In a world where almost everyone is competing amongst an increasingly noisy digital landscape, it can be easy to fall into the trap of focusing on one marketing goal: get more website traffic.
You've created a slick website, completed our SEO checklist, nailed your paid advertising and even gotten to grips with the latest Instagram tool. As you watch site visitors soar to your cleverly optimised site, you can sit back with your cuppa and relax. Right?
Not yet, my friend.
We'll let you in on a secret. All the hard work to increase site views from the people you want to reach won't be complete without inspiring customer engagement when they get there.
Insight-driven, human-centric website engagement strategies are predicted to be one of the essential tools on your digital marketing belt for 2021.
As an agency eternally curious about the tools, metrics and content hacks that bring your customers closer to you, we could talk about this for hours.
But for now, let's start with 20 of the most valuable customer engagement tools you need to increase your website engagement this year instantly.
Let your Insights lead the way
Don't be left guessing what makes your existing and potential customers tick. Quality, audience-centric data is a powerful game-changer that will engage site visitors every step of the journey when implemented into a personalised strategy.
There's a bounty of analytics tools that can report on everything from customer avatars and behaviours to what you should plan next and for who.
Google Analytics. We probably don't need to tell you just how important this is. It's likely one of the first tools you added to your website, but it's never too late to perfect your knowledge of Google Analytics. Delve into everything from average page time, top referrals, and new users to more specific demographics to better understand your audience.
Optimizely:Optimizely leads on web experimentation and personalisation, offering excellent opportunities for intuitive A/B testing. The cool thing about this tool is you're not restricted to one test at a time. It provides multiple experiments on each page so that you can delve deeper into your website engagement.
Contentful: Used by big brands like Spotify for a good reason, Contentful is an excellent tool for bigger marketing teams, allowing content and tech to come together effortlessly and speed up the developing process.
The art of listening
Any content strategist will tell you: authentic, effective communication is a delicate balance between talking and listening. Yes, your audience wants to be informed, educated, entertained and even look behind the scenes.
But when you build in opportunities for feedback and a two-way conversation, that's when the real magic of engagement begins.
Trust us; building intuitive surveys and feedback forms into your website can collect the data you want and still create a seamless (dare we say enjoyable) journey for your visitors.
Survey Monkey: An excellent tool for quick and easy to execute branded surveys, Survey Monkey is an all-round favourite for regular, replicable digital surveys.
Typeform: Argutely the most engaging tool for surveys, forms and quizzes, we like Typeform for a great range of templates and their genuine attention to customer ease of use, so you get the exact data you need.
Google forms: If digital harmony is your thing, then the fact that Google Forms can synch up with your GoogleDrive may excite you. After all, a free tool that creates easy to use surveys AND fits neatly into your documents is pretty neat.
Email, automation and push notifications
Whoever said email marketing is dead isn't prepared for 2021.
Yes, it's true; a few years back, we started to wonder if people looked at their inbox anyone. After all, we're all guilty of unread emails and oversubscribing.
Though trends did see a slight drop in open rates and CTR (click-through rate) in 2020, a 20% -25% average is an industry constant for over a decade.
In truth, well-planned, segmented, customised email campaigns and push notifications are still one of the best forms of customer engagement.
Mailchimp: It's no coincidence this big name in email marketing has been thriving since 2001. Mailchimp is well respected for its detailed analytics and reports, ensuring data for every campaign sent is effectively reviewed for optimum engagement.
Hubspot: Pretty much everyone has heard of Hubspot. With powerful capacities for segmentation, analytics, and email tracking, this is a lead generation and conversion tool you should try out.
Klaviyo: More interested in eCommerce specific engagement? Online vendors might find the intelligent segmentation and integrations of Klaviyo ticks some boxes. Particularly great for conversion-focused email campaigns.
iZooto: Ready to delve deeper into business-focused push notifications. Boost revenue, speed up conversion and reduce acquisition cost with iZooto. We love that it's not all about money too. iZooto have customisation to build brand loyalty and genuine customer engagement.
Live chat technology
You've read through the reports and collected survey responses. Now it's time to add real-time digital rocket fuel to your website engagement.
If you've got the tools and time to speak direct, skip the analytical middleman and find the right live chat or chatbot technology for your business.
Live chats are proven to increase conversions, brand trust and elevate your customer service to new heights. Indeed, one study by CrazyEgg found that 38% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company if they offer live chat support, with live chat leading to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour.
Drift: Live chat doesn't mean sitting there at 8 pm on a Saturday answering your customers every question. Drift is an easy to set up automated chat tool that will integrate digital engagement into your website with minimal impact on business operations.
Zendesk: Any tool that instinctively works to help you increase your engagement rate is a winner for us. Zendesk manages proactive customer communication whilst building effective customisation.
Livechat: With 24/7 chat across email, SMS, website, WhatsApp and even Facebook Messager, Livechat leave no gap in your customer engagement journey. An excellent option for bigger businesses with multiple communication platforms.
Bring the social back into social
OK, so they're not quite for your website per se, but we couldn't resist mentioning a few extra digital tools we love for website engagement and optimisation.
Time is golden; we get it. But one of the biggest mistakes we see is the plan, schedule and go approach to business social media. It doesn't matter how well-executed your social media content is if you're not around to engage directly with customers.
Mention: Digital advocacy is one of the more potent forms of engagement. Apart from getting a virtual pat on the back, when your business gets a shout out, it's proof you're not only being noticed but considered by others. Don't lose that data!Mention is a fantastic social media tool that monitors your brand name mentions in over 40 languages.
Hootsuite: As much as we love an app, we also love our weekends. So, any tool that has everything in one place, we're all over it.Known for its cross-platform scheduling capabilities, Hootsuite also offers an all in one place look at your social media analytics in a simple yet effective view.Specific metrics for engagement – such as comments, shares and mentions/tags – can be singled out for engagement rate analysis.
Sprout Social: Only 2 years younger than Hootsuite, Sprout Social is another great social tool for keeping track of your social media engagement. In our option, it's just as much down to platform ascetic than functionality in to which you prefer. That being said, Sprout social does have an ace feature where you can add RSS feeds to help with sourcing content to share.
Brand24: Manage your brand's reputation online with instant access to mentions across everything from social, news and blogs to videos, forums and podcasts. Brand24 is well worth a look for its competitor comparison functions alone.
So, there we have it, just 20 of our top website engagement tools for 2021.
Digital engagement is something that takes time, perseverance and trial and error to nail, so don't be disheartened if this area is new to you.
Besides, if tech isn't your strong point, don't be afraid to go old school and simply talk directly to your customers. Taking the time to speak with your audience, not at them, will likely be a great start to collecting qualitative data.
On the other hand, we are knee-deep in digital marketing tools most days and love to share our knowledge. So if you would like any additional support – be that a simple audit or a complete digital overhaul – just get in touch.