Simple steps to create an online customer engagement strategy
Nowadays, businesses aim to provide an exceptional customer experience to make customers stay with them for long. These days customers have got many options to choose from and they just want the best for themselves. Therefore, it’s important that you provide customers with more value and better experiences compared to other brands. Keeping customers happy and engaged is a difficult task especially if you don’t make the right efforts. Here, in this blog, we will discuss what is online customer engagement, why it’s important for business, how to create an online customer engagement strategy, and how to increase customer engagement online.
Enhance your customer experience by managing your marketing channels effectively. Know which are the right marketing channels to engage with customers and make investments accordingly.
What is online customer engagement?
Online customer engagement refers to the process of interacting with potential and existing customers through different digital channels to build a relationship with them. These digital channels can be websites, social media, emails, paid ads, and remarketing.
As per statistics, eCommerce accounts for 15.5% of total worldwide retail sales. This is one of the main reasons that marketers need to understand online customer engagement.
Why is online customer engagement important?
These days customers have got a lot of options in terms of products or services to choose from. People constantly go online to search for the best products or services for themselves. Therefore, it’s important for businesses to maintain an online presence.
Additionally, businesses should try to improve their online customer engagement. They can do it by creating and posting compelling & interesting social media content online. But even that can’t guarantee success as the attention span of customers has become very less.
To succeed, businesses should try to understand customers and engage them by providing personalized experiences. Providing personalized customer experience can help make customers feel valued.
When customers have constant positive experiences with a brand, they tend to stay to loyal to it. They become brand advocates and promote your products or services to their friends and family.
You should try to increase online customer engagement across different platforms. Interacting with customers through distinct marketing channels can help you reinforce your brand and get valuable feedback. You can use this feedback to improve your products or services.
Online customer engagement benefits
Here, in this section, we will discuss customer engagement online benefits and how it can help businesses boost their growth.
- Brand awareness: Online customer engagement can help businesses to reach new customers and drive sales. A well-crafted social media marketing strategy can help brands to reach customers effectively with the right messages. They can use social media to answer any questions or queries that customers post online. They can start conversations with customers by replying to mentions and comments.
- Customer acquisition costs: Acquiring a new customer can be five times more expensive than retaining an existing one. Online customer engagement can help businesses to stay in touch with their current customers constantly. They can remind them how they are better than other brands in the market and encourage repeat purchases.
- Enhance customer experience: People like and prefer those brands that value them beyond transactions. Online customer engagement can help you increase customer satisfaction. By posting interesting, informational, and educational content online you can add value to customer experience. You can optimize your website for better UX and customer support service. A strong customer engagement strategy can help you to enhance your overall customer experience.
- Customer loyalty: Customer experience and brand loyalty go hand in hand. A good customer experience helps build a positive connection between a customer and a brand. People tend to become loyal customers of brands that offer them exceptional experiences.
- Understand customer needs: Online customer engagement can help you gather valuable customer feedback. You can know what customers like and dislike about your products or services. You can get product-related important feedback that can help you improve your product. This will also make customers feel that you hear and understand their needs.
Best ways to increase online customer engagement
Increasing online customer engagement has many benefits for businesses that we discussed above. Now, we will tell you the best ways to boost your online customer engagement.
1. Post interesting content
Posting interesting content on social media platforms can help you actively engage with customers. People tend to like, comment, and share content that they like on social media. Don’t always look to promote your products or services but offer interesting and informational content that provides value to customers. When people really like a post they share it with their friends and family. This way it increases your brand awareness by reaching people who don’t even follow you.
2. Announce new features
Whenever you create and improve your product, use announcements to celebrate it on social media. This is a good way to engage with customers who aren’t actively engaging with your brand. You should also opt for digital mediums which your customers like to engage with. Try to find out whether they prefer Instagram or email to receive communication.
When you launch new features try creating buzz around it so even people get excited to use it. Engage with customers and tell them how these new features can help them meet their goals. Announcing new features or products is a good way to get customers excited and engaged with your brand.
3. Take customer surveys
Surveys are good tool to gain direct and accurate customer insights. It is also a great way to engage with customers directly. You can ask important questions related to your brand and get valuable information. You can know brand sentiment and understand how customers think and feel about your brand.
You can send surveys to customers after a product purchase via in-app or email. Ask them questions about their experience and any suggestions that they would like to give your brand. This will also make your customers feel that you value their opinions and viewpoints. From the responses, you can know about the customer satisfaction level. Surveys can help you increase online customer engagement and customer satisfaction.
4. Segment customer feedback and follow-up
From online customer engagement, you can get a lot of customer feedback. It’s important that you track what your customers have to say about your brand. To understand your customer feedback better you should segment your customer feedback into positive, neutral, and negative ones. You should see what type of feedback you’re getting from different segments.
You should first consider the negative feedback that you’re getting and why you’re getting it. Try to follow up with these customers and tell them that you’ll try to resolve their issue at the earliest. Once you have resolved their issue, ask them to give feedback on their experience. Also, don’t forget to thank customers who gave positive feedback and tell them you’ll continue to provide them with the best service. Doing this will help you to improve your online customer engagement.
5. Make data-informed decisions
From customer feedback, you can get direct insights into what your customers like and what they don’t like. However, you should try to unify data that you get from multiple sources to find out any gaps in your customer journey. See the possible stages of the customer journey where friction might be happening.
