With more platforms than ever, there are also more ways to engage with your customers. That’s not to say that one message copied and pasted to each medium will get the job done. In fact, to make an impact and get the right kind of attention, the types of content you use will need to be tailored to the environment.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and successful ways to reach out and hear back from your customers.
One of the types of content that regularly gets neglected is a website’s FAQ section. It’s often seen as an afterthought or just a functional piece of content. But it can be a whole lot more.
You can start the engagement right away from your homepage. Even the savviest customer will have a question or two about what your project is or how it works.
Preempt those questions by writing down some of the most obvious questions and clear answers to them. This is your first opportunity to demystify the process and allay any doubts a brand new consumer might have. If you’re already anticipating their needs, customers will feel supported and understood. It makes them feel more confident about investing their time and, eventually, their money.
Remember, this isn’t a static process. Have a contact form or other method of communication right there on the page for customers to ask questions of their own. Make sure they feel heard.
2) Blog Series
This is where you get to lay out the explanations and the potential, in detail. You can also generate return visits by posting your blogs as a series. If they found Part 3 helpful, customers may well make a point of coming back for Part 4 or clicking through to any previously linked articles that they haven’t already see.
It’s the perfect outlet to be both an educator and establish authority in your niche. The scope can be as broad or narrow as you choose, but if you know a lot about the industry you’re in, sharing that with potential clients makes you look like an expert, the ones to watch.
No, not the American Music Awards, but rather: Ask. Me. Anything.
Since this is the internet, anything means exactly that. You might get bright and insightful questions on your new product launch, but you also might get a few random questions hurled in for good measure.
Most famously found on Reddit, the format of crowdsourced questions being unleashed on the person answering — in this case, your company founder or communications team — is all about openness and transparency. It’s also a great example of ‘there are no stupid questions’. Other platforms perfect for hosting this include Telegram, Tumblr and Facebook Live, depending on your audience. Adding video and answering on-screen instead of just typing, takes your AMA to a whole new level (whilst also giving you ready-made video content that you can repackage and reuse in different formats at a later date).
Find out what people are focusing on, what they do and don’t understand, and tailor your message accordingly going forward. AMAs are particularly useful around launches of new products and services or major milestones.
4) Streaming Video
Video is one of the most engaging types of content you can produce. Aside from AMAs, you can use live video to broadcast from events — big moments like launches, or general insights into your team and what you’re doing. All of these foster a sense of community, of letting your customers get personally involved in what’s going on.
At a major industry event? Yes, blog about it and tweet about it, but why not stream a minute of video showing the scale of the event or the coolest exhibitor stand you come across? Put a human face on all of the interesting stuff you and the company are getting up to. Facebook or Instagram Live make this very easy to share.
5) Embedded Video Content
These don’t have to be live, and in fact, can be scripted or professionally filmed. Video as homepage content is a gamechanger, with embedded video increasing conversions by as much as 80%.
With 90% of customers saying that videos help them make final purchasing decisions, it’s not something you can afford to miss out on.
Explainer videos, tutorials, webinars: these are all types of content you can plan and prepare for in advance. And they encourage engagement. Make sure you factor them into your content marketing strategy.
6) Surveys And Polls
Surveys are yet another opportunity for your customer base, existing and potential, to feel heard. They’re also a great source for backlinks, as polls and surveys can be disseminated far and wide, with each instance linking back to your site and improving its presence. Better still, these types of content are easy to set up and invite engagement.
Also, you might just learn something about customer preferences along the way.
This is where the content gets meta. Nobody has time to read long paragraphs. Certainly not on the go.
Break it up. Get to the point. Add some bullet points or headers. Group similar things together, and then throw in a ‘one of these things is not like the other’ twist, if you want to be sure everyone’s still paying attention.
As far as types of content go, listicles are the most consumable.
8) Case Studies
The proof is often in the pudding, so what better way to show that a service or method works than breaking down how it’s been successful elsewhere before?
It’s a chance to show off real-world applications of a product, or to demonstrate exactly which kind of customers would most benefit. Showing that what you’re doing solves a problem or fills a gap, and how it does, makes a compelling case to potential customers.
Saviours of long commutes. Brain engagement at the gym. Or just something interesting to keep you occupied when you don’t have the opportunity to read. Podcasts are huge, and they have the potential audiences to match.
Reach out to established podcasts covering your industry or area of interest and arrange some guest spots. If you have the time and the tech, start your own podcast. Invite on guests who demonstrate the level you’re playing at. Share expertise, news, and again foster that sense of community around your company or products.
People are ready and willing to listen.
Clear, colourful, easy to follow. A way to stand out on visual platforms like Pinterest, where they’re easily shared and pinned for people to refer back to. Also, a great way of repurposing previous content you may have written, filmed or audio recorded.
Engaging with Different Types of Content
Whether it’s to retain existing customers or attract new ones, there’s a platform and a level of engagement out there that will work for them.
If all these options seem like a lot to handle, particularly curating and tailoring the right kind of content, get in touch and find out how Social Ink can help you manage multiple platforms in the most effective way.
If you’re interested in finding out how Social INK can help your business, don’t hesitate to reach out here.