Blogs are great but they go so much further than just creating and consuming content. The words on the digital page are definitely important, but even more important is being able to leverage those words and readers into something bigger: a community. Building a community means higher reader retention, more engaged readers and ultimately more leads. So what exactly does a blog based community look like and more importantly, what’s the magic formula for creating a community around your blog without breaking the bank?
Community means interaction
Maybe you are getting good web traffic and a few shares – that’s great, but not necessarily the mark of a successful blog that can form a cohesive community of users. So what’s a good metric for measuring community? Well, interactions are key here. So, actions are great, but ongoing interactions are even better. This is the difference between web traffic that comes to your site once before disappearing forever and readers who frequently comment on your blog and talk to each other about your site content. At the end of the day, community goes far beyond what you create or produce and becomes something larger and much more powerful.
If comments and interactions are the gold standards for creating and measuring an online community what can be done to encourage and foster them? If you have any type of blog you probably realize there is an inbuilt comments section. This might not be your best bet. Yes, it’s free and yes, it’s right there but we encourage you to leave the comfort of your blog platform and look at a world of amazing available plugins. Why should you do that? Well, for starters, most automatic comment sections are fairly standard text-based affairs while downloading other plugins (and many are completely free!) can help you to go far beyond this and let your community communicate through rich media – that means video, audio, emojis and photos. Allowing users different ways to communicate is a great way to grow the conversation on your blog.
E-commerce is without a doubt an inseparable part of our lives, and concepts we use to think were impossible are quickly becoming a reality. The past year has given us some new trends in the world of e-commerce that are still growing strong. Here are a few of the big trends from last that continue to be relevant this year.
Mobile e-commerce is the future
Research shows that 51% of Americans prefer to shop online rather than in stores. Assuming this percentage will keep growing in the near future, retailers will need to fully embrace digital commerce if they want to survive. While digital commerce is growing, mobile commerce is expanding particularly fast. More and more shops and apps are making shopping available via smartphones and they are doing it by providing accessibility, a user-friendly process and making sure there is the least amount of friction during the shopping process, meaning that the user should have to click as few buttons as possible from point A of choosing the product to point B, the payment. Using m-commerce is quickly becoming a necessity, not a recommendation. Live chat support is utilized by many and when done effectively can help bring customers back, as it offers an immediate point of connection with the user and with it a solution. This support trend is likely to dominate the upcoming years as well.
Personalization vs. Context
Personalized shopping is already the norm but at times is not 100% accurate. How many times have you looked at a certain product and then had it show up on several different sites you visited long after you’ve lost interest? Retargeting can be an effective tool in this case and even necessary but the problem is that it doesn’t take context into account. So instead of just offering a personalized experience, sites are now offering a contextualized experience so that consumers are seeing more relevant content than ever before. Contextualization is all about making sure the right experience is given to the right user at the right time on the right device.
The main issue for most e-commerce businesses is to try and proactively lessen cart abandonment. And while there are several reasons why it happens, such as unexpected shipping costs or a confusing checkout, there was no way to deal with these situations in real time, until 2016. Real-time analytics is a real game changer, allowing businesses the opportunity to provide assistance to their customer before it’s too late. Identifying a problem at checkout and reaching out to the customer before she leaves the site will ultimately increase conversation rates dramatically.
Trusting in Voice
Another major change in e-commerce is the content provided to the consumer. Optimizing product description and having quality photos is no longer enough. Last year we say branded video content as well as voice reviews entering the market, which allow brands to build greater levels of trust with their customers. Video and voice can boost a site’s SEO while increasing conversation rates and allowing shoppers to consume more in less time. It’s not easy to find the perfect fit while shopping online and an enormous 92% of e-commerce customers users read online reviews before a purchase because uncertainty is still a huge obstacle for online purchasing. This means, the more information there is available about the product, whether pictures, descriptions, video or reviews, the more likely they will be to buy online. Companies need to be smart and gain people’s trust without overloading them with information. Voice reviews can do just that while remaining personal and true to the buyers own voice and opinion.
Heyoya is a game-changing comments and reviews platform that brings voice to e-publishers and e-stores, improving sales and user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. Heyoya’s new Receiver plan allows for quick and easy below-the-fold monetization. Heyoya is a game changer for websites and is proven to increase brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content.
For more information about Heyoya, click here.