I just came across this brilliant video on Twitter about the ‘7 principles that make your website more engaging’.
Not only is the video itself a fantastic example of how to engage an audience – (I watched it in its entirety three times despite just stumbling across it when I was in the middle of something else) – it is full of tips that can be applied to business communications in general.
The video explains why it’s important to do more than just make it easy for your potential clients and customers to find you and understand what you do – you need to engage them so that they DO something about it… And then make sure that they KEEP DOING something about it.
Here’s how the 7 tips from the video can be applied to all kinds of business communications.
1. Don’t offer too much choice
No matter what method you use to communicate with your audiences, you need to make it as easy and quick for them as possible to understand what you are selling them – otherwise they will lose interest and move on. Obviously, you need to tailor your offering to different clients and customers, but too much choice is overwhelming. Keep it simple and be confident in your expertise.
2. Get third party endorsement
It has always been important to get third party endorsement for what you do but social media has made this even more important. What other people say about you – particularly online – is much more valuable than what you say about yourself. Whether it’s a LinkedIn recommendation, a customer review, a student/client testimonial or a blog from a graduate trainee about working at your firm, giving your audiences a real person’s perspective will give them the confidence to take action rather than just show interest. Remember, people are most likely to act on the recommendation or their peers than ‘experts’ so case studies and testimonials from previous clients and customers are key.
3. Make your products and services feel ‘exclusive’
If you want your prospective clients and customers to take action, you need to present an element of urgency. CALL ENGAGE COMMS WITHIN 10 SECONDS OF FINISHING THIS BLOG OR YOUR COMPUTER WILL SELF DESTRUCT… Kidding! Seriously though, putting some sort of time/availability limit on what you are offering can occasionally be used to provoke a reaction.
4. Introduce the ‘fear factor’
The video refers to research that shows that food, sex and danger is what gets people’s attention. In most cases for our clients, this isn’t possible or appropriate! However, it is possible – and important – to introduce some sort of ‘fear’ about the implications of not using your expertise. This urgency is what pulls audiences in and provides the business case for what you are offering – rather than it just being a ‘nice to have’.
5. Show your face
The fifth principle of making your website more engaging is the power of faces. People buy people. If you don’t have a picture on your LinkedIn profile or the ‘team’ page of your website is just words, you will struggle to gain the human connection that results in trust, loyalty and ultimately, repeat business.
6. Tell a story
We are strong advocates for the power of storytelling in business and the video cites research that shows that the brain processes information best in story form. That’s why engaging case studies are so important. We work with a construction firm who are increasingly finding that the quality of their case studies is critical to winning tenders. Most of their competitors will be able to deliver the technicalities of the project at a similar cost (otherwise they wouldn’t meet the basic criteria for the tender process) but what makes them stand out is the ability to tell the story about where and how they have added value to previous projects.
7. Secure commitment
All good relationships are based on trust and commitment. But your clients and customers won’t know that you want a serious relationship unless you ask for their commitment. You can’t ‘propose’ overnight but if you take small steps towards asking for their commitment (first signing up to a newsletter then attending an event and so on) you can eventually ‘get engaged’!
Are you visible enough to new sources of potential clients and customers? If so, do you find it hard to convert your pipeline of contacts into business? We can offer you some low cost, innovative ways of making what you have to offer more engaging – and securing the commitment of those you want a long term relationship with. Engage with us now.