What is engagement marketing?
Engagement Marketing is the process of doing meaningful interaction between the brand and its customers. The customers are engaged through engaging content across different channels of marketing like social media marketing, Email marketing, Content marketing, etc. Engagement marketing is used to drive continuous conversions.
It is important for a brand to become customer-centric. The customer-centric approach in marketing emphasizes studying users’ problems and concerns. When the content is provided for what users are looking for, they are timely engaged and knows the value of your brand.
And often you would see these two terms; customer-centric marketing and customer engagement marketing are interchangeably used.
So, the question is why customer engagement marketing is important at all?
Engagement Marketing: How does it help brands?
There are many ways in which engagement marketing helps your brand to grow. Some of the most important ones are mentioned below.
Create Brand Awareness
Brands that focus on educating their customers are the ones who are most trusted among them.
Think of it in this way. People would prefer to get treated by the doctors who hold expertise in their area, and thus the most trusted ones among the audience.
Similarly, creating brand awareness is a sign of a brand’s thought leadership in the industry. Therefore, a higher number of paying customers.
Engagement marketing helps to engage the audience across different channels like social media, email, etc. And increases brand awareness through useful content.
Marketing strategies that are valued
Ask yourself questions like how your product differentiates from the others, why do you believe in your product at all? What we can expect from the same?
Once you truly know the benefits of engagement marketing, you will convey the same through passion and knowledge to the audience. And that’s how your marketing strategies will align towards the increased engagement for a longer run. Make your strategies interesting by knowing your audience at a deeper level. An engaged audience is the most rewarding one.
Create Brand Preference
Once a brand succeeds in creating brand awareness, the next stage comes awareness. It’s relatively easy to create awareness, but as the preference comes into play, a brand needs to show exceptional prowess in its niche. A stronger presence comes with a first preference among the audience.
Below are the pointers that would help one create preference among the customers.
- Convey what is your unique selling point as a brand; the features that differentiate, the pricing that makes it the most affordable product or service, the customer support which is smooth and hassle-free, the onboarding kit to new customers, and so on.
- Provide unique and new content to your customers. Make your content engaging and at the same time educate your users with deeper insights through articles, blog podcasts, social media research, etc.
- Create your presence on all the channels where your audience may exist. This ensures trust in your brand and establishes you as a genuine leader in the market.
Create more conversions
Initially, when brands started building their multiple assets digitally, be it to build a new content strategy or to start webinars, etc., it was done to get higher visibility on search engine results. However, with time, the shift in approach could be seen in creating valuable assets that drive more conversions.
With SEO developments, the strategy turned more number-focused and further boosted the study of data for profitable outcomes.
Customer engagement marketing, as a whole, gives your various options to align your conversion goals.
Some of the most common conversion goals are as follows.
- Increase in product sign-ups through the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) content like customer success stories, product and pricing comparison page, etc.
- Purchases through direct channels like product webinars, online demonstrations, etc.
- Increase in website traffic through content assets.
- Decrease in bounce rates for a website through optimized website content and relevant blogs.
What makes engagement marketing a powerful strategy?
There are a lot of parameters to consider before building your marketing strategy plan. Who is the audience, how and when to engage, what to provide, and so on? Therefore, a stronger engagement marketing plan focuses on certain parameters that build the base of overall marketing.
The below are the factors that make customer engagement marketing a powerful strategy as a whole.
Engagement at an individual level
According to a study, 98% of marketers believe in personalizing to build good customer relationships. Before engaging your audience, it’s important to understand who comprises your target customers. The general demographics like age, gender, preferences, the problem faced, solutions required, etc play a prominent role in a customized approach.
Once the relevant information about a specific user or segment is known, the engagement marketing makes use of it in conversational strategy, providing relevant content assets to the specific users, personalizing emails based on the targeted person, etc.
Check out the below example for customizing mail at an individual level.
Gramener first sends the generic marketing emails regarding their marketing events like webinars, etc (see Image 1 below).
Also notice a generic subject line and salutation in the mail below.
And once the email recipient registers their details (name, email, etc) for the event (for example, webinar here), the follow-up emails to the recipient are addressed with their names. In fact, sometimes customized emails talk about the user’s past interactions with the brand (see Image 2 below).
Therefore, the more personalized engagement becomes, the more users relate to your brand.
Customer Engagement marketing for user-based action
Engagement marketing gives higher scope of engaging users based on their actions.
It’s important to engage users based on their actions taken on your various marketing channels.
For example, imagine a potential customer leaves a comment on your social media channel asking for tips to build a perfect push notification copy. As a customer-centric brand, you would provide the customer with the right answer through relevant blog links in the reply section, or by sending an answer to the user through email, etc.
