How to start a conversation on your website (3 critical steps)

Kevin Mullins

It’s amazing how the internet has completely changed our browsing habits.

On Amazon.com, I press a button in my kitchen and their shipping faeries drop my order on my doorstep as soon as the next day. (Same-day in some locations!) And if I have questions? No problem. I just open a chat window on the website or app and talk with someone from the company right there.

Yes, it’s great to be a modern online shopper.

Things like bots, live chat, self-help FAQs, and instant call backs used to be nice-to-haves. Now, they’re essential to online success.

Brands that embrace these new communication methods are winning. Brands that won’t, will disappear.

This makes sense. There’s tremendous power in being able to communicate with another human being. Digital tools just simplify the process.

The only problem? So many businesses are doing it poorly or not at all.

Using The Buyer’s Journey To Connect (3 Steps)

3-stage buyers journey
Image Source

Here’s the thing…

Modern customers want to go deeper with you. Your website is a communication and information hub. Where they learn about your brand, discover your services, interact with your team, and take their next steps with you.

Perhaps you’re wondering: “Can’t we just add a chat feature to our website and call it a day?” Sadly, no. It doesn’t work that way.

What works, however, is making yourself and your expertise available at every stage of the customer’s decision-making path.

We call this the Buyer’s Journey and it’s a communication strategy that connects customers with your brand in a genuine, natural way.

1. Inform In The Awareness Stage

Customers in the awareness stage are symptomatic. Their problem doesn’t yet have a name, they just know they have one. They can feel it. Prospects are driven primarily by emotion in the awareness stage — looking for something to either enhance the good or ease the bad ones.

How do you win in the Awareness Stage?

You win by providing valuable, knowledgeable content with minimal interaction. Knowledge sharing works best to engage your audience in this stage. Straight up asking, does not.

You need to be hands off; giving without asking much in return.

This is where your blog comes in. A blog is a superb place to share your insights and industry knowledge. It offers readers and potential customers access to relevant content without requiring direct interaction with you.

Most potential customers in the awareness stage wouldn’t want to, anyway. But you have to write what they care about. According to Social Media Today, the number one blog consideration is selecting the right blog topics:

To survive the competition on blog marketing channels, you first have to create click-worthy titles. Your web audience is unlikely to click on your posts unless they engaging headers – so how do you create interesting and click-worthy titles?

Engaging titles are:

  • Relevant to the target audience
  • Ultra-specific in terms of takeaways
  • Useful and have a definite use-case
  • Urgent in tone
  • Positive in terms of emotions
  • Concise without unnecessary words

Starting and maintaining an informative blog full of relevant, informative content is key to skyrocketing inbound engagement.

 

2. Give in the Consideration Stage

Potential customers pass through the Awareness stage and enter the Consideration stage. This means their problems suddenly have a name. They realize that what they’ve been doing isn’t working.

How do you win in the Consideration Stage?

Customers in the Consideration Stage are discovering keywords to their challenges through searches, testimonials, video, and podcasts. They’re starting to use search terms to identify potential help.

Your content will help them find you.

Unfortunately for them, the consideration stage can often confuse prospective customers. Competing methods, approaches, suggestions, and ideas get customers into more trouble and further away from a solution.

This is where you can stand out. 

You can position your brand as the trusted voice of reason, a trusted guide to help your ideal audience win the day. Use landing pages and high-value content offers that address their most pressing problems with a simple message they understand.

What can you give away?

Digital downloads, webinars, quizzes or worksheets are superb ways to prove you know your stuff. They’re also great conversation starters. Think of all the things you can you offer to position your brand as the trusted, empathetic guide.

If the value is high enough, customers will gladly give you their contact information. This gives you the open door to nurture the relationship further down the sales funnel.

For example, we share a content offer on every blog post we write. (See it below)

Our aim is to help expert firms drive as much value from their blog and website as possible. Our content guides are there to help you do just that.

blog content offer

 

3. Prove in the Decision Stage

Have you visited a website and bought or engaged because of other buyers’ reviews or testimonies? What about items with no reviews? Did you take the chance? How about products or services with low-star reviews? Do they influence your buying decision?

I’d venture to guess those answers are, respectively: all the timerarely and uh, yeah!

Why is it that so many businesses leave testimonials and other types of social credibility out of their digital marketing?! If you’ve done skilled work for others, shouldn’t you want to tell the world about it? According to Big Commerce:

92% of consumers read online reviews and testimonials when considering a purchase. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 72% of them say positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more.

How to win in the Decision Stage

The Decision Stage is the ideal place to put your strengths on display and show off your street cred — especially using other people’s words.

Testimonials, reviews, and logos work because we’re social creatures. We care what others say and have an unspoken “trust bias” for other people’s opinions.

Check out Slack. They do an outstanding job of highlighting the diverse companies who use and trust their platform.

slack testimonials slider

Image Source

In the Decision stage, customers are self-diagnosed and actively searching for someone to help them. They’re looking for recommendations and comparing capable service providers. Including you.

This can be a double-edged sword. In a matter of minutes, customers can compare you against your competitors to find one that 1) corresponds to their ideal and 2) has the visible social proof to establish expertise.

If you don’t have a strategy to turn visitors into customers, you’re going to lose.

And customers in the Decision Stage want a personal conversation. At this stage in the game, a dull contact form on your website will not cut it. By the time you respond to their inquiry, it’ll be too late.

Uniting Your Website Communication Strategy

So there you have it. 3 steps to lead customers to start a conversation with you on your website.

  • Blogging
  • Content offers and digital downloads
  • Timely communication

It should be abundantly clear by now that easy communication is essential to your business. The Buyer’s Journey is a powerful method of structuring your communication strategy.

Give customers the information they need, when they need it, and they’ll be more likely to begin that all important conversion. Want an inbound marketing strategy that people will connect with? Start a chat, call us, or drop us a line. We want to talk to you.

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So what next? Here are some more growth boosting must-haves.

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