No matter the industry or the niche you operate in, chances are you are surrounded by competitors fighting for the same target demographic. Trying to stay afloat and even grow in a competitive field can be a challenge nowadays, especially when you consider the fact that the sheer number of options allows customers to hop from one brand to the other — unless something inspires them to become loyal brand followers. This is where customer engagement comes into play, and it’s your ticket to better brand recognition, trust, and authority in your industry.
Customer engagement is part of experiential marketing, and it serves to engage the consumer and entice them to interact with a company in a positive way and ultimately develop feelings of loyalty and trust. This also inspires them to spread the word about your brand, so let’s take a look at how you can leverage customer engagement in 2020.
Engage Your Customers with a Compelling Brand
First things first, you can’t hope to engage your customers with amazing content or email and social media marketing if you don’t focus on the brand-building process. It’s imperative that you develop a unique brand identity that will separate you from your competitors and improve your visibility, recognition, and brand “stickiness” with your target audience. Otherwise, people will forget about you on their way to a website with a better discount or a limited-time offer. However, if you have a distinct brand identity, then you have the opportunity to encourage them to choose you and to keep coming back.
You can start by defining the values that drive your mission, your vision, your goals, and your brand as a whole. Make sure that these values complement the values of your target demographic to instantly spark their interest. Next, weave these values into your visual identity and create a visual presence that will make your brand more memorable and relevant to your niche. Finally, come up with a unique tone of voice that you will use to communicate with your customers on all online and offline channels — this will make you more memorable and relatable, and it will allow you to personalize the brand experience.
Focus on What Matters to the Customer
We live in an age of marketing personalization, and if you want to get anywhere in the foreseeable future, you need to start personalizing everything, from your email marketing campaign, to your advertisements, content, and your entire communication strategy. That said, personalization is not just about addressing customers by their names in every email — it’s about tailoring the entire brand experience to their needs, their aspirations, and their lifestyles.
This means that you need to obtain all relevant customer data, collate all of that information, transform it into actionable reports and personalize your marketing tactics. For example, your email campaigns should address the individual, but they should also give them a personalized collection of stories and products that are relevant to them. Be sure to collect as much customer feedback as you can in order to personalize your products, deals, content, and even the way you talk to them on social media.
Build Social Proof on Your Website
Building social proof has always been one of the most important marketing objectives, but nowadays it has become a business model in its own right, simply because you can’t build brand authority or engage your customers properly without it. This is why business leaders are now integrating a conversion rate optimization tool into their websites, in order to help build social proof and incentivize potential as well as existing customers to interact with the site in a positive way.
The premise behind these tools is simple: Visitors will receive real-time notifications of other customers signing up for your services, buying your products, or interacting with your site in other ways, and will then feel encouraged to put their trust in your brand. You can speed this process along by complementing this tool with product reviews and ratings, customer testimonials, and user-generated content on your site.
Use Social Media to Disseminate Your Brand
With so many people on social media, you can’t afford not to be active on all social platforms that are relevant to your brand and the niche you occupy. It’s important that you engage your audience and your followers by posting regularly on all social channels, running targeted ads on Facebook and beyond, and even using influencers on Instagram to reach a wider audience and build brand trust. But before you start posting and communicating with your followers, make sure that your social media managers and influencers follow your brand guidelines, in order to ensure consistency across the online realm.
Integrate an Omni-Channel Sales Structure
And finally, if you want to keep your customers engaged and boost your conversion rates, you have to incorporate an omni-channel sales and customer service strategy into your operation. Now customers want to communicate with their brands in real time, meaning that you need to make yourself available via live chat on your site, messaging and calls on social media, and other channels. Likewise, people want the ability to buy on different platforms, so make sure that your customers are able to buy from you directly from chat, video or phone calls, email, and even via SMS!
Customer engagement is one of the most important metrics for a growth-oriented business, which is why engaging with your customers should be your top priority in 2020. Use these tools and solutions to elevate the entire brand experience and set yourself up for another successful year.
By Sophia Smith