A few weeks back we discussed the ways that blogging can be used specifically to engage and retain customers. It's one of the great things about social media - you can have conversations that you wouldn't be able to have in a store or boardroom.
There's another connection between blogging and customer engagement we'd like to share.
If you look closely, a blog post and a customer engagement effort are structured very similarly. Or at least, the good ones are.
First, they have an appealing opener that captures an initial piece of real estate with a consumer.
For the blogger, this is your headline. For the customer engagement professional, this is the initial purchase.
These open the door but are rarely enough to change behavior on their own.
A good headline will get some clicks, but it won't make people read. And a good product experience won't guarantee a second purchase.
So you need to follow up quickly. Add some value to help prove your worth.
In engagement, this is a welcome email or even a tutorial. In blogging, it's your opening sentence.
It has to keep someone's attention. Something personal, or relatable. Maybe something that takes a controversial position or creates suspense.
If you can earn their attention through this point, the battle is half won. You've opened the door and promised value, now it's time to deliver.
Paragraphs are hard to navigate, so we use subheads to break up the text.
You want to make it easy for people.
Most folks just skim blogs, and they'll will look to subheads to get a gist of what you're saying. Make those interesting enough, and they'll read the rest.
This translates to customer engagement a few different ways. First, invite new customers to connect with you on multiple channels. Or get them to sign up for a loyalty program that'll reward interaction. Either way, you're connecting with them on their terms, in a way that's comfortable to them. It'll pay off eventually, as long as you're speaking their language.
And by this point, you've pulled someone into the meat of your article, featuring what you really want them to know.
You have their attention.
You're adding value.
You're hitting them with good messages and appealing images and it's all helpful and interesting and relevant.
It's going so well!
Then, you gently hit them with the call to action. The one thing you want them to do.
In the blog world, it might be signing up for a product demo or downloading an informative eBook.
In engagement, it can be as simple as asking them to tell a friend, or enter a contest. You're just earning that next touchpoint.
But don't be pushy. Engagement, like a good blog, is about giving 98% of the time. The other 2% is where you can talk about yourself, but be cool about it.
Nobody wants to be sold.
But if we can make you an expert in those fields, and how they help build engagement and loyalty, you might buy from us. But we can't assume that day is today.
Hence, the need for customer engagement. It's the useful-but-casual conversation that carries someone from one purchase to the next, and entices them into a deeper relationship with a brand.
It's an intriguing promise. Then an initial display of value. A lot of meat, but broken up by milestones (or subheads). A call to action when appropriate.
Then you repeat it regularly. The end result is a loyal customer. Or reader.
If you've made it this far, thanks for reading - and please subscribe to receive our posts in your inbox!
Topics: Customer Engagement