The content driven web is growing like gangbusters.  As a printing professional, it’s your job to get people to engage with your company.  Engaging your prospects increases loyalty and can serve as a source of free promotion.  Printers need to understand that a strong marketing community is measured by engagement and not how large your audience may be.  By engaging prospects online, you will get more people talking about your company and you can learn more about your customers and about your competition.

You may have a website with wonderful tools and information about you and your company, but odds are, the majority of people who come to your website come to see what’s there without engaging, joining the conversation or sharing your content.

Here are some tips on how to get your website users to be more engaged and participative:

  • Support and encourage comments – Comments are a powerful way of prospects to interact with your company. The best way to encourage is to allow user comments on every piece of content on your website. Content comments help stimulate community conversations. You can do this with social tools like Facebook or add social sharing buttons to your website and content.  Liking, blogging, referring, clicking, adding as a friend, connecting, subscribing and submitting online forms are items to measure your engagement success.  Let your prospects and customer post reveiws for all of your photos, videos, products or services. Your goal is to tell your audience how important their feedback is, which you can use to serve them better.
  • Have key people involved in the comments – Get owners, executives and thought leaders in the industry to post comments and participate in in your content threads.  When these people show up in user comments, participants feel good about it, because they sense that your organization cares enough to be involved in the conversation.  This aides in building a stronger bond between prospects and your organization.
  • Hold a contest – Contests are a great way to encourage participation. Contests should be valuable to your audience. Learn about them first. Ask key questions and base the contest on what you have learned. For the contest to be successful, your content should be valuable to them. Start with simple goal…gain more fans and followers, improve your company visibility, or drive more traffic to your website.  Cross promote your contest in various networks and medium to improve visibility and participation.  Some examples are prizes for best post of the week, customer of the month, or best photo posted on your Facebook page.  Get creative and think outside the box when it comes to contests and prizes.
  • Host a Webinar – Invite users to join a conversation around a topic related to your company.  Experiment with elements of webinars and promote through social media.  Invite your audience to live-tweet during your webinar. Encourage comments on your company Facebook page about your printing company, or post status updates in LinkedIn about the event. Invite audience members to ask questions via Twitter using a hash-tag.  This method will help carry the conversation forward and works well for specialized audiences who do not have the opportunity to converse in-real-life.

Always be willing to experiment with different ideas to help improve your online engagement.  This will assist in putting yourself into the path of your prospect without disrupting their experience. This will help you determine how to engage with them effectively online.  Encourage users to taking a desired action by providing them with a variety of social experiences to engage with your company.  Keep your content relevant, moving and interesting.  Content is related to conversation, which can be the catalyst for online engagement.