n a world driven by technology and communication you can be pretty sure that most of your clients are online.
They're navigating, here and there, directionless. Just seeking for the spike in dopamine they get from social networks, video platforms, games...
Their attention is there. If you can show up in the little screen within the palm of their hand, they're yours.
If you've read my previous article, I spoke about the importance of a funnel and how you can use it to leverage your sales.
In it I exposed the different stages down a funnel (the point of which could be from subscribing to your newsletter to buying).
Once they converted, the Loyalty Stage took place.
Whether the criteria for conversion is following you on Instagram - or buying from you - there's the same concept applying:
They won't remember you for too long unless they engage.
Customer engagement is the means by which a company creates a relationship with its customer base to foster brand loyalty and awareness.Definition given by Tech Target.
There are - in my opinion - 3 fundamental pillars when it comes to customer engagement:
[TABLE OF CONTENTS]
#1 Customer Experience.
Customer experience has been defined as the quality of all of a consumer's encounters with a company's products, services, and brand.Definition provided in the Harvard Business Review.
Customer experience is influenced by a large amount of factors:
- The ones about their personal situation and you can't control.
- The ones that you can control in your business
- The ones that you can control through the web.
We're going to focus on the Digital Customer Experience. Because factors that occur within a physical setting are harde to control by the company, so naturally the client sets a lower bar.
However, when it comes to online marketing, there's much more competition, and much more control from the selling party, so customers expect a much higher quality when it comes to their experience.
It is here where most businesses fail though. They get stuck in trying to search, measure, and implement the ROI (Return Of Investment) of the Customer Experience.
This is due to most business leaders lacking sufficient digital literacy, therefore being unable to apply these concepts.
You need a Consumer Experience strategy if you want to win.
You may take these steps to implement a proper one:
You need to deliver consisntently and deliver well to appear as a reliable brand in your customers' mind. It is not about doing it right one time and then forgetting, you need to persist - building a good brand takes time.
A company that provides low digital consistency (like pictures not properly framed, lacking information on your website, or colours that don't match) will be eaten away by its competitors.
A survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review concluded with 64% of businesses not implementing a consistent IT process.
You need to be there at all times and grantedly for your clients.
Today, you have to earn the customer's consideration and action, moment after moment. Why? Because people are more loyal to their need in the moment than to any particular brand.Extract from a research conducted by Google.
These businesses mostly had one or two computers used to manually reply to customer inquiries one by one. This can of course work at a small company, but it couldn't - nonetheless - if you have plans for growth.
It's best to outsource this process to someone with the due qualification. So you needn't worry about this and can focus on your business as a whole.
Visual consitency also sticks in the mind of your leads, they value a proper presentation. And more importantly:
Consistency in your image.
A brand with an image that's constantly changing isn't easy to keep track of. If you had a satisfied customer in the past, but isn't able to recognise your brand anymore, is a customer lost.
Innovate upon what's already working
Take the example of Startbucks.
They innovated upon their current service by developing an app. Thus, not only they enhance Customer Experience by allowing them to skip the in-store lines, the app also amounts to about 16% of their sales on avergaes.
Admittedly, digital is still one part of the Customer Experience. But from what we're learning from companies and their customers, it's the one most deserving of immediate attention and investment.Craig Borowski. Market Researcher at Software Advice co.
Bonus: if you're struggling with the Customer Experience aspect in your current website - or if you don't have a website at all - you can hit me up for a consulting session or a project.
#2. A Relatable Brand
As I exposed in my article on branding 2.0:
People respond better to something they can relate to. They don't seek the perfect, most tidy company. They seek the one that understands them and can address the issues they've got. Or simply the one that shares interests, tastes and opinions.Jorge Bartual. Full Stack Web Developer & Freelance Consultant
Yep, I just quoted myself.
You don't have to retionally describe your product for them to buy it, you need to create an emotional response.
Most humans - not to say all - are not driven by reason, they're driven by impulse and emotion.
Therefore, triggering those is your duty as a marketer.
One way to ensure they react emotionally is by speaking the same language as they do.
There's one example that will clear any doubts you could possibly have about this:
The brilliant marketing strategy conducted by Wendy's:
As you can see, people respond well to Wendy's tweets. They don't mind the company loses its pulcritude, because they're just having fun.
Here's all that I ever said about modern branding summed up:
People just respond to what they relate and get value from
It doesn't even feel like advertising for the customers, yet see how much engagement they're generating by literally roasting their competitors.
Since this got a lot of attention, users began to beg Wendy's for their tweets on them.
What they did not know is that they were powering one of the most viral and least pricey marketing campaign Wendy's could ever dream of.
A single user managed to get them more than three million retweets
All of this for free.
And you're still relying on Google Ads.
It is not - however - only funny tweets that count.
You need to speak your customer base language in all the content you provide.
Which leads me to the next point:
#3. Meaningful Content.
The power of proper content marketing has always been greatly underestimated for many years.
It is - nonetheless - becoming the main and most effective way to communicate value with an audience.
This topic deserves a whola article in its own right.
However, let's quickly go through the numbers to see whether it is as important as we claim here.
As a research conducted by Google shows:
Consumers gravitate toward brands with snackable, educational content - not brands giving the hard sell.
If can you provide answers for their questions - then you have their attention.
They don't care about you releasing a new product.
They care about the info you provide toward solivng them a specific need. In addition, they may consider buying from you given the right condition as a means to say thank you.
A story is at its best when it's not intrusive, when it brings value to a platform's consumers, and when it fits in as a natural step along the customer's path to makin a purchase.Gary Vaynerchuck, CEO of VaynerMedia and thought leader in his industry.
Sharing content in video format brings a huge amount of leads to businesses:
It all boils down to the same: people use the Internet for consuming information or entertainment, give them what they want, and they will have all their eyes glued on your brand.
Having an engaged audience will make things much smoother and easier for you.
It might feel like a burden today - spending all this money and effort on building brand and sparking engagement - but in the long run, ti will pay much more than it would have otherwise.
Once your brand is well established, and you can firmly say that you have an engaged audience, you won't have to place all this work in promoting and validating your products.
Your name alone will do the work.
Succesful storytelling builds brand equity, and businesses with high brand equity don't need to draw asmuch attention to themselves and their achievements as those that are still establishing their value to the customer.
On Facebook, the definition of great content is not the content that makes the most sales, but the content that people whant to share with others.
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