Web Engagement Management (WEM) is a strategy for how an organization brings together its human and technology resources to optimize its digital presence. In the article What is Web Engagement Management (WEM)? we outlined 5 core WEM components. But we just skimmed the surface. Here's more on what we think is at the center of WEM.

1. Content Optimization

The content you have on your website is there to serve your audience. These are customers and potential customers and their needs are as varied as they are. So you spend a great deal of time trying to figure out what content you need to deliver, where to put it, how to write it and how people navigate, search or browse through it to find what they're after.

Content is many things, including:

  • Text
  • Images
  • Video
  • Blog entries
  • Comments
  • Activity Streams
  • Documents

These are the tools for the content optimization job:

  1. Analytics
    An obvious tool, maybe not so obvious how to best leverage it. Your content management system either offers native web analytic capabilities or it integrates third party analytics. In some cases, it will do both.

  2. Personalization
    Keeping track of a user's activity on your website provides the ability to personalize their experience on return visits. Personalization can be based on a specific user or a specific audience. It's rare that a WCM doesn't provide some personalization capabilities.

    Personalization can also come from integration between your CRM system and your WCM. By providing users the ability to give you basic information about them (via download forms, subscriptions, etc), you are able to both feed your CRM system and/or match this profile data with what is in your CRM system. This gives you a wider view of the user and the ability to offer a more personalized version of your website. You can even turn anonymous users into known users using this approach.

  3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    Search Engine Optimization is still an important focus for most people -- your content must be findable. Most Web CMS products include the ability to improve SEO through things like friendly URLs, auto-generated metadata, and automatic internal linking.

  4. Multi-variate Testing
    There are different ways to test your website to see if it's providing the right content in the right way and to the right audience. And testing doesn't have to be done only before you go live. A/B testing and multi-variate testing are both popular testing methods to help optimize your content.

    For some background on multi-variate testing, see our article How To: Getting Started with Google's Website Optimizer.

2. Multi-channel Management

Your website is only one way your customers and potential customers can engage with your organization. Others include:

  • Mobile apps and interfaces
  • External social networking sites and communities
  • Offline channels -- like your call center

Know the Channels and Devices

It is important to identify all the channels and devices through which your customers interact with you and your brand. Once you have this information, you can make informed decisions on how to manage your brand across those various channels and devices.

What is important to realize is that a consistent/optimized experience means more than consistent messaging -- it's also about the personalization, the representation of the relationship. You need to understand not only what channels and devices are used, but how (e.g., what tasks may be performed) and then optimize and standardize the experiences.

In some cases, your web content management system can help by providing content and personalization capabilities. It should also be able to support different user experiences via mobile devices. In other cases -- like social networking sites -- you manage them separately, but should look for ways to use or integrate content and intelligence from your Web CMS, share and compare analytics information, and provide a consistent message.

Two-Way Communications

Multi-channel management is also about establishing clear lines of communication and conversations with your audiences. It is critical to not only provide users a means to learn more about your brand via web content and corporate messaging, but also by interacting with them in social networks, call centers, and other web-based communication tools like instant messaging and email.

Maintain a Single View Across Channels

And to top it all off, you need to have a single view of your users across all these channels. So if a user interacts with you on a social network and then visits your website via their iPhone, you need to know know that. Understanding and tracking how a particular user interacts with your brand, helps you provide more personalized communications.

The challenges here are not to be sniffed at, we know.

3. Conversational Engagement

Conversational engagement is all about how you choose to connect with your audience. It's no longer sufficient to talk at your website users -- you need to provide them conversational capabilities. There are four key ways you can do this: