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How to adapt rugby’s “Crouch, touch, pause, engage” into online success

Author -  Allan Kent [Guest]

If the term above isn’t familiar already, it soon will as rugby mania hits the country! Every time I hear it, I’m reminded of similar set of website terms that lead to online success, namely:-   

“Connect, engage, and convert!”

  1. Connect - identifying and then getting the attention of your target audience. Without this stage, the other two are meaningless. 

    So, how do you connect?  In online terms it’s about getting people to where your content is, whether that is a website, Blog or social media site – or all three!

    People need to know you are out there and talking. Generally this equates to catching the person actively looking for your message. This means your site needs to be easily found through a Google (or other engine) search. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a way of improving performance in this area and is something all sites should strive for – for their key search terms at least. Other forms of search engine marketing, such as Adwords also help you connect with searchers of your content. 

    Conversely, you need to put yourself in front of those not actively looking to hear your message, but when they do hear it, you awaken an interest in them. Social Media is a useful tool here, especially if the information snippets are kept small and unobtrusive, yet regular enough to create a sense of knowing and familiarity. 

    Finally, it doesn’t hurt to spread the word directly yourself – drive existing contacts (new prospects you are talking to, existing clients, even suppliers) to your website, Blog and social media presence with drivers in your email signature, phone messages, vehicle and business signage. Often this sort of activity will find its way to new contacts so widening your contact base.
  2. Engage – Social media does play a part in the connect phase, but importantly it can also play a crucial role in the engage phase. Connection without engagement will mean your efforts will be wasted and lead to little or no business. Engagement comes from personally involving the audience - talking about their interests and needs and allowing them to ask questions, make comments, even to disagree with what you are saying.  

    Even if you shy away from such things as Facebook and Twitter, you can still utilise social networking principals on your own site. Encourage feedback (Blogs and forums are good for this), post questions on your site with the means to respond and publish the results and comments. If you detail products, incorporate user reviews of your products etc. The greater the level of audience engagement, the greater the energy or ‘Buzz’ - a perfect foundation for...
  3. Convert – Similar to rugby i.e scoring! The definition of convert will differ between organisations. It could be a sale or at least an enquiry, but equally it could be a newsletter or petition sign up. 

    The two things this last phase require, without exception are – The Call to Action (Directing the visitor to take action), and the means to do so - for example a buy now button, a newsletter sign up form or a map of how to get to the location.

Hopefully this piece of rugby inspired website coaching will help you to perform better in the field of online marketing!

Dave,

2:05 p.m. Tuesday, 14 September 2010

I thought I recognised the words in the title! As an ex rugby player, with ears to prove I played in the scrum, I think this is an interesting piece.

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