Traditional marketing methods, like direct marketing, email marketing and PPC ads still have a place in today’s time, but they are quickly becoming obsolete techniques. Technology has made our society more engaging, so it only makes sense that marketing would become engaging as well. Instead of directing marketing messages at a specific target audience or individual, businesses are entering into two-way conversations with their customers and prospects. Allowing the consumer to determine how and when they want to interact and communicate with you is known as engagement marketing.
Engagement marketing starts with an interested person that initiates interaction with your business. The term engagement here is more than just about talking, but indicates a person who is willing to listen to you. So when someone opens interaction with you, you are given a golden opportunity to help fulfill their interests, while at the same time achieving your own business objective (to make them a buying customer).
Why Engagement Marketing Works for Attracting Customers
When communication is opened between you and a prospect or loyal customer, you can implement your engagement marketing strategies to drive the following business objectives:
- Use the individual as an advocate for your company image and thought leadership. Advocates are great at converting other people into customers by simply recommending your services and/or products in an enthusiastic way, usually towards their network of co-workers or friends.
- Promote a dialogue between the individual and your company with the intention of assisting them with making a final purchase decision. It’s more likely that an engaged customer will become a loyal repeat customer.
There are seven key elements of engagement marketing, and that’s to engage with your audience:
- As unique individuals
- Based on what they do
- Continuously throughout time
- Wherever they are on the Web
- Always towards meeting an objective
- With impact you can measure
- As quickly as digital allows
With the right engagement marketing methods, you can encourage the transition from prospect to a paid customer, while at the same time getting customers to promote your business for you. People trust their friends and family more than advertisements they see on the Web or in their inbox. But how can you implement this style of marketing into your business today?
Try Using These 5 Simple Strategies to Improve Customer Engagement
1. Formulate an Engagement Marketing Strategy
Like with any type of marketing plan, you need a solid strategy to bring it to reality. Developing a clear approach to how you will interact with your customers and prospects is important. This should include how you will reach out to interested individuals and how you plan to interact with and respond to their inquiries. To give you an idea of how well real-time marketing works for businesses, here are some stats:
2. Integrate Engagement Marketing with Your Other Marketing Strategies
The great thing about engagement marketing is that it can blend well with your other marketing communications. All you’re doing is encouraging open dialogue between the consumers and your company. For example, include a call to action at the end of all your marketing collateral that pushes the readers to post comments on your blogs or forums. This also opens communication with other prospects and customers. Naturally, comments and posts will also feature reviews for your products and services, which is a win-win situation (you get raving reviews and prospects are reassured about making the purchase with you).
If you were already using email marketing as a strategy, you could use social media to boost engagement. Here are stats from eMarketer:
3. Engage Your Audience with Interesting Content
No one’s going to talk about a blog post or article that is irrelevant and/or uninteresting, which is why it’s imperative that your content peaks their curiosity. Your content should also foster a genuine relationship with your audience, by giving them information that’s of value to them. This may help turn them into advocates and paid customers.
The great thing about content marketing is that it can be used for more than one purpose. In most cases, you’re able to fulfill multiple objectives at any given time using great content. And this isn’t only possible with B2C marketing, look at the stats of B2B content marketing:
4. Invite Your Audience to Your Blog
Blogs are one of the best ways to kill two birds with one stone – offer value to and interact with your readership. All of your posts should have content that is important to listeners, so that they will take the time to read them. Then at the end of the posts, encourage them to leave comments about the story, and even better, ask them to share the content with their friends. Social media buttons should be placed at the bottom and top of your posts.
To have an idea of the potential reach your blog could have, look at these stats:
Participate in Social Networking
You can’t deny that the interaction on social networking sites isn’t tremendous. Businesses can find their success or demise waiting for them on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Before entering into the world of social media, it’s important to have a strategy. The posts you make should be in line with the vision, culture and voice of your business, and when customers and other interested individuals come to post there and ask questions, having a dedicated person who can respond quickly is important. The responses should also feel like they’re talking to a human, not an automated robot. Size does matter when it comes to obtaining user engagement via social media venues. Below, you’ll see that even though the percentage of post engagement rate lowers as the Fan page grows, it still beats the smaller pages:
Don’t Deny the Benefits Engagement Marketing Can Offer Your Business
As consumers get smarter and in more control of their buying experience, it’s necessary that your marketing strategies keep up with the trends. People no longer want to be talked at by companies, so to fulfill their desire, businesses need to offer transparent forms of communication that will not only help the individual, but anyone else who reads the dialogue. There are many benefits of using engagement marketing for your business, so why not give these tips a try to see how it improves your conversion rates? Have you already tried these or another method of engagement marketing? Please share your results!