Most startups focus on getting maximum clicks to their landing pages, increasing their SEO score, social media + search engine advertising, and getting more subscribers/viewers. Although all these practices are fundamental and beneficial for promoting a website, they are not enough for building and maintaining an audience. You want people coming back and staying on your page for much longer than a few seconds. You will not be able to sell much if you don’t establish a relationship with the customer/viewer.
The take on this is that isn’t enough to get someone to open your website once, because that will never let you obtain a crowd that you can call your own. Maybe you even get them to subscribe with a first good impression, but then what? What do you have to convince them to come again and possibly recommend you to their contacts. Regular publishing of quality content is a great start and is a permanent necessity. Nonetheless, there are a number of tiny tricks that can help connect with the user on a deeper level:
#1 Spice Up Your Tweets
All the big brands use Twitter to make important announcements and even make small talk with their fans. Some go the extra mile and hire someone sassy to put life into the social media account. For instance, Wendy’s (American Food Chain) did a great job here; who ever typed the tweets in the back-end was a genius. You can look up ‘Wendy’s tweets’ and get access to loads of hilarious material. The epic and sometimes sarcastic comebacks gave the food chain a lot of extra publicity; many people started following them for the humor rather than the food.
Although the character limit on Twitter is now 280, maxing out will not help you gain supporters. Tweets are meant to be short; a single powerful sentence is the way to do it. People will not pause to read a story or essay squeezed into the tweeting space; there are other places for that you know. Just write a line that emits sparks, and you can always follow with a link to the bigger story. Also, don’t overdo hashtags because only crazy kids like that (unless they’re your target audience).
#2 Provide Solutions
Most websites carry a blog even if it’s not a mandatory feature with respect to the nature of business. The common purpose is to increase written content and score more SEO points. Whenever someone goes to a search engine, they are either looking for an answer or a solution. There are a gazillion topics that different people want to learn of, so naturally there’s so much to write about. Research as many subjects as possible and provide user-friendly blogs or articles. The more topics you cover, the greater the number of people who will engage with you. A perfect example is ‘Pinterest’ which is probably the biggest source of remedies and DIYs.
Honestly, not every topic shall be suitable for your website, but believe it or not, there’s ample material for everything on the internet. Suppose you run an online grocery store, you can write on a variety of topics that customers can relate to. You can create articles about healthy diets, for weight loss, recipes for seasonal fruits/vegetables, or an exclusive issue on bread variety! If people find your content useful, it is likely that they end up buying something from you as well.
#3 Be Personal, Be Friendly
The tone of the content plays a huge role in establishing connections with readers. The more conversational and amiable you make it, the more people love it. Aside from website content, this is a crucial factor for drafting newsletters or marketing emails. Not long ago, I subscribed to a website that goes by the name of ‘Skillcrush’; it was a random act that didn’t mean anything. I liked one of their tech blogs and just gave in when a pop up appeared for signing up. Shortly, I started receiving a series of emails that I initially ignored.
Then one day I gave it a shot and became a fan. The way the emails were written were like a personal letter addressed to me. Despite having no intention for enrolling in their courses, I looked forward to what they had to say. Emails that feel intimate can have a huge impact on a person because deep down everyone wants a friend or merely some attention. By the way, now I often visit the Skillcrush website to have a look at their latest blogs. All the popular works of fiction have one thing in common – they bring out emotions that resonate personal experiences.
Don’t hold back on telling your audience how special they are to you. Many websites send birthday wishes to their subscribers; it may not seem like a big deal, but sometimes it’s more than enough to get you on their good side.
#4 Allow Participation and Acknowledge Participants
People love to share their opinions and ideas – social media is living proof. Naturally, most bloggers let viewers comment or give feedback for their content. When a person is asked to contribute on a subject, it makes them feel valued. It’s also fun comparing your point of view, as in whether you follow popular beliefs or fall within a minority. Little games and competitions are also a great way to lure in the masses. Being given the opportunity to prove others wrong or mentally inferior, is oddly satisfying.
Being validated or declared a winner is a gift everyone cherishes; sometimes even a material prize cannot compete. No wonder quizzes, polls and user surveys have always remained so popular. You can upload an interesting photo or an open-ended question, and simply ask the public to caption it. It could go viral once a few good replies are posted. Users with share it across different platforms, connecting your page to a whole new network of potential subscribers or customers. Whenever something over the internet is deemed worthwhile, people go bonkers for the original source.
#5 Share the Spotlight
Many websites make the mistake of coming across as ‘self-obsessed’. There are too many keywords and back-links within their content; everything they post is basically an advertisement of their products or services. Nobody adores the know-it-all or have-it-all attitude. You know there’s always someone better than you out there, and you probably have multiple sources for inspiration: your competitors, some celebrities or even people from your audience.
There’s no shame in taking suggestions or using references for cooking up things. All you need to do is give credit to those who deserve it. Being humble and praising others (especially rivals) is very healthy for your reputation. If a customer provides you constructive criticism or an idea that you could use, thank them and remember them if it works out for you. People trust brands who respect their opponents rather than throwing baseless accusations and insults their way.
#6 Update and Respond
Rumors are that tuesdays and wednesdays attract the highest amount of website traffic. Some say that users check in to websites more often during the weekend. I believe these are all frivolous myths, and rush hour varies from website to website. The main thing is to update your website on a regular basis, so that you can maintain the audience you already have. Long gaps can disappoint followers and they might give up on you sooner or later. Indulging in current affairs is another way to stay in the headlines. If your website comes up in trending issues, people will definitely check it out.
Many websites add live chat boxes on their interface; this is an awesome feature as long as it works. Normally companies don’t commit to it and display a permanent message stating that they’re away and will get back to you later. In contrast, many assign a chatbot who can only respond to limited machine-friendly commands. Substitute this with a real person who is actually available to talk, and you’ll observe a marked difference in customer satisfaction by no time. If you have enabled user comments or feedback on your content, prepare yourself for a few conversations. Replying to each and every query might not be practical, but complete silence is bad. Scan the comments and try answering the questions that are smart and challenging, but still relevant to the topic. The right words could grant you the stardom you’ve always dreamt of.
#7 Provide Incentives
Incentives can be offered through a variety of schemes. You can hold annual sales, grant seasonal discounts, distribute coupons or give away freebies. Events like Black Friday are celebrated worldwide, hence embracing these types of cultures will work in your favor. You can provide end of season sales or discounts during major festivals of your region. Buy 1 get 1 free is another famous trap that spellbounds customers like magic. Nobody says no to free stuff and the idea of saving money is totally irresistible.
When the price tag says 50% off or something like that, the customer is compelled to order it despite the lack of obligation. Many people buy things because they were ‘cheaper than usual’, without considering needs. Moreover, if people purchase your products during promotions and are happy with it, chances are they will return under normal circumstances as well. If you’re new to the market, keep a close eye on your competitors’ merchandise. You can start by selling the same items for less money to grab the limelight.