One of the most important concerns facing marketers today is customer engagement. Why? Because it encapsulates the entire reason why marketers market: to establish relationships with customers that will ensure they choose you over the competition, like and profit from your product or service, return for more, and recommend it to their friends, family, and coworkers.
You must engage customers in order to attract, convert, and keep them — and transform them into advocates. To make a suitable, effective, and meaningful connection with them.
Brands can no longer rely solely on appealing slogans or celebrity endorsements. Because of social media and mobile phones, businesses and brands must be “on” at all times, ready to engage with customers anywhere and at any time.
Don’t be scared if that sounds like a difficult task. You can employ a variety of approaches and methods to increase client involvement, and they don’t have to be difficult. Rather, they must come from a genuine place, target the correct groups, and give customers compelling reasons to participate in order for them to do so.
What is the definition of customer engagement?
Before we go into the “how” of consumer interaction, let’s make sure we understand what it is.
All of your interactions with customers, both online and offline, are referred to as customer engagement. Customers should, in theory, feel and act favourably toward your company or brand as a result of those interactions. Here are a few examples of customer engagement that occur on a daily basis: a consumer receives an email newsletter about a new product release and visits the company's website to learn more. Alternatively, a customer may contact customer service to inquire about returning an item. On a company's social media page, a customer might view a behind-the-scenes film detailing how a product is manufactured.
There are countless examples of customer engagement, but the basic line is that businesses that focus on customer interaction provide value rather than extract income. They provide customers with something more than a sales pitch: a fantastic end-to-end customer experience, amazing content, or engaging, real-time customer care. A well-executed customer interaction plan will build client loyalty and increase sales.
How to Make Customers More Engaged
Here are seven client interaction tactics that will help you establish a devoted consumer base:
Provide excellent client service
If you need further evidence that customer experience is critical to consumer engagement, consider this: 84 percent of organisations who improve their customer experience report improved revenue.
It actually makes a lot of sense. We’ve all had horrible experiences with businesses that made us swear we’d never do business with them again! Waiting too long on hold to speak with a customer care representative, completing an online checkout that was too hard or (worst yet!) a transaction that didn’t go through after entering all of the information, and reading a tone-deaf Tweet are all examples of poor user engagement.
So why don’t you make some nice ones?
To ensure that you provide excellent customer service, you must first map out all of the ways you connect with clients. Do a thorough examination of each and see where you can improve, whether it’s a brick-and-mortar store, website, social media sites, emails, customer care centre, and/or anything else.
Make your brand meaningful and relatable.
It’s not just about making the user experience as seamless and efficient as possible (though that’s a big part of it). It’s also about establishing a brand personality that people will enjoy learning about and engaging with.
This is when brand recognition comes into play. Customers must be aware that a brand exists and that it has something unique, relevant, or valuable to offer before engaging with it.
To draw customers’ attention and facilitate possibilities for involvement, businesses must try to develop a feeling of meaning and connection with them. Part of it will come from the sense of authenticity you can instil in your brand (which is critical for today’s brand-weary and socially concerned consumers). Brand authenticity is important to 86 percent of people when determining which brands to prefer.
Authenticity is communicated by brands in almost every aspect of their operations. For some, this may imply obtaining products from vendors who share your values and ethics. Others may be inspired by the personal tale of how the brand came to be and the passion that went into its creation. Look for ways to let your company’s real character shine through, so customers can become aware of it, relate to it, and engage with it.
Take use of push notifications
When it comes to effectively engaging with customers, it’s occasionally necessary to remind them of what you have to offer. Push notifications are an excellent way to accomplish this.
Push notifications are short messages that appear outside of the browser on a user’s mobile or desktop screen. Customers can be notified about special offers, events, or news via them. Customers must opt-in to get push notifications, so by doing so, they have already decided to connect with the company. The next task is to create push notifications that contain a compelling offer or message that will entice customers to click on it and engage further.
With push notifications, the trick is to get the content and timing just perfect. You don’t want to overburden clients with push notifications; the typical US app user receives 46 per day, and 32% of users will disable push notifications if they receive more than 5 per week. Segmentation is another thing to keep an eye out for. Not every customer will be interested in every notification. Try to divide your recipients into groups so that the most effective message can be sent to them.
Use conversational marketing to your advantage
Customers’ expectations are rising in tandem with the sophistication of digital marketing. The concept of a 9-to-5 store is no longer relevant. Customers want and expect to be able to communicate with brands and businesses whenever and wherever it is convenient for them. If a customer purchases an item online at 12 a.m. and has a difficulty with the payment process, they want it resolved as soon as possible.
Of course, some businesses are unable to give that degree of involvement at all times of the day (and night), which is where conversational marketing solutions like as chatbots may be really useful.
Chatbots are automated chat services that surface on the internet to assist clients with their interactions with a corporation. They’re based on artificial intelligence technologies that can imitate human conversational patterns and provide realistic engagement experiences. Even if the consumer is aware that they are conversing with a bot, they will not be bothered provided the communication process is efficient. What important is that the consumer is cared for, which leads to engagement.
The development of scripts and conversation flows is an important part of generating successful conversational marketing.
Pay special attention to retention
Customer retention is far more cost efficient than recruiting new ones, as any marketer knows. Significantly. Existing consumers spend more, spend more frequently, and refer the brand or product to their friends and family, some of whom become customers as well.
Consider this: a customer will only return to a brand or business if they have had a positive experience. Customers will be more engaged and satisfied if they have a constant succession of positive, reliable, and beneficial contacts with a firm.
Customers interact with brands again and again when they feel valued, cared for, and enthralled by new and unique offers.
