Although a single digital touchpoint is unlikely to sway a buyer on its own, it can certainly dissuade them.
Marketers know that each touchpoint has potential value. Even the smallest interaction is an opportunity not to be missed. Every touchpoint customers interact with is a chance for companies to elicit joy, encourage engagement, and define their brand. Here are six examples of unexpected places where you can spark a customer's delight through digital creativity.
1. The 404 Page
Nothing shouts missed opportunity like the dreaded "Page not found." But the 404 pages of many companies' websites don't shout at all, and that's the problem: Their 404 pages are just a quiet, words-on-screen, hard-stop to the customer journey. A busted link.
"Nobody likes to be disappointed when they click on a link online," says digital marketing expert Neil Patel. "We all want the best information ASAP. That gives 404 error pages great potential to leave lasting impressions."
Rather than just using a routine error page, use your 404 page as an opportunity to further establish your brand. Provide a creative digital experience that leaves a lasting impression. It can have a practical end, such as providing additional information, site navigation, or a search bar; or a whimsical one, such as clever phrases, videos, or other visuals that further underscore your company's brand.
2. The About Page
Remember the old axiom "Show, don't tell"? The about page can describe what your company does and believes in, or the page can demonstrate what your company does and believes in.
Use interactive content to tell your company's story, build trust, and establish credibility. Timelines of notable events in the company's history can be compelling, each click bringing to life an interactive story of that event.
As another example: maps. But be creative there, too. Is your company welcoming of remote workers—a valuable perk to draw top talent? Use a map to show where your team members work from around the world, or go a step further and embed video stories from your employees saying hello from their location.
3. Landing Pages
First impressions go a long way, right? When viewing a website, visitors take less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression, research has found. And it takes only a bit longer—2.6 seconds—for visitors' eyes to land on the area of a website that most influences their first impression.
So, when users click on a search engine result or online ad, is what they see next arresting or dull?
Make the most of the opportunity. Landing pages are used particularly as revenue-producing pages, so conversion matters. They need to be engaging, persuasive, and easy to navigate.
Landing pages have strategic value in other ways, too. Sales executives are starting to use dynamic and interactive landing pages customized for a particular enterprise. Custom landing pages can delight because you can show how much you know about a particular buyer.
4. social media
Much of social media remains static images and text. Even video is becoming more commonplace as the TikToks and Reels of the industry battle it out.
Brands can struggle to stand out on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn by posting more of the same. Quizzes, animations, and interactive games can set your content apart.
Expect to see a flurry of email newsletters soon. Brands that have not traditionally embraced newsletters are now following the path of publishers. Big-box retailers and consumer packaged goods companies are seeking to own the direct relationship with customers that email newsletters can provide. The looming end of third-party cookies and the growing importance of gathering more first-party data such as customer email addresses will accelerate the push.
Amid a glut of text-heavy newsletters, interactive content will stand out. Through visually dynamic digital experiences, buyers can become persuaded instead of just skimming over a PDF or other form static content and moving on.
But wait, you say. An infographic isn't an unexpected place to find something visually compelling. But our goal here is sparking delight, and even infographics can miss that opportunity.
Instead of static infographics involving charts and illustrations, bring each data point to life by using embedded videos or animation. Visitors can explore, in depth, the data points that are most meaningful to them.
* * *
The customer journey can be a winding one. The number of digital touchpoints that lead to a conversion keeps growing as the online world keeps expanding. Don't underestimate how a moment of unexpected cleverness and creativity can leave a great impression about your brand.
More Resources on Creativity in Marketing
Creativity in Marketing Now: Why Professional Ingenuity Is More Crucial Than Ever
Creativity in the Time of COVID: Author and Innovation Thinker Dave Birss on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
Caught Between Technology and Creativity: Can Marketers Strike a Balance?
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