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6 effective customer engagement marketing strategies

Customer engagement marketing: entrepreneur using a laptop

Key takeaways

  • Successful customer engagement marketing can help you improve customer loyalty and your bottom line
  • Listen to feedback from review sites like Yelp, social media, and public forums to identify new ways to meet customer needs and prevent disengagement from your brand
  • Host a social media giveaway or build a loyalty program to give clients incentives to support your brand

Most business owners are accustomed to keeping their eyes on the prize: the sale of a product or service. However, while sales drive growth, customer interactions drive sales. Small moments of engagement—like a scroll through your ecommerce website or a comment on your social media page—might feel insignificant, but they can gradually drive shoppers toward a purchase.

Much like dipping your toes in the sea before taking the plunge, little interactions (known as touchpoints) can prepare your current and potential customers for the big commitment—the final sale. Here‘s how you can use customer engagement marketing to keep your target market closely connected to your brand.

What is customer engagement marketing?

Customer engagement marketing is the use of marketing tactics to encourage shoppers to interact with a brand. It makes clients feel valued so they are more likely to purchase products or services and continue doing so over time.

While all marketing should ultimately lead to engagement, this practice is more focused on building long-term relationships with customers. By staying in touch with clients and making your brand feel more like a community, you can reduce your churn rate (the number of people who stop using your brand) and establish a loyal customer base.

Why is customer engagement marketing important?

Customer engagement marketing is important because it helps your brand achieve higher levels of customer loyalty, which increases your earning potential. When businesses directly invest in their online engagement alone, they experience an average 70% increase in revenue.

At the same time, customer engagement strategies can reduce costs. Since it costs 6-7 times more to attract new customers than to keep existing customers, keeping brand loyalty high allows you to avoid the expensive struggle of constant churn, lead generation, and onboarding. In fact, stellar loyalty can mean increased profits with less investment since consumers spend 25% more with the brands they trust.

6 effective customer engagement marketing strategies

Marketer using a laptop

Great customer engagement campaigns can make a brand’s customer experience simpler and more exciting. As a result, you can achieve your desired business growth and build a community willing to advocate for your brand. Here are six examples of customer engagement marketing you can use in your strategy.

1. Map out your ideal customer journey

If you want to generate the right type of engagement, you need to understand your customers’ behavior and what they do before they buy. Using helpful metrics from your website analytics tool, social media pages, email marketing software, and other platforms, you can identify which interactions lead directly to purchases and which ones lead to churn.

This will help you map out the steps shoppers need to take to make more sales. You might find an omnichannel approach to marketing would be beneficial—which means making all your online and offline touchpoints consistent—to meet customer expectations and keep them focused on your brand.

2. Listen to customer feedback

To optimize the customer experience, you need to hear straight from your clients about what they want. While sending out the occasional survey is a great way to learn about client needs, you can hop online anytime to listen in on the current conversation about your brand. Pay attention to your online reviews, social media comments and mentions, and other forms of customer feedback.

When you add or claim your Yelp Business Page, you can get real-time notifications when clients leave reviews so you can respond promptly and—in the case of negative reviews—start brainstorming ways to prevent future issues, improve operations, and strengthen your reputation.

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3. Host social media giveaways

Social media giveaways don’t just excite and engage your clients. These contests can also help you gain referrals from your customer base. For example, you can ask social media users to tag a friend for an entry. This customer engagement marketing strategy can offer a number of benefits, such as:

  • Turning your existing customers into advocates instead of passive buyers
  • Showing customers you care by giving them the chance to win a valuable prize (like a $100 gift card)
  • Gaining new customers who are already highly interested in your brand thanks to word-of-mouth marketing from their friends and family members (your current customers)

If you get more entries than you can sift through on your own, software like Easypromos can help you automate the process of compiling comments and drawing a winner.

4. Encourage user-generated content

Customer engagement marketing: woman using her phone

Customers who are excited about a brand can quickly get others excited about it too. Nearly half of millennials spend money on experiences as a direct result of their friends’ social media posts. This is what makes user-generated content (UGC)—which refers to any unpaid content that people post about your brand—so powerful. When your clients love your brand enough to rave about it without any freebies or financial incentives in return, their posts can add authenticity to your reputation in addition to your own content marketing efforts.

While the point of UGC is that it’s unpaid, you can use customer engagement marketing to nurture the growth of brand mentions on social media, blog posts, and more. For instance, a hairstylist can ask for permission to share beauty shots posted by their clients, while a personal trainer can post fun Duets reacting to TikTok videos their clients post about their fitness progress. Showing your clients support—not just acknowledgment—can be a huge motivator for UGC.

5. Reward your loyal customers

If you want to give your customers financial incentives or freebies to support your brand, consider starting a loyalty program that rewards clients for continuing to choose your products or services. For example, a dry cleaning business could offer a free service every tenth visit. Setting up a loyalty program can be as simple as passing out a branded punch card; or you can compare the different paid software options for loyalty programs.

Loyalty programs can also gamify your customer experience by allowing customers to work their way toward new goals or prizes with every purchase.

6. Create personalized experiences with a CRM

Personalization can encourage customers to spend up to 500% more. Whether you’re greeting clients by name when you answer the phone or sending product recommendations based on past purchases, personalization is a simple strategy to make shoppers feel a sense of belonging. This is where a customer relationship management tool (CRM) can come in handy.

CRMs, such as Zoho CRM or Pipedrive, store customer data like contact details, location, and past brand interactions. With a CRM, you can offer customer support without asking for information your clients already provided in the past. Plus, you can send the right marketing messages to specific members of your target audience. For example, a pet salon can send two different email marketing campaigns to dog and cat owners so their efforts can drive more sales.

The digital marketing automations that CRMs offer can help you personalize content across channels so you can improve customer satisfaction.

Engage customers effectively

When you improve customer engagement, you can improve customer retention—the number of people who stay loyal to your business over time. Effective customer engagement marketing can play a key role in boosting your bottom line and helping you reach the milestones you want your business to achieve.

Start by getting to know your target audience’s customer journey, personalizing your touchpoints, and using rewards to excite customers about engaging with your brand. Once you achieve a loyal client base, you can put more of your focus on growth. Use these referral program ideas to accelerate your business goals.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.