Engaging your customers is a critical element of running a successful business. Selling products or services isn’t enough to attract and retain loyal customers. It requires ongoing effort to genuinely connect with your audience and build lasting business relationships.
Customer engagement marketing isn’t a one-and-done process or a one-size-fits-all approach. We’ll explore tips for creating a unique customer engagement strategy and share tools for building and tracking audience engagement.
Customer engagement means improving the customer experience through positive customer interactions and company efforts. You can engage customers through various channels, including social media business accounts and your company blog. However, engagement extends beyond attracting customers to build your brand; you must continuously maintain and strengthen customer relationships to cultivate a loyal, engaged audience.
Even though they might be the driving factor in the beginning, your products and services shouldn’t be the only value you offer customers. To improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, ensure you develop a content strategy that produces unique, quality materials that customers can freely access.
Keep these points in mind when you’re developing your customer engagement strategy.
A customer life cycle is the length and nature of a customer’s relationship with a brand or company. Marketers should aim to make the customer’s life cycle as long and prosperous as possible.
To cultivate a healthy customer life cycle, maintain and continuously improve the customer journey. Maintaining the cycle involves the following:
Although purchase history is the most prominent marketing campaign insight beyond basic marketing demographics, it doesn’t go far enough. You must also consider the following data:
This often-overlooked information will yield results because it’s inherently valuable and your competitors likely aren’t considering it.
There is a plethora of information marketers can’t or don’t access when crafting customer communications. For example, behavioral data and online-offline profitability are often overlooked. With the rapid growth in digital channels, the only way for marketers to remain competitive is to use all available customer information.
Small businesses should think like big businesses and act using available tools. For example, small businesses may analyze data on a smaller scale – for example, in a spreadsheet instead of a custom-built system – but this analysis is still more valuable than hunches or preconceived ideas about your target customer.
If acting on that data means sending individual emails or making one-on-one calls, do it; at least you know you’re targeting your best possible customer.
Small and midsize businesses have an advantage over big companies in that they can quickly act on insights and react to market trends. In contrast, it can be challenging for large businesses to present data and propose ideas that resonate with senior leadership, as well as to overcome institutional habits.
Solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t face these challenges. Take advantage of your flexibility and experiment intelligently to discover what matters to your customers.
While many businesses strive to obtain a detailed customer profile, don’t forget to consider easily accessible information. With Facebook analytics and other free tools, it’s easy to gather information about how consumers interact with your brand.
When you’re searching for additional insights, consider asking customers directly. Most will readily offer information in exchange for something of value. For example, customer loyalty programs, social media interactions and customer surveys can be rich data sources.
Go to your customers; don’t wait for them to come to you. An engaged customer is most likely to spend or keep spending. Identify your most important customers, but don’t forget to determine the most valuable time to reach them within their customer life cycles and purchase cycles.
Challenging assumptions is as much a business philosophy as it is a marketing tactic. Don’t assume that methods and practices that have worked well for the past year will be successful in the future.
Consistently reframe your existing data and insights to ensure you have (and, more importantly, act on) the best available data.
Your brand’s voice is essentially your business’s personality. You should maintain it in every article you share, blog post you write and interaction you have.
“Build a brand voice with a distinct personality that resonates with both your values and the values of your target audience,” said Gilad Rom, founder of Huan. “This allows you to create a human-to-human connection with your customers. This connection allows your customers to trust you and the products you offer.”
Social media networks such as Instagram and Facebook are must-have customer engagement platforms for businesses. Social media will help you attract new customers and reach repeat customers, especially on mobile devices, as mobile and social shopping continues to grow.
“It’s no secret that social media is the obvious go-to choice for customer engagement strategies,” said Chris Brenchley, co-founder of Surehand and Intelirex. “The more likes, shares and comments you receive, the greater feedback you’re essentially receiving from your customers. If your business is not on social media, then you’re missing out on so many opportunities of connecting with your customers.”
Here are some ways to boost social media engagement:
Content marketing includes blog posts, webinars, e-books, videos and other channels that position you as an expert in your industry. Your content should be valuable to your target customers and include information they can’t get from anyone else. In other words, cater your content to your audience’s needs while injecting your brand voice.
If you must choose one form of content marketing to pursue, pick video, recommended Rameez Ghayas Usmani, digital PR and link-building specialist at Thrive Internet Marketing Agency.
“Written content is undoubtedly useful, but today, videos are outperforming for content marketing purposes, and they will continue to be one of the most frequently used content marketing strategies,” he said. “Because the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, it is far simpler for people to remember visual information than the same information in a written form. That is why marketing videos are all the rage now for increasing traffic to your website.”
Building a customer engagement marketing strategy is crucial for creating lasting relationships with your audience. Here are some of the benefits of building a customer engagement strategy:
Consider the following examples of successful customer engagement campaigns. Use them as inspiration when you’re building your customer engagement strategy.
Many channels and tools can help you boost customer engagement, including the following:
Customer engagement is an essential element of your marketing plan. It means building a loyal base of return customers who will want to share your brand with others. Using these tips, you can create personalized ways to make your customers feel appreciated and invested in your brand enough to engage beyond a single purchase.
Ross Mudrick and Nicole Fallon contributed to the reporting and writing in this article. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.