Engagement is the key to building a loyal customer base. Engagement is not about how often you can trick your users into viewing or engaging with content; rather, it should come naturally from customers’ level of interest in the type of products or services they are offered throughout the customer journey. If there are enough reasons for them keep coming back, then these individuals will eventually become customers!
In a world where it feels like every day the competition is getting stronger and more intense, having an engaged customer base can be your saving grace. In order to ensure that you are never left in awe of another company’s marketing campaign again (or worst yet – behind), make sure all interactions with customers lead toward meeting their needs and expectations by using strategic engagement plans at every opportunity.
Let’s take a look at the basic principles of every customer engagement strategy and how you can start turning interacting with customers into conversions.
What is a Customer Engagement Strategy?
Customer engagement is the relationship you build with your leads and customers in order to meet their needs and expectations in a way that they value. For this strategy to be effective, you need to know your customers’ desires and how your brand can satisfy those needs.
After all, customer experience is a big deal today. A mind-bogglingly 83 percent of customers now expect immediate engagement when they contact a company, up from 78 percent in 2019.
Customer engagement strategies can be broken down into two main categories: external strategies (e.g., word-of-mouth, referrals, social media networks) and internal strategies (e.g., customer service, customer retention efforts, customer loyalty programs). Instant gratification is at the core of successful customer engagement strategies as 70 percent of customers report that convenience is more important to them than branding. Further, 65% of customers would rather help themselves through self-service for simple issues.
5 Benefits of Customer Engagement Strategies
95 percent of customers say their trust in a company makes them more likely to remain loyal to that brand. Here are related benefits of customer-centric engagement strategies:
- Improve the Overall Customer Experience: The overall customer experience includes everything your prospect or customer hears, sees and feels when interacting with your brand. And it’s important, with 80 percent of customers reporting that the experiences provided by a company are as important to them as its products and services. An immersive, satisfying customer experience will give them a good impression of your company’s value and keep them coming back for more.
- Understand Customer Needs Better: Meeting the needs and expectations of your leads and customers is an integral part of customer engagement. Having this information allows you to provide more valuable, personalized service, improve your conversion rates, and even boost brand recognition.
- Relationship Building: Engaging with your leads and customers on a personal level strengthens the relationship and increases trust, which can lead to happy customers and better brand loyalty.
- Generate Leads: The key to finding the right customers is finding people who are already interested. A customer engagement strategy can help you do that by pinpointing your prospects and demonstrating your value before they even become leads.
- Increased Conversions: Customer engagement strategies increase conversions by helping you better understand the needs and wants of your leads and customers, which helps you deliver exactly what they want—when they want it. This is a critical step in the buying process because customers are much more likely to convert if your brand meets their expectations.
10 Most Effective Customer Engagement Strategies
Customer engagement doesn’t happen overnight. To engage your customers, you must have a strategy that does more than runs at all cylinders—it has to be firing on all of them simultaneously to maximize customer engagement efforts. That means effective customer engagement strategies are efficient, scalable and measurable. Here are some of the most effective customer engagement strategies:
1. Personalize Interactions: 66 percent of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations. As such, one-on-one customer engagements are an effective way to get in touch with your customers when they need you. Personal interactions give you the opportunity to meet their needs and expectations in a way that they value, which will generate more conversions in the long run.
2. Share Your Company’s Story: Sharing your brand’s story, mission or vision is a great way to get your prospects and customers interested. A story that is memorable and relatable will give customers a reason to believe in your company. You can tell your story via content marketing or social media posts that will give people an inside look into what it’s like to be part of your brand.
3. Be An Active Listener: You can learn a lot about your customers and their needs by listening. Customers are very vocal about their likes and dislikes, so take advantage of digital technologies that make it easy for customers to offer feedback, share their experiences, and more. Also, don’t just listen – follow up. When companies respond to customer feedback – be it an online review or mention on social media – it shows that they are committed to improving the customer experience and listening to solve problems.
4. Use Social Media: Social media is a great tool for customer engagement because it allows brands to reach many customers through a single channel. At the same time, the relationship doesn’t have to end with one transaction. By engaging on social media, companies can share content that demonstrates their expertise and value, which will increase conversions over time. Social media channels also provide direct access to customer feelings and responses; by actively engaging through reposting user content or responding to questions with helpful resources, you’ll build an even deeper relationships with customers.
5. Offer Useful Content: Customers tend to find the products they need by searching for answers to common questions or challenges. With content marketing, you can share your brand’s expertise with customers and prospects in a way that demonstrates value. Create useful resources that answer common customer questions and you’ll differentiate yourself from competitors and build brand awareness in real time.
6. Try Interactive Content: Interactive content (like quizzes hosted on your website) is one of the best ways to engage with your target audience because it requires customer participation. The benefits of interactive content are threefold:
- It engages current customers, can reach new audiences, and grow your customer base.
- It puts the control in the hands of potential customers, which gives them a better buying experience.
- Interactive content is a great way to collect information on your customer base, learn more about their needs and preferences, and use that insight to improve future customer interactions.
7. Use an Omnichannel Approach: Get in touch with your customers across multiple customer touchpoints. By using the same brand voice and tone – whether it’s through live chat, social media, email or direct mail – you can connect with customers on a consistent and personal level. By leveraging customer data (name, location, previous purchases) you can create personalized experiences for each customer that builds trust and encourages repeat visits.
8. Track the Right User Engagement Metrics: By tracking key user engagement metrics, you can determine which of your marketing efforts are the most successful. These metrics might include time on site/page, bounce rate, average number of pages per visit or email open rate. In fact, 48 percent of marketers also track lifetime customer value to measure the effectiveness of their strategies.
9. Help Customers Reach Goals: Customers turn to brands for help achieving a goal – whether it’s buying a new TV for the big game on Sunday or getting ready for back-to-school season. By tailoring experiences that provide value and meet customer needs, brands show customers they care.
10. Incentivize Referrals: More than 70 percent of consumers say they make a purchase because a friend recommended a brand or product to them. Offer an incentive to encourage their feedback, then share those referrals on your digital channels!
Examples of Successful Customer Engagement Campaigns
Customer engagement campaigns don’t necessarily have to be complex in order to get good results. Here are several examples of original customer engagement campaigns and tactics that really managed to entice and engage users with their message, structure and targeting.
- Video Storytelling: Creating a marketing video and sharing it on social media can help increase customer engagement by bringing them into your brand story. Check out this video from outdoor brand Yeti, which depicts compelling characters who are real people. Clearly, telling a captivating story in the right way can be fascinating to potential customers.
- Create Content Based on Customer History: If you have the ability to track customer history within your CRM, you can gather data on customer buying habits and use that information to create personalized content. One common application of this strategy includes sending emails to customers who have just made a purchase with an offer for their next visit.
- Share Your Brand Voice: What kind of voice does your brand have? Is it playful? Professional? No matter what you choose, it’s important to determine your brand voice and then support it by posting content that aligns with your brand’s values. Check out this playful example from fast food chain Wendy’s:
- Use Testimonials: Creating customer testimonials – either from existing customers or from within your own company – can help build trust with potential customers. Where appropriate, use quotes from past clients in social media posts, ads, press releases and even product descriptions.
Boost Customer Engagement with Stefanini’s Solutions
Customer engagement is all about building trust and providing value through the entire customer lifecycle . By offering useful resources that solve common problems, creating personalized experiences that meet customer needs, employing an omnichannel approach across multiple channels and tracking the right metrics, you’ll reach a higher level of successful engagement.
Ready to get started? Contact us today to speak with an expert!