In its simplest form, customer engagement can be described as the emotional connection between a customer and a brand. But before you can think about how to increase levels of customer engagement within your business, you need to understand why it’s so important.
Today, customer engagement is crucial to business success. The digital marketplace means that customers have a greater range of options than they’ve ever previously experienced. As a result of this, customer loyalty has become paramount to long-term growth and success; nurturing existing customers sets your enterprise up for success well into the future.
According to Deloitte, “every consumer wants a different experience when shopping and that ‘experience’ has become the differentiating factor for many successful business models. However, businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to predict what consumers want as their expectations continue to change.”
To maintain customer interest, businesses need to be responsive to change, aware of a customer’s day-to-day needs, and be in frequent contact with a customer base.
The bottom line is, highly-engaged customers buy more, promote more, and demonstrate more loyalty.
Customer engagement helps to continually demonstrate your commitment to the customer and allows you to deliver value in every phase of the consumer journey.
So how exactly can a business effectively engage with its customers? The following are a few key ways to help jumpstart your new and improved customer engagement plan:
Engagement marketing means leading with content, not products, and that content needs to genuinely be useful to customers in order for it to be a meaningful engagement strategy. Think of your advertising as a service, rather than as an inconvenience or interruption. Find a way to offer your customers value in exchange for their attention.
When customers feel like they’re getting more than just a product or service from your brand, they’ll connect with and remember you.
Consumers want to be part of something. A key part of engagement is giving customers an opportunity for community, not just with you as a business, but with fellow customers. Social media is a great tool for this. You can get the conversation started by asking for opinions and insights, weighing in on interesting trends, and bringing customers together online.
HubSpot does a fantastic job at fostering a community of lifelong learners with their HubSpot Academy services, and their social media presence is dynamic and engaging. Figure out what your customers have in common, and design your online presence around that.
Ultimately, everyone likes to be heard, to feel respected, recognised, and part of something bigger. If you can make your customers feel this way, you’re on the right track.
Consumers enjoy useful information, but they also want to be inspired. A great way to inspire is to make your brand an agent of social impact. Get involved with a social or charitable cause that aligns with your company’s belief set. People want to feel good about the money they spend, so try to incorporate social responsibility into your business plan, and encourage your customers to participate.
The main purpose of this is to humanise your company. We all like knowing that there are real people behind the facade of a business, as it’s nice for customers to know who is behind the product or service they’re buying.
A really good way to engage with your customer base is to entertain them. Entertainment can come in the form of doing live events (online for the moment), running competitions, and even creating games for your customers to play.
Leverage visual engagement with videos and graphics in order to better connect with and leave a lasting impression on your audience. Curate your content to reflect what you like to see personally as you’re scrolling through your feed.
Above all else, remember the motto for engaging your customers: “Ask not how you can sell, but how you can help.”
Whatever your current state may be, the best time to start improving your customer engagement is right now. Customer engagement is one of the most powerful tools to keep your customers actively involved with your brand and your mission. Check out our previous blog post about brand trust to learn more, and get it touch with us to see how we can help!