Once you’ve converted a site visitor into a customer, it’s time to take it a step further and keep them coming back—and turn them into brand advocates. Brand advocates are the people who are loyal users of your goods and services, and most important, are the ones who will sing your praises to others! Here are five easy ways you can keep visitors coming back.
1. Personalize Your Website
Providing visitors with a unique, personalized experience makes it easier to turn them into brand advocates. Here’s how you can customize their experience:
Offer customized landing pages.
There are several ways you can use customized landing pages to increase engagement. An easy way to implement this is by featuring products based on what customers have bought or engaged with previously. AddThis features Targeting Audiences overlay, helping you feature these products. Wayfair does a great job of engaging customers by showing them products they’ve already viewed, and then products in a similar wheelhouse picked for them.
Curate a featured section.
Showcase products or content in a special “Best of” section. It can be a large banner on your homepage or a sidebar list. The AddThis Link Promotion Banner makes it easy to highlight products or content you want to draw your audience to. Whether you’re basing the showcased products on seasonal events, user behavior, or items that need more visibility, make it relevant to the consumer. Consider creating different versions of your showcased products for different landing pages, and use them to measure performance.
Provide new and returning visitors with relevant information.
With AddThis Audience Targeting Rules, you can create rules to show appropriate messaging to new and returning users. For example, you can create “Get started” messaging for new visitors, and “Explore more” messaging for returning visitors. Read more on How to Engage Both New and Returning Visitors to Your Website.
Suggest content users may like.
The best way to keep visitors on your website is to offer them content that interests them. The AddThis Related Posts Tools allows you to do just that. For example, if your site focuses on selling clothing, you can engage your visitors with content about style trends; or if your site focuses on cookware, you can engage your visitors with content around organic food and recipes. The Rogers Family Coffee Company used this tool to increase engagement and saw significant results.
2. Showcase What’s New and Popular
An easy way to turn visitors into brand advocates is to give them a reason to come back to your site . . . and to keep coming back. Offering new content on a regular basis and highlighting your greatest hits will foster repeat engagement.
Highlight your new content.
Whether you have a dedicated section, a large homepage banner, or just list content and products in chronological order, make sure visitors know that what they’re seeing is new. And also, keep it fresh. This will give visitors a reason to keep coming back. We Work Remotely denotes new job listings with a “new” button, so frequent visitors can scan content quickly. Sur La Table adds words like “new” and “just added” to their homepage images to highlight new products and accessories.
Keep popular content front and center.
Your popular content is popular for a reason, so keep it in heavy rotation as long as it’s relevant! Keep an eye on articles that are consistently showing a decent level of traffic in Google Analytics, and resurface those posts to new users. Having a section dedicated to what’s popular, or bestsellers, will also make users feel like you have a large audience; and if they enjoy the content, they’ll feel like they’re a part of your community. Lululemon’s “bestsellers” section is the first-offered list on their homepage. This gives new visitors a simple insight into what the brand’s fanbase loves.
Emphasize highly shared content.
The more shares a piece of content has, the more users will want to share it as well. If hundreds of people already like it, surely their Facebook friends will too! AddThis Sharing Buttons offer an easy-to-implement ability to display the number of social shares content has received. See how Mercy Home grew traffic by 10 percent with AddThis Share Tools.
3. Create a Good User Experience (UX)
Your website design and usability are two of the most important factors that influence how much time visitors spend on your site, and whether they’ll return. A clean, attractive design and easy navigation will go a long way in turning first-time visitors into brand advocates.
Make sure your site is clear and well-designed.
When it comes to design, keep it simple. Forget bells and whistles, and focus on the essentials. Use eye-catching colors, readable fonts, and rich images and video. Don’t be afraid of whitespace! Harry’s is a beautiful, minimalist site, but an effective one. Here’s more in-depth guidelines from Hubspot to help you get started that include simplicity and hierarchy, and bring us to another point: usability.
Make sure your site is usable — on a computer AND a phone.
It’s not enough to have a site that looks good—it needs to be easy to navigate. Intuitive menus, clear calls to action, and robust search capabilities all make for a good user experience. And don’t forget the #1 rule—make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Zipcar is an easy-to-navigate site with all the important information you’ll need to decide whether or not to join right on the front page.
4. Engage Users through Email
Email is a great tool for engaging one-on-one with your audience, keeping them engaged with your content, or re-engaging them after they’ve abandoned your site. Personalize your emails with content that targets exactly what the consumer needs. When you provide users with specific content beyond what they can find on the website, they’ll feel “in the know” and will be more likely to become brand advocates.
Collect emails through your website.
A 2014 study showed that email marketing is nearly 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook and Twitter combined; 91 percent of US consumers use email daily. Calls to action to sign up for your newsletter should be prominent on your website. The AddThis Overlay Tool can be used to collect email addresses. A customizable conversion lightbox pops up, prompting visitors to sign up, getting your messaging in front of everyone who visits your site. See how Minneapolis Running used audience targeting to grow their email subscribers.
Regularly communicate via newsletter.
Use your newsletter to highlight special offers, new content, and seasonal events. You should send your newsletter on a consistent schedule, so subscribers will know when to expect it. Too many emails will make users unsubscribe, so when you’re setting your schedule, make sure the value contained in an email warrants the frequency. Consider offering exclusive content or deals to those who are signed up, so they feel like they’re being rewarded for subscribing. The Skimm has a “birthdays” section in their daily newsletter, where they highlight every subscriber celebrating that day. They also recently added a section to their newsletter, highlighting impressive feats their subscribers have accomplished.
5. Reward Your Brand Advocates
Once your brand advocates start spreading the word about your products or services, it’s time to say thank you. There are a number of ways you can reward your loyal users, including:
Offer a personal acknowledgement.
If you have a set of customers or users who have gone above and beyond in their demonstration of brand loyalty, you can deepen their affection for your product, site, or brand even further by reaching out to them personally. Not only does Maker’s Mark provide exclusive event offers for becoming a member of their ambassador program, but you also get your name on a real barrel of their bourbon. Once your barrel is aged and ready, you’re invited to claim a few bottles and take a complimentary distillery tour.
Give public recognition through social media or your website.
If someone sings your praises on Twitter, give them a shout-out! Feature testimonials on your website. Let brand advocates know that you’re listening and that you appreciate the support. The CW features a “Fan of the Week” for each show on Facebook, and also gives them an on-air plug.
Launch an “insiders” referral program.
Referrals are a powerful tool for building your website audience. People tend to trust recommendations from friends and family more than businesses, and if you offer an incentive for referrals, users will be much more likely to sing your praises. Here’s a list of 79 referral programs, some of which are highly successful and from brands you recognize, like Amazon Prime and Uber. Read 8 Smart Ways to Drive Website Traffic (and Generate Leads) to learn more.
Implementing a loyalty program.
Loyalty programs often come with perks such as discounts, free shipping, or special gifts. You can have users sign up for yours, like Sephora’s Beauty Insider program, or it can be based on loyalty tiers—Sephora upgrades users to higher-level programs when they reach spending thresholds, and those levels come with better perks. Check out these 10 easy ways a small business can implement a customer loyalty program.
The bottom line: If you have a good product, you’ll have brand advocates. Engaging with them, rewarding them, and offering them value is what will keep them out there marketing your brand. Download our handy Turning a Visitor into a Brand Advocate Checklist to keep this information at your fingertips as you grow your brand online.