This article has been contributed by Becky Halls.
In today’s world, doing business is no longer a one-off monetary transaction. Positive customer experiences can transform an organization’s long-term relationships.
If you want your brand to grow and remain profitable, it’s crucial to nurture long-lasting customer relationships. Showing care and empathy to your customers will help your organization gain deep-rooted loyalty. After all, engaged customers are likely to buy more and promote more.
That’s why it’s imperative to keep your target audience engaged. If your audience loses interest in your brand, they are likely to switch to a competitor who’s paying better attention to their needs. You constantly have to find innovative ways to keep your customers engaged and happy.
Here are 11 effective strategies to boost customer engagement and build strong relationships with your target audience.
1. Share Relevant Content
Before you start creating content, it’s important to understand your customer’s needs and interests. Sharing irrelevant content is a waste of everyone’s time.
Instead of just creating content based on your products or SEO trends, try to find topics that are helpful for your customers. Whether you’re writing blog articles or designing social media posts, make sure you’re talking about issues that actually resonate with your customers. From useful videos to eBooks, curate a variety of content that is helpful for your customers.
2. Make the Most of Social Media
Social media has emerged as a powerful tool for all kinds of businesses. Whether you run a B2B or a B2C business, having a social media presence is essential for establishing customer relationships.
However, avoid using social media for exclusively pushing your products or services. You may think aggressive promotion will increase your revenue, but it may well have the opposite effect. Instead, focus on creating fun, relevant and interactive content.
Many corporate social media accounts have gained vast popularity by shedding their overly professional images. A dull tweet informing followers about a new product launch is no longer enough.
Take a look at restaurant chain Denny’s Twitter account. The account shares tweets that can be best described as hilarious and at times strange. And as a result, millennials and Gen Z love this quirky and funny approach.
— Denny’s (@DennysDiner) March 25, 2021
Moreover, make sure you promptly respond to any engagement from customers or potential clients. Whether a user tagged you on Instagram or someone commented on your LinkedIn post, make sure you acknowledge their interaction with a suitable response.
3. Participate in (Some) Trends
It seems like every week there is a new viral meme or challenge. Such trends are not just for your personal consumption but can also be incorporated into your marketing strategy. Use popular meme templates and share your own version with your followers. A witty and clever take on a meme or challenge will increase your customer engagement.
Timing is crucial when it comes to participating in social media trends. You should be quick to identify and take advantage of such opportunities.
4. Personalize Emails
Most people receive so many emails that they are hesitant to sign up for any more newsletters. Rather than adding to the slew of promotional emails, set yourself apart by personalizing emails.
Personalized emails not only improve customer engagement but also lower unsubscribe rates. There are so many different email personalization options, there’s bound to be one that’s the right fit for your brand.
5. Design a User-Friendly Website
Before doing business with you, a client is likely to go through your online presence, especially your website. If your website takes a long time to load or isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re providing a poor user experience.
Collaborate with skilled developers or learn how to build a website that promises a seamless user experience. Add an introductory video or any other form of content to clearly explain what your organization does.
6. Host Giveaways & Contests
Running giveaways and contests is a tried and tested way to increase customer engagement. This is one of the few strategies for which you don’t have to wait a long while to see the results.
For example, host a giveaway on Instagram. For people to enter the giveaway, ask them to follow your account and tag three friends in the comments.
You can also use contests to reach a wider audience with well-prepared content that is almost guaranteed to increase your followers. Another example from Denny’s shows how they create user-generated content to share images of their unique and humorous giveaway merchandise.
Time for drop #2!
Comment below before the hundreds of others trying to get some of these slippers and they’re yours. First 5 get em. pic.twitter.com/DIxTCShYeM
— Denny’s (@DennysDiner) April 20, 2021
7. Offer Real-Time Support
No one wants to wait several weeks to get a response from a brand. Whether a customer has a query or issues with your product, make sure you offer real-time support. Make it as easy as possible to get in touch with you by adding a live chat support feature to your website and providing visitors instant assistance.
Have you received negative reviews or feedback? Ignoring such feedback and hoping it will go away is not a good practice. You should address such negative feedback and provide your customers a satisfactory solution.
8. Sell with a Story
Instead of just launching a product, connect with customers and gain better engagement by sharing your brand’s story.
You can create a video or blog about the inspiration behind your product or an in-depth look into the various features.
For example, Sidra Qasim and Waqas Ali, founders of Atoms, shared their journey in collaboration with the blog ‘Humans of New York’ giving people an insight into their past struggles as budding entrepreneurs. That led to support and love from all over the world.
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9. Host an Event
Hosting an event for your target audience is a great way to offer value, even in the pandemic era. There are several ways you can organize virtual events on a budget.
You could invite an expert to host an Instagram Live session on your account, Go Live on Facebook or start your Clubhouse room. Your followers can gain knowledge as well as ask questions.
10. Treat VIP Customers Right
Customers that have been loyal to your brand for a long time deserve special treatment.
Consider creating a VIP program, where you can reward them with special discounts and early access to new launches.
11. Improve Customer Service
Great customer service is a crucial aspect of the overall customer experience. Some people are comfortable talking on the phone, while others find messaging more convenient.
Therefore, offer your customers multiple channels of customer service. After providing your customers with exceptional assistance, support managers will get the opportunity to leverage this experience to cross-sell.
Of course, not all the strategies mentioned above are going to work for everyone. However, by making customer engagement a priority for your business, you can stand out in a highly competitive market environment. Always remember, rather than a product-centric approach, adopt customer-centric strategies.
About the author: Becky Halls is a Co-Founder of Hyperise, a Hyper personalization toolkit for B2B marketers. She’s an experienced Growth Marketer, passionate about product design/development and online marketing.