Don’t Let Them Off the Hook: Nine Ways to Keep Your Customers and Prospects Engaged
My father loves to fish. But as any fisherman (or woman) knows, fishing can be an extremely frustrating hobby. And there is nothing more frustrating than when a fish hits your line, devours your bait, fights your efforts to reel him in before finally getting free of your hook and getting away.
If you’ve spent any time fishing, you can probably relate.
As a business owner, there’s a similar threat that you need to watch out for and that’s letting your customers and prospects off the hook. It happens all the time: you meet a prospect, or he visits your website, or follows you on social media, or signs up for your email but you never hear from him again. You had the individual on your marketing hook, but he got away. And in business, this costs you real money.
In this article, I’m going to share nine ways that you can use the internet to create an engaging presence which ensures that you get your prospects all the way into your boat. In addition, these tactics will help you increase your credibility and enhance your CelebrityExpert status:
1) Create a website that is visually appealing and easy to use. If your website is unattractive, hard to navigate, or doesn’t work the way that it should, your visitors aren’t going to stick around. They’ll look around for a competitor that provides a better online experience, and chances are you’ll lose their business for good. The good news is that you don’t need to create an artistic masterpiece you just need to create a site that looks nice and functions properly. Let me know if you’d like help getting started!
2) Provide free resources on your website. If your website is nothing more than an online sales pitch, your prospects have little reason to return. But if you offer free, valuable resources, they’ll keep coming back. One great option is creating a Special Report or White Paper which provides practical information for your readers. You can then offer it as a free download, in exchange for the viewer’s email address. This allows you to plug the prospect into your email marketing database and get to work reeling him in.
3) Regularly write blog entries and articles for your site. In addition to reports and free resources, regularly publishing blogs and articles is a great way to keep your audience coming back for more. You can also feature this content on social media and on article directories across the internet. Focus this content on practical information that provides value to your readers answering common questions is one good way to approach this task.
4) Feature video and photographs of yourself and your team. Static, boring, text-heavy websites don’t grab the attention of most visitors. As much as possible, use multimedia like photos and video to engage your visitors. Of course, the media you feature must be consistent with your brand, with the story you are trying to tell, and with the visual design of your site.
5) Create a mobile version of your website. Millions of Americans access the internet primarily through their smart phones, and if your website doesn’t have a mobile version, you are missing out. A mobile version of your website allows you to engage the segment of your audience that interacts with the internet through their phones and chances are, it’s a large segment!
6) Get active on social media by going where your customers are. Creating an active social media presence is an important way to engage your audience but it requires a strategic approach. For instance, if your audience is teenagers and college students, LinkedIn is not likely to be a fertile channel. Which social platforms does your audience favor? Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? Instagram? Figure it out and then go where your customers are!
7) Post great content on your social media channels. Once you’ve identified the key social media channels to target, it’s time to focus on providing valuable and engaging content. Nobody uses social media because they want to hear a sales pitch, and if that’s all you are providing, you’re not going to engage your audience. Instead focus on providing interesting content like informative videos and fun photos of your products or your team at work. And share links to important information like breaking news that is relevant to your marketplace.
8) Use email marketing to reach your audience. Email marketing is another very valuable channel that you can use to keep your audience engaged. It’s especially important for reaching prospects and customers that don’t proactively visit your site or your social media channels. However, like social media, you have to be very careful to provide valuable content. Otherwise, your recipients will consider your messages to be spam and they’ll probably unsubscribe. Feature links to your best blogs and articles, share important news, and don’t hesitate to include a joke, an inspiring quote, or other light-hearted content to keep your email messages appealing.
9) Create news and then spread the word. Finally, make it a point to create a buzz for your business. There are plenty of ways to do this: write a book, launch a community initiative, appear on the radio, hold a special event, and the list goes on. Make sure that your audience is aware of all that you’ve got going on, and you’ll find that they are much more interested in your business.
If you can perfect the process by which your business engages your prospects, it can mean a HUGE increase in sales and in your bottom line. The internet, and platforms like social media and email marketing in particular, make it much easier to do this in a cost-effective way but this is true for your competition as well. So ask yourself, are you doing everything you can to keep your prospects engaged or are you letting them get away?