From how to engage customers in conversation to B2B customer engagement ideas, we’ll break down what is engagement marketing and share 10 customer engagement ideas and strategies that you can start implementing right away.
Customer engagement marketing, also called customer centric marketing, can be calculated by the number of times a customer interacts with your brand. Breaking it down a step further, it’s important to note your target is customers, meaning those who have already purchased your brand or service. And from a company standpoint it’s all about managing and maintaining, engaging, and re-engaging with these valuable customers.
While one great customer engagement marketing tip is to take an omni-channel approach to reaching your intended audience, who better to tell you the best way to engage with your customers than your customers! That said, your customers most likely have different interests, views, ways of shopping, and interacting with your brand. So while you may not need to overhaul your approach, you will want to identify different marketing channels you can capitalize on to distribute your content for maximum success. After all, the best customer engagement ideas result in connecting with customers where they are not just where you are most comfortable.
10 Customer Engagement Ideas & Tips
1. Swag Bags AKA Stuff We All Get
Let’s face it, who can resist a great freebie? Most of everyone! Who doesn’t need any more junk taking up space in their home (or inbox)? Everyone! When it comes to finding swag your customers will absolutely love, use, and best of all keep, be extra selective in what you add to your swag bag!
While the items in your swag bag are directly influenced by your budget, you can find budget friendly gifts that are not only affordable and easy to ship, but are also sustainable too. Add in customization— like your logo on a great tee shirt, and you’ve got hot swag bag merch with major marketing power.
Talk to your Gemnote representative for a curated collection of items. They can provide you with valuable advice on how to personalize your brand in a way that’s fresh, professional and above all unique so that your company’s logo stands out in a crowd. Plus, they can offer more ways to incorporate swag into your customer engagement strategy.
2. Brand Voice & Story
Your company’s voice is not just a part of your brand, it is a reflection of your brand and offers a look into your company’s culture and values. And it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. While the industry you are in may dictate the style of your voice, how you deliver the message should be unique to your company. Your brand voice is much more than the content found on your site’s About Us page and should be consistent across every marketing channel your company uses from your website to podcasts, blogs, videos, and emails.
Renowned psychologist Carl Jung’s research led to the idea that symbolism helps us better understand elaborate concepts. And, taken a step further he created archetypes categorized by personality traits of which people fall into. These 12 brand archetypes show examples of how different brands are perceived and the audience they are targeting. So, if you’re looking to revamp your voice, make sure you are able to connect with your intended audience. Then through the power of words and images create a story that’s unique and unforgettable.
3. Social Media
Ahhh, the power of social media. Love it or hate, it’s not going anywhere, and your company should take advantage of it. Ready to engage with your customers on social media? You’ll need to know where they’re at. While Facebook is still the most used platform, with 2.7 billion monthly users, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, SnapChat, Linkedin, etc. make up a large place in the marketplace. You may discover a large portion of your audience is on multiple platforms and uses each a bit differently.
By meeting your customers where they are at and providing them with the content they are looking for (this can be tips, blogs, videos, sneak peeks at products and more) you can continue to build your customer engagement as well as get insights on the products and services that would serve them better in the future.
4. Feedback & Surveys
You know the saying, you’ll never know unless you ask? Well, sometimes the easiest and most direct way to foster engagement is by asking what your customers want. Don’t be surprised though, if this is different from what you think they want.
Ready to get started asking anything and everything you think may be useful to your customers? Before blasting out emails and surveys you’ll want to think through how you want to ask for this information. For example, your customers may not want to talk to you, be on yet another email list, or they may fear how you are going to use (or sell!) their personal information. While your intentions may be sincere, your customers as well yourself have probably been hounded by unwanted advertising in the past.
5 Tips Customer Engagement Through Surveys And Feedback
- Offer an incentive to get your customers feedback. This can be in the form of branded marketing gear, discounts and coupon codes, exclusive offers, an invitation to your next event, and more.
- Keep your questionnaire or survey short. Extra credit if you let them know ahead of time how many questions there are or approximately how long the survey will take to answer.
- Give multiple choice answers they can quickly use to answer while also providing a place for them to add any additional information they wish to include.
- Be honest and upfront about how you plan to use the information your customers provide you with.
- Assure your recipients that you will not sell or share their information.
