15 Feb, 2023 / Xode Article
The path to online success is never easy. There are now dozens of options to choose from and automated AI chatbots and CRM systems to consider. Read on.
Influencing your customer through a preplanned digital journey.
The path to online success is never easy. Where once a single social media platform reigned supreme there are now dozens of options to choose from and monitor, each with their ardent supporters and hypocrites. Automated AI chatbots and CRM systems mean that just about every user expects instantaneous results, despite the difficulties of accomplishing that strategy across various product categories and countries.
And then there’s those who get annoyed at you no matter what you do.
But fortunately basic human psychology remains the same. We like what’s familiar to us, because, as consumers, we like to feel that we’ve well and truely weighed up the decision in our heads.
Depending on the specific product or service, and the person involved, we generally deliberate by considering eight pieces of branded content, which are referred to as touchpoints. These little pop-ups aren’t necessarily ads, although they should induce the user to either buy or get in contact, making it easier for them to complete your desired action.* They’re main function (particuarly with the first seven steps) is taking you on a journey and winning your trust.
All this without driving your customer away with inane sales chatter.
Ideally, your customer starts off with an actual desire for your product. Those are the really good days, when they’re half convinced already — all you need to do is show them why you’re the best (or at least the closest). This is why the SEO market is so competitive — by targeting certain keywords or phrases you can find customers who are after the exact service you’re offering. This is also prime opportunity to find them online and begin loading their digital journey.
Maybe your prospective customer does a little research, checks out your website, reads about your service offering. They’re not totally convinced yet, and besides, they don’t need those new shoes until basketball season starts again. So they sit on it.
If they’ve left an email you can begin sending them short, simple email reminders about how brilliant your shoes are. They might see targeted ads on their social account for a discount that seems built for them (what are the chances)? Maybe they ask a chatbot a question or stumble across a blog. Maybe they search something else and fall on a landing page which tells them something new about your shoes. Over weeks or months they slowly become convinced. They buy a pair and write a glowing review. That review becomes a touchpoint for another customer who wants to verify how amazing you are.
While this method may feel ‘spammy’ it’s what’s required to communicate with anyone on the web. You have to make some noise to be heard.
The value of the touchpoints should always be useful and not misleading. You’re trying to tell someone who is in need of your product or service how you can help them.
Lastly, let people leave when they want to. Include unsubscribe buttons and make it easy to un-accept tracking cookies.
Unfortunately, no ship ever sailed so smoothly. An unanswered message, a missing web page, broken call to action buttons or emails that land in the junk folder cut short your customer’s journey.
Frustratingly perhaps, most people won’t take in account the three-minute lag time needed to load your incredible sales video whilst they’re hiking up the notoriously wifi-less Mount Cook. Nor will they stop to read your amazing, complex email letter if the subject line doesn’t immediately grab them. In fact, 55% of visitors will only spend 15 seconds or less looking at you’re article (hey, don’t leave yet)!**
When your touchpoints don’t rise up to meet expectations, people notice.
The first step to laying out your touchpoints is the most deceptively simple. It’s so simple because, for most business owners, it’s impossible to fathom why no one wants their lucky duck t-shirt and PJ range.
As we hinted to earlier, the best step is to put yourself in your consumer’s shoes. Think about what they’re searching for. Actually research the most searched terms in your product or service category. Create a content plan that answers what your customers want, not what you think they want.
You might want to explore some A/B testing with webpages, ads and emails. This is particularly easy to do because, once you’ve got an email address or someone’s social media profile link you can segment them into a few different lists. You might try tailoring the lists based on what brought your perspective consumer to you in the first place.
Make it personable, make it interesting, make it short. Not every interaction has to be a blog. And if it is a blog, try disperse it with some relevant but amusing imagery or videos (but only if they’re absence isn’t crucial to your selling point — they may not load).
Remember to leave your digital journey on a positive note that results in a boost for your business. Ask for a review and make it easy to follow for your customer. Create a customer journey map, either through a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) tool to track exactly what your customer has seen. Gather as much info on your customer experience as you can and review it. These steps are vital for those just starting out, who want to make a name for themselves.
As software craftsmen, we create some of the key touchpoints your customers interact with; chatbots and websites, apps and landing pages. We’re part of the ongoing flow that relies heavily on a healthy SEO portfolio and a coherent customer journey.
So if you’ve no idea where to begin, or you’ve suddenly had your eureka moment in the last five minutes of reading this, come talk to us. We can partner with you throughout your own personal journey convincing customers to take theirs.
*Kakovkina, Valerie. “How many touchpoints do you have to have with customers before they buy?” on CRM Lab. Last Updated: 17th August, 2022.
**Read, Ash. “55% of Visitors Read Your Articles For 15 Seconds or Less: Why We Should Focus on Attention Not Clicks” on Buffer. Date Published: 28th June, 2016.
Tags: Digital Marketing Strategy, Advertising, Graphic Design, SEO, Social Media Marketing, Online Marketing