Red Dot Digital
Your Customers Want Engagement: Are You Worthy of a Click?
The push in website optimization for more than a decade has been to generate more traffic. It is a concept based on this idea: more visitors means additional selling opportunities.
On the surface, looking at the data you collect, this might be true. If more people visit your profile, then that activity could create more opportunities to generate a conversion.
Except online sales work in a different way. Visitors come to your website or social media platform to determine if you’re worthy of their business. If your focus is solely on the numbers you generate, then your brand can be lulled into a false sense of security.
The only way to boost engagement is to be authentic. You must offer this above all else.
How Do You Offer Authenticity in a World of Fake News?
Instagram purges fake accounts regularly. Facebook disabled over 1.3 billion fake accounts in May 2018. That summer, Twitter purged 70 million profiles that were deemed to be inauthentic.
It’s a concept some clients find difficult to comprehend. Why would a user-based platform kick out users, right?
But the push for online realness and truthfulness is continuing to build. If your brand wants engagement, it must begin with an authentic online presence.
According to Cohn and Wolfe, 62% of Americans say they would purchase something from a brand that they see as being authentic. You might have a values-driven reputation or a history of success, but that may not be enough for today’s consumer.
The information released by Business Insider also shows that cynicism rules the average customer transaction.
Only one in five customers say that brands are staying true to their purpose. Even fewer believe that companies are honest with them. The numbers have declined steadily since 2016 in this area. That means your commitment to authenticity must start today.
How Does a Brand Get Authentic?
The top-rated companies for authenticity in 2017 were Amazon, PayPal and Burt’s Bees. These scores were heavily influenced by the innovative methods each company uses to make their customers’ lives easier in some way.
Many brands look at engagement with an attitude of, “what can the customer do for me?” instead of “what can I do for my customer?” But if you want to be deemed worthy of a click, you must prove that your brand can solve customers’ pain points.
There are no shortcuts to this process. You can try to game the system to make yourself look bigger than you are, but it won’t create an uptick in conversions. People care about the words you use, the content you share, the problems you fix and how fast you fix them.
It’s distressing when I see how some brands and retailers neglect customer service, delegating it to unskilled and poorly trained people. Remember, a customer’s authentic human connection with an empathetic customer service agent can directly impact your bottom line!
What Does Being Authentic Mean for the Future of Sales?
Influencer marketing is here to stay. Customers want to see what your product or service does before they make a purchase. The structure of influencer marketing makes that possible.
What is going away is the general acceptance that clickbait, fake reviews, paid followers, and all those contract services that make you look bigger and better than you are for the first-time visitor is proper marketing.
If the companies that invest in these approaches spent as much time and money on promoting their core values as they did pretending to have a following, they’d already be worthy of more clicks. Don’t follow their example.
Be yourself. Talk to your customers. Have a conversation. Find out what they need, then give them what they want.
Does that take time? Of course. Authentic engagement requires a dedicated time investment. With the cynicism in today’s marketplace, real engagement is priceless.
Look back at your heritage to help you identify your foundation for authenticity, and look forward to discover new ways to be innovative. This is the only way to establish relationships with your present and future customers today.