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Combining IRL & Online Engagement Strategies

Estimated reading time: 4 mins

One of the most difficult challenges of the business world is to combine offline and online interactions in a such a way that you don’t duplicate efforts, but instead complement both strategies for the best. Indeed, despite the appeal of digital communications, there is no denying that your clients exist on the web and on site. Consequently, it is crucial for your business growth to understand how to combine these two channels best to increase lead generation and facilitate customer retention. How can you make the blend the boundaries between IRL interactions and a digital click? Here are some ideas to get you started on a multi-channel funnel.

Make the most of social meetings to build a network

IRL networking is one of the key skills you need in business, and yet one of the most underrated abilities. Whether you’re trying to move your career forward or to meet new customers, partners, or even investors, marketing network events can make all the difference between growth and failure. Admittedly, you will need to strategically select the most relevant events for your objective, which means that it’s not a matter of showing yourself but of being where it matters the most.

Keep a clear mind when you attend networking events, as you need to set realistic goals for yourself. The easiest way is to focus on meeting new potential clients, bearing in mind that you will not sign new contracts on the go. You will need to nurture these leads until conversion. But your face-to-face interaction will serve as a first touchpoint along the marketing funnel.

Help IRL leads to find you online

The first touchpoint needs to already direct towards a future interaction if you want to make the maximize your chances at a networking event. In other words, you should do a lot more than shake hands and walk around with a name tag. You need to have something to share that will inspire your interlocutors to get back in touch with you. That’s precisely why giving your business card is an essential part of meeting new people. However, you can make it easier for them to get back in touch with you by adding a QR code to it. Are QR codes old-fashioned? The answer is no, but not everyone knows how to use them, depending on the age of your target audience. However, it’s a great way to direct your leads to a landing page where they can leave more details.

Welcoming online leads

There’s nothing more difficult than creating the perfect landing page, as you need to hit the ideal mixture of giving informative content without giving out too much. Otherwise, your audience doesn’t need to come back. In other words, your copywriting skills need to answer some questions while leaving a little mystery that can drive curiosity and interest. But the mystery isn’t helpful if you can’t establish an emotional connection with your audience. You can do that echoing their fears and worries, for instance. But aside from great copywriting, you need a design that attracts the eye. You can practise your landing pages skills and try Unbounce for free on your WordPress site. This plugin will let you design your own lead generating pages.

Nurture your leads effectively

Ultimately, the landing page is the first interaction that counts with your lead, as it’s where you will collect their personal details and find out more about their needs. But it’s essential to nurture and grow their interests, using a mixture of online and offline touchpoints. Lead nurturing can increase your conversion rate by up to 20%, so it’s not an opportunity you want to ignore. Your landing page should be followed by a personalized email to thank the leads for their interest, as it’s a way of driving them toward further content pages. Additionally, as your leads interact with more content, you can send personalized offers, such as invitations to a conference – make sure to recognize them – or plan a phone call with them to discuss their needs.

Find the incentive that works

Finally, how do you push leads to purchase? Depending on what your business does, you can send free samples of your products, which are great to convince your leads of the quality of your offering. The discount and limited offer approach always receives positive responses. But if your lead doesn’t bite, you need to move towards sample, price drawing and loyalty scheme strategies. Your lead’s situation will define the best incentive. For instance, someone who is trying to lose weight for an event will love the discount, while a pregnant woman looking for advice will prefer samples.

Create an engagement strategy that combines the best of IRL and online channels, driving from the first touchpoint to the conversion step along the channel. There’s only one secret to success: put yourself in your customer’s shoes!

 

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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