In today’s world of digital shopping and online retailing, reaching and engaging with your customer can be trickier than in the traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Unlike these physical stores, you are not afforded the opportunity of engaging with and creating a completely personalized sensory experience for the customer.
eCommerce companies have therefore had to adapt. Digital companies all over the world have had to create online experiences to not only attract customers to their site but to convert them to paying customers – all of this without the customer physically seeing and touching the products themselves.
How have they done this, you may ask? The short answer is that eCommerce companies rely on creating a customer journey for the visitor that surprises and delights them. From the moment the customer enters the website, or even encounters the site, they will need to be engaged, all the way through to shipping and delivery. We thought we would take a look at the key ways of creating a successful customer engagement strategy, and how you can roll it out for a successful 2021.
Streamline Your Social Content
It is no secret that social media is one of the most successful ways of reaching new customers, converting them to fans, and thereafter, paying customers. Social media strategies have rapidly evolved over the last ten years with companies and agencies focussing on posts that generate a high volume of engagement rather than sheer reach.
The key to post engagement lies specifically in the content. Audiences are looking for educational, empowering, and entertaining content. The more you focus on informative content, the wider your reach, and the more engagement you are likely to get.
It is a good idea to put together a content plan for the year, marking key dates and holidays to plan your content around, and then flesh it out from there. Post uniform content across all of your channels, changing formatting for specific platforms, and keep it aligned to specific themes and topics.
The trick is to give your audience a reason to engage with you. Ask questions in the content, incentivize your audience and post interesting and thought-provoking content. Create competitions, or answer questions that your customer base might be asking.
Let’s look at agencies, for example. In most cases, the bulk of an agency’s clients will come from online traffic; whether it be organic, or social media. The agency should be posting content relevant to services they are offering the client and will need to manage this on their social media, as well as their various clients.
This can be intensely resource-heavy, but luckily, there are tools and platforms available to automate and streamline the posting of content on social media. Agency Love is a great example of a social media solution that allows for scheduling, reporting, and engagement from one platform.
Allow Engagement At Each Touchpoint
The modern customer is a customer who is driven by urgency. They want something, and they want something now. It is all about instant gratification, and if they cannot find what they want, or get an answer to something now, they will swiftly move on.
As a company, you have to be ready for this, and luckily for you, there are various ways that you can ensure that your customer can be engaged on every level in your business. Communication is absolutely key, and what you need to keep in mind is that different customers want different forms of communication.
Some prefer emails, some prefer the old school telephone call, while others prefer the instantaneous live chat solution. Social platforms like Facebook and Instagram have live messenger capabilities already factored in, and they have made it easy for you to create autogenerated responses to be sent to each message.
You will also want to create live support for your customer on your site, in order to assist with any questions, troubleshooting, or guidance your customer might have while going through your sales funnel. Live chatbots have risen in popularity since their introduction a few years ago, and are an absolute must for customer engagement in 2021.
Maximize Your Partnerships With Your Affiliates
Content is meant to be shared, so as much as you are sending your educational blogs and posts to your mailing list and over social media, you will need to get the reach even further. This is where affiliates like other sites and influencers come in.
Let’s take the agency as an example again. In order to further reach, an agency will want to write informative blogs on topics that they are providing their clients. ‘5 Ways to Heighten Your SEO’ or ‘4 Facebook Posts That Really Work’ are topics that their potential clients will be researching, and due to the keywords being cleverly inserted, these blog posts can be found in search results.
In order to get them ranked even higher, and extend the reach, the agency can share it with various other high-ranking websites. Google will scrape these sights, pick up the link building and rank your site higher. Keep in mind though, it is quality over quantity, so look for authoritative sites for link building exercises.
Engagement can also be built from influencers. If you are a smaller company, without a mega-budget for the macro-influencers, do not panic. Micro-influencers are actually seen to have more reach and impact on followers than macro-influencers.
Pick someone who is a specialist in your field, and who is passionate about the subject matter. Not only will they have more content and meat to their posts, but their followers will automatically be your target audience. Micro-influencers are also more engaging than their larger counterparts. They are seen to answer questions and respond to direct messages more often and can act as a strong brand ambassador for your company.
Measure, Track, and Test
Our last piece of advice, when it comes to heightening your customer engagement this year, is to keep an eye on your data.
Luckily for you, most platforms track the success rates and metrics of all of your campaigns. Whether it is your social posts on Instagram or Facebook or your emails on Mailchimp, you can track how successful each was.
Keep an eye on these metrics. From click-through rates to opens, you will be able to monitor what kind of content interests your audience and what content you can replicate for future campaigns.
Have a look at Google Analytics too. This will allow you to track the success of the campaigns on your actual site. You can monitor where the traffic is coming from, how it behaves on your site, and whether it bounces at certain pages. This will give you a full picture of how your campaigns promote engagement and conversion rates on your site.
You can also use these to test out new content or ideas for your campaigns and actual content on your site. You can keep an eye on the data when changing up your strategies and compare it to your usual traffic and engagement to see whether it is more successful or not.
Keep the customer in mind at all times. Your customer journey will need to reflect what your customer wants to see and hear from you. Regular research and surveys can be highly effective in molding a strategy around their wants and needs.