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Eleven Ways to Interact with Your Audience Online

Are you stumped on how to find ways to communicate with your target audience online? Do you wonder how you can make your printed material more engaging and interactive? No need to worry any longer. There are plenty of different ways for you to creatively engage with your audience!

QR Codes

A great way to make print interactive is by using QR Codes. These “quick-response codes” can be printed on any material, and can be scanned by a smart phone. They contain specified links that the phone will read and will automatically connect you with whatever link the QR Code is programed with. These links can be contact information of a person or office, a link to a video, a website homepage, and much more.

Viewing QR codes is simple. First, you need to download a QR-reader application, which are free. Then, once you open it, you just point your mobile phone camera toward the code as if you are taking a picture of it, allow the phone to scan the code, and the software on your phone decodes the image. (On some phones, QR code readers come pre-installed. Others require you to download them.) Instantly, you are directed to a website or a landing page. Or you might be presented with a special coupon offer or see a special text message. No need to write down anything or type in URLs by hand. Just stop, scan, and view. Imagine the possibilities.

Now that there is a way for you to bring your audience directly from your printed material to the Internet, here are some ways you can further engage with them once they are online. Again, QR Codes can be linked to almost anything, so you can make an individual QR Code for many of the following suggestions below.

Webinar Sign-Ups

You can announce webinars in your blog, social media sites, website, or eNewsletter. Webinars are an opportunity to share your expertise with any number of people, and you are able to have them participate, ask you questions, and share their ideas during the webinar, as well. Webinar programs, like GoToMeeting.com, even allow you to record the webinar so you can post it on channels, like your blog, for future reference.

Event Invites

This can create an opportunity to see which of your social media channels work the best. If you advertise the event on all channels with a link that directs them to the event’s registration page, create a survey question of which one of the company’s pages did they learn about the event. It will give insight of where and how much traffic flow is occurring.

Contests

You can incorporate this into your eNewsletter, blog, social media sites, events that you are going to- basically anything. Have them enter the contest by submitting their e-mail address, and by answering a few survey questions. This information will give you material to see if any of the participants could be possible prospects. You can also create a “Thank you for entering” e-mail for all of the participants in order to encourage future interactions with them.

Polls and Surveys

Polls are a fantastic way to learn more information about who is following you online. They are quick, easy, and efficient for both you and the participant. You can have the poll focus on any type of subject matter. Some subjects could be which of our services are most beneficial to you, how often do you need our service, how do you search for businesses like ours, etc. Display a poll on your website, eNewsletter, and social sites!

eNewsletter Sign-Ups

They are always a great way for them to stay up to date with what your business is doing. It also gives companies the opportunity to show a more personable side to their audience. Ways to humanize your brand on eNewsletters are integrating YouTube videos of staff members discussing a particular subject, blog posts, and sharing pictures of events the business participated with.

Create a Blog

Blogs can be used as your daily eNewsletter. It is easy to keep them updated on a daily or weekly basis and you can blog on just about anything. Integrating videos, announcements, poll results, experiences at events, or subject matter are all fantastic topics to discuss in a blog. Your audience can be able to leave comments and share it with friends, and you would be able to easily announce news in a quick manner. Promoting new entries across all of your online channels immediately after is possible as well. Don’t be intimidated by the blog, entries can be as short or as long as you want!

Testimonial Interviews

Having your testimonials in video-form would bring new life to your testimonial page on your website. People would be able to see the clients you have worked with, how they talk about your business, and it would be easier for them to explain their experience with your business in person. Words can only capture so much, but videos are able to show how happy a customer was with your business, and they may even be able to bring in the product you made for them. Posting videos are possible on all social media sites and you would be able to monitor how many views and comments it gets.

eBook or White Paper Downloads

Sharing information and industry expertise are two big trends in social media and it is a great way to promote business to them. If you announce to your online audience that these materials are available online, they will be able to learn more about you and would be able to easily pass along that information to their colleagues. Try to set up a landing page to the free download as well. Having them enter their e-mail address and answer 2-3 survey questions before they download the document would give you the chance to gain more information about them.

Videos

Creating videos is so easy with the help of Flip Cameras, digital cameras, etc. They only have to be 30 seconds to 2 minutes long in order for it to send a valuable message to your audience. You can do so much with videos. Some ideas are announcing a contest winner, wishing your audience happy holidays, live footage of events, interviews with colleagues, or company announcements. Let your audience see the personable side of you and give your staff members the chance to participate with your marketing efforts. Integrate your videos on your website, eNewsletter, and your social media sites.

Twitter-Chats

Twitter chats can be very useful when it comes to attracting an online audience and giving those participants a chance to engage or respond to what you are saying. Twitter makes sharing and interacting so easy because of their hashtags, retweets, and your username handle. You can promote Twitter Chats and Twitterviews easily and seeing how people shared the information after the chat is always interesting to check out.

John P. Foley, Jr. is CEO and CMO of Grow Socially. Contact him at 800-948-0113 or email him at johnf@growsocially.com.

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