A Comprehensive Guide to the Effective Customer Engagement Strategy
“Customer engagement” has long become a business buzzword, as brands are using a considerable amount of their budget on this strategy. Creating real, lasting, and loyal relationships between a brand and its customers is one of the priorities these days, as the impact of such relationships on business revenues is significant.
For this reason, if you want to keep up with the times and use the latest customer engagement strategies in 2020, feel free to dive into our complete guide and enjoy the tips you can use straight away.
What is Customer Engagement?
Customer engagement is a connection between a customer and a company or a brand via various channels. These days customer engagement doesn’t boil down to sales, support, and services only; it is about creating long-lasting and loyal relationships with your customers.
By continuously engaging customers through various channels, a business builds strong brand awareness and a valuable connection beyond boosting sales. Ironically, by focusing on customers’ needs, interests, and values, brands acquire happy, returning, and loyal clients.
Not sure who your target audience is? Check out our guide on targeting the right customers using buyer personas.
Why is Measuring Customer Engagement Important?
It’s worth mentioning that customer engagement metrics differ by the channel you use, whether it’s social media, email marketing, or chatbots. It can be a total number of interactions like retweets, likes, mentions, click-through rates, or emails that are open daily/weekly/monthly. However, there is one thing all the engagement channels have in common – the essential need for measurement and analytics.
It is only possible to see whether you’re headed in the right direction by collecting, controlling, and examining the data. This will give you the real sense of whether your customers are engaged and how many are fully engaged.
Only with thorough customer engagement measurement can a brand can spot its weak and strong areas. This, in turn, will result in smart and effective strategies towards growth and success.
Tools to Measure Customer Engagement
Before we get down to tools, let’s have a quick gaze at customer engagement metrics you may be interested in:
- Social media likes, shares, and comments
- Engagement with content (blogs, podcasts, downloads, videos)
- Use of app or device
- Website engagement
The tools presented below are aimed at helping a business boost customer experience, enhance the lifetime value of your customers, and keep customers coming back.
This tool offers a unique opportunity of measuring happiness index for every customer you have. By knowing the state of every client in a particular moment, you can personalize and optimize your sales funnel to keep your customers fully satisfied.
Some other analytics tools you could consider is Google Analytics, Heap Analytics, and Mix Panel.
SumoMe Heat Maps
It is a perfect tool for companies with a website as the main channel, as it allows you to examine the parts of your website page your customers get most engaged with. It works like a heat map outlining the areas that users mostly click at.
With such a tool, you can get rid of unnecessary info on your website and significantly boost engagement.
Other heat map tools that you could consider are HotJar or Smartlook.
7 Effective Strategies to Increase Customer Engagement
1. Plunge Into Social Media
First of all, if you still don’t have social media accounts for your brands, go and create them. Secondly, use them smartly. Did you know that out of our almost 8 billion population, 3 billion people use social media? Crazy right? For this reason, you need to jump at such opportunities to get closer to your customers.
To begin with, social media accounts are often used to increase brand awareness. By constantly being there and following the trends, people discover your company. When it comes to customer engagement, social media is just what you need to get started.
Use social media as a tool rather than a platform. This is a unique tool to connect with your clients, share your news, create useful content, and, most importantly, be there for your clients. Many people turn to social media if they want to connect with the company, solve some issues, or get answers to some of the questions they may have.
What is more, you can use social media to collect essential feedback to improve your service/goods. You will be surprised that customers would really like to get engaged if they know that a brand will listen to them.
Let’s take an example of GAP, for instance. Once they had an idea to change their logo. First, they didn’t discuss it with their customers, and just replaced it with no warning. Within several days, they received an enormous amount of negative feedback regarding the new logo that was considered to be awful. The company listened to its customers, and six days after returning to the original logo.
The result: customers are happy, they remain loyal, and GAP remains a popular brand. What’s the lesson learned here? Brands need to interact with their customers via social media to receive feedback, as it is essential for success.
