What Every Marketer Needs to Know About Customer Engagement
A new customer reality equals a new marketing reality. Engaging with customers on a digital front is crucial. I recently recorded a webinar on some best practices to help engage audiences on both a digital landscape and a more traditional targeting format. Here’s an overview of what I reviewed:
What is customer engagement?
It’s using your resources in a strategic and meaningful manner to engage with your consumers. Sounds simple right?
In a digital age, it’s challenging to remain a consistent and reliable resource for your customers. And having many techniques automated can deter us from achieving a “personality” and bringing in that human element.
Creating actionable strategies and tactics
When I was doing research for my webinar, I came across a couple statistics that really stuck out to me. Marketo’s 2017 State of Engagement Report, said that 98% of marketers had customer engagement strategies. And 82% of marketers had a deep understanding of their audience. These are great numbers. But the only that really got me was: More than half of customers felt that brands could be doing a better job engaging with them.
This lack of trust can steer customers away. With this in mind, I developed four strategies to improve customer engagement:
- Create opportunities for direct communication
- Deliver personalized content
- Use multi-channel marketing
- Use and analyze data in forward-thinking ways
The digital age has given us the opportunity to target in incredible ways, but it’s important to remain consistent and be helpful to your customers. To support the above four strategies, here are some tactics:
- Social media
Social media allows for you and the customer to engage in real time, promoting opportunities for direct communication. It also allows for you to engage with individual consumers, or deliver personalized content. And last but not least, social media has many channels to target your customers. By using multiple, you can deliver a consistent message and target many people.
These work well with the third strategy of using multi channel marketing. Advertisements can be seen in both digital and print formats. In my webinar, I spoke of examples from Solar Power World. On the left is a full-page client advertisement from one of our print editions. To the right is a digital advertisement seen on LinkedIn for Solar Power World’s 2018 Top Solar Contractors list.
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is a great example of the fourth strategy. Listen to your keywords. These are words and or phrases customers are actually searching for. This may not be the first type of “engagement” tactic that comes to mind, but if you’re listening to your audience, you’re then able to tailor and create content around their interests. Tools like Moz and SemRush are great for gaining insight to what keywords customers are associating with your company and content, and give you the ability to take a look into competitors’ data a bit.
Videos are a great example of the third strategy. You could say that videos are at the top of the digital food chain: they are great for your auditory and visual senses and they work wonderfully on social media, often pulling in great engagement rates. A statistic from A Medium Corporation states that 87% of online marketers use video. Videos are the perfect way to visually summarize information.
Infographics help engage customers in a trendy way, relating well to all of our strategies we previously identified. Did you know that as consumers we respond best to visuals? When researching for this webinar, I found a great piece from Hubspot that said, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and that an infographic in particular is 30 times more effective than a text article. Can you believe that? If you’re looking for a tool to get started, Canva is great.