Influencing your audience to engage with you through your website doesn't have to be rocket science. These tips will help you with that.
If a website looks boring, there’s a good chance that the kind of service and quality that the business is offering is boring as well - at least that’s how your audience thinks of it.
Afterall, there is a reason why first impressions last, right?
And if you’re like me, you do not want the words, “unimaginative”, “dull”, or maybe even “low quality” associated to your business, simply because of how your website appears.
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If you’ve given your website a closer look, and you feel that it reeks of being boring, then allow me to share with you some tips that will help turn things around. These tips will help improve the chances of your audience interacting with you.
Allowing your users to generate content is a potent tool to induce audience engagement, simply because by doing so, you are telling them that you want them to be heard, and that they matter.
It is safe to say that everybody wants his/her voice to be heard. Each of us has that urge to be recognized one way or the other, and that’s exactly what you’re doing by allowing your users to generate content on your website. The idea becomes especially irresistible if your website has a decent amount of monthly visitors.
If you aren’t quite familiar with what user-generated contents are, a good example would be forums, or allowing your users to add posts on your website.
If your website doesn’t have that much visitors, though, you could always rouse the people up to help you build a community. You need to make it sound like they are together with you on this and that there is value for them if they help you build this community. You need to turn your few web visitors into advocates of your cause by painting a clear picture of how they could benefit from building the community with you.
Conversational Tone of Writing
If there is someone blabbering in front of you talking about how amazing they are, how accomplished they are at what they do or how the entire world revolves around them, do you think you’ll feel enticed to converse or connect with the person?
I’m guessing you answered that with a big fat “NO”.
I don’t blame you. I feel the same way too.
That’s why you need to be very careful with the tone of your writing when publishing a page on your website. You need to give your copy a conversational (yet professional) tone so your audience will want to engage you in a conversation or in any kind of interaction.
You need to focus on the things that will interest your audience, and not focus on how amazing you (or your services are). Of course, you also need to talk about your services or what you can offer them at some point. But when you do, make sure that you position your pitch in such a way that you are offering your services because you want to help them with their problems, or you want to make their lives easier. In short, it should still be about them.
With a conversational tone of writing, you drastically increase the chances of your audience “conversing” or engaging with you, depending on how you want them to engage with you. Which leads me to the next tip...
Add an Obvious Call-to-Action
Even if you have a conversational and emotion invoking copy, there’s still a good chance that your audience won’t connect with you simply because you have not told them to do so. For them, you could just be trying to entertain them, or you could just be sharing awesome ideas.
While that in itself will put you ahead of others, remember that you aren’t just gunning to educate or to entertain them, you are trying to elicit engagement.
Whether the kind of engagement that you want is for them to contact you, comment on your posts, or to reach out to you if they have any questions, you need to make it clear to your audience just what it is that you’re expecting them to do.
Using a clear CTA (call-to-action) and adding them on strategic places can help you with just that. When adding CTAs try to keep these points in mind:
1. Use One Type of CTA on Your Posts as Much as Possible.
If you want them to buy from you, then don’t ask them to share, comment, or reach out to you. At least not until they’re done with the checkout process.
2. Sprinkle Your CTAs on All Over Your Website.
Others tend to wonder where the best place is to add a CTA, is it above the fold? At the bottom of the page? Or should it be a pop-up? Instead of trying to figure out where that one best place is, why not add your CTAs on different places? Experienced conversion rate optimizers are doing it, so why not you, right?
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Contests are fun, exciting, and of all things entertaining. All of which are the exact opposite of what it means to be boring.
That’s why contests are such powerful tools to engaging your audience.
Before you start using contests though, there are a couple of things that I’d like to share with you to increase the chances of your contests becoming successful. After all, just because you’re using contests doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to successfully engage your audience. The manner of how you’re running your contests (like your mechanics) is the deciding factor of whether or not you’ll yield fruitful results or you’ll end up empty handed.
If you’ll use the tips that I’ll share with you below, you’ll drastically increase the chances of getting better results from your contests.
1. Have an Epic Prize for Your Contest
What compels others to join a contest is the prize. If your prize isn’t worth anything to them, then there’s a very slim chance that they’ll join. That being said, you need to make sure that the prize you’re offering them is an epic one.
Now when I say “epic”, I’m not necessarily talking about giving millions of dollars worth of items. You just need to make sure that what you are offering is something of value to them, or something that they’ll find very useful.
If you’re oblivious about the kind of prize you’ll offer on your contest, you can simply ask your audience (or run a survey), so you’ll have a good insight of what your audience likes.
2. Don’t Make Your Contests Complicated
Your mechanics should be simple and easy to implement. Remember that there;s a good chance that your audience are busy and might not have the time to join something tedious, even if they find your prize worth having.
3. Ask Your Audience to Share Your Contest’s Mechanics to Their Social Networks
You’ll have a better chance of letting your content go viral. Of course, the more people will know about your contest, the higher the chances that you’ll get more participants.
4. Take the Time to Market Your Contests
Most marketers or business owners tend to post their contests’ mechanics on their social media profiles and hope others will see it and join. That’s the kind of effort (if you can call it one) that’ll lead your business to ruins.
If you want your contests to get the traction that it needs, you need to give it your due diligence and market the heck out of it. In addition to posting it on your social profiles, you can send it to your email list, reach out to niche related webmasters and tell them about it, or you can even use paid ads.
If you’ll go to Safecar’s homepage and read their contest’s mechanics (you can find it above the fold, on the right sidebar), you’ll notice how their contest pretty much have some of the elements that we discussed above.
Their prize is definitely worth having (a $1500 scholarship), and the requirements they are asking for others to be able to join their contest is also a no brainer (submit a 30 second to a 5 minute video). And if you’ll click the “See More Information” link, you’ll be able to see the nitty gritty of their mechanics making everything as clear and transparent as possible for the web visitors.
Ask Your Audience to Participate in Polls and Surveys
Have you ever seen one of those surveys or tests in your Facebook feeds asking, “Which The Walking Dead Character Are You?” I’m guessing that you answered that with a “yes”. More importantly, you probably even clicked it and took the test. Come on… don’t deny it. :)
I don’t blame you. Even I fell for one of those tests occasionally.
If in case you haven't noticed it yet, you have been engaging with the website owners when you clicked the link and took the tests. That’s how subtle this strategy is.
What’s makes this strategy even more amazing is that the insights you can gain from your audience’s participation can help you propel your business to greater heights.
Word of caution - not many marketers can pull off this strategy smoothly. And one of the most common mistakes that they make is that they straight-up ask their audience the questions to the data that they want to obtain. In short, there is no fun element to it.
In addition to this, the marketers and business owners are sharing their contests to the wrong audience.
Are there tips, ideas, or questions that you’d like to ask? If you answered that with a “yes”, then please do so in the comments section below.