Customer engagement is vital in today’s business world. It’s as important as any other metric you could care to name as it defines the whole relationship that your customers have with your business. Big brands and small brands alike take it seriously, with Amazon and Starbucks among the most engaging brands in the world today.
So how can you improve your customer engagement and build strong relationships with your customers? Customer engagement marketing is here to help you. This is a type of marketing that focuses on increasing brand engagement through a variety of techniques.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at some of the strongest customer engagement techniques that you can use as keystone parts of your marketing strategy.
Are you ready to learn more? Then keep reading!
1. Use Content Marketing to Its Fullest
No brand wants to isolate itself from its customers. Yet if you don’t create content on your website, you’re missing out on great engagement opportunities. A lack of content means that there’s nothing for customers to consume, relate to, consider, or mull over.
What this means is that they’re going to see you as a service or a product and nothing more. When they’ve used your service or bought your product, that’s going to be it for their relationship with you. There are a wide variety of different kinds of content, from videos to podcasts to blog posts, but the tips remain the same.
Let’s take a look at how to make interesting content.
Make It Appropriate and Relatable
Part of your customer engagement is creating a brand identity for your business. This should reflect in your content. For instance, if you’re a funeral home, you probably shouldn’t be creating lighthearted content that’s designed to make its viewers laugh.
Think about your niche and base your content around it. Let’s say that you’re a catering company: create content that’s about catering to large events, about food, and about the latest trends in your industry that customers might want to take advantage of.
Not only should it be appropriate, but it also needs to be relatable too. Think about what your customers’ concerns are and what they might be thinking about. For instance, going back to the funeral home idea, you may want to create a guide on what to do when a loved one has passed away or talk about common mistakes that people make when planning a funeral.
If you’re not in such a serious industry then humor is a great way to connect to your customers. Making your customers smile helps build loyalty.
Keep Product and Service Mentions Natural
When your products or services come up in the course of your content, it should feel natural. No one wants to feel like they’re reading an ad: it’s a great way to alienate your customers.
Instead, think of it as bringing up your products in the course of a conversation. When there’s a problem that people are having, you can talk about how you or your products might solve it, and so on. You could also consider adding interactive images to your content, which can help people learn more about your products and services.
Consider Local Content
If you want to keep your marketing confined to your local area, then hyperlocal content is a great way to go. Hyperlocal content can help with SEO in your area and can also boost your customer engagement, but what is it exactly?
Hyperlocal content is content that’s targeted at one specific area. For instance, you might want to write about a festival that’s being held in your town, or write about local news and how it relates to your industry.
This shows that you’re engaged with the community that you’re a part of. You’re not isolated from your audience: you live among them and share their interests. This approach can help a great deal with both content marketing and customer engagement.
2. Reach Out to Your Customers for Feedback
If there’s one party that can tell you what you need to improve on, it’s your customers. Asking them for their feedback shows how much you value them, and implementing changes shows that you listen to their concerns.
It’s as easy as emailing out a survey to your customers to gauge their satisfaction. You can also consider asking customers for their feedback after they have been through your checkout.
If you don’t get too many bites on your survey, you may want to offer compensation, like entry into a prize draw, in exchange for their valuable information.
If enough customers ask for you to change something, then it’s up to you to implement the change. Take your customers on their word and wherever it’s possible, work to make them happy.
3. Use Social Media to Humanize Your Business
Being a faceless business isn’t good enough in the 21st century. People want to be able to chat, have fun with, and interact with their favorite brands (once again, where it’s appropriate). Social media is here to help you with that.
You might have heard of “brand Twitter,” the collective name for brands’ Twitter presences. While these have their ups and downs, if you’re sensible on social media you can use sass and humor to create warmth between you and your customers.
If you’re not in a serious field, make jokes, be witty in the replies, and, of course, offer genuine help when your customers need it. Some great examples of brands’ social media accounts that can inspire you include:
Using social media smartly can help your brand be more relatable and interesting. Customers can engage with it like they would an employee in your store. This lets you take the customer journey outside of your business entirely, building a bond with your customers that extends beyond business transactions, which is worth its weight in gold.
