It might be said that engagement should underpin everything you offer on your website. After all, if there is no engagement, there are no customers! Whatever the product or service you are providing, engaging your website visitors can be critical to getting the most out of your online activities.
But how should you engage with your website visitors? That all depends on how far along the buyer’s journey they are. We can split website visitors on this journey into three main stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. Let's look closer at the awareness stage.
Shout from the rooftops
When you are looking to drive awareness, being too shy gets you nowhere. You need to make a splash, but engagement relies on something meaningful. You could spend thousands on an advertising campaign which proudly displayed your logo, but if consumers have little attachment to it, the meaning can be lost. That's why a good starting point is to create something of value which you can use to drive awareness. Let's look at one effective example - a blog.
Time to engage
Your blog is your chance to shine, but focusing on your company, or even your product and service, is unlikely to cut it. Use your blog to create value for the reader, but not any reader. Write on a subject which is likely to be of interest to people within your specific target audiences. You might choose to entertain, inform, educate, or amuse. It's all of value - the key thing is to offer value, and ensure it is unique.
Plenty of payback
So what's in it for you? You should make every effort to guide the readers of your blog along the customer journey, without giving them a 'hard sell'. Call to actions (CTA) can be vital to this aim. They represent opportunities to engage with your brand further. It could be a "click here to learn more", "enter your email for more details", or “download our guide here”. However you phrase a call to action within your blog, it should perform the function of taking them to a separate landing page on which you can consensually gather their details - they can now be classed as a 'lead'.
Keeping your customer options open
What started as a blog, has now become a virtual road map for your new contact. As a first step, the landing page could offer something such as a free download in exchange for their email address. But then you can offer further CTAs within these landing pages, enticing the lead to learn more, depending on their interest.
You can also request further details which - depending on the nature of your product or service - could be information such as job title, organisation or favourite products, in exchange for further information. This would enable you to understand more about their buyer persona or demographics - helping you to define who they are, and what they might be looking for. This information can also give your sales team clues as to how to nurture them as a lead.
You must remember that while you are providing free content, there is a value to that content, as there is to the data which you gather. In a sense, you should ensure that the content offer is equal to, or more valuable, than the data you are gathering in a form.
After this initial stage, you have successfully created awareness. You must now nurture your lead through the consideration and decision stages.