Engaging Your Clients – Today’s Best Method

By now you should know that engaging your visitors and getting them to come back to your site is more critical today than ever. The fact is that the competition keeps getting better and the distractions for your website visitors keep spiraling out of control. You have to get more creative about how you can engage them.

But what does engaging really mean?

We throw around buzz words a lot, but stepping back and really thinking about what they mean is important. When it comes to creating engaging content – what does that mean? And what are the benefits of it?

Selling is increasingly difficult to savvy buyers who don’t want to be sold to. Face it, we all like to go shopping but not of us likes to be “sold” to. Oddly contradictory, right? Or is it? The fact is that we enjoy the purchasing experience when it is OUR idea (or, at least, we think it is our idea) but we don’t want to feel that someone is “pitching” us or that we’re being tricked into something. Unfortunately the used car salesman has a pretty bad reputation for this and has kind of corrupted society’s impression of sales.

The smart salesman, however, knows that engagement is the key. Many different marketing tests have shown that it takes multiple exposures to create a sale. This is something that has been practiced by skilled salesmen for thousands of years, since the caveman stalked with first cavewoman! LOL  He may not have been that impressive, but he knew if he kept showing up his chances were better than most.

Here are really four principal methods of engaging your visitors:

With written content

With imagery (info graphics, clever or humorous images)

With audio content

With video content.

I’ve listed those in the order of general effectiveness. In general, videos will have a more profound impact than written content, for example. But what is the best possible type of content for engagement? Yes, it’s a trick question.

The fact is every niche and every person will respond differently. Some people love videos because they give a deeper understanding and presentation of the product or service they’re considering. Others, however, hate videos because they are “serial” by nature and “slow” to consume. You’re forced to watch them from A to Z and it can be difficult to skim them for the meat of the content you’re looking for. You’re also forced to consume them in the way the creator intended, not the way YOU want to. So if you’d rather have the 5 minute overview version, but the author gave you a 45 minute in-depth analysis, well, that’s what you’re stuck with.

The same is true for the other formats. Audio, for example, can be very beneficial for some that have long daily commutes on the train or driving to work. They may really enjoy grabbing some audio content and throwing it on their preferred mobile device and listening to it when they can. Others, however, may just prefer written content so that they can print it out and skim over it at their leisure. The fact of the matter is that everyone has their own preference.

So what’s the best choice for marketing medium?

The best choice, therefore, should be apparent by now – why not do it all? Now you don’t have to do it all, all of the time, but providing different formats and flavors of your content for different user preferences is the smart move. Fortunately today these four simple types of content outlined above can be sub-divided into many other variants that users have certain preferences for.

What I want to propose, however, is that there are two more types of engagement that truly trump all four of the above. They are really just further extensions of the four principal engagement methods, but they are extremely powerful and most marketers in today’s digital marketing era forget them. They both include the same critical element – LIVE interaction.

So what are they?

Group LIVE interactions

One-on-one LIVE interactions

Both of these approaches can be further enhanced with audio and video as well. So, for example, while a chat on Skype is technically a LIVE interaction – and trust me, they can be very effective with your clients – a Skype call or phone call is much more powerful. Likewise, a Skype video call or a live video chat interaction is the most powerful of all.

So yeah, I know, a “glorified phone call” Troy – geez, that’s so 80’s – right?

LOL. Yeah, it is. But here’s the thing, many marketers today simply don’t do it. They have gone all digital and have been caught up in the digital circus and forgotten to “ride the horse that brought them” to marketing in the first place – the phone and one-on-one contact.

Now, before you “tune out” and stop reading, this post is not about getting on the phone with your visitors or clients. As you should know by now, our motto is “work smarter not harder” and we truly live by that creed as much as is humanly possible.