How To Drive More Engagement On All Your Digital Assets
Let’s talk about how to drive more engagement for a minute. These days, consumers have plenty of choices available to them in terms of products and services. So, you differentiate your brand by becoming the one that has the most valuable connections (or the best relationship) with the consumer.
Every engagement, every like, click, tweet, and comment you get from a customer is your chance to build those connections and nurture that relationship.
Engagement builds a shared experience between brands and consumers, and that shared experience can take on a life of its own, which is why marketers are always harping on the importance of driving engagement. We know that the thin line between marketing and the customer experience just keeps getting thinner, so we push brands to dig deep and find more ways to encourage those first tentative connections with each consumer. Those tentative connections can be nurtured into something meaningful. Meaningful engagement ultimately leads to meaningful transactions.
How Important Is The Digital World To Consumers?
Consumers increasingly live, work, play, and shop online. The average adult spends 5.9 hours a day on digital media of some form or another. This is almost double the time spent in 2009. All of them are looking for content that’s worth consuming and connections worth making.
The content on your website, your email campaigns, your company blog, your social media posts, your graphics, images, and videos are all your digital assets. These are all mediums you can use to reach your customers and get them to engage. In fact, if you have a digital asset that doesn’t help drive engagement, aid engagement, or analyze the engagement you get, it may be time to reconsider the amount of energy you’re putting into that asset. It’s probably not much of an asset at all.
How Can You Drive More Engagement?
There is a formula for driving engagement. No matter what digital asset you’re working with right now, try these steps.
1. Create Content Worth Consuming
Consumers are sick of ads. They don’t want to be sold on a product. They want information and entertainment. If you provide information they can use or entertainment they want to see that’s somehow related to your brand, you’ll have more success in gaining their interest.
For example, think about Home Depot’s “How-To” videos or Betty Crocker’s recipes. The more a consumer starts to think of your brand as the expert they can rely on, the deeper the customer’s connection with your brand will become.
2. Build Your Brand’s Personality
Consumers relate better to a brand when they can humanize that brand.
Naturally, it’s easier for some brands to find an image or a voice that goes with their brand than it is for others. If you run a tax preparation service you can’t exactly create the next Ronald McDonald or Chuck E. Cheese.
You can, however, still build your brand’s personality into something recognizable. Think about your brand as a living person who cares about the customer, and the brand alike, and then find that person’s voice. Maybe it’s your brand’s creator. Maybe it’s an artful fiction. Put that persona into everything your brand creates. That persona’s voice needs to come through in your blog and your social sites, whether it’s sassy like Wendy’s, visionary like Tesla, or energetic and fun like Red Bull.
3. Initiate The Conversation
Have you ever been stuck at a party full of strangers, wondering how to break the ice and start a conversation? It’s the worst, right?
Well, think of consumers like someone stuck at a party like that. They may want to interact with you, but they aren’t sure where to start. Make things easy on them. Give consumers an opening by asking questions about their wants and their needs and soliciting feedback on their experiences with your brand. Ask their opinions on new products and, whenever you get the chance, have real conversations with them on social. This also helps drive more engagement.
You’d be amazed how engaged consumers can be when they find a subject that interests them. Take, for example, Crayola’s campaign to name a new color when it replaced “dandelion” in its 24-crayon box. It let consumers have their vote and “bluetiful” was born!
You can simultaneously initiate conversations and make your customers feel valued and heard by creating “like” vs. “love” posts on Facebook that ask them to give their opinions, asking them to share experiences that relate to a nostalgic image you post or letting them come up with the caption for a photo.
4. Reward Consumers For Their Engagement
Everyone loves freebies. More than that, your consumers love feeling that their time is appreciated. You can build your relationship with consumers through a combination of free offers (including free trials), loyalty programs that offer increased discounts as a consumer’s level of interaction increases, and other rewards.
Learning to create tiered loyalty programs (through points or some other system) helps you drive consumers further down the funnel toward purchases. It also helps you key in on your best customers and offer something they’ll genuinely value.
5. Respond To Customer Contacts
Responding to your customers when they contact you, where they contact you, is massively critical to your success. This cannot be overemphasized. Consumers react to apparent slights online the same way that they’d react to a snub in-person.
When asked what makes them trust a company, the number one thing that consumers cited was excellent customer service, and 89% of people say that they’ve stopped doing business with at least one company after poor customer experiences.
If you don’t have a friendly, responsive customer service team watching your social sites, responding to emails, and answering questions posted on your blogs, then why are you giving customers the ability to contact you that way? Nobody wants to feel like their questions or comments are disappearing into a void.
6. Meet Your Customers Where They Are
Do you know where your target market hangs out on social?
You aren’t going to get your customers to engage with you if they can’t find you. Sure, the majority of Americans are still using Facebook, at least, to a certain extent, but younger Americans are actively embracing other platforms, like Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter.
If you’re sure that you’re doing everything right, you’ve got great content that informs and entertains, plenty of enticing offers to drive engagement and a killer customer service team that’s asking questions and providing answers, but you still aren’t seeing the number of clicks you should be seeing, it’s time to reanalyze your demographics and see if you’re simply sitting in the wrong place.
Your digital assets may be more important to your brand’s survival today than your face-to-face interactions with customers (although those are important, too!). When you’re building content, you need to think about how that content is going to feel to customers. Can they use it? Will they enjoy it? Does it encourage them to reach out and connect even more with the brand?
If you aren’t getting the engagement you’d like to see through one or more of your digital assets, you need to take a step back and figure out what’s missing from the equation. The odds are good that something on the list above isn’t there.