Be relevant for your corporate website visitors
By Staffan Lindgren
Have you ever experienced that moment when someone checks out before you have stopped talking? Can you remember what they were interested to hear before you started talking? Are your visitors doing the same on your website?
Most of the communication originating from companies is created, published and distributed with the best of intentions. However, we forget that most of the people that we want to reach have other things on their minds as well as other priorities. If we push our stories and messages too hard, we can easily become the obstinate person in the room that relentlessly keeps talking while the crowd has moved on to another topic.
Luckily, we can avoid this. There is a better way to join and be part of conversations with the people that matter to us.
Know when to speak and when to listen
As humans, we learn early on to know when to speak and when to listen. This is essential to everybody’s ability to communicate, and even more so for professional communicators. If we fail at this, what we say and when we say it, will come out as ill-timed, or at worst, as completely irrelevant. In the context of a smaller group meeting at work or outside of work, having a few drinks, this is easy. But how do you do this when you have to do it at scale, and with people you are not interacting with on a personal level?
Trigger communication when the users are receptive
The solution is to trigger communication and distribution based on where your audiences are and what they are doing. Instead of pushing everything to everyone, push your message to a smaller group based on their behaviour. Or when they have indicated that they are in fact interested in what you have to say. You can capture their interest in several ways on your corporate website and in social media. Here are a few examples:
- A user that returns to a page on your site is much more inclined to want to sign up to news on that topic from you, than someone who visits your homepage for the first time.
- Users that browse content about your sustainability activities are likely to be interested in articles related to that. Let's provide them with that rather than a list of all news items in chronological order. We would be lucky to get some of them to be on topic, but most likely they are completely off.
Ideally, you would build up information and understanding about what the people you talk to are interested in, and what they are focused on. In the same way as you know what your friends like to talk about, and what makes them zone out.
We are all annoyed with people providing what they regard as helpful advice or information which isn't relevant. What we have to say is not relevant in all situations. By adapting to the situation, our message will carry a lot more value for the recipient. This is what we really want: someone that has understood and appreciated our message and found it valuable. The effect on our brand perception is invaluable.
How do I figure out relevance?
In many cases we know what the context is, for example, when people have searched for something specific on our own website or if they are liking something in our social media. If we use this to influence and guide what and when we push more content to the user, our message is more likely to be relevant and as such, more readily welcomed by whoever is reading the content.
Let the user's actions guide you
Let's return to the topic of listening. Some of the things mentioned above could be described as listening to the behaviour of the user. We should also take time and care in actually listening to what the user says or does. We have many ways of doing this and doing it at scale. When a user enters their e-mail address into a form to sign up for a capital market day or to subscribe to a newsletter, they are telling us something. When they search on our website and when they share information from our website, here to, they are telling us something.
When we start to prove ourselves to not be the obnoxious person in the room, we can then ask our audience their opinions directly and get very good feedback. The standard pop-up that often appears on a first visit to a website ("please tell us what you think about our website") is annoying to most people. Instead, ask people who have signed up for newsletters or those who have read a long page on our website if they want to share their view of the content. They are more likely to respond and give you relevant feedback.
Walk in their shoes
By walking in our audiences' shoes and following their steps, we can begin to understand their journey and improve their experience. When we match our actions with their user journey we can improve our communication efficacy many times.
These tools and ways of working have been finetuned and proven to work in B2C and B2B communication. When we apply this to understanding and inspiring the people that matter to you, we call this Communication Automation. Read more about how to enhance your corporate communication with personalised content.
Now is the time to start being relevant!