There has been a marked shift from conventional marketing ethics focusing on lead generation and conversions over the last few years. Today, the essence of marketing is making customer satisfaction the pivotal plan. In this post, we will look at the top digital marketing strategies to promote your startup.
As the voice of the customer becomes increasingly loud, the fact is established that it is them and not marketing which drives the online content and to create great experiences, marketers need to have complete comprehension of customers. Coupled with this is the need for an advanced thinking and flexible digital brand engagement strategy.
Establishing a strong connection with consumers, the lifeblood of your business is imperative for business prosperity. Bona fide storytelling, that shows your care and concern for your consumers, creates a vital difference between growth and stasis.
Attention span is getting reduced every day and today’s customers arrive from diverse sources, hence it’s essential to trail engagement on the desktop and smart devices.
A recent IMRG Capgemini report says, “A total of 52% of web traffic to retail sites currently comes via smart-phones and tablets.” Besides, more a third i.e. 36% of online sales are now done on a smart-phones or tablets. Increased customer engagement across the channels gives them a sense of value and enhances the loyalty factor.
Whether you sell your service or products, without loyal customers, you are sure to fail. Consumers today make decisions on their complete understanding of a brand. To enhance this experience and understanding it is now critical to build a sturdy and relevant brand identity which ultimately drives sales.
Entrepreneurs often focus more on lead generation and customer acquisition while ignoring the fact that until these model customers are influenced and promoted – it is only a matter of time before they switch to the competitors.
This in-depth article is for those who need a robust and full-proof strategy brands can use to drive engagement and create a better customer experience.
1. Pick the right platform
The first step towards digital brand engagement is to opt for the right platforms for communicating with your potential and existing customers. A high-tech website is not enough!
But before you do this you must know your customers, their age, location and lifestyle. You also need find out their online presence and digital engagement patterns – Is it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn?
You will need to dig further and find out their source of information –
- Is it the website, blog, or social media platforms channels from which they get to know about you or is it from a third party?
- Do they use mobiles and tablets to feed on online information
Once done, you now need to figure out ways to digitally build up your brand against the competitors by doing better and being different. Only then will you be able to design a multi-pronged digital approach, one which is framed on the behaviour patterns of your target audience. This results in a digital experience that is appealing, pleasing and gives you happy customers.
Start taking social media platforms as a tool and use it to connect, share, make out questions, explore influencers and design a content, reading which your audience will instantly exclaim, “This is what we been looking for!”
2. Ensure brand consistency
Trust factor remains the keys to an upbeat online experience. Nurture trust in all your digital dealings by being consistent across the platforms and channels of customer engagement. Give an account of your brand narrative but do not lose touch with the human aspect of your story.
Also by responding to questions and feedback you not only appear good but also improve the customers’ experience with your brand.
To expunge any discrepancy between the product and the promise the best way is to be honest, exceedingly clear and constantly keeping the promises your brand makes.
Also important is to provide an outstanding user experience and make your website to stand out from the competition. To do this, keep the site and services secure and always respect the privacy of customers by not using the collected data for vice!
Brand consistency has always been regarded as the finest strategy for promoting brand and product awareness. A great way to approach this is by keeping colours, fonts and messages standardized. This helps the potential customers connect to your brand with the right kind of feelings.
3. Add value
Value addition has an immense impact on customers. Always look for opportunities to add value for your existing and future customers through all your digital brand engagement exercises. Creating superior quality content designed to appeal to your target audience is a great way to go about it.
Some of the options to explore are:
- Fun create is fine, but the one that can educate, for instance blogs, case studies, FAQs and white papers – are of more value.
- Keep extremely useful customer support materials handy.
- Think of discounts, contests and exclusive offers.
- Create room for interactions, call people to action and encourage questions.
- Employ marketing automation techniques to offer personalised online experiences and marketing campaigns.
Another innovative strategy to ramp up brand engagement is to integrate genuine storytelling. It is great to take a back seat and allow your customers communicate your brand story through stories of their own. This strategy is known to be extremely successful as by doing this you are getting more means to connect with your clientele while increasing the brand loyalty.
Also keep in mind that consumers look for valuable information on services to meet their needs. Connect your brand to stories that echo with your audience and keep away from using sales talk.
4. Create custom content
While content marketing is targeted to drive leads and acquire customers, custom content – a type of content written to customers who are familiar with your product – aims at engaging and nurturing active customers.
Useful content for customers has been used by companies in the U.S., Uk, China since several years. Even today, leading brands including KISSmetrics, Moz, HubSpot, QuickSprout, and Search Engine Journal have used content to motivate customers. Custom content is the future as buying decisions are increasingly being influenced by it.
Shopify which boasts of over 165,000 loyal customers, has strongly espoused content marketing – they generate huge amount of custom content that shouts out to its customers.
Existing customers of any business have questions which demands immediate answers. It’s important to cut down response timing and also which questions to respond first and figure out ways to send the answers. This will keep them excited – something customer engagement is all about.
However, brands with large customer base can’t afford to answer every query. The best way to deal with this is to have custom content to inform your customers about the new characters of your software, or about the installation of a new feature, or about your forthcoming event and how one can get the tickets. The lone purpose is to keep your existing customers engaged and provide them with a reason to be loyal.
5. Feedback works wonder
Evaluation of a brand is best done through customer feedback. It also develops brand reliance and enhances the customer experience, not just with your digital platforms but also with the products and services. Achieve this by inviting reviews and feedback on your all the digital spaces and by offering a rating mechanism of products.
