5 Ways Your Small Business Can Improve Customer Engagement

By Thomas Griffin,
business.com writer
|
Jul 15, 2020
Image Credit: scyther5 / Getty Images

Success on social media, email, and your website influences how users interact with your brand.

Are you a small business owner who wants to improve customer engagement on their website? If so, you're in the right place. There are plenty of factors you should consider when attempting to increase traffic and sales through engagement. 

Before we begin, let's define customer engagement. As a general rule, customer engagement is when someone interacts with your brand across email, social media, and, yes, your website. Any action involving user writing to your brand, commenting on your posts, clicking a link or communicating with your chatbots counts as engagement. 

The result of a successful engagement experience could vary depending on your marketing goals. For some people, getting people to subscribe to their email list is their No. 1 goal. On the other hand, some business owners consider a sale the sign of a truly effective engagement experience. 

In this article, we are going to take a deep dive into consumer engagement across all platforms. Our goal is to help business owners, like you, take advantage of all of the resources you have at your disposal. 

Add feedback forms to find areas of opportunity

Let's start by exploring feedback forms and how they can lead to your small business's exponential growth. Feedback forms come in various shapes and sizes, and they all offer unique benefits for your business and consumers. 

You could start by creating a simple form on your website that asks users to rate your brand. Ask them if there's anything you can do to improve their experience, and you can almost guarantee that you'll get results. 

If most customers really love your website but had trouble navigating your checkout page, you know this is an area you can improve. Once you make the changes, post an announcement so the people who participated know their voices were heard. If you show the people invested in your brand that you're willing to listen and make adjustments, you'll see far more engagement on future feedback forms. 

You can also use the feedback to showcase reviews for your brand. Research shows that 72% of consumers refuse to take action on a website until they read a review. When you show the reviews on your social media or on-site, you're building engagement with existing followers while giving new consumers a reason to consider buying your product or service. 

Write content that resonates with consumers

If you're like many small business owners, you know the value of adding a blog to your website. Users are more likely to stick around if you have plenty of valuable content to read when they are not making a purchase. In fact, after you write 51 blog posts, you can expect to see a 77% increase in your overall traffic

Not bad. 

However, writing content for your blog is just the first step. If you want to see results, work on writing content that resonates with your target audience. At this point, you should have conducted extensive research on the customers you hope to reach. Specifically, it's essential to know what goals and values of your audience and their pain points. 

Use this data to come up with some brilliant content ideas for your blog. Write about tips and tricks, guides, or even industry overviews to increase engagement. Consumers are on your site because they are interested in a specific topic or strategy. Cover all of your bases and make sure people can find exactly what they are looking for when they land on your website. 

Include chatbots on your website

We have all visited a business website and felt disbelief when we realized that there's no way to contact customer support. When people visit your page and have questions, they expect a way to get answers. Similarly, people who land on your website and have questions need a guide to see more engagement. 

Chatbots bridge the success gaps presented in these scenarios, and help you reach more potential customers. You don't need to do anything fancy with your chatbot, either. Try something simple like triggering a popup that asks a customer if they have any questions. 

Since you initiated the conversation, the consumer is more likely to engage with your brand. You can program your chatbot to deliver content and product results based on the user input. If they have a more complicated issue, you can use your bot to send them to your live support team to get more assistance. 

Chatbots improve engagement and create a better UX, but they also free up time for your support team to help customers with complex questions or concerns. 

Interact on social media 

Social media is an excellent opportunity to encourage more customer engagement. You might be shocked to find that the average user spends a staggering 2 hours and 29 minutes on social media every day

If you hope to reach these people, you have to use your social media profiles to engage more. There are plenty of exciting ways to keep people invested in your brand mission and values. 

We suggest using all of the great content you've produced as a jumping-off point for engagement. Share your article and pose a question to your audience. If you've done an excellent job delving into your audience's customer personas, you should have an easy time generating more social media and on-site engagement. 

It's also possible to generate engagement by posting polls and surveys, hosting live video events and responding to your audience's comments. Users want to engage with businesses that engage back, and social media is the perfect tool to increase brand interactions on a large scale. 

Use email personalization

The last topic we are going to discuss today is email personalization. Countless brands use email to reach their audience, and it's easy to see why. Emails allow for personal interactions between brands and users, which leads to more overall engagement across all platforms. 

You can add a touch of personalization to your emails in several ways. One of the most common tactics is to use lead segmenting to divide your content and offers by user interest. For instance, an online sporting goods store owner would create segments for customers interested in each sport.

The logic behind this strategy makes sense. Why would someone invested in football care about the latest deals on baseball equipment? If you're sending content that lacks personalization, users may see your content as a cookie-cutter message that all users receive. There's nothing that will stop people from engaging with your brand more quickly than the idea that their interactions don't impact the content that lands in their inbox. 

You can also celebrate birthdays, use names in your subject lines and reference past purchases for even more personal content. Adding this one element to your email marketing strategy may help boost your open rate by 26%. If more people are opening your emails, there's a good chance that your engagement will see an increase too. 

Put it all together

There you have it, five ways you can boost engagement as a small business owner. The last thing left to do is to put all of these strategies together in a way that works for your brand. We understand that every company is a little different, so tactics can vary across industries. 

However, we believe that all of these elements are essential to building a top-notch customer experience and improving engagement. 

I'm president and CTO of OptinMonster, a powerful lead generation tool that's installed in over 700,000 websites.
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