotional connection that builds their intent
  • The relationship you’re building is one of excitement, surprise, delight, and awe, and it should have a good mix of emotion that leads to a promise of satisfaction. How you speak tells them whether they’re on a pleasant path to fulfillment. The very words and way you express yourself tells them whether happiness and fulfillment are coming.

Engagement Starts at Google Search

The top ranking results for this prestigious keyword search on Google show the big brokerages have no interest in engagement. They simply state in their title and description that they have listings for sale, but nothing to whet the home buyer’s appetite for La Jolla, build expectations, and visualize satisfaction ahead of time. This listing should allude to the amazing lifestyle, prestige, and views of living in La Jolla, California.  These listings sound more like catalogues with no differentiation. Differentiate right away so they’ll click on your link.

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Think of how you search on Google for a product or service. The listing that has the keywords, and promise of value in the title and description is the one you’ll click on. It’s more relevant and the wording may have lifted your intent so that when you landed on their webpage, you felt eager and optimistic that you’d find satisfaction. From there, you probably were more willing to engage with the content and contact the company. Engagement starts at the beginning which is often Google or Facebook and continues after first contact with you.

21 Tips on How to Engage your Visitors

  • Know what your conversion goal is before you begin creating the content that will take your visitors there.
  • Know the specific type of client/customer you’re targeting. Are they serious and professional, fun and light hearted, ambitious and driven, insecure and cautious, or
  • Know the specific type of client/customer you’re targeting. Are they serious and professional, fun and light hearted, ambitious and driven, insecure and cautious, or
  • Remember why your visitor is visiting you since it’s your starting point
  • Create a content strategy – have the fundamentals ready for their discovery so you have content for them to be immersed in at the right times and present key concepts and information – let your content flow and lead them to your services page.
  • Use visual content graphics video original relevant photos
  • Create more, deeper, helpful, spirited, open-ended content that invites visitors to explore. It’s content that beckons, surprises, and fascinates. Being fascinating is very hard work, yet customers love a fascinating person, brand or product. They talk about it, share it, and become a brand ambassador.
  • Give your content some embellishment since content that’s too efficient is to dry and doesn’t build intent. And it could turn visitors off.
  • Use relevant symbols and people to elevate your brand or make it more fun (e.g., the Charmin toilet paper Bear cartoon characters increased social shares 585%)
  • Be distinct and memorable. Make your dialogue and voice distinct and relatable yet sound like someone who actually can help make their dreams come true by linking to your explicitly professionally worded services page.
  • Create stories if you can but they must be very relevant — a story about how you helped a client with that very problem or how a person was made happier or more successful is always effective.
  • If they like some of your content, create more of it, go deeper with insight and ask them if theyd like to ask you a question
  • Stimulate emotion because people make decisions based on emotion
  • Get them to visualize forward to how their dissatisfaction and future success will be impacted if they don’t get involved with you
  • Create likability and empathy by discussing what you do for others, use humor, and tell them why it’s so good to do what you’re talking about — enthusiasm!
  • Trust, crediblity and authority is important to readers so ensure youre building credibility with facts they can quickly verify so link out to relevant, high quality articles on other websites
  • Create content continuity by publishing content that adds value to previous posts but all points to some key post/offer/event off in the future
  • Toward the end of our posts/content, have links and leads to your social pages. This gives them a fuller view of you right now and what you’re up to.
  • Have a good call to action. The body of your engagement should lead to a contact, but it’s okay to ask them to move forward and ask for a free consultation of some sort on a pressing issue.
  • Use a contest and an online survey where possible. This enhances the visit and makes it more memorable.
  • Ask them to email you for something for free such as special guide to solving a problem
  • Ensure you link to your relevant content throughout your posts – in fact this is a key part of your content and SEO strategy.

Monitor your Engagement

Assess your engagement success via your Google Analytics reports. See which links they’re clicking on in your page, where they go next on your site, how long they read the page, how many pages they visit, and whether they’re returning to your site.