In summary, think through the different things someone would need to do to get you to take their survey.
While influencers are used to attract a larger audience and target people who have not yet purchased a product or a service from a company, they can also be used by companies to increase engagement. For example, if you have a customer engagement plan for your cookware products you could reach out to an influencer that specializes in cooking recipes. You’ll want to be sure the influencer you choose uses the same platform as your customers (per tip #3) and is someone who posts about their shared interest and your product or service.
To help spread the word, share the influencer’s post through a tweet, video, email, story, blog post etc. This is an especially effective tool if you know the information your customers are wanting to receive and tops the list for virtual customer engagement ideas. It’s also a great exploration in repurposing popular content. Providing your customers with relevant content is always a win. Especially if they continue to come back to you as a leader in the industry.
6. Giving Back Campaigns
Customers want to know that they can feel good about the businesses they purchase items and services from. Corporate social responsibility is important to every business. From fair trade certifications to protect against the exploitation of others and the planet to giving back. Your company can make a difference that both you and your customers can be proud of. Not only is this one of many customer engagement examples but it could even help you attract new clientele. Plus, even small businesses can start giving back while on a budget. When looking for a give back opportunities, make sure to do your research and find an organization aligns with your company’s culture.
There are many ways companies can use incentives to bolster engagement & referrals, increase sales, build brand loyalty, and more. As the name implies, incentives offer the extra push your customers need to take a specific action. Whether it’s filling out a survey, joining an email list, liking you on Facebook, writing a review, referring a friend and the list goes on and on, companies have found success using incentive marketing. Best of all there are fun customer engagement ideas for every budget.
8. Email Marketing
Wait! Before you hit that send button… Ever wish you could go back and rethink that email you sent to your boss, friend, mom? Don’t let that happen with your customers. Sure, you can build an email list and flood their inbox. But once you do, it’s important to not blast your customers with useless info because email platforms make it oh-so-easy to unsubscribe. Not to worry! If you have content your customers want, email is a great way to increase engagement. Whether you’re offering a limited deal, tips on how to use one of your products (or better yet) a product that they’ve purchased from you, you can increase engagement and hopefully sales while you are at it.
Personalization can be a beautiful thing when it’s done right. Like when your favorite of all favorites- restaurant sent you a gift card in the mail for 50% off your next order? Score! Or that time you ordered something and received a personalized funny thank you message with tips on your product, a tracking # for shipping, and an incentive to place another order. Yeah, we love that too.
On the flip side, when done wrong it can feel creepy. Like that time when Alexa butted into a private fight you were having with your S.O. in your bedroom? Not cool!! Or when the autofill on a supposed-to-be personalized email said: Dear First Last and had a random code for a subject line. That one got archived in the virtual trash can.
When it comes to personalization, go all in so your customers can feel extra and engage with you more.
10. Invest in your Employees
Who better to foster an ongoing relationship with your customers than those who interact with most? Employees hear it all: questions, complements, complaints, tips, unofficial product reviews, demands and of course unsolicited advice. While you can’t logically accommodate every request made by a consumer, it’s important to allow your employees a safe way to communicate what they are hearing. In other words, don’t shoot the messenger!
Building trust with your employees goes a long way in engaging clients. Best of all, it’s easy to engage with your employees. Whether it’s recognizing their customer service efforts (even those who aren’t by title customer service reps), rewarding them with special gifts like branded swag, or even gifting them with an extra vacation day, investing in your employees has a positive impact on the overall morale and culture of your company. So be sure to factor employees into your marketing budget.
Wondering what the Benefits of Customer Engagement are?
By keeping your customers engaged through the lifecycle of their purchasing journey, they are more likely to shop with you again and again, recommend you to their friends and family, and leave you a positive review.
Customer Engagement Marketing vs Permission Marketing
While you can have customer engagement marketing without permission marketing, you’ll have the strongest strategy and success when you have both. And, no, this isn’t achieved by a button on your site notifying readers that your site has cookies. Instead it’s investing in them and delivering the content they want in the manner they want to receive it.
So what is Permission Marketing?
“Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.” — Seth Gowin
When it comes to identifying the best customer engagement strategies for your company, consistency is key. So now that you know some sure fire ways to engage with your customers, it’s time to put your best foot forward and start building and capitalizing on that relationship!