4. Offer Customers a Personalized Experience
You’re not going to feel engaged if you get the exact content that everyone else gets. Personalization can help your business reach a new level of customer engagement and help your customers feel appreciated.
A great example of a personalized experience can be seen in how Amazon recommends products to its customers. The algorithm knows what you bought before and can then recommend you similar purchases that you might like. While you might not have access to the same kind of resources that Amazon has, you can take a look at the kinds of things customers are buying and then recommend similar categories of products they might be interested in.
Another option is one employed by a few small online businesses, which is a quiz that the company then bases its recommendations on. It’s similar to the quiz that you take when you first join Netflix: it lets the company know what you’re looking for and they can then put this knowledge to use.
If you are a very small business or a business that serves a specialized customer base, then you could, instead, reach out to your customers when they sign up. A personalized email that speaks to them will go a long way towards improving customer loyalty.
5. Open Up Customer Communication
If your customers want to get in touch with you, what are their options? If they can only email you, only phone you, or only message you, then you’re not doing all you can to be open to customer communications. This means that the customer may feel as though you are not happy for them to get in touch, and that can do active harm to your business.
You should offer your customers a number of different ways to get in touch with you. Your email, phone number, and address should all be easy to find on your website. You should also have a dedicated “contact us” section on your website.
In terms of social media, you should ensure that you’re as responsive as possible when replying to messages. Consider posting “active hours” so that the customer knows when you’re likely to be able to reply quickly.
Also, make sure that you appear like the human being that you are. What we mean by this is don’t use the same customer service spiel that you’ve heard a million times before. Doing this makes you come across like a robot, which can dehumanize your company and undo a lot of the good work you’ve put into your customer engagement marketing.
6. Read and Respond to Reviews
When customers leave reviews for you on Google or on Yelp, what do you do? Do you leave them alone and not bother replying? While this is the easy route, it’s a bad approach for your customer engagement.
When someone leaves a review for their business, they’re doing you a favor. While it may be hard to think this way, especially if you’ve received bad reviews, they’re helping you a lot. A bad review is there to show you what’s wrong with your business and lets you fix them before they have a negative impact on other customers.
When someone leaves you a good review, they’re giving feedback too, and might drive other customers to your business.
Whichever kind of reviews you’re getting, you should thank the reviewers for taking time out of their day to give you feedback. It’s worth commenting on the review and thanking them for their custom, and if they’ve left a negative review, ask them to get in touch with you so that you can try and improve the situation. This can also help generate some goodwill with a customer who may have had a sub-standard experience.
This kind of active interaction on reviews can help your customer engagement strategy a lot, and improve the way that your customers relate to your business.
7. Be Interactive
Whether you’re a retailer, a publisher, or in any other line of business, your website needs to have interactive elements. We touched on the importance of interactive images earlier, but interactive videos can help you too.
Instead of putting up page after page of content that your customers might not read, consider using interactive videos that your customers can then use to select products. This could take them to the product page or, if you don’t have it in stock, you could ask them to leave their contact details so that you can contact them when it is.
Having interactive elements on your site keeps your customers interested: they’ll pay close attention to the videos and images that you upload when they know they can interact with them. Instead of using video ads like everyone else, you’ll be using ads that encourage customer engagement.
Customer Engagement Marketing Is Vital
If you want to remain competitive, then you need to be using customer engagement marketing. Customer engagement is a vital part of digital marketing and if you aren’t doing everything that you can to boost it, you’re in danger of being left behind.
If you’d like to give your marketing a huge boost with interactive elements, we’re here to help. Our performance-based pricing means that it’s cost-effective too. No matter the size of your business or whether you’re a retailer or a publisher, our interactive videos and photos can help your customer journey reach new heights.
For more information about how we can help you, take a look around our site, read our blogs, take a look at our previous work, or get in touch with us.