If your engagement is low, you need to discover which of these root causes are suppressing it:

  • weak value proposition
  • ugly website
  • low quality, poorly qualified visitors
  • ranking on the wrong keyword phrases
  • hard to read and navigate content
  • negative or boring tone to content — too stiff and unimaginative
  • content too deep for shallow audiences – have some light stuff for them
  • irrelevant value proposition – they don’t want your stuff
  • lack of content – you have to have something for them to read or view
  • poor quality content – get a content strategist/writer/videographer to help
  • lack of credibility – your site, credentials and linkedin profile may be hurting you
  • lack of color and zest in your content – find something interesting — curate some content
  • lack of personal presence in your content – why aren’t you in your content?
  • lack of engaging stories to tell – you need to get out and about, travel, network and engage with others yourself so take some time out for those activities

Engagement isn’t really a goal, it’s a process of achieving your goal of getting visitors into your content and to become emotionally connected to you. You need good content and a good UVP, yet this engagement process will help you learn what new and improved content is needed and how your current unique value proposition is coming up weak. You’ll learn and you’ll improve your value offer.

At the end of it there’s a basic truth which underscores all quests for improvement; if you want it, don’t fake it, truly be it. Be the person that can make it happen for them and soon your content and voice and manner will be natural. Be engaging, helpful, entertaining, fun, authoritative and possess the value they are after. Perhaps that might be holding you back the most — the thought that you don’t have what the customer wants. Confidence is a big issue for most professionals even when they’re successful. Don’t feel ashamed, it’s normal. Move ahead because your online engagement will pay off.

Don’t be perfect. Be interested in their need for fulfillment — your content will generate the spirit of following through on their intent or mission whether it’s to buy your product, buy a house, sign a mortgage, or travel to exotic locations. Your deliverable is a package of engagement that will take them where they want to go. Make sure you know where they want to go!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this immersion in visitor engagement. Bookmark it future reference because if there is one improvement you can make to your sales and marketing efforts, it’s engagement that matters.  I’ll be updating this post regularly.

Make an Impact Right Away

From Google or Facebook to your website, enhancing the immediate impact of your content will improve your engagement. Most visitors leave right away. The reason? The site didn’t have the specific thing they were interested in. So they left fast, dejected, and irritated.

Make an immediate impact with visitors using scannable layouts, eye grabbing headlines, videos, photos, and keywords in the text. They’ll leave within 5 seconds or less so making an impact is vital to keeping them long enough to find out that you actually do have what they’re looking for. Sure it’s hidden away somewhere, but you’ll pave the path to it.

As any forum owner will tell you, it’s not always just the content, it’s the banter, discussion, expression, and feedback that some visitors enjoy. Many people aren’t data and facts minded. Some have time to linger, explore and talk. The chat with you will be more important to them and they’ll make their decision based on that. Be ready to respond and get chatty!

To improve your engagement levels, you may want to plan your content normally with a strategy to communicate your significant, personalized, unique value proposition but write or compose it as though you were talking to a friend who has a set of issues they need to solve.

Engagement isn’t really a goal, it’s a process of achieving your goal of getting visitors into your content and to become emotionally connected to you.  You need good content and a good UVP, yet this engagement process will help you learn what new and improved content is needed and how your current unique value proposition is coming up weak.  You’ll learn and you’ll improve your value offer.

At the end of it there’s a basic truth which underscores all quests for improvement; if you want it, don’t fake it, truly be it.  Be the person that can make it happen for them and soon your content and voice and manner will be natural. Be engaging, helpful, entertaining, fun, authoritative and possess the value they are after.  Perhaps that might be holding you back the most — the thought that you don’t have what the customer wants.  Confidence is a big issue for most professionals even when they’re successful.  Don’t feel ashamed, it’s normal. Move ahead because your online engagement will pay off.

Don’t be perfect.  Be interested in their need for fulfillment — your content will generate the spirit of following through on their intent or mission whether it’s to buy your product, buy a house, sign a mortgage, or travel to exotic locations. Your deliverable is a package of engagement that will take them where they want to go. Make sure you know where they want to go!

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Further Material on Online Engagement

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1Comment
  • Writing Successful Website Content - Small Business Tips
    Posted at 21:27h, 08 August Reply

    […] Nice thing about being positive is that it opens up the mind and imagination. Get yourself in a positive frame of mind, and you’ll find you’re in sync with your customers. Once you’ve mastered “making them feel good” you’re well into the task of engagement strategy. […]

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