You've seen all the great interactive Web tools that big companies use—trivia games, polls, and image carousels that keep site visitors engaged. It's difficult for small businesses to offer those same experiences, because the coding requirements often lie outside their reach. Unless your core business relates to technology or Web design, you probably don’t have that kind of expertise in-house.
The Plyfe platform changes all that by offering ready-to-use interactive cards for websites, social media channels, and mobile devices—all without any coding needed and all for free.
Features Built to Engage Small Business Customers
Plyfe boasts a number of features that small business operators can use to better engage with and understand their customers. Each tool is set up as an interactive card, which lets companies select the experiences that their customers will most likely enjoy. One of the platform's most popular offerings—particularly on Facebook—is the personality quiz.
"The consumer answers a series of questions and then, based upon how they answer those questions, there will be some sort of reveal," says Plyfe co-founder and chief marketing officer Jeff Arbour. The quiz can be anything from what city you should live in to which Game of Thrones character you are.
Polls are another favorite card in the Plyfe repertoire. It's a type of interaction that Arbour says has been in digital format for a while, but hasn't always been optimized for the touchscreen mobile audience. "We redesigned the polling experience for the mobile audience' for the millennials," he explains. "All of our polling is very visual."
Aetna garnered 72 percent engagement using a Plyfe swipe card.
The change has proven successful, as Arbour says, "When we went from radio buttons to visual-based polling, we saw a five-fold increase in the number of completed polls." With Plyfe, small businesses now have the opportunity to engage customers with a poll that feels like a conversation rather than a research question.
The company applied similar design work to its sweepstakes promotions. Most follow a basic pattern: clicking on a banner ad drives customers to a Web page, where visitors enter their information and hit the submit button. Arbour says there's often a 50 percent drop off when customers go from the banner ad to submitting their data. "We removed a step, so when you click on a Plyfe sweepstakes card, you're entering your information right there." By removing as many clicks as possible, he says visitors are more likely to complete the process.
Social galleries are hugely popular with site visitors, and Plyfe's take on it is simple and elegant. "Anyone can aggregate images that have been publicly posted to Twitter or Instagram with a specific hashtag," Arbour explains. Whether you run a coffee shop or a clothing boutique, if your customers are taking photos at your business and posting them on Twitter or Instagram, you can include those pictures on your website.
"It makes your customers a part of your messaging, and it creates more of a sense of community around the organization," says Arbour says. The content—coming from your customers' perspective—stays fresh and relevant.
Why Choose Plyfe?
Interactive features are increasingly important in attracting and retaining customers. How those digital communication streams—even something as simple as email—worked just a few years ago has changed dramatically. "You have something that was traditionally available only for big brands," says Arbour. These companies had the budgets for website coding and other engineering-level tasks. "Now platforms like WordPress and Wix make this kind of self-serve technology much easier for small and medium sized businesses."
"Plyfe integrates into any of those platforms, any of those products and more, and it allows a small business to create an interactive experience that they can distribute to their audiences," says Arbour. It's an important step forward for small business owners, because interactive experiences are often more effective than their static counterparts.
Providing rich content gives smaller businesses the opportunity to participate in the market and to compete alongside bigger companies. "The Plyfe platform complements the existing communication stream by helping small businesses integrate interactive and rich experiences into their messaging and communications," says Arbour.
Free and Affordable Pricing Tiers
The core Plyfe platform is free. Businesses interested in additional features, such as personalized branding or custom hosted pages, can move to one of the higher tiers with pricing that starts at $25 per year.
Julie Knudson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in technology magazines including BizTech, Processor, and For The Record. She has covered technology issues for publications in other industries, from foodservice to insurance, and she also writes a recurring column in Integrated Systems Contractor magazine.
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