ONLINE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT? IT’S SIMPLE IF YOU DO IT SMART
Online Engagement is a MUST for companies in the modern day and age.
A total of 52% of Web traffic to retail sites currently comes via smartphones and tablets according to IMRG and Capgemini. Over a third (36%) of online sales are now completed on a smartphone or tablet device. This signals that not only are sales rising online, but sales are increasing online for mobile purchases versus the traditional face to face or in-store payment methods. Users are reaching out in the quickest, most efficient way to make their purchases.
Customer loyalty and customer engagement is necessary for businesses today to grab those online viewers attention and to pull in new sales. But, the end goal is changing just a bit. Instead of only making that sale, businesses today must earn customer loyalty to drive recurring sales. Ultimately, customer advocacy is where the true value of your brand lies with the consumer. Are your customers recommending you via social media networks? Is your company ready to keep up?
The first step of beginning your customer engagement journey is analyzing who you want to target. Who is your perfect audience?
Analyzing your audience takes research, knowledge of your company base and a full understanding of the product or service you are offering. Nobody can afford to target everyone anymore. Break your niche down. Put your time, money, and efforts towards the group with the highest chance of purchasing. By targeting your audience and defining a niche market, you are reaching more quality leads, but this does not necessarily mean you are not attracting customers outside of your niche-base either. The best advice is to look at your current customers and analyze what type of people they are and what they purchase.
According to Inc. the top 7 demographic characteristics to target when looking at a target market analysis is:
- Income Level
- Education Level
- Marital or Family Status
After analyzing our audience, the next step we are going to take is to focus on the message itself. How do you present the offer? What communication channels are you using? Are you using email marketing or are you solely focused on social media marketing?
When crafting the message, let’s take a look back in time and focus on Aristotle’s modes of persuasion; ethos, pathos, and logos. Aristotle’s Modes of Persuasion are just that, types of message framing to entice or persuade others. To begin, Ethos is establishing credibility, pathos is using emotional words to essentially pull the heartstrings, and logos is the use of logic and fact in your message. These are the building blocks to the art of persuasion (aka, the key to successful customer engagement). Do you make people feel a certain emotion, establish credibility, or do you use fact and logic?
Next, what channels of communication are you using? There are hundreds of different ways to getting a message to your consumers. Here are our favorite ways to reach the online customer base:
Email campaigns, when done properly, can catch your consumer’s eye in a very familiar setting they use. The average person checks their email at least 3 times a day. They take the time to filter messages that are beneficial and messages that are a bit spammy. On such a popularly used communication channel, a better technique needs to be practiced in order to get your audience to click open that email and read your message. This can be with a catchy headline, or maybe offering a simple reward in the subject line. The possibilities are endless.
Social media is a trickier communication channel only because of the intimidating quantity of social networks that are on the internet. When analyzing your audience, do a bit of research into what social networking sites they use. Among the most common sites are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. These channels have millions of users waiting to see your business, waiting to be exposed to your wonderful ideas. There are training courses available within the social applications themselves and many YouTube training videos as well. Get on social media and start giving yourself exposure with a minimal cost.
Blogging is often the most beneficial communication channel but is also the most time-consuming. Blogging is essentially just writing an article or piece of content to be an addition to your website and to drive online traffic to your web page. Blogging typically informs or solves a problem for your audience. For example, you are reading our blog right now on how to drive online customer engagement. Is it helping? There are many pieces to blogging including the way your website is set up. Take a look at the Google SEO terms and find out what could help you increase your online traffic.
Lastly, what is the actual product or service your company has to offer the customers? Is your product or service satisfying a need or resolving a typical customer pain point? 70% of the buying experience is based on how the customer feels they are being treated (McKinsey). Drive your product or service to relieve a need for your consumer or to help them solve a problem in their lives.
Online Customer Engagement can bring in business in areas you never imagined to be possible. Need to know more about engagement online? Click here.
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