Quick! Imagine you’ve just launched your Customer Engagement Portal. How will you get people using it? You need to promote it. What do you do?
a. Keep going with the same marketing strategies you already have.
b. Abandon the old strategies entirely and start with completely new ones.
c. Keep some of the old strategies, but adapt them to leverage your portal, and also explore new ones.
Hopefully it’s obvious that the best course of action is answer C.
In all likelihood, you’ve already got plenty of marketing activities on the go. But with your new portal, you can try new tactics in your old channels, and branch out into new channels as well. Rather than promoting your brand, your new marketing efforts should focus on driving people onto the portal, and promoting it as your exclusive additional service offering.
Six Quick Tips to Market Your Customer Portal:
1. Mine Your Network
How do you drive people to the portal? Start with your existing contacts, customers, and prospects. If you have their contact information and are cleared to get in touch with them, reach out and let them know about your portal and its many advantages. For many, this added new service is the exact push they need to re-engage with your company.
2. Leverage Live Events
Whenever you or any member of your team participates in a live event — such as a tradeshow, industry conference, seminar, etc., spread the word about your Customer Engagement Portal far and wide. Beyond providing the link and hosting demonstrations, consider printing off some of your content to hand out. If guests like what they read, they’ll go to the portal to get more.
3. Host Better Webinars and Seminars
Use the insights provided by your user base to discover the most sought-after knowledge (hint: it’s likely the most popular content). This tells you what your customer base wants to know. Host a webinar on the subject or make it the focus of a keynote address and you’ll be sure to draw larger audiences. Then, refer to the portal throughout your presentation and register all of your attendees into it. You’ve attracted them with the valuable information they wanted, and have shown them that there’s more where that came from in your online environment.
4. Use What You Already Have For Email Marketing
As the proud owner of a Customer Engagement Portal, you now have a wealth of exclusive, quality content at your fingertips. Use it to make email marketing more efficient and effective. You can segment your mailing lists by interest, so that your prospects only receive what’s most relevant to them, and drive people back to the portal whenever you publish new material.
Better still, take a curriculum approach to your newsletter campaigns. Instead of writing about the latest updates, organize a “course” series that ensures your entire audience has a similar experience and gets up to speed. In this way, no matter if a prospects joins you tomorrow or next year, they always get to begin at the beginning.
In every case, all Calls to Action (CTAs) in your email marketing should encourage readers to log in and learn.
5. Speak Out on Social Media
You’ll never again face the challenge of not having enough material to populate your social media channels. With more content than ever before, all that remains to do is to devise a social media strategy that includes appropriate platforms and posting frequency, along with curated and promotional content.
But don’t just talk on social media: listen. Do yourself — and your portal — a service and track the conversations related to your industry online and get involved. Whenever you do, link to your portal content. This will solidify your position as a thought leader in the industry and drive more users onto your portal.
6. Traditional Advertising
Knowledge is power and your portal provides insights that none of your competitors have. By tracking the real-time analytics of users’ behavior on your site, you know what information is most valued among your audience. Use this to guide your advertising strategies. For instance, perhaps the most popular content should guide the headlines of your printed advertising campaigns. For every eye you catch in the offline world, let them know that more resources are available online; tease the value of your portal in all advertising to drive users there.
Your Portal Needs You to Promote It
You’re differentiated because of your Customer Engagement Portal. But your audience doesn’t know that yet. Adapt your marketing strategies to drive prospects to the portal, and use its insights to guide more strategic marketing activities. Your Customer Engagement Portal is the best holding place for prospects, for you and for them. It’s win-win.