However, do keep in mind that collecting feedbacks is not enough; it is critical to respond to them, particularly those that are off-putting. Do not leave any negative comment un-responded, try and change the negative feedbacks into positive ones by putting to work your amazing customer service team. Only delete a comment if it is hateful.
6. Measure for measure
Examine, appraise and assess are the watchwords for the success of digital strategies as it is the essential component in ensuring positive online experiences for customers. Analytical tools offered by the social media platforms and blogs can help you immensely in achieving this. Use Google Analytics to keep an eye on your website and also the marketing automation software for measuring your strategic success. Also monitor customer behaviour while they are on your online platforms and pay heed to the feedback –this will help you tweak the existing digital strategies and provide an enhanced user experience thereby creating many more happy customers.
7. Go graphic
Want to augment traffic to an old post? Do it by ramping up your top tips and quotes into graphical presentations! Applications like Adobe Spark Post or Canva can turn quotes and tips into delightful graphics. Take the quote or tip and using a tool such as Adobe Spark Post or Canva, turn it into a graphic that can be shared on your social media platforms. Once done share them on social-media channels. For most advantageous results, create an array of sizes to go with the platforms, by using the above mentioned tools. Use these graphics with a link to the post and boost traffic.
8. Add variation to post
For better success on digital brand engagement add diversity to the posts you share. Sharing only the links to blogs or other online content on Facebook might not give you the desired result, and you may end up getting very little engagement. Bring together a mix of images and videos to get more views and engagement and to keep your fans involved and engaged.
However, continuous sharing of videos or images can also get tedious. Online audience have unique preferences and identify with different types of content. This again varies on the time they can afford to spend and also on the type of information they need at a particular moment.
At times an individual may look for something to study in detail on website or through blog posts while at others he/she may have less than 40 seconds to spare – just enough to watch a video clip or skim through a graphic image.
9. Platform specific sharing
Copy and pasting same content to all digital platforms – is an absolute no no! All the platforms have unique appeals and characteristics and so are the users; hence each post must be distinctive and inimitable.
However, similar posts can be shared on different platforms with certain changes in format to adapt to the platforms’ uniqueness e.g. number of characters for Twitter and suitable hashtags on Instagram.
10. Schedule posts carefully
Without an apt strategy, digital engagements can be very time taking. Plan ahead to post content on the different platforms at one go.
This will help you achieve the following:
- Similar posts to be shared across platforms can be modified and posted at one go.
- Dedicating a specific time for social media posting makes it simple rather than doing it in parts which call for multiple efforts.
- It is important to understand that better engaged communities require more time investment. Start-ups with a couple of social media channels must think of planning all the posts of a week in a matter of hours.
However, prior scheduling of posts will require checking in each platform regularly in order to reply and interact with the community. Think of scheduling sometime in the beginning and at the end of each day for digital engagement, an activity that can never be automated.
Also, if your brand is for a global community, do not keep your posts limited to business hours of your time zone, as by doing so you will end up missing out on connecting with the communities from different time zones. Share posts at different time periods to reach out and connect with the global audience.
11. Opt for accurate tools
Whether opting for tools to ably plan posts or to efficiently accumulate and comprehend the metrics gathered from your posts, make sure you are deciding on the best tool.
Consider the following factors while choosing the tools:
- Number of users who will use it
- Number of accounts to be connected to the tool
- Social media platforms in use
- The indices to evaluate
You may consider using more than one tool depending on the platforms you are using. Try out the free trials offered by the tools to find the right fit.
12. Review past posts
Review your past posts and tweets once a month to find out their impact and also to update yourself about the potential trends. Trends will help you understand what types of posts are attracting better views or engagements and also if posting at a definite time of the day is more beneficial. For example, it is said that posts with images get higher engagements on Facobook.
Reviews also help you see if posting too often witnesses engagement decline. Make suitable use of the knowledge you gain each month to perk up your brand engagement strategy.
Results will vary greatly from one season to another or will change constantly. You need to be watchful of the new or emerging trends which will advance as do the platforms. To achieve success with your social media marketing, be open to change along with the platforms and trends.
13. Produce interactive content to feed customer demand
In the online space, content is king. It’s the ability to produce right kind of content which helps in generating leads, inbound links, and sales.
But today many B2B content marketers are struggling to produce content that engages while many others lack a budget to hire skilled content writers. An important thing to keep in mind that the rules have now changed as content is not about quantity anymore but about quality.
The real evaluation of content is the action it encourages. If a certain type of content does not make the right people to take action, it is a waste of time. Interactive content encourages readers and audience to act by answering questions, making choices and looking at the available options. It captures the attention of the target audience right from the beginning and makes them think and react not just breeze through it.
Also if you want to generate an ever flowing engagement stream, a different type of content should be created – a content that talks back at the reader who not only feel engaged but also feel comfortable with your brand – and eventually emerge as enthused brand advocates.
14. Create mobile apps
A smart way is to have a mobile app which helps drive growth. With deep analytics and excellent psychology in tune with user behaviour apps are making the required differentiations from websites and other software devices. As per as customer engagement is concerned, it is now established that apps successfully spin an informal conversation into a strong relationship generating sales.
If you want to engage your customers, while offering genuine and long term value, think of creating a mobile app.
Make the small alterations to your existing digital brand engagement strategy to significantly augment your competence, value and success. Try and put into practice one change at a time and integrate it with the system completely before going ahead with another.