Business leaders and marketers understand that brand engagement is essential and needs to be a major component of their marketing strategy. Today, competition for brand loyalty and evangelism is increasing at a rapid pace, requiring brands to develop strategies that resonate and motivate customers on their terms, not just on the brands’ terms. The best brands are constantly looking for innovative ways of creating an interactive customer experience, especially now as we begin to emerge from the pandemic.
What is Brand Engagement?
For most companies, marketing is all about featuring their services and products, ideally, linking them to something that ‘anchors’ the brand in a positive way. Some brands engage with your customers through storytelling, interactive marketing, and holistic experiences. Others put their hearts on their sleeve by sharing their brand philosophy, again, tied to something ‘anchoring’. According to Entrepreneurship Life, working towards improving customer experience is the first step towards reporting an increase in brand engagement, tied closely with an increase in revenue.
Why Should You Care About Brand Engagement?
Today, companies who are used to traditional marketing strategies and investing in traditional channels, can spend lots of money with diminishing return on their investment. The business world is becoming increasingly competitive and companies need to master the art of effective brand engagement. As highlighted by Charles Taylor, a senior business contributor at Forbes, brand engagement makes customers’ patronage and positive response a ‘natural outcome’.
Brand engagement provides a multi-faceted list of benefits, including:
- Enhanced customer loyalty
- Remarkable brand reputation
- Customer retention
- Heightened brand awareness
- Valuable feedback
- Overall business success due to higher sales
Specifically How Do You Increase Brand Engagement?
For some marketers, customer engagement is all about communicating their brands to customers. However, brand engagement is a two-way street today more than ever.
Here are some options that encourage customer engagement with brands:
- Encouraging Customer Reviews– Use available channels to allow customers to provide testimonials. Such a platform allows them to express their experiences and feelings. When you allow customers to speak up, your brand’s positive reputation will spread in a person-to-person, organic manner.
- Ask Customers Questions– Why not use social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, to post questions and polls about your brand? You can also use existing online tools to gather customer feedback. This is one of the most effective ways of building familiarity and trust between consumers and brands.
- Live Video Sessions– The goal is to enhance interaction. By deploying a live video session, brands can become humanized. Brands can also use social media to hold these live video sessions.
- Use Digital Marketing Content– A search engine optimization or “SEO” has rapidly taken over the digital marketing arena. In addition to informing customers about products and services, brands should provide strong, educative content and a call to action. By providing informative content, customers feel valued and will often share the content on social media, further improving a brand’s reputation.
Once customers feel valued, they will positively absorb any form of communication aimed at increasing brand recognition, engagement and ideally advocacy. Through effective communication brands can stay top of mind, which is obviously imperative in influencing buying decisions.
Engaging with Consumers Now
Quarantines and work stoppages have meaningfully changed the marketing landscape. In a recent report by Forbes, customers are now looking for messaging that address the current situation in the customers’ tone. More than ever, marketers need to be creative and innovative in their communications with their current and prospective customers.
Here are various strategies for effectively communicating your brand to customers in the current environment:
- Change Influencer Marketing to Home Influencers– As times change, influencers have to look for ways of staying relevant. Instead of entirely focusing on promoting products and services, they have to instinctively understand what to say, when to say it, and where to fit into consumers’ lives during the crisis. Thus, firms need to use home influencers who focus on entertaining customers or educating them on social impact initiatives, while promoting brands that they use.
- Use Messaging Tactfully- Since these are abnormal times, brands should keep their messages simple, relevant, and informative. Besides promoting their products and services, firms need to deliver socially responsible messages that mainly educate their prospective customers about COVID-19.
- Show Empathy Through Human-Centric Messages– Given the numerous effects of the pandemic, messages that focus on the human element will be more effective than the ones that do not.
The Bottom Line
Engaging customers is the ‘soul’ of any marketing strategy. Highly engaged customers are likely to buy more from and advocate for brands they feel a personal connection to.
MAi Research enables brands to identify key engagement strategies with key stakeholder groups through a research and analytics based approach. Let us know how we can help your brand engage more with your key stakeholders.
Learn more at www.mairesearch.com