So you’ve spent time and money creating your digital asset strategy. Well done! But you can’t just sit back and wait for the sales to come rolling in. You need to engage with people consistently and genuinely.
Every view, click, like, tweet or comment is a chance for you to nurture your relationship with your customers. This is known as engagement marketing and it’s a powerful way to build trust, encourage brand loyalty and increase conversions.
So what can you do to drive engagement? Here are 10 important first steps to consider:
1. Welcome new users to your website
Make a strong first impression by sending a new website subscriber a very simple thank you message. For instance you could:
- thank them for stopping by
- tell them more about your product or service
- include a link to a short tutorial to teach them how to use it
- encourage them to try out features or
- ask questions.
By engaging visitors from the start of their customer journey you’re more likely to get repeat visits to your website (not to mention differentiate your brand from the competition who may have neglected this step).
2. Share relevant content
Posting interesting content about your own business on social media is a must. But you should also share and like relevant content from different businesses in the industry to establish your authority and attract new followers.
3. Create and maintain a conversation
Make it a point to always like and respond to comments on your social media posts. Sharing good feedback from customers on your social media platforms is also a good way to strengthen customer loyalty, and recognize the importance of positive reviews.
4. Give direct responses
A direct, personalized response using a customer’s name works on multiple levels. It shows that your business has a human side, that it’s friendly, not standoffish, and that you care about your customers.
5. Personally sign off a reply
Likewise, personally signing off a reply brings a name or face to your business. People appreciate getting good service from a human, rather than an automated, scripted response.
6. Ask questions
Ask your customers questions about their experiences with the products and services you provide. Whether it’s a Tweet, a Facebook post or an online survey, you’ll find people typically have an opinion about what they like or don’t like about a product and are willing to give you feedback on what you can do better.
7. Use emoticons
We don’t recommend going overboard with emoticons but sprinkling a few in your comments or posts can be a visual way to engage customers. Emoticons can also be a great way to make sure that what you write isn’t misunderstood or taken too seriously.
8. Segment newsletter lists
Do you know which of your customers are engaged with your content? By checking customer activity on reports you can cull those who ‘don’t engage’ and segment your newsletter lists so you’re only sending your content to the group of people who are ‘most engaged’. This group will be smaller but your click-through rates will improve as your newsletter will be better received.
9. Provide unique value to inspire and entertain
Posting interesting and relevant content is important for engagement. But you can take this a step further by providing content that has unique value. Moz describes this as “provid[ing] information that’s unavailable or hard to get elsewhere”.
Does your business sell a unique product that has the potential to inspire others? Can you present your content differently, i.e with your own unique sense of humor to entertain?
10. Always listen and pay attention to your audience
Last but not least, you need to listen and pay attention to your customers. By being responsive to their feedback and comments you can deal with any issues or problems before they get out of hand. A well-connected customer has the potential for their complaint to go viral, so you want to nip this in the bud.
Are you engaging thoughtfully with your customers?
Thoughtful engagement is a vital and often overlooked factor of online marketing. Your digital assets not only allow you to reach a variety of customers but they also allow you to participate in an ongoing conversation with them.
This is especially relevant to social media. Even if you’re busy, it doesn’t take much time to like comments, respond with a ‘thank you’ or a smiley face. When it comes to engagement, remember that it’s often the small consistent efforts that encourage people to think positively about your business, rather than the grand intermittent gestures.