10 Tips to Attract Customers through Engagement Marketing

Engaging customers can be a daunting task in a world filled with attention grabbing advertisement, massive product variety, and an increasingly apathetic audience. However, engaging customers is the most important step to achieving the building of brand loyalty and turning a customer into a brand advocate who will recommend the product to others. The following are ten strategies/ideas to consider when working to increase your customer engagement.

  1. Create a long- and short-term strategy for engagement.
  • Creating a road map to your engagement goals is vital. After all, the first audience you need to engage is not your customers, but your front-line employees. By sharing your company goals of increased customer engagement with your workforce, you gain their creativity and energy towards meeting those goals. It is important to have a clear short-term goal that is achievable, and a longer term overarching goal to build towards the future in order to create concrete benchmarks your workforce can strive for.
  1. Use social media as a source of engagement, not simply as a digital billboard.
  • Using social media as an advertising platform is common and even necessary in the modern market. Many companies also succeed in capitalizing on the built-in communication opportunity these platforms provide. Responding to commentary and collecting data on feedback levels are easy steps to optimizing this engagement option. Further, opportunities exist on these platforms to create open dialog, determine popular opinion, shape media messages, and ensure effective advertising.
  1. Target groups of customers directly to create VIP experiences.
  • Receiving special treatment encourages loyalty. Whether through social media or other collected data, determine your repeat customers and those who recommend your product, and then create a campaign to thank them for their loyalty. A vital part of this campaign should be to somehow engage these customers in conversation, letting them know you are listening to what they have to say.
  1. Conduct polls or surveys.
  • Many customers do not want to engage verbally (or with written word). These customers do not write reviews or post comments, but they often rate or answer a brief poll or survey. While a simple poll may not dig to the heart of an issue or probe the customer psyche, it does answer simple questions. Even collecting data that simply verifies what you know to be true can still create a sense of engagement from your customers. It is allowing an opportunity for the oft silent to push a button and feel heard.
  1. Create easy, open opportunities for feedback.
  • Blogs, reviews, threads, comment pages, forums, and community sections on websites are all ways for your customers to engage with you and your product. Picking the appropriate venue for feedback is a choice individualized to you, your product, and your customer. The question to ask yourself is: how simple is it for my customer to contact me? Take yourself through the process and keep in mind that if it isn’t easy, they probably will not do it.
  1. Build a culture that encourages and welcomes customer input.
  • Companies that are serious about engagement encourage customer input constantly. They request feedback at every opportunity. But having all this input does not help your company unless you have a system to utilize the gathered information, and an internal culture that welcomes this input and uses it to improve service and performance.
  1. Promote customer loyalty.
  • Customer loyalty does not maintain itself. While strategies for creating loyalty vary wildly based on your company’s product and market, communication is the key to promote and maintain it. A portion of your engagement strategy and your engagement marketing budget should go towards keeping your loyal customers engaged, happy and loyal. Loyal customers promote your product to their friends and family. Letting those loyal customers know you appreciate them and their business maintains that loyalty for the long term.
  1. Integrate and match messages across marketing platforms.
  • Although this concept is marketing 101, it should not be neglected in your engagement marketing. Reinforcing your brand image and having a consistent ‘call to action’ is vital, but your direct customer communication also needs to reflect the public image you wish to foster. Is your company serious and professional? Sassy and youthful? Calm and relaxed? Or are the amped up, high energy go-getters? The method and tone you use to engage your customers’ needs to match.
  1. Resolve issues and customer complaints immediately.
  • How does your company respond to criticism? How does it respond to praise? In a 24/7/365 world, companies are constantly judged on the speed at which they respond. Between the internet and cell phones the general populace is obsessed with response times. While it is not wise to only be reacting to problems when they arise instead of preventing them, speedy communication and a solid follow up plan can quickly put out any fires before they can create more internet flames and damage your reputation. Fast and thorough communication is important not only when responding to problems, but also when responding to praise. As you learned in kindergarten, remember to say thank you.
  1. Deliver a superior product and superior service.
  • The number one way to build loyalty is to deliver a superior product. People like things that work well. Delivering superior service is just as – if not more – important. Sometimes good engagement and good service come down to the simple concept of ‘A little less talk, a lot more action’. Are you talking at your customers when you should be listening to them? Communication is step one, but showing clear and deliberate actions to back-up any conversation is what really gets customers attention. Once you have acted, further communication not only ensures a positive outcome but also reinforces the level of engagement felt by the customer.

Following the principles of good communication is the real key to creating and maintaining a high level of customer engagement. As in all marketing, engagement marketing requires an evolving strategy and continuous improvement to achieve the desired results and meet long term goals. Building deep ties and creating long lasting relationships with your customers is a goal well worth the effort.