Therefore, customized solutions to users based on their actions would make them feel valued and assisted by your brand at the right time.
A continuous engagement marketing plan
Engagement marketing not only requires engagement over different channels for some time. Instead, it emphasizes the continuous form of user engagement.
For brands, a one-time purchase is not as beneficial as purchases from the repeated customers. The goal behind engaging users is to drive conversions in the long run.
Therefore some of the points that would help your marketing strategy to have continuous engagement are as follows.
- Create a user path from one channel to another. Once a user engages with you on one channel, engage that user and bring it to another channel. If a scenario arises for your user to leave one channel, you can still engage them continuously over the other one.
- Include all your social marketing channel links in your email campaigns. Often, email id is the most common data repository for brands, which makes email the most common form of user engagement. As your subscribers receive campaigns, they can always click and follow your Facebook page, LinkedIn, Instagram handle,s and so on. And hence, the continuous engagement from one channel to another.
- Engagement through goals. Once users become familiar with your brand, they should be pushed towards the next stage in the marketing funnel. For example, a person seeking a demo of the product should be further guided towards the pricing page after the demo, etc. Therefore, a continuous engagement pushes the potential customers towards the end of the marketing funnel through designated content assets.
Engagement marketing pushes prospects towards the purchase goal
A powerful engagement strategy should consider conversions in the road map of positive growth. Every activity a user takes comes in some broader spectrum of the marketing funnel.
For example, a potential lead reading your case study might be trying to understand your brand and your competitors through its impact on client’s growth. To engage them further the next stage should be to provide a detailed pricing comparison which could be your USP or any other factor that differentiates your brand.
Therefore, user engagement should be carefully studied among all the stages of the user’s journey. And, the content must be pushed following the user’s next step in the journey. Therefore, taking them to an end purchase.
How to implement and optimize engagement marketing plans?
Customer Engagement marketing requires a brand to be omnipresent. With multiple channels of communication and brand building, it’s important to have the right plan for the implementation of the engagement marketing plan. Below are the steps explained simply to make you understand the important steps of customer engagement marketing.
Step 1: Create buyer persona according to user’s journey
A marketing plan begins with the right understanding of an audience that is through the buyer persona. And the content should always serve a target audience. Therefore, a buyer’s persona gives you the idea of which content should be provided at which stage and to which target audience? Or, what are the challenges your users are facing and what solutions do you have for them.
Step 2: Chose a consistent brand voice
A brand should always have a unique voice that connects with users the most. Some brands chose a conversational tone in all their content assets, while others might choose to remain in an authoritative and formal tone.
For example, many brands prefer to create intelligent memes to have a positive experience for social media audiences. This gathers more interest and followers on the page. While creating blogs with a more formal tone.
On the other hand, some brands might adopt a formal tone in social media communication, and the same for the blogs on their website.
From one brand to other, each has its voice in the industry. Pick up the tone that would help you to convey your products and services in the right way. And be consistent in it. Even if you chose different tones for different channels, make sure to be consistent in it.
Step 3: Deciding on content strategies and more
Content strategies are a vast topic to cover. However, once you have created the buyer’s persona and chosen a brand voice, you can move ahead with picking up the right set of content strategies.
Figure out, if your audience would like to consume long-form of blogs or short blogs. Think of important questions to build strategies such as do my audience want infographic images or simple images? Is the social media postings about the same old content or you would provide well-researched facts and numbers to garner more engagement, etc.
Step 4: Prepare a launch calendar
Once you have figured out your content strategies, it’s time you need to decide how frequently would you be publishing content? Understand your audience and set up the daily and weekly blog targets, the frequency of doing podcasts and webinars, the timing of the launch of new content across all platforms, PR releases, etc.
The timing and frequency would vary from one brand to another. For example, if you are a media brand, the frequency of content and quantity would be more whereas if you are an SME, the content may be lesser than other brands, but the informative resources play a crucial role in establishing your brand identity. Therefore, decide on the timings, frequency, and the content format to be published for the entire coming 6 months or a year at least.
Step 5: Optimizing and scaling up the strategies
The last step in engagement marketing is to scaling all the strategies built around engagement, assessing the results, and further optimizing it all for improved results.
For example, you can see if your specific strategy is working out of not. If the longer blogs are bringing in more traffic or not. So, you can tune yourself to the strategies that work and change the ones that don’t show any result after some time.
Therefore, change the strategy such as the switch to shorter blogs than longer ones or focus on more case studies if it is bringing in more engagement, etc.
Based on your content goals such as bounce rate, page session, unique users on-page, etc keep experimenting with the different formats and styles until you find the one that works best for your brand. And most importantly, once you have your best format to support your userbase, then focus on scaling it up to a wider perspective and cover a larger audience through your resources.