One of your website’s main goals is to keep your visitors engaged and updated.
It’s a perfect channel to use when updating your customers, whether it’s announcing the launch of a new product, celebrating a company milestone, or publishing new content about your industry.
However, your website isn’t enough to keep your customers up-to-date; if you want to succeed, you’ll need to pursue other, complementary communication outlets.
Why Your Website Isn’t Enough
There are several reasons why your website, by itself, it’s a complete communication outlet:
- Customer preferences. Not all customers have the same communication preferences. For example, one in three social media users prefers social media customer service to service provided via phone or email. Additionally, not all customers are going to visit your site regularly, so you need a way to reach them reliably and consistently.
- Immediacy. When you publish something new on your site, it may take several days for even a loyal customer to notice. There’s no instant notification, like a text message or email provides, so your message gets delayed significantly.
- Secondary reach. You might be able to add a share button to whatever announcement you make on your website, but there’s no guarantee it’s going to be used. Other mediums, like press releases and social media updates, are more shareable and are therefore more likely to reach a secondary or tertiary audience.
The Most Important Communication Outlets to Integrate
So which communication outlets should you be using, in addition to your website, to get the word out about your latest products, events, and achievements?
- Social media. Social media is now the gold standard for communicating company news and other messages to customers. Any message you post on a social network is transmitted instantly to your followers, and the platform allows for fast, independent sharing, which can carry your message even further. Provided you choose the right platform and have a decent following, you’ll almost certainly get more visibility and make more of an impact here.
- SMS text. SMS text is an underrated option that’s perfect for small and local businesses. SMS texting is instant and personal since it’s delivered to an individual’s phone and gives them a notification when they receive it. Through SMS, you can send out unique offers, coordinate in advance of an event, or even give people instructions during an emergency (depending on the nature of your business).
- Email. Even if you’re new to email, you can still expect a median open rate of around 20 percent (depending on your industry). And those who don’t open your email will still get a chance to read your subject line. Email is direct, just like SMS text messages, and as long as you keep a clean list, you can segment your users and maximize your relevance to each sub-list. The real challenge here is building an initial base of subscribers; once you have that, email is one of your best communication options.
- Live chat. Live chat isn’t good for distributing a message to your audience, but it is a good addition to handle incoming requests and questions. This instant message window won’t tie up your phone lines, but it will give customers the chance to reach out to you—and connect—immediately. It’s an ideal complement to your onsite content since onsite updates are typically non-engaging.
- Press releases. Finally, consider distributing press releases to reach audience members who haven’t even heard of you. By using a distribution service like PR Newswire, you’ll be able to syndicate your press release to hundreds, or even thousands of news outlets. As long as your work isn’t too self-promotional, you’ll earn visibility throughout the web, and hopefully, earn some extra domain authority for your site thanks to the new inbound links.
These communication channels will allow you to reach a wider audience, accommodate more of your customers’ preferences, and get your message seen by as many invested customers as possible. It means you’ll need to spend more time, and possibly more money integrating and maintaining these modes of communication, but it’s worth it if it means keeping your audience in the loop.
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