RISMEDIA, March 21, 2011—(eM+C)—Online retailing is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Marketers have access to information about every aspect of customer interaction: number of website visits, time spent on the site, e-mail open and click through rates, conversions and purchases. With today’s sophisticated analytics, marketers can fine-tune their messaging and offers to optimize results and move beyond a simple first-click visit.
Unfortunately, too many marketers think their job ends at the first click—i.e., when a consumer visits their website, clicks a link or opts in to future messaging. Although this is a critical first step, your job is far from over. As marketers, your goal should be to get the second click.
To get that second click, you must provide compelling, easy-to-share content. The focus shifts from informing prospects and customers to influencing their conversations. Creating influential, conversation-inducing content can expand your reach, improve open rates, grow sales and increase revenues.
The second click comes when a visitor to your site chooses to “Like,” comment, share or rate the content. These second clicks, often presented as personal recommendations or referrals, are the most trusted form of advertising. When a visitor recommends your content to their friends and family, your message is organically woven into conversations your customers and prospects are having online. More importantly, this is happening in channels that are extremely hard to reach through traditional advertising.
Securing a second click is fundamentally important. All online content produced should be developed with a strategy that prompts consumers to share it. If your website content, digital ads, items posted on your Facebook page and blog posts aren’t created with the goal of getting consumers to pass it along, you’re missing out on one of the most influential forms of online marketing available.
Smart second-click strategies
Be worthy. Whenever you create content that carries your product message, keep the second click in mind. Is your video, ad, e-mail or update you post worth sharing? Does it prompt someone to comment? Does it beg for engagement? Is it something worthy of being posted on someone else’s Facebook news feed? If not, what can you do to make it worthy of being passed along? Consider the folllowing:
Enable. Content should be extremely easy for visitors to share. Enable a Facebook Like button, tweet button or an option to link to social bookmarks like StumbleUpon or Digg. This requires being courteous and strategic. Consumers shouldn’t have to hunt around your site or copy-and-paste to share information about your products.
Interact. When you post a status update on Facebook or Twitter, prompt for interaction. Ask a question or request feedback. Recognize participation, answer questions and join the conversation. When consumers “Like” you, post to your Facebook wall or add a comment—it shows up in their Facebook news feed or Twitter stream, subsequently reaching their friends. Be present in the conversation when it starts.
Measure more. In addition to measuring visits, open and click through rates, and conversions, begin tracking customer interaction. Use Facebook Insights along with tools like Webtrends, TweetReach and Radian6 to measure influencer engagement, content reach, conversation sentiment and sharing rates.
Marketers who create content with the second click in mind, and make it easy to share, will reach new customers, become part of the online dialog and ultimately build a stronger customer base that grows sales.
John Porcaro is director of social media for Metia/Seattle, a global digital marketing agency. He can be reached at John.Porcaro@metia.com.