2. Work Towards Personalization
With overall automatization, it’s easy to lose connection with your customers. That is why another number one priority is to personalize the communication with your clients, so that you will understand them and, as a result, boost engagement. Luckily, these days we have all the tools to achieve that.
Let’s begin with an email campaign. Thanks to segmentation, you can personalize the emails by the person’s location, age, gender, buying experience, and preferences. There are tons of free tools as well as those that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, but will prove to be truly efficient. Here are some of the most popular in 2020:
Even better, you can use any of those (and many others) directly inside any of your popups created with Popup Maker. We even have enhanced, direct integrations with our MailChimp extension and Aweber extension.
If your business has an app, SAAS app, plugin, or other software, personalization works perfectly there as well. Take the apps that are indispensable from our lives like taxi or delivery apps, or time management tools. The reason why we’re so engaged with these apps is that they are personalized to its best.
For this reason, don’t hesitate to use personalization triggers to get your customers engaged. For example, your company has VIP clients, and they are there for you for a long time, so make sure they feel it. No matter how loyal your regular clients are, if they don’t see that you care about them, they will just leave to a newcomer in the field (because they will show that they care more).
Don’t hesitate to offer unique personalized discounts, or offers, or limited production. Not only will it keep your regular clients, but it will also make other customers want to become your regular clients.
3. Don’t Be Scared to Get Creative
Another strategy that has truly proven to be effective when it comes to customer engagement is “thinking outside the box and even getting out of your comfort zone.”
So in 2020, challenges have already become a part of our lives, and businesses are keeping up with the times. It’s just a perfect opportunity to get your regular customers engaged, draw new clients, and boost brand awareness.
For some brands like Starbucks, the idea is already doing its job, as everybody takes a photo of a cup with their name and posts it online. However, is there anything we can do, in case we cannot write names on the cups.
Well, Coca Cola followed the idea and took it to the next level, when it created bottles and cans with various names in various languages around the world. Inevitably, people started hunting for the drink with their name, taking a photo, and posting it online—fun, engaging, and effective.
Like this, brands get their customers engaged and enhance the lasting, loyal relations. That is why, by getting creative, we mean, find out what drives your customers, discover what will speak to them, and have this data in mind.
Don’t limit yourself and create some extraordinary campaign that will directly appeal to your customers. Customer engagement is more than just cold figures and pressure to make them buy more; it is about connecting and creating strong relations.
4. Enjoy the Benefits of a Giveway
Who doesn’t like getting something free or, even better, winning something? Social media contests and giveaways are the new methods to get your customers as engaged as possible. In fact, you kill two birds with one stone: you boost engagement and enhance brand awareness.
The majority of social media contests involve using a particular hashtag and sharing the info. What is more, such activities strengthen the competitive spirit among the target audience.
Let’s take the example of GoPro. For the second time, they’ve organized the GoPro Million Dollar Challenge. So people send inspiring and adventurous videos shot with new GoPro cameras. After GoPro selects the best moments and creates the final video, all the submitters featured in a video will receive an equal share of one million dollars.
Letting your customers win is an essential tool these days to boost audience size and gain exposure, while having them engaged.
No matter the size of your business, you can always choose a contest or giveaway that will meet your budget. It’s not about the quantity; it’s about the quality. People like to see how lucky they are and engage in a competition. So why don’t you provide such an opportunity, and both enjoy the benefits?
5. Make Customers a Part of the Team
Another way to highly improve interaction with your customers is to ask them for ideas: you will be surprised by how many creative and amazing ideas you can get. Not only will you benefit from new ideas, but you will also strengthen the bond between your audience and your brand.
Most importantly, the advice and ideas that you get from your customers are exactly what you need if you want to understand your target audience and what drives them. Plus, such cooperation will keep you ahead of the competition.
For example, McDonalds in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, developed such a campaign several years ago. They offered their customers to experiment with the recipe of a burger, and the winner got to have their burger on the menu for some time. The campaign was a total success. Not only did it drive customers to get engaged, but it also resulted in developing a truly tasty alternative to Big Tasty.
