Guest Blog: Engaging Users-A UX PerspectiveNovember 15, 2013
The banner ad is dead. In today’s web, traditional marketing techniques no longer reach an audience that is constantly bombarded with pop-ups, flashing call-to-actions, and suggested ads. Instead, the modern focus for successful brand awareness must be found in creating brand loyalty through user engagement.
In this business, we see the term “user engagement” thrown around a lot. But you don’t often hear about it from the UX—user experience—perspective. What is “user engagement,” and how can it help your online brand presence? From a UX perspective, user engagement is the idea that your brand actively interacts with and responds to both your loyal customers, and the individuals who purchase your brand.
Unfortunately, generating engagement can’t be done with just minor changes, because it reflects an entire philosophy about how you display and market your product—not to mention the way you do business. User engagement isn’t something that gets done by adding a single interaction and it can’t be “quick wins” (i.e., things you did to make your boss happy, but didn’t think through). Merely placing a poll or game on your web page or dashboard doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what businesses need.
So, here’s what I suggest:
- Instead of only thinking about numbers for next quarter, start developing lasting relationships with your user base. This also means rewarding long-term users for staying with your brand, instead of turning to competitors.
- Develop a community that your users can be involved in. Remember: thinking only about your business’ internal needs will get you nowhere. Listening to your users and what they want out of your product will create a fan base that sticks with you.
- Stay on top of social media conversations. By interacting with the people who mention you—in real-time, of course—you keep in pace with the conversation surrounding your product. You can also hold online events and forums, where your consumer base can contribute their ideas and innovations as a centralized, yet organized, group.
These steps empower you to build for the future of your brand—not just by rewarding long-time users, but also by incentivizing new ones to join and stay.
The main conclusion here: even if the majority of your consumers bring their business to you online, don’t treat your consumers like faceless entities that drive your revenue. Instead, UX us all about engaging them as the unique individuals they are. No matter what you do, you can assume that somewhere your users are talking about you on social media. But if you engage them correctly, you can make sure that the social chatter is positive.