Guest article by Jessica Edmondson
So you’ve set up a website for your business, but how are you going to get your audience to engage with it? Engagement is essential if you want your visitors to stay on your site longer than a cursory glance, and it’s absolutely essential if you want your visitors to generate leads and conversions.
If you don’t have a clue about how to increase engagement (or even if you do), check out the following examples, then put some of them to the test.
1. Write and Curate a Blog
Writing a blog is a great way to drive visitors to your site, but it’s no longer just about telling people what’s great about your product or service. Instead, get creative and diversify what you write about – take a good long look at your customers and ask yourself some questions. How old are they? What’s their income? Where do they live? What are their interests?
A great example of a company that’s killing it with their blog is Warby Parker, an online eyeglasses retailer that uses their blog to promote a lifestyle, rather than sell their product. Their quirky posts encourage visitors who come to their site to stick around, which in turn leads to important conversions.
2. Embrace Images (and Instagram)
A great way to express your company’s identity and get your message across quickly is to embrace visual content. And before you get too worried, you don’t even have to spend excessive amounts on commissioning beautiful photographs.
Instagram is a great way to drive customers to your website – after all, it’s pretty much advanced window shopping. According to a recent report from research firm L2, Instagram boasts the highest conversions from browser to shopper, and that’s something we can all get on board with.
Benefit’s #realsies campaign is a fantastic example of a brand using user-generated content to drive customers to their site. They invited fans to upload eyelash selfies to Instagram using the #realsies hashtag, and then put the results together in a gallery that linked to their ‘They’re Real!’ mascara product page. Simple, effective, and you can do it too.
3. Use Videos
For their “Worn Wear” campaign, outdoor clothing brand Patagonia invited their brand advocates to talk about the outdoor adventures they had whilst wearing their products in a YouTube documentary.
You don’t have to create a high-end documentary to give video content a try, but short, engaging videos can really capture your customer’ attention and make your business memorable for all the right reasons. From ‘how to’ guides to interviews, user-generated content to event videos, introducing mini movies to your website, or even posting them on YouTube and Vine is a tried-and-tested way to engage your customers and stay competitive.
4. Get Creative with Your Data
You might be surprised to hear that data can actually generate some pretty interesting content, just take a look at Firestone’s Story of America’s Top Car Brands.
Their interactive graph is engaging, easy to digest, and what’s more, it’s fun to share.
It might look pretty high-spec to your average small business owner, but this kind of content isn’t hard to emulate. Use your own data to create visualizations that are relevant to your customers, sharing the insight that you’ve gathered.
Think about what your data says, and tell the story behind it with a simple graphic. For more tips on how to do this, take a look at this one from Entrepreneur.
Remember, the Internet has matured past the point where simply being online (and on page one of Google) was enough to get you the results you want. If you want to truly engage your customers, then you need to build interest and trust among your audience in order to establish a following.
Everyone’s got a website these days, so try and stand out from the crowd by doing something a little different with yours. Know your audience and target them with content that they’ll love to read and share, and you’ll soon start to see the conversions you’ve been craving.
Jessica is a writer and content marketer at Distilled, a creative online marketing company. She particularly fancies small business topics that involve social media and branding. You can follow her on Twitter here.