If “buzz” signifies a continuing sound, an atmosphere or feeling of excitement, then engagement has buzz in spades! It seems like the internet is full of articles on engagement, and marketing thought leaders are now prolific in prescribing principles and means of engagement leading to the sale of products and services, along with retention of clients. It’s a buzz-worthy topic to be sure!
What is Engagement and Why is it Important?
Engagement can be defined simply as the means by which a company establishes a relationship with its clients, leading to more than one sale and then to loyalty. It represents the on-going interactions between a company and its clients. It also refers to the degree or depth of interactions achieved.
Engagement, while certainly needing to result in sales, must include for a client a feeling of being connected to the brand, being heard, having problems fixed and getting answers to questions. Gary Vaynerchyuk, entrepreneur and author, put it this way, “To get customers (or clients,) you need to go from the heart to the brain to the wallet.” Adds Andrew Reid, “Find a way to get personal with your clients and connect with them on a human level.”
According to studies, up to 2/3 of a brand’s profits may come as a result of effective engagement. Further, improved engagement can result in increased cross-sell, improved up-sell and increased order sizes. Gallup research indicates that a fully engaged client delivers 23% more revenue than average.
Engagement activities are efficient too! Client acquisition costs can run four to 10 times higher than the costs of retention. They prevent client churn and engaged clients spend more as well as being more likely to recommend a brand to others.
Measuring engagement involves considering the following metrics:
- Website traffic
- Audience growth
- Facebook and Twitter audience growth and interaction rates; likes and shares
- Click-through rates in email campaigns
- Client check out rates
- Purchase frequency
- Average order value
- Repeat purchase rate
Strategies for Increased Engagement
Using these strategies will increase customer engagement and reap many business rewards:
- Obsessively focus on great customer experience, both online and offline. Create a culture of superb service and empower employees to deliver it. What hours do clients need service? How fast can your team respond to questions and needs? How can the order process be improved?
- Humanize your brand so that clients know you understand their needs and that they can relate well to your business.
- Be expert and real with social media. Create a persona that gives your business a unique voice.
- Make sure that communications are personal, not robotic.
- Create content that is useful and current.
- Really listen to what clients are telling you. Respond honestly to client complaints.
- Reward repeat sales.
- Encourage your best clients to share and refer to your brand.
Avoid Engagement Mistakes
Avoid these engagement mistakes to propel your brand way ahead of your competitors:
- Don’t rely on stale scripted responses while interacting.
- Don’t treat clients purely as a “sale number.”
- Don’t fail to employ all available communication channels.
- Don’t assign engagement a low priority.
- Don’t be complacent nor average in all engagements.
- Don’t minimally manage the client experience. Make the experience excellent.
Seek Professional Marketing and Engagement Assistance
When you are tackling tough marketing challenges, including superior client engagement, contact VisionPATH Marketing. We specialize in inbound, content marketing and social media marketing. Our differentiator is strategy before tactics.