Marketers have a variety of tools for attracting new customers, ranging from blogs to landing pages to content. What are these tools ultimately for? What is the final goal of marketing?
Marketers want to engage with their customers so they can build meaningful relationships with them.
Better engagement will make customers choose your brand over that of your competitors, and attract customers through a variety of channels. The formula of engagement is simple; acquire, engage and retain - but the key to all of them is implementation.
Catchy slogans and celebrity endorsements will only get you so far, but the one skill every marketer needs is the ability to connect with customers effectively.
Marketers can use a variety of tools to boost customer engagement. When you target the right audience and develop a personalized approach, you can create engagement strategies that will reliably get you results.
What is a Customer Engagement Strategy?
A customer engagement strategy is a method used by a business to interact with their customers, both online and offline. These strategies are developed to make customers feel welcome and have a positive attitude toward your business. Sending newsletters to customers about product launches, providing a support center for customers to call with any issue or even just uploading a video about the production process, are a few examples of customer engagement.
Customer engagement means offering something more meaningful than a sales pitch. When a brand makes efforts to create a personalized experience for customers through real-time support, interaction, or great content, it means they are engaging with their customers. These strategies are focused on value creation—not revenue extraction. These strategies help brands foster customer loyalty and ultimately increase their ROI.
The 3 Acts of Customer Engagement
It’s not enough to attract new customers; you also have to get them to stick around. Brands constantly put effort into engaging customers, just to retain them. As the eCommerce world gets more oversaturated, clicks and conversions have increased the cost of acquisition making retention all the more valuable.
Consumer engagement is a helpful tool in a competitive market. To create a successful engagement strategy, you need to understand the three acts of engagement.
As with every good marketing strategy, it’s best to start with acquiring new customers. Bringing a lot of traffic to your website is great, but it’s more valuable if you are attracting the right audience. If you are marketing for customers who have no use of your products, then all your efforts will be in vain. To acquire new customers, choose your channels and your audience wisely.
Engagement is the next step. It is the deciding factor in whether or not the customers you acquired will be loyal to you. After you have focused on the right channels and are generating traffic to your website, you will want to convert that traffic into paying customers.
If you are struggling to convert acquired customers into engaged customers, the problem may be in your engagement methods. Fixing your engagement strategy will encourage potential customers to invest in your products, giving you better returns on your marketing.
Acquiring customers can be harder than retaining the ones you already have. That’s why making your existing customers feel valued is so important: it discourages them from switching to your competitors’ brands.
When you provide quality customer experience and support you can reduce your churn rate, earning the loyalty of customers.
Five Examples of Customer Engagement Done Right
Any brand can refine its engagement strategies and stand out from the competition. Here are five customer engagement examples and why they were effective.
Social media is how your customers get to know your brand. It’s your opportunity to connect with them and get them to engage with you. You can turn your social media followers into loyal customers, and even brand advocates who can promote you for free.
Free People, a women’s bohemian fashion clothing brand, understand this better than most. They’re famous for using this customer engagement strategy in their Brand Ambassador program. They knew that their customers are the best people to write for their blogs - they’re the people who understand their brand the most and understand what Free People customers want the most. That’s why Free People invite wellness influencers to be featured on their blog and eCommerce store.
Brand advocates intimately understand what your customers want, so they’re in the best position to create high-quality content that your customers want to read and share. This strategy has helped Free People gain more followers and traffic to their website.
Chubbies is a great case study on how to create engagement through community-building and clever use of branding.
Chubbies, an eCommerce store that sells shorts and swim trunks for men, makes clever use of humorous and playful messaging together with customer-focused branding to connect with millennials and prove that they understand them.
This community-centric attitude is reflected in their mission statement by Co-Founder Tom Montgomery:
Our mission is to treat our customers the way we treat our friends, to engage in the same way.
That branding stays consistent from their brand voice at the very top, all the way down to their social media posts and product listings.
Not only that, but they use their customer feedback and post-purchase surveys to give them insight into what their customers want. Chubbies started as a digital-only store, but then expanded to nine physical locations after asking their customers where they wanted them to be built.
The work apparel company Carhartt boosted customer engagement by introducing a new technology that allowed users to connect with virtual personal shopping experts. The company’s website tracked and analyzed customer behavior and pushed a pop-up that would appear when a customer engaged in a certain behavior. The pop-up simply asked if the customer would like to chat with someone.
When the customer clicked “Yes”, he or she would be connected with an apparel expert to help the consumer find the product needed. This increased customer satisfaction, encouraging customers to engage in repeat purchases from Carhartt.
Designer Bums introduced VIP programs for their highest-tier customers to reward them for their loyalty. Customers can redeem their rewards points to purchase more of their products and earn social media badges proving their VIP status.
They even introduced a creative online board game where shoppers can try to earn the coveted “Star Gazer” status and in return get even more points. Designer Bums shoppers can then share their VIP badges on Facebook and bring even more people to the website.
People are more likely to do things that they think are fun, and that’s why the loyalty program is a success. Designer Bums used their loyalty program to transform an otherwise mundane online shopping experience into a collaborative game.
Getting your customer to find you on social media and then actually visit your website and buy something is one thing. If you’re going to build a profitable business though, you need to get them to keep coming back again and again. That’s what re-engagement emails are for, and they’re one of the most tried-and-true customer engagement strategies in the book.
