Little by little, the need for site-wide interactive experiences are becoming essential to success. An interactive experience is when the engagement a customer has with a brand is a two-way street. The customer is a participant in the conversation and drives the experience.
As a result, media executives are starting to buy into the idea that on-site engagement tools – like live commenting, live chat, and live blogging – grow audiences into loyal communities.
Media organizations have naturally formed multiple partnerships with vendors to invest in front-facing tech that fulfills their audience engagement needs. It all sounds very logical, but would you believe us if we told you that using multiple engagement tool vendors is actually a form of self-sabotage?
Why using digital engagement tools from different vendors is harmful
In reality, by stitching multiple engagement tools together from incompatible service providers, you’re going to miss out on extremely important, revenue-boosting opportunities and give your users a broken experience.
Let's find out eight ways you should no longer use digital engagement tools from different vendors, including what you should be doing instead.
8 reasons to not use digital engagement tools from different vendors
Broken user experience
No understanding of your user’s journey
Fragmented data across vendors
Need for internal development resources
Expensive procurement process
Vendor management nightmare
High opportunity cost
1. Inconsistent moderation
You probably know the dangers of allowing users to post to your digital properties without being able to block their posts and mute users when needed. While you may already have moderation in place for some of your tools, there’s a key question you should ask yourself: is the resulting user experience fragmented throughout your property?
Muting a user in one tool should be reflected in all other engagement tools on your platform to prevent trolls and bots from bouncing around your site and harassing loyal users.
2. Broken user experience
Consistency is a crucial part of good user experience (UX). In an article, Forbes states that “by nurturing a consistent relationship with customers and users, a brand begins to build influence, which, in turn, becomes brand loyalty.”
This means that having a cohesive experience across all engagement tools will make a big difference in terms of setting a good or bad user experience on your platform.
3. No understanding of your user’s journey
Interested in finding out what types of content your audience likes to engage with and what types of habits or content pieces push them to subscribe? Then, turn anonymous users into known ones, monitoring their actions and habits across every part of your platform.
When it comes to getting a complete picture of your visitor’s behavior on your platform, you need to use the same tech vendor for all your tools. Otherwise, getting your data for each tool and stitching it together based on user will be impossible. That means you can say goodbye to understanding your user’s journey on your properties.
Capturing rich, first-party data is an important way to understand user behavior on your platform and create strategies based on those insights to increase your loyal following.
User data is valuable for informing your conversion and sales strategies. Engagement data across your site can also be used to alert your paywall when users are ready to subscribe or are about to churn.
Even if you can get user data from each of your tools, what’s the point of having it if you can’t get actionable insights across your entire site?
Instead of hiring your own data science team to continuously analyze your community’s behavior from each tool, consider going with a single service provider that can get you those insights on your behalf. Save your team time and money.
6. Expensive procurement process
It takes time to choose and implement tools from tech vendors that offer value to your organization — which is time that you most definitely can’t afford to spare.
Why go through that lengthy process over and over again for several different vendors? Especially when you really only need one partner that can provide you with all the tools and services you need.
Even if you are able to choose several tech vendors without much effort, there’s the long-term challenge of actually having to manage them. Who on your team is keeping track of any bugs or glitches that may result from the software, and renewing and renegotiating contracts when they expire?
At the end of the day, you may be better off without the headache of having to manage several different service providers and contracts at once.
By using multiple service providers for your digital community engagement tools, you’re accepting a major loss, or opportunity cost. More specifically, you’re losing out on the ability to identify cohorts of users and convert them into subscribers.
This is no longer just about saving some money and time — it’s about losing out on accelerating your revenue growth in a simple, achievable way. Thankfully, the solution is a simple one.
Digital engagement tools are vital to keeping businesses in today's marketing afloat. However, using more than one digital engagement tool can harm your business more than help it in the long run.
Having trouble managing the digital tools your team is using? Use G2 Track to help you track and manage the usefulness and price point of all software usage across your team – and even your company. If you're looking to save money on your tech stack, get started with G2 Track today.
Rebecca Alter has held various roles in writing, editing, communications and marketing across the media, manufacturing and software industries. Currently, she works as a Marketing Specialist at Viafoura, which helps transform passive digital visitors into loyal subscribers.