Are You Doing Enough To Make Your Website Interactive?
When it comes to their website, most businesses are stuck in the past. They see their websites as boring, static repositories to list their products and services and host their “about” page. But companies that do this are missing a trick. Web sites are moving far beyond just being a static place to get information: they’re becoming interactive hubs where customers can get a better experience of the company.
Take the comments sections on websites, for example. We first saw these appear on social and video websites where people could talk about content with each other. But there’s no reason why business themselves can’t do this for their own content on their sites. Some businesses already have their own blogs with embedded comments options, and many also run forums, especially if they are a technical or knowledge-based business.
You can also take comments interactivity further by including social media plugins on your website, next to your content, allowing visitors to share it on social networks, take part in straw polls and provide links to some of the most active members of your community. Expect, website as a service, or WaaS, to expand considerably over the next few years, as more and more features are added to websites.
There’s been a lot of discussion in business circles of late about so-called “marketing 2.0.” The idea here is to leverage customers themselves to do the outreach for your firm, rather than investing in your own marketing efforts, because other customers are more likely to respond favorably to their peers.
Enabling user generated content is easy, thanks to the rise of discussion boards and social networks. Doing this allows customers to speak their mind, share valuable information relevant to other customers, and to create a community around your brand.
Live Customer Support
In the past, you went to a firm’s website to find out their number in order to ring them up and get the support you needed. But now more and more of this functionality is being embedded in websites themselves. For instance, it’s already possible to click of a button labelled “call” and for your own Skype app to fire up and automatically call the company. Businesses are also investing in “live chat” features, essentially as Whatsapp equivalent that sits in the corner of your website, enabling visitors to send you messages instantly. Live chat, FAQ sections and contact forms give customers a range of options to improve access to your business.
Keep The Content Coming
Part of the secret sauce of any successful business website is to keep the content coming. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the websites run by nutrition entrepreneurs. These guys are constantly on top of what the nutrition science is churning out, and they’re very good at finding the most interesting and controversial articles.
You can keep your website updated regularly with new videos, ebooks, infographics, podcasts, courses and guest posts. Once you’ve got regular content, you’ve got a reason for people to keep returning to your site.