Customer retention and customer engagement are inextricably linked. One cannot exist without the other. As a result, every effective customer engagement plan must incorporate retention methods, which ensure that consumers are satisfied throughout time and throughout the lifecycle of their connection with a company.
Improve your social media marketing skills
For businesses today, being engaged on social media is a no-brainer. Every marketer understands the importance of being on social media, but how can you engage clients once you’re there?
Social media networks are busy places, with a plethora of brands and products vying for attention. As a result, client interaction initiatives must be extremely targeted.
How to get your clients to interact with you on social media
Although it may appear to be a hassle, responding to consumer comments on social media, particularly unfavourable ones, is critical. Customer complaints are also opportunities for interaction, and businesses should take the time to appropriately address them. This has the potential to change a terrible engagement into a positive one.
It’s also critical to update your blog on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean you have to post every day, but there should be a steady stream of content and dialogue with which your consumers may interact. For more information on posting frequency, see this best practices page. Also, rather of merely chatting to clients, try to establish dialogues on social media. With interactive material such as polls, contests, and quizzes, you can encourage their engagement and debate. When clients engage, make sure to follow up with them so they know they were heard and considered.
Use video to capture people’s hearts and minds
Without a doubt, video is one of the most effective marketing techniques accessible. With global audiences spending more time on mobile, marketers have found that engaging clients with appealing bites of video at various times has become one of the most popular methods.
Great video storytelling is the key to generating high levels of engagement. While digitization has revolutionised the way we live, some basic human values, such as a love of storytelling, will never change. The human brain is drawn to stories. It’s how we make sense of our surroundings and the world around us. Companies who use brand videos to tell engaging or touching stories will see a significant increase in customer engagement.
It’s not only about making videos that tell tales; it’s also about who you tell those stories to. If you use social media or native advertising to target relevant films to certain client demographics, you’ll have a better chance of grabbing their attention and interaction.
Examples of engagement campaigns
Customer engagement efforts don’t have to be complicated in order to be effective. Here are four examples of unique consumer engagement campaigns and approaches that, through their message, structure, and targeting, were able to entice and engage users.
1. Notifications through push
Outbrain’s Growth Marketing team uses push notifications to notify clients about new content that may be of interest to them. Customers are already interested and engaged because they must “opt-in” to receive these alerts. The next step is to decide what material to promote and how to promote it. Below are two instances of push notifications that had a pleasing open rate of roughly 3%. Both of these alerts promote recently published blog entries, and the notifications employ emoticons and pleasant, inviting wording to grab the user’s attention and encourage them to interact. Naturally, because the Valentine’s Day notification was sent a few weeks before the occasion, when marketers were thinking about how to promote their Valentine’s Day deals, interaction was higher.
2. Telling stories with video
We’ve already mentioned this next example of consumer engagement on our blog since it’s so fantastic. In 2019, a family-run hardware company in Wales produced a marketing film for just £100 that went viral, receiving over 2 million views. Even tiny firms with little resources can achieve high levels of consumer engagement by telling a compelling narrative in the correct way.
3. A social media marketing campaign
Coors Light Beer started a promotion to help reduce the “suckiness” of the situation after the COVID pandemic hit and the world fell into lockdown. The company made a funny movie that looked back at all of history’s “sucky” periods, injecting a beer into the mix to lighten the mood. On Twitter, the video was pushed with the offer of a free six-pack to anyone who #CouldUseaBeer. Customers only had to use the hashtag to tweet at the brand. In a highly amazing consumer engagement initiative, Coors Light gave away 500,000 free beers to customers.
4. The use of native advertising
In recent years, native advertising has expanded to encompass a wide range of ad forms, including video commercials, app install ads, and carousel-style ads. This is wonderful news for consumer engagement, because marketers now have a lot more options for using native to grab customers’ attention and get them to interact with their content and brand. Check out this Red Bull case study, which employed Outbrain carousel video advertising to create a rich storytelling experience and received outstanding engagement rates: the average session time was 96 percent longer than the intended KPI!
How do you gauge consumer satisfaction?
User involvement must be tracked and measured, just like any other marketing activity. Brands can learn how consumers respond by tracking customer engagement over time and adapting and optimising their efforts to obtain better results.
Customer engagement can be measured using a variety of measures that provide a strong indication of user interest based on actual behaviours. Here are three measures that marketers frequently use to monitor client engagement:
Conversion rates are the most accurate indicator of a campaign’s success. Whether it’s filling out a form, purchasing a product, or downloading a catalogue, the conversion rate indicates that customers are engaged and interested enough to take action.
Time on page: The amount of time visitors spend on a website’s pages is a solid indicator of how interested they are in the content. Pages with a high time spent can be further optimised to increase user engagement. To boost engagement, pages that are less interesting to visitors might be evaluated and even fully rebuilt.
Consider how many people have finished viewing the entire brand video; this will give you a good notion of if the material and story are compelling for customers. If a video has a high completion rate, then the message and medium are clearly functioning.
Why is consumer engagement so important?
Customers can now interact with you in more ways than ever before. This means that brands have a lot of options to grab consumers’ attention and bring them on board. It also implies that competitors have the same chances…
Brands must actively work to connect and interact with customers at every opportunity in order to increase consumer engagement. Finally, be consistent with whatever consumer engagement tactics you choose. Create great end-to-end customer experiences from the initial interaction through the whole brand journey by crafting messages that are on-brand and appropriate for the target audience.
You’ll be rewarded with their confidence, loyalty, and engagement if you provide them with a consistent (and outstanding) experience.