The new burger that has won the competition is called the “Ari Burger,” and, as people name it, “it’s like a cheeseburger but with Big Tasty sauce.” And it still becomes available on the menu from time to time.
Another example of an amazing co-innovators activity is the LEGO company. Clients can submit their own designs, and other users can vote and leave feedback. In case a project gets 10 000 votes, LEGO examines the idea and then chooses the winner whose idea will be sold worldwide. Certainly, the creator also needs to approve the idea and will get a percentage of the sales.
Needless to say, this is how you get your customers engaged and build strong and loyal relations.
6. Turn to Influencers
One of the proven methods to reach out to your customers or potential customers is by turning to influencers, or industry experts. When creating a collaboration with influencers, you increase your audience, for one thing. For another, your regular clients can become more active by seeing how influencers interact with your service/product.
What is more, people following a particular influencer trust them and listen to them, as they have a strong communication every day. As a business you can use this to talk to your customers via influencers. It’s more likely they will listen to the person they watch daily than some brand trying to persuade them.
“It’s also a good idea to turn your loyal customers into influencers. By this, I mean, sometimes, you don’t need to reach experts having millions of subscribers. It could be way more effective to reach an expert with an average number of subscribers in the field, so that they will tell you about your product or service. What is more, a loyal client sharing info about your brand to their close friends can be a good strategy, as the word of mouth always works,” adds Adam Simon, a content writer, and reviewer at LegitWritingServices, a website that writes essay writing service reviews.
7. Improve Custom Content
Finally, your customers are looking for truly great content. The recent Google study showed that 48% of phone users would more probably buy your product if your website has instructional content like articles or infographics.
When it comes to content, the sky’s the limit. You can create instructional Youtube videos and add links to them on your website or social media. You can turn to designers to craft useful infographics. Also, you can write helpful posts for your customers.
To meet your customer needs, don’t hesitate to ask your clients what are the questions bothering them and then create content that will answer these questions. As it is said, according to recent studies, 61% of Consumers’ buying decisions are influenced by Custom Content.
If you’re looking for how to engage your customers, create content that they may find useful, and, in turn, it will help them choose your product or service.
While using social media, you can enjoy all the features there, create polls, voting, and answer comments. This is how you will keep up with what interests your customers and make it easier to create strong bonds.
As you see, the strategies proven to boost customer engagement are endless. So you can find just the method right up your street.
So, let’s sum up the main points you need to keep in mind if you want to succeed in effective customer engagement campaign:
- First, focus on the goals you want to achieve and outline the means of how you can achieve them.
- Secondly, choose the tools that will help you measure the customer engagement.
- Use social media to connect with your customers daily to understand their needs, find what drives them, and learn to listen to them.
- Personalization is #1 priority in 2020, as everything is aimed at customization and optimization. Choose the means of personalization that will meet your goals, whether its email segmentation, triggers in apps, or personalized triggers in chatbots.
- Don’t limit your imagination, and think outside the box when creating marketing campaigns that may help to boost brand awareness and engagement.
- Be generous and let your customers win. The feeling of competition is what drives people to interact with your product/service even more. Check out famous brands’ examples for inspiration.
- Entrust your communication with influencers; they know how to talk to their audience. As a result, the efficiency of communication will be higher, as followers trust people they are following.
- Create valuable content your customers will really enjoy and find useful.
- Finally, feel free to experiment and find the strategy that will truly work for you.
Remember that these days, customer engagement is more than just a marketing campaign, or a tool, as Inc. Magazine puts it. You are building lasting and loyal relations with your customers. These relations will have benefits for both you as a brand and your customers.
The mutual feedback you can enjoy is the essential key for your company to prosper and your customers to enjoy the results.
Rhonda Martinez is a marketer, blogger and freelance brand manager. Rhonda is passionate about everything that is related to marketing communication, branding and social media. You can follow her on Twitter to read more about her work.
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