9 Things You Should Be Doing to Engage Your Customers
Why does some content go viral? And why does some great content – that educates and solves consumer problems – sit dormant? The answer lies somewhat in the promotion of that content, of course. But it’s also about the degree of creativity within the content itself. In general, the more creative the content, the more likely it is to be shared and spread.
Unfortunately, a lot of us are not creative geniuses. So we have to rely on examples of viral content and see how we can learn from them. Here are 9 hacks you can translate into our own content to engage your audience.
1. Use Video More
The research has been done, and it is more than conclusive. A video is no longer an option. It is the most effective way to reach your audience and to maintain its engagement. By including a compelling explainer video on your landing page, you can increase the conversion rates as much as 80%. And 92% of mobile device users say that they share videos they like. Here are a few other statistics from Hyper Fine Media:
- Video in an email can increase the open rate by 200-300%
- 64% of viewers are more likely to buy a product online after they watch a video
- 87% of online content marketers use video
- 1/3 of all activity online is spent watching videos
- An enjoyable video will increase remembrance of a brand by 139%
- 59% of business executives would rather watch a video than read text. That’s an important information for B2B marketers
- The ideal marketing video is between 60-90 seconds – beyond that viewers will bounce at a rate of 60%
What’s your takeaway? You need to incorporate video in our marketing. And it is getting cheaper to do so. With a good smartphone and video editing software, a lot of marketers are making their own videos. Even if they don’t, it is reasonable to contract with someone to do it. The key will be how creative can you be to grab and keep your audience’s attention.
Dollar Shave Club produced a video for $2500. It’s an explainer video on their landing page, and it is about as engaging as it gets. If you haven’t seen video, you should. It went viral, as did the company itself.
2. Incorporate Social Responsibility into Your Marketing Plan
The largest online consumer demographic is the millennial. Any brand that intends to get its market share of this population will have to connect on a personal level. One way is to show that you have some form of social responsibility in how you do business. It can be either eco-friendly production, fair wage policies or giving back to the less fortunate.
Millennials shun companies that pollute and take advantage of the poor. They talk with one another a lot and depend upon one another for recommendations of brands.
Consider Toms Shoes. For every pair of shoes you buy, the company donates one to someone in need – all over the world. Adding to its initial mission, they’re no setting up shoe factories in many countries. The company even used it profits to spearhead clean water efforts, pre-natal care, and eye health.
3. Use Current Events and Holidays
Focus on news that relates to your brand. If you incorporate current events into your social media posts, you will engage your followers more. And if you cannot think of any way to do that, at least use holidays.
Red Bull focuses on current events in sports, music, and gaming, to name just a few of its categories of focus. When viewers access Red Bull’s landing page they have lots of options based on what is current in these focus categories.
And this is just one small section of its landing page.
Other companies use holidays to post humorous or inspirational messages. Virgin Airlines wished Americans a Happy Thanksgiving with this post:
Some companies even make up their own holidays and post about them. Here Innocent Drinks has a Panda Awareness Day:
If you choose to use current events or holidays, be certain you are consistent. Your followers will look for your posts – if you neglect them, they will stop following you.
4. Engage Through Contests
Lots of companies run contests on their social media platforms to increase reader engagement. Some actually link the contests to their websites for entry to get more traffic. This is a pretty good tactic.
Jack Daniels runs a lot of contests, often partnering with other companies. Every year it hosts a barbeque cook-off contest. All entrants cook by using the company’s barbeque sauce. Jack Daniels even partners with Ducks Unlimited to sponsor “Dog of the Year” contest.
ModCloth holds a cool “Name It and Win It” contest. Participants need to name new company’s items and the winner is rewarded with the item. This keeps current customers coming back. And because these contest are all over social media, new targets come to take part, too.
5. Get a Mascot
Mascots that become well known and that lend humor to a brand are great for spreading that brand. Charmin has its bears; Geico has its gecko; and Progressive has Flo. In fact, both the gecko and Flo have their own social media accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers.
They post every day for their followers, and those posts get shared. And when the companies take part in community and national events, the mascots go too.
6. Get Good Writing Tools
There are tools that can help you be more creative with your text. And if you struggle with creative writing, or just writing in general, you will want to use them.
Researchers say 80% of people will make a decision about reading your piece based on that title. So has to be compelling, like a newspaper headline.
- There are tools that will help you, generating titles based upon your keywords.
- CoSchedule Headline Analyzer is a great tool to make your headings more powerful.
Topics can sometimes be elusive, especially ones that will grab the reader.
- There are several tools that will provide topic ideas based on keywords you enter.
- Buzzsumo is a site that will also provide content topic ideas. Based on the keywords you enter, it will give you a listing of the most popular post on that topic.
- If you hit writer’s block, use professional writing services. You can check them out at RatedByStudents.com. It’s a clearinghouse the reviews writing companies for services and quality.
Content Improvement Tools
- ProWritingAid.com – This tool will clean up your grammar and other mistakes.
- Hemingway Editor – That’s the best tool for improving your content readability.
- Here is a great list of 29 easy tools to create compelling visuals
- And here a list of sites for free images for commercial use!
7. Experiment with Augmented Reality
Augmented and virtual reality began with gaming. It has been slow to work its way into content marketing. But those who take advantage of its unique possibilities now, can be ahead of their competitors.
There’s plenty of opportunities. Image a shopper picks up a bottle of wine. With a downloaded app, he can scan the bottle’s label and watch how this particular wine was made. Or, suppose a customer is viewing a restaurant’s menu. She can be “transported” into the kitchen and watch how an item is prepared.
Check out Looksar. It’s a company that is working with content marketers to present their products and services this way.
8. Interactivity of Visuals
We already know that visuals increase a reader’s time on a post. You want to have at least one in every post you publish. If you add the extra element of interactivity, so much the better.
Timelines come alive by clicking on a date and getting information about it. Quizzes allow a reader to find out how much they know about a topic. And when viewers can participate in your videos, they will share that content with their tribes.
Here is a video made by Phillips Razors that allows the viewers to select a beard style. Every choice will finish the story of the man who cannot remember what happened last night.
9. User-Generated Content
This is a powerful tool to get your brand spread throughout social media. Invite your customers to send in their stories and photos.
ModCloth does a great job of this. Its customers can send photo of themselves in clothing they have purchased. These photos are posted all over social media for other customers respond. And so the conversations begin.
WD-40 invites its customers to send in unique uses for its product. So far, the uses have exceeded already 200! And this is the type of stuff that readers want to share with their friends.
Not Feeling Creative?
That’s okay. Because others’ creativity can give you lots of great ideas. Use these suggestions and tools and you will spark more interest, conversation and shares. It’s a competitive content world, but you can be a “player.”
BIO: Steven Mehler is an experienced writer, blogger, SEO specialist and social psychologist that works as an editor at a local newspaper and a freelance writer. Steven also runs his own content agency and is writing a book. He has a long-term experience in writing articles based on blogging, marketing, SEO and social psychology.