Let’s Get Engaged!

Getting Engaged With Your Target Audience Online

Part 1 of 2

As a business owner I am looking for a long-standing bond, “customers for life” as legendary car dealer Carl Sewell put it in his classic book entitled just that.  I need to know who my target audience is, understand their needs and address those needs with proven solutions and systems to support our course of action. I feel a great desire to earn their loyalty and respect when I come to work each day. However, before any of the above can happen we have to get engaged. It would appear to be counterintuitive to get engaged before the relationship even begins, but that is the way it works… at least online it does.

Let’s assume you are seeking to grow your customer base beyond DRP referrals. You want to find people to have a business relationship with, organically, by drawing their attention to you and your brand online. While advertising conventionally is still an option, today’s top choice for marketing and building brand is best done online.

If a person does a search for the services you provide, or for your company by name, and your business comes up, you hope they will click on that search result. If they do click on it, their eyes will see the visual of your website, transmit that information from the retina of the eye to the visual processing chain in their brain and then return back to the eyes for further processing. This all takes place in about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds). Studies at MIT would suggest it happens even quicker, like 13 milliseconds. That’s how much time you have to make a positive first impression with your website. No pressure!

Key Engagement Factors On A Website

In that short period of time your website visitor will have what they need to make an important decision. Do they stay on your website and look into it further? Or do they hit the back button? What drives that decision? It is imperative that your website is striking, has a wow factor and engages them with your business. Here are some of the determining factors for keeping them on your website:

  • Site layout
  • Color scheme
  • Spacing
  • Symmetry
  • Quantity of written content
  • Font(s)
  • Load time

Engaging your website visitors with great images, video and quality content will keep visitors on your site longer and that’s important. We want them to stay on the site long enough to do something we want them to do, right? Pick up the phone and call us. Click for directions. Fill out a request an estimate form, etc. That requires them to stay on the site long enough to find those options and then follow through.  That’s getting engaged.

To gain further engagement with your target audience you need to build trust, emphasize with their situation and provide direction on the next steps to be taken. For an auto body shop your content could be something like the following:

“You’ve been in an accident. That’s stressful enough but then you have to navigate the turbulent air of filing a claim with your insurance company, finding a body shop, getting a rental car to keep you on the road. Relax… we’ve got this. It’s what we do, and we do it well. Leave the details to us. Come on in for an estimate, we’ll greet you with a smile, comfortable seating, coffee, snacks and soft drinks. We even have a fun play area for the kids. You can also use our convenient “Request An Estimate” tool here on our website. We’ll handle the claim, get you in a rental car, restore your car to its pre-accident condition and get you seamlessly and safely back on the road again. While we’re sorry you’ve been in an accident, we look forward to meeting you and taking care of everything for you!”

A word of caution to the reader, don’t copy and paste the above into your website. Google will view it as duplicate content and penalize your ranking potential. This was meant to give you an idea of what you could post. Re-write it in your own words if interested.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog that will cover getting engaged on social media, measuring your success and moving from engagement to a long-term relationship. You won’t want to miss it!