“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of their customer experience a little better.”
– Jeff Bezos
Engaging your customers is responsible for a large chunk of your business’s customer experience. Therefore, if the way you engage with your customers is poor, their entire experience with your business would be poor; this is regardless of whether your products meet their expectations.
Customers don’t buy your products; they buy experiences. They are influenced by how you make them feel, and how you interact with them at every point of the way — a Salesforce research says 80% of customers say they care about the experiences a business provides as much as the products and service.
Engaging your customers effectively also leads to increased customer engagement where your customers are actively invested in your business. Engaged customers buy more, refer more, and promote your business more than other types of customers.
So, how do you improve the interactions your customers have with your business so that they can enjoy the perks of excellent customer engagement?
This article discusses five surefire ways to engage your customers as an online business.
Let’s jump right into it.
5 Ways to engage with your customers better
The best approach to engaging with your customers is through interactive marketing. This involves simply talking to customers while keeping the communication line open for your customers to respond and give feedback.
It’s a two-way communication strategy that carries your customer along in the conversation; it has proven to be effective in driving engagement and fostering healthy relationships between consumers and brands.
Below, we walk you through five interactive engagement strategies to engage your customers better as an online business. Let’s take a look.
- Go live
Live video marketing is a powerful strategy to boost your business’s engagement rate. Live videos are direct and personal, so they deliver an in-store experience for your viewers, and this goes a long way in engaging your customers.
Beyond the automated messages and beyond the texts and graphics, your customers want to know who you really are. They want to have a feel of your personality and talk to you like they would with a friend, and live videos help you achieve just that.
It humanizes your brand and creates real-time communication, where your customers can talk to you and receive immediate responses and answers to their questions.
Apart from building an emotional connection between you and your customers, live videos are the perfect opportunity to sell and promote your products.
For example, you can launch your products during live videos and expect to see a huge turnaround in sales.
This is because apart from the fact that many of your audience would be available to witness the launch (which means wider product reach), live videos help you to capture your products’ features in detail.
It also gives you ample time to educate your audience about your product, so they have enough knowledge to make a decision to buy.
So, if you want to drive engagement, connect with your audience and increase your sales, live video marketing is an essential strategy to include in your engagement strategy.
- Email marketing
Emails allow you to segment your content based on your customers’ interests, needs, and preferences.
So rather than throwing some unsolicited and unwanted content in their faces, you can deliver relevant and valuable content your audience will find useful. This goes a long way in keeping your customers and prospects happy to convert and retain them- research shows 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that offer personalized experiences.
Email marketing also keeps your customers in the loop about your business. They are an excellent way to carry your customers along with your business activities.
So, update your customers on your new product releases, give them a sneak peek of a new product launch, give them insights into your brand’s future plans, and more.
This will make your prospects and customers feel like a part of your business and become actively engaged in it.
Also, keep your audience informed about new offers, products, and promos through your emails and encourage them to respond and give feedback if they want to.
Email marketing is an effective tool for any business that wants to nurture and grow relationships with its audience. It’s a great place to create a sense of community and build a loyal fan base of actively engaged customers.
- Organize contests
Contests are a great way to stir rapid engagement among your audience. Firstly, they are exciting and a good way for your audience to have fun with an incentive attached to them.
Secondly, they stir up the human competitive spirit that exists because of our desire to win. So, sometimes, it isn’t just about the prize; it’s about winning.
This means regardless of how big or small your incentive is, you will find customers who will be interested in participating in the contests.
Contests bring your audience together and give them the opportunity to network. It also gets them more interested in your brand and encourages more people to follow your brand.
When organizing contests, it’s important to tell your audience to do something that will leave a lasting impact on your brand. Why? Contests are short-lived and have the tendency to fade away after creating a buzz. So, you want to ensure you don’t organize contests for fleeting benefits.
To do this, tell the participants to sign up on your platform, subscribe to your list, or promote your brand across the social media platforms they are active on. This way, your business can benefit (through brand awareness and increased subscribers) from your contests.
- Encourage user-generated content
User-Generated Content, also known as UCGs, is highly effective in getting your audience to engage with your brand. They are content about your business created by your customers.
It could be videos, texts, or graphics telling the world how good your brand is and how it has impacted their lives.
While this is a great way to build your brand’s credibility online and generate more sales, it’s also an excellent way to engage your customers.
By telling them to talk about their experiences with your product, you get them to participate and interact with your brand.
In the process of creating videos and posting the videos on social media, they become loyal advocates of your brand to grow your business.
- Engage with your customers
Interactive engagement goes both ways, and it involves talking to your customers, receiving their feedback, and giving timely responses.
If you want your customers to engage with your brand, then you must be ready to engage with them too.
It isn’t just about promoting your products on social media or posting other types of content; it’s also about being available to respond to your customers when they have something to say.
They don’t want to leave multiple messages or ring the calls several times before they get answers. It’s therefore critical that you make timely engagement with your customers a priority.
Assign a customer representative to respond to calls, hire community managers to respond to DMs and Emails. This way, you can be sure to always be there to engage with your customers when they need you to, and they can reciprocate by doing the same.
Benefits of customer engagement for your online business
Customer engagement is crucial to get your online business ahead of its competitors and reach its goals. Here’s how customer engagement makes it happen:
- It promotes your brand awareness
Engaged customers go the extra mile to publicize your brand. They drop your brand’s name at every opportunity they get, promote your posts and encourage active participation from their friends.
This helps increase your brand’s visibility and gets your brands in the eyes of prospects who need your products.
- It fosters loyalty and increases customer retention
When you engage your customers, you can be sure to grow a community that supports you and stands by you no matter the competition.
Engaged customers are loyal and would not see themselves doing business with anyone else but you. This reduces one-off purchases and paves room for consistent buying experiences that will keep you in business.
- Positive brand reputation
Brands that have loyal advocates as customers establish positive brand recognition in the industry. People see them as customer-centric brands with positive values, and this perception opens doors for new customers and new opportunities to flourish as a business.
Engaging your customers is how you build a community of active and happy customers who help your business grow. In this article, we discussed five unique ways to engage your customers better as an online business.
These strategies include organizing more live videos, practicing effective email marketing, encouraging your customers to create user-generated content, and organizing contests. Adopt these tips in your customer engagement strategy to see improvements in the way your customers engage with your business.
Lydia Iseh is a writer with years of experience in writing SEO content that provides value to the reader. As someone who believes in the power of SEO to transform businesses, she enjoys being part of the process that helps websites rank high on search engines.