Are you engaging on your website?

If you are doing more than Social Media “stuff” to promote your company, products, and services, you may feel like all of this talk about engagement only relates to the Social Media part of what you’re doing. This can be a dangerous way of thinking, however. Just like you want to engage with customers and prospects the same way on Twitter as you do on Facebook (generally), you want to engage with your customers as you meet them in trade publications, on Social Media sites, and on your own website. Today’s post, and the next 3 posts for the Engagement Series, will talk about how to make other marketing tactics more engaging for your customers and prospects. Today, we’ll talk about your website.

The Billboard versus the Conversation

If you have a full-fledged company website, the following scenario is really easy to fall into.

You engage more and more with people on Twitter (or Facebook, or your blog). You build great relationships, you follow all of the rules, and everything is going smashingly well. You decide that you are ready to start selling a product (with a special promotion geared towards your Social Media audience). You tweet out a link that leads to a landing page on your website. What do people find when they click on that page?

Sell Sell Sell Sell Buy Me Buy Me Buy Me Buy Me!!

That can be a big problem for a few reasons.

• It looks like your Social Media hand isn’t talking to your other marketing hands (this can make you look generally disorganize)

• It indicates that you don’t *truly* understand how your customers want to hear from you. You spent a lot of time building trust online only to lead them exactly where they don’t want to go when they click to your website.

• It can hurt your Social Media authenticity. People may be more cautious about clicking your links in the future because they don’t want to be bombarded with flashing dollar bills.

How can you bring people to your website and guide them to buy?

You might think at this point that I’m painting you into a corner, right? You can’t do the hard sell in Social Media circles very often, and now I’m saying that when you bring people to your website, you still don’t want to push the hard sell.

You do want to sell, so what gives?

The key is to remember that if you are targeting your customers, the people you are treating so gently on Twitter are the very same people you want to drive to your website. When you keep that in your head, it will become easier to see how you can make your website easier for people to swallow in this new age of marketing.

A few tips

Take a look at this landing page my friend Tommy Walker has on his website. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Got it? Now, there are a few things you can pick up from this example.

-> Tommy acknowledges that you are coming from Twitter right away (good for tracking leads on your end, too)

-> There is not hard sell language right off the bat. Rather, Tommy slowly moves from how he might talk to you on Twitter to how he wants to talk to you on his site

-> Tommy explains what his site is about pretty early on so that if you’re not interested (i.e. not a potential customer) you don’t feel misled or disinterested when you get to the “sell” part

-> Tommy gives you lots of options in terms of clicking around to different parts of his website. Anything you’d want to know before buying is right there.

How can you apply this to your business?

Tommy is an online strategist, so his goal is to sell you his service (consultation) and his products (his e-books). What if you are, say, a manufacturer? Can these ideas still work?

Absolutely.

In order to avoid feeling overwhelmed, begin with the landing page concept, whether it’s a landing page for your Social Media campaign or a landing page for an ad campaign. Experiment with how to bring the conversation from one marketing channel to your website. For example, if your ad campaign is really focusing on how your product can solve a problem, use similar language at the top of your landing page.

As you experiment with these landing pages, the new approach can start spreading across all of your web pages. Does your homepage have a lot of starbursts with “buy now” in them? Maybe your landing pages will give you ideas on how to invite people in while still enticing them to dig deeper into your site. Maybe you’ll learn which landing pages are the most “sticky” and that will guide you on how you can transform your website into a more engaging place that also sells.

What advice do YOU have about bringing more engagement to your website? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

This is post #56 in the Engagement Series. Thank you very much for visiting my site and reading this post!

Image Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/DGBurns

3 comments
Kyle Thill
Kyle Thill

While we are currently in the throes of completely redoing our website [it will have a bit more web 2.0 in it], we are currently beta testing a click to chat function. Currently I'm the only soul camping out on several of our primary pages.

I long wanted to try this, curious to see what demand for it there might be. If it shows even the slightest bit of functionality we'll run with it and add our sales staff to the contact roster. Seeing your post again this morning, it struck me that "hey we engage!"

Have a great weekend Margie.

Mark
Mark

Curious about how you will collect and "curate" your own engagement series. I'm doing the same thing re: the "21st digital hero" (revisiting the "hero's journey" as a way to imagine life in the post-info age).

I was wondering if we could collaborate re: our respective projects.

There is a great deal of validity in the idea "invitation"--I experience this with my classroom. Find a currency that is not data (grades/money), and make them feel like your business (or classroom) is the place to be. No fireworks and oppressive imagery needed:).

Thanks, M

Margie Clayman
Margie Clayman

Well, writing a series of posts is kind of curating as you go. If you click on "the engagement series," all of the posts are there already :)

That's as far as I've gotten so far. Looking forward to hearing what you come up with!