Back in the day, traditional marketing was the only way for companies to attract new customers and inform them about the solutions they offer.
This means they heavily relied on TV and radio commercials, newspaper ads, billboards, and direct mail.
But, this outbound marketing strategy was a one-way channel as customers were only passive recipients of marketing messages, without being able to interact with brands.
Inbound marketing changed this and included customers in the marketing process by allowing them to have their say and provide feedback through social media, email, and IMs.
However, in order to provide superb customer experience, keep their customers, and build loyalty, brands need to switch from their thinly-disguised transactional approach and make every interaction with their customers more meaningful.
Enter customer engagement marketing.
What Is Customer Engagement Marketing?
It’s a strategy that focuses on delivering relevant and personalized messages to customers in a timely manner.
Apart from that, customer engagement marketing is a strategy that goes well beyond superficial, browse-to-purchase experiences. Consumers’ expectations have risen significantly, and brands need to cater to their needs even after the purchase has taken place. Nurturing isn’t reserved for the journey leading up to the checkout – it needs to continue after that too, and its purpose is to make customers feel as if they’re part of the brand.
And that can be achieved through relevant, personalized content.
According to Gallup, a fully-engaged customer brings 23% more profit than the average one, not to mention that loyal customers contribute to their favorite brands through word-of-mouth marketing.
In other words, with the help of customer engagement marketing, you can easily recruit brand ambassadors willing to root for your brand. An excellent example of this is Apple and its army of fanboys and fangirls, who wait for hours in line to purchase a new iPhone.
Here are some tips to help you take your customer engagement marketing to the next level.
Personalize Customer Experiences
Your customers want to feel special and unique.
This means that the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work when it comes to picking communication channels and crafting your marketing message.
Learning as much as possible about your individual prospects and customers is essential for the success of your marketing and sales efforts. It’s somewhat easier when it comes to your existing customers because you have a significant pool of information about their behaviors, preferences, past purchases, search history, or viewed products.
But, when you land a new prospect you know nothing about, you need to feel their pulse and understand what they need and how to approach them.
It’s a good idea to get in touch with every prospect and customer directly and ask them to provide you with more information about their preferences. Explain that this has the purpose of providing a personalized customer experience.
Some companies use quizzes to collect all that information or ask their customers to fill out user profiles.
For example, Spotify, a digital music service, asks its users to select their favorite artists and genres, so that a personalized list can be built for them.
However, there’s an even better and more engaging solution – chatbots that can ask your customers all this and streamline the entire process. These smart algorithms can store all the information so that you can later use it to personalize your recommendations and messaging.
Besides, chatbots are significantly more engaging than website forms and quizzes.
Generally speaking, implementing intelligent virtual agents (IVA) and chatbots can improve your customer experience, as they can eliminate the wait and hold times and provide accurate answers while reducing your expenses.
Use Customer Feedback to Create Relevant Content
Using content research tools is essential for creating relevant content that your target audience will love. But it’s not enough.
Such topics usually cover some common interests and issues and provide solutions to frequently searched-for questions, but you need to additionally tailor your content.
In order to do this, you should resort to your data and check with your support team what problems your customers are encountering as well as what they can’t find on your website. This can provide you with valuable insight and point you in the right direction.
If your customers can’t find relevant information on your website, then they’re much less likely to purchase. Brands that actually listen to their customers can make this right and attend to their needs.
Similarly, if you take a look at your customers’ purchase history, you’ll be able to identify their preferences.
YouTube Premium analyzes what its users listen to and comes up with a Discover Mix, individually tailored based on their taste profile. That way, users will be able to discover new music and artists, similar to the ones featured in their existing playlists.
Establish Your Brand Voice
People can engage with a brand only if it has certain human traits assigned to it. That’s why you need to create a relatable brand that reflects your target audience’s values and interests.
A generic approach doesn’t work here, and your customers will be able to sense that you’re not genuine. The best way to distinguish your brand and differentiate it from your competitors from the same niche is through establishing your unique brand voice.
Are you going to be informal, humorous, casual, or more on the stuffy side – it all depends on your audience.
If you’re addressing a younger crowd, you can certainly opt for a more playful voice, meaning that you can interact with your customers using pop references, the latest memes, and gifs. That’s a surefire way to engage them in conversations.
An excellent example of this is Wendy’s, a popular fast-food chain. This brand is known for trolling its biggest rival, McDonald’s, on Twitter. These hilarious posts and ads allow the brand to express their opinions and values in a clever way while piggybacking on McDonald’s marketing efforts.
Wendy’s generates a large number of retweets, thus expanding their reach and inviting their audience to join the fun.
The key takeaway is that customer engagement isn’t an exact point but a journey, which means that you need to work on and improve your strategy all the time. Use these tips to help you build your customer engagement marketing strategy from scratch and make sure to adjust it based on your customers’ feedback.
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.