All this information can help you to find the scope of improvement. By implementing those changes you can ensure that you deliver the most value to your customers. This will aid you in increasing online customer engagement and brand loyalty.
How to implement an online customer engagement strategy
An online customer engagement strategy can help you effectively engage customers and retain them for a long time. Here, we have given a step-by-step process to implement an online customer engagement strategy
1. Set the right goals
To start with your online customer engagement strategy, you should set goals for your business. You should determine what you aim to achieve by implementing this strategy. Use the S.M.A.R.T. goal technique (smart, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound) to set goals for your strategy. Deciding goals will help you to determine your scope, budget, and members required to accomplish these goals successfully.
2. Identify your target audience
For creating an online customer engagement strategy you need to identify your target audience. Identifying your target audience like who they are and what their needs, wants & expectations are can help you to target them better. You can evaluate what type of content and promotion will best resonate with them.
Researching about your customers will help you know their pain points, purchase history, and online behavior. Based on this information marketers can create customer personas and content strategies to target these customers effectively. Providing a personalized customer experience can help you to boost your online customer engagement.
3. Identify metrics to track
Before executing an online customer engagement strategy, marketers should determine the metrics to track to measure success. They should track which content gets the maximum online user engagement. They should see which are their popular products or services that customers like the most. They can track various metrics like impressions, reach, likes, mentions, shares, and click-through rates.
4. Gather feedback from different teams
Once you have launched your online customer engagement strategy, it’s time to track your progress. You should see which goals you were able to achieve and which you couldn’t meet. Take feedback from stakeholders and cross-functional teams that are involved in online customer engagement strategy. This way you’ll be to identify what’s working and what’s not. You can take suggestions from your team to implement changes that can make a difference in your performance.
5. Optimize and refine your strategy
To build a robust online customer engagement strategy, you must monitor feedback and identify industry trends. This way you’ll be able to optimize your strategy and gain an edge over your competitors. Find ways to improve your content strategy for different digital platforms. A company should try to maintain a presence on maximum digital platforms so that customers can reach out to them wherever they want. They can include live chat, chatbots, and phone call options on their website.
Best online customer engagement strategies
To increase your online customer engagement consistently you should utilize the best online customer engagement strategies. In this section, we will give you the best online customer engagement strategies that you can implement for your business.
1. Leverage social media
Social media marketing can help you create awareness and reach an extended audience. You can engage with customers in different ways using social media. You can use social media to identify your customers’ content preferences and trends. For example, you post a video one day and post a blog the next day. From the social media reports, you find that customers have engaged more with video post than the blog post. From this information, you can understand that posting a video can help you to get more online customer engagement.
You can post different types of content on social media to grasp the attention of your prospects and engage them effectively. By doing post-analysis through tools like WebMaxy eGrowth, you can know your best and worst-performing posts. These detailed insights can help you create an effective content strategy for social media.
2. Build a brand voice
Customers don’t like engaging with automated and machine language messages. You can differentiate yourself by creating a brand personality and voice. Personifying your brand helps make you sound authentic, relatable, and memorable to customers.
Creating a brand voice helps to make you stand out from other brands. Many popular brands have an established brand voice. For example, Apple’s brand voice is simple, confident, and bold which helps to position them as a premium technology brand.
A brand voice can make a difference in how customers perceive your brand. Therefore, make careful considerations before choosing your brand voice. People like engaging with a brand that sounds human and approachable.
3. Active listening
As a brand, you should not just focus on creating content but on understanding what customers have to say. Customers like communicating with brands that listen to them. People need to be felt heard to actively engage with a brand. You should constantly keep a check on emails, phone calls, and comments on social media channels where customers might be trying to engage with you.
You should see and understand what people have to say about your brand. You must try to reply to all the comments where people are mentioning your brand. Don’t forget to reply to negative comments as this can make your customers feel that they are valued and their feedback matters.
Personalization has gained a lot of buzz in the last few years. Personalization is not just about mentioning the names of people in emails. It’s about gaining an understanding of what a customer needs, wants, expects, and their behavioral patterns.
For effective online customer engagement, you should try to create content and messages that are directed toward specific customers. You can also segment your target customers based on their traits and purchase behavior. Then, you can create content and messages that can best resonate with them.
For example, Amazon provides personalized recommendations to customers based on their purchase history.
5. Contests and giveaways
You can increase online customer engagement by conducting social media contests and giveaways. You can launch contests on Facebook and Instagram. People like winning free gifts and therefore, people highly engage in such contests and giveaways.
You can conduct contests in which you can ask people to tag or mention your brand in a post. This will not only help to engage customers but also create awareness about your brand in their followers. This will indirectly create a buzz around your brand.
6. AI chatbots
Delayed responses can lead to a bad customer experience. Customers don’t prefer brands that don’t reply quickly. You can deploy AI chatbots to give quick replies to customers as soon as they engage with your brand. Providing faster responses to customers can help you to boost online customer engagement.
As per statistics, 82% of customers expect responses within 10 mins from a brand. WebMaxy eGrowth can help you to automate FAQs and chat on WhatsApp. The Omnichannel support feature enables you to reply to customers on different platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and Gmail from one place.
7. Behavior-based messaging
One of the best ways to drive online customer engagement is by implementing behavior-based marketing. Nowadays, there are many software that can help you deliver content to customers based on their online user behavior.
WebMaxy eGrowth can help you create marketing