4 Great Ways to Engage Your Audience Online
Selling online is so much more than having a good website, you have to have ways to engage your audience to draw them in and more importantly keep them.
Photo by Melanie Deziel on Unsplash
The internet has undoubtedly become one of the most essential tools in modern business marketing. Today, almost every advertising strategy involves the use of the internet in one way or another. No matter what industry your business is in, your company will need to market online and the best way to start is to engage your audience.
For instance, if you have an upcoming event, the best way to let people know is by posting the details on social media rather than investing on a billboard. Of course, both methods have their pros and cons, but social media is more effective and cheaper.
All of your competitors will be taking advantage of the internet too. Some will be successful and some won’t. The one thing that’s going to give your strategy a competitive edge is learning the best ways to engage your audience. Think of it as building a relationship… you’re going to focus on building trust, communicating the right message, answering questions in order to establish a more personal connection. This is what is going to draw in customers and more importantly keep them coming back.
While building a marketing strategy, it’s always recommended that you make it as engaging as possible. The best way to make your posts captivating is to include images, videos, memes, and audio files. For instance, in the sports industry, fans enjoy watching short video clips of what transpired on the pitch rather than long paragraphs. Tools like greenfly.com/solutions/sports have made it easier for sports teams and associations to compile and distribute their digital content to sponsors and promotional partners for better fan engagements.
While having a good website will help, it is not enough to rely on this alone. You need to utilize alternative ways to engage your audience online and draw potential customers to your business. This article will provide 4 great ways to engage your audience. You’ll find these methods cost effective with a proven track record of success.
1. Send out Emails Regularly
Email is one of the oldest forms of online marketing and still one of the most effective. Emails are a great way of directly contacting your customers, especially as not everyone uses social media, or if they do, they might not read every post that has every offer available.
An email can be tailor-made to your customer by using their name, targeting them with regular offers and product news that they are specifically interested in, and even sending special birthday month promotions exclusively for them.
It is a good idea to employ the use of an email marketing service to take the stress of trying to get everything right yourself. Too many emails in a short amount of time and your customers will likely delete them, or the inbox itself will automatically identify it as spam; on the other hand, if there are too few emails, or they do not contain the right information, your customers are just as likely to get bored and unsubscribe.
It is a case of trial and error to get this right, but once you nail it, you’ll see the benefits.
2. Hold online competitions
If you want to encourage a more active engagement among your regular customer-base, and spread brand awareness to a wider audience, you could consider holding competitions and giveaways. This can be as simple as you like; for example, you may want to create a post that has to be liked and shared for a specific amount of time, then you use an RNG to pick out a winner at random from those who have entered.
You can also use competitions in more creative ways to encourage people to get much more involved with your brand, for instance, by using targeting hashtags and asking people to submit entries on a specific theme. These can be excellent ways to inspire greater curiosity about your brand and help promote your presence to a much broader audience and have a long-term impact as the content produced will be visible for a long time.
When planning a competition, it can be helpful to strategize around social events or themes to avoid them feeling too random or disconnected. You may want to launch a new promotion and encourage people to try out a new product, by offering the chance to win something for free, or you could develop a giveaway around popular holidays to encourage people to get involved with their own ideas for submissions. Asking people to share photos, video clips, or other creative ways is also a fun and exciting method to get into a competition and reflect positively on your brand.
3. Use social media effectively
Social media has transformed how businesses can engage with their audiences online, and over the years, the evolution of different platforms has further shaped how this is possible. With a range of channels to choose from that are targeted at different interests, age groups, and groups of people, it’s easier than ever to make a serious impact using social media.
Before you decide how to get involved with social media, it can be helpful to research the different options available first to create an effective and powerful strategy. While there are many routes out there to reach out to people, it’s important to bear in mind that not all of them will be relevant to your brand or audience and wasting time and resources on using these can be costly, as well as potentially confusing people about what your brand stands for.
You should consider what your demographics are and what types of social media they use. You may also want to use different channels to share unique forms of content, for instance. Professional platforms such as LinkedIn are ideal for reaching out to other industry professionals or those looking for jobs; visual channels such as Pinterest or Instagram might be better suited for sharing new product images or appealing clips of services that you offer. By choosing the content and channels you use more discerningly, you can tailor your strategy to have the most effective impact on your business.
4. Create a sense of community
A sense of community is an important thing to consider when you are working on your online presence because consumers are more receptive to companies that have a genuine human quality to them. This means that you need to create a community for your audience so you can interact with them and allow them to interact with each other.
The online space is a perfect place to foster a sense of community. You can do this through a classic forum on your website – something that might appear to be outdated at first glance; however, they are still going strong and are the preferred option for many people who still like anonymity, so do not discount them; or set up interactive social media pages where people can come together to share your brand, and encourage other people to take a look – after all word of mouth is still one of the most effective free marketing tools available.
You should always remember that there are going to be social issues that you might be asked for opinions on – there is never going to be an answer that will please everyone, and sometimes saying nothing is just as bad as saying anything at all. Use your judgment, and always make sure that your brand stays true to what you stand for because you will lose a lot more respect from your audience and customers if you are changing your stance on topics to be “on trend” – you can come back from standing by something that you believe in.
The internet has overtaken offline marketing and consumer engagement techniques. These 4 ways to engage your audience online should be the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. There a plenty of tools that can help you automate most of these tactics.
Remember regular emails, for one, will keep your current and prospective customers updated on what you have in store. Online competitions can also bring you closer to your audience and make it easier for them to access your products and services. It’s all about creating a sense of community with more personal communications. If you’re looking for even more ways to engage your audience, check out some of the other posts here.