Paul Mitchell sends newsletter emails with emotionally charged messaging and fun, informal language to customers who unsubscribe from their newsletter. Simple headlines like “We Hate Goodbyes” tug at people’s heartstrings in a way that’s tough to say no to.
Appealing to your customers’ emotions can help bring them back and start paying attention to you again so you can rebuild a lasting relationship with them.
Why Customer Engagement Is Important
Customer engagement not only benefits your customers but benefits the brand investing in the marketing as well.
Customer engagement strategies used by successful brands often enhance the customer experience. They work by keeping consumers invested in their own purchase journey, where they develop loyalty and share information that can be valuable for brands interested in developing new engagement strategies.
Interacting and engaging with customers leads them to buy more often from your brand and it provides you with valuable insights about your customers. These insights can allow your company to make more informed marketing decisions regarding your sales process, your content, and even your loyalty programs. Some of the most notable benefits of customer engagement include:
Increase in customer’s trust and loyalty
Increase in sales funnel velocity
Better brand experience
Valuable customer insights and feedback
Better experience for the end-customer
How to Calculate Customer Engagement
To develop a strong customer engagement strategy, you should track and measure the performance of your current campaigns. Measuring customer engagement over time will allow you to learn how users are responding to different tactics and optimize your strategies for maximum results. The three most commonly used metrics to monitor consumer engagement are:
Measuring a conversion rate helps a marketing department measure the exact performance of its campaign. A conversion action can be anything, like buying a product, completing a form or even downloading a catalog.
Session duration, or time-on-page, is a good indicator for determining engagement levels. The more time a user spends on your page, the more likely they are interested in your content. Analyze the pages that consumers like to spend time on and optimize them to boost engagement levels. Rework pages with less time spent on them to improve engagement.
Video View Completion
Video view completion is useful in understanding how many users are finishing the brand videos they start watching. This gives you a better idea of whether the story or content you published is engaging for your audience.
If your video has a high completion rate, then your message is coming across clearly and the medium is working. If your rate is low, you should work on making the content more engaging.
Customer Engagement Strategies That Work
A customer engagement plan can be a game-changer for your brand. When honed and implemented, your plan will not only increase your sales and profits, but also increase customer loyalty towards your brands.
Create a Meaningful and Relatable Brand
Creating an experience for customers is important for producing high customer engagement. You should work on the brand's personality and build something with which customers want to engage. Customers who are aware of your brand know if your brand has something good to offer.
Companies must connect with customers to attract their attention and boost engagement, communicating authenticity in all aspects of their business. Start by sharing the story behind a brand and the passion that fuels it. These behind-the-scenes stories help customers create a meaningful connection with the brand.
As digital marketing methods evolve, so do the expectations of customers. Today, customers expect instant support from brands, but not all brands can offer this level of engagement.
Conversational marketing tools, like conversational texting, can help with this. These automated services can provide assistance to the customers regardless of the time of the day or the day of the week.
Since these solutions are based on artificial intelligence, they can offer a human-like conversational experience. They can solve many minor issues customers face, providing support and client satisfaction.
Work on Your Social Media Marketing
Any marketing professional can tell you the importance of social media, but using it optimally to drive results can be a bit confusing. Social media is filled with brands and products constantly fighting for the attention of customers. Coming out ahead requires staying focused on your engagement activities.
Brands should take time to address the issues of customers accurately. Hearing their concerns and resolving their issues can turn an average engagement strategy into a superb one.
Posting frequently and relevantly allows customers to engage with you. Use polls, quizzes, contests, and other interactive content to provide deeper customer engagement.
Use Push Notifications
Reminding customers of your offers can also be a form of engagement, so using push notifications can help you remain top-of-mind.
These short messages pop up on the user’s screen and notify them about special events, offers or news. If customers have subscribed to push notifications, it means they want to engage with your brand. Use this opportunity to craft push notifications with compelling messages and offers that will trigger a positive response from the consumer.
Use push notifications wisely. To get maximum results, optimize the timing and content. Don’t bombard customers with too many notifications. Also consider customer segmentation, so you can segment your audience and target portions of it.
Develop Better Customer Experiences
The customer experience is the deciding factor in whether or not a customer will return to your brand. A seamless experience will keep them coming back and boost your profits.
Simple things, like building an easy-to-navigate website with smooth transactions and 24/7 live support are ways to ensure a good experience for customers.
Try to keep a neutral tone in your marketing campaigns. If you put up a controversial social media post in hopes of increasing engagement, it can do more harm than good. To create a better customer experience, you should first map out ways to interact with customers and then analyze areas for improvement to give yourself more chances to boost engagement and produce visible results.
Use Videos to Capture Attention
Videos are a powerful marketing tool. As your audience spends more time on mobile devices, engage them with interesting videos. Brands that create fascinating stories and videos have more chances of engaging with customers. Target videos to appropriate segments, and you will gain their interest and engagement.
Customer engagement is not just a tool that can be used to market products; it allows you to connect with your customers and gain their loyalty.
To boost consumer engagement, you should work on connecting and interacting with customers at every opportunity. Be consistent with your strategies and craft suitable messages for your targeted audience.
Emotive can help you in scaling your business relationships using effective methods and strategies. We’ve assisted multiple brands in boosting their customer engagement and can help yours too. Book a demo today and see customer engagement in action.