If you look up online marketing, digital marketing, or any of the other terms bandied about on the Internet, you’d be overwhelmed for sure. While there are many channels and many ways to approach every single channel online, most businesses miss out on one crucial aspect of online marketing- engagement.
Engagement is a fancy of saying “keeping in touch with your potential and existing customers, at scale.”
Are you on social media? Probably, yes. Now, how well do you know your fans and followers? Do you have an email list where subscribers opt-in? Hopefully, you do. How well do you use the power of email marketing and email marketing automation combined to “engage” with your subscribers? Do you blog regularly? How engaging are your blog posts?
Customers want to be connected first. They want to connect with brands they like, aspire to be associated with, or those already associated with. In fact, according to Joanna Beerman of SalesForce, more than 75% of customers expect a consistent experience whenever they engage across media (websites, social media, on mobile, and in person). 64% of consumers want personalized offers from brands. 56% of consumers are willing to share data to receive faster convenient service.
Technology has already made it possible for absolutely every business to reach out to customers wherever they are. Just in case you don’t pay heed, more than 52% of customers are willing to switch brands if you don’t take the effort to personalize marketing and customer service. Just because there’s no “engagement” of any kind, more 77% of shoppers now avoid stores. Also, did you know that 44% of customers typically know more about products than store associates do?
Back to basics: Why Is Engagement So Critical?
People only buy when they trust you and like your business enough. Plus, if there’s social proof to boot. It’s human. It’s natural.
You could throw as many marketing messages at a group of people and hope that it converts to sales and profits but it just won’t work. First, your business isn’t the only one doing that. There are larger brands with deeper pockets to beat you to it, and they are probably already doing it. Second, unless you are able to connect with your potential customers at an emotional level, it’s hard to beat the noise that’s already out there.
Now, to connect with customers at an emotional level, you should engage. Small talk, going out of your way when it comes to resolving customer complaints, making sure your customers get the most back out of their bucks, and ensuring a consistent experience throughout their buying cycle are only basics. Purposeful engagement has enormous benefits, and it’s used in many ways. For instance, Apple lets customers walk in and play with its products before making a purchase.
Singapore Airlines engages with flyers on social media proactively knowing that the more they engage (the right way), the better the chances of flyers taking their next flight with that particular airline. In flight, the engagement continues with exceptional service and attention to detail.
How do you use engagement in your online marketing? Tell us about it.
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