It used to be that you’d meet a prospective customer face to face. During the meeting, you’d study their facial expressions, gestures, and any other physical clues on display to size up whether they were likely to buy from you or not. These days those kinds of interactions are few and far between, so that’s just not always possible.

That’s because most customers do their research, communicate with your business, and make their purchases online. And while you may not be able to study your buyers’ face for clues about what they’re about to do next as a result, that doesn’t mean you can’t find similar clues somewhere else. After all, even when they’re behind a computer screen or tablet, they’re still giving off signs that they might be interested in purchasing from you. Collectively, those signs are referred to as digital body language, which when analyzed correctly, can be one of the most valuable tools you can use to target buyers with effective, useful content to push them through the sales funnel.

Understanding Digital Body Language

Whether it’s liking something of yours on social media, subscribing (or unsubscribing) to your newsletter, or visiting your website once, never to return, your prospects and customers are leaving a digital trail of information about their intentions. Fortunately, there are a variety of powerful data analyzing tools that can help you to collect, interpret, and leverage this information. Reading digital body language can help you pinpoint just how interested people are in your product or service, and where they are in the buyer journey so that you can better tailor your content to meet their needs.

It’s also worth pointing out that unlike physical body language, which can be highly subjective, digital body language is far more objective. It’s hard data. Every digital interaction a prospect has with you paints a more detailed picture of who they are as a customer and what they want. You can even anticipate their need for more information and what kind of information would benefit them the most. Someone who has been to your website just once or twice (and is therefore in the awareness stage), for example, probably isn’t going to be as interested in technical specifications. They may not even know what they want just yet and are better off with much more general content.

The good news is that the more actions they take online — browsing specific pages, reading your blog, subscribing to newsletters — the better you’ll understand them as a customer. In fact, the data you collect can even help you to create a personalized content marketing strategy that actually gels with your audience.

Using Digital Body Language to Your Advantage

Analyzing which pages people visit most frequently, which newsletters they subscribe to, and if they open them, tells you a lot about what they are genuinely interested in. The trick is to act on this information by, for example, sending them personalized, relevant, and targeted information based on what you now know they care about.

You might send them recommendations based on previous purchases, alternative products to the ones they’ve been browsing, or ones that complement things they’ve already bought. Harnessing each prospect’s degree of interest and the nature of those interests can dramatically increase engagement and conversion, especially when you’re providing them with genuinely valuable content and timing those interactions effectively.

Targeted remarketing emails after a visitor has left your site also offer an opportunity to reconnect when it makes sense. For example, if buyers put several items in their cart, then leave your site without purchasing them, they’re signaling that they are very interested in your product and had perhaps intended to buy it before something got in their way. Perhaps it’s worth following up with an email reiterating the strengths of your product and why it’s the best option for them to help get them over the line. It’s about feeding the prospect the right content at the right time to try to move them forward and anticipating any questions that they might have.

Some Final Thoughts

When you target the right message at the right time to the right prospect, you dramatically increase your opportunities for a sale. Customers love personalized service and intuitive brands that take some of the hard work out of their purchasing experience by anticipating what content they require and making sure it has value. Collecting, interpreting, and acting on the digital body language of your customers by serving up the best content to meet their needs is a simple, yet powerful, way to increase engagement and boost your business and brand reputation.