As individuals we are bombarded, daily, with many messages, in recent research from Marketo they claim that we receive about 3,000 messages per day. As a small business marketing consultant we see many of our clients who have limited time and budget, finding it difficult to cut through all of that noise and connect with their target audience. This is where good customer engagement marketing is important and should form part of your digital marketing strategy; if you are providing relevant content that your customers wish to hear about, they will favour your brand over your competitors. In our recent blog post below, we wanted to take you on a journey of 5 things to think about to achieve good online customer engagement and where to focus your energies.
Customer Engagement – What do we mean?
We can connect and engage with our customers in a number of different channels including via our website, email, social media, in press and across a wide selection of different media. So, what do we mean by customer engagement? There is lots of debate around this definition but simply put it is the way that we connect and speak with our customers and potential target audience. We wanted to share a couple of definitions with you:
“Customer engagement is the ongoing interactions between company and customer, offered by the company, chosen by the customer.”
“Customer engagement is the engagement of customers with one another, with a company or brand.”
Customer Engagement Marketing – Why is it important?
In today’s world where there are so many messages and businesses all competing for the similar customers, demonstrating expertise and giving something back has never been more important. Thinking about what content your customers may wish to receive from you is now at the heart of all digital marketing strategies.
5 rules for good Customer Engagement Marketing
1. Know your target audience: As with all good marketing we need to start by understanding target audience. This can be no mean task, once you get past the demographic piece understanding their mindset is more difficult and can be an ongoing project. Questions you might like to think about are:
- What are your customers biggest frustrations?
- What makes your customers cross?
- What are your customers aspirations?
- What do your customers enjoy doing in their spare time?
- What media do your customers read/ engage with?
2. Conduct some Customer Satisfaction Research
Once you have started to think about defining your target audience and what makes them tick, it is good to then try to verify this insight. There are several ways in which we might be able to achieve this eg: review your social media activity (and possibly that of your key competitors) and to conduct a customer satisfaction survey.
Social media is a great tool to understand what your customers think about your business, listen and observe online to what they are saying about your brand. Are they happy with the service? Do they engage with your content? What content do they like best? Once you have this insight it can help shape your future content plans, potential product expansion or deal with potential challenges in the delivery of your product or service.
Conducting a customer satisfaction survey is also a great way to gain an understanding of what your customers think about you. There are several different methods, quantitive face to face research and qualitative research using tools such as Survey Monkey. Asking the right questions is key, try to incentivise your customers to respond to get the most out of the survey.
3. Develop quality content
Long gone are the days where a business will just push out their message to their customers. Today it is all about engagement and a conversation. Of course there are still media that work for you to publish a message such as press or online ads but generally they should form part of an overall campaign with an engagement piece wrapped in. Not least because you will invariably need to include social media as part of the mix, and by the very nature this media requires you have a discussion.
4. Rewards and Incentives
It is cited that it is 5x times more expensive to gain a new customer vs keeping your current ones. So why would you not focus on customer retention as part of your marketing mix. In fact for a small business we would argue that it should be by far the biggest focus. Everyone likes to be rewarded and receiving something extra as a thank you or in return for loyalty, so consider how you can use your internal channels to build customer loyalty and retain them. Using your email marketing channel to build customer engagement strategies, focusing on customer retention will definitely reap rewards.
5. Measure and Refine
Customer engagement can be difficult to measure, assess the impact or success, but there are definitely key indicators such as brand perception/ awareness and impact on more quantifiable marketing channels that will provide insight. We take it as a given that a good marketer will be tracking social media engagement (likes, shares, comments), email marketing success (open, click through and purchase rate) or website visitor figures (product purchase and average transaction values). Keeping a track on each of these channels plus also understanding the complaints received by the customer services team and the conversation around them will help guide to the level of customer engagement – either positive or otherwise. The use of other marketing tools such as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will also help provide an overarching view of customer engagement.
If you would like some help in reviewing, understanding or improving your customer engagement please get in touch to arrange an initial no obligation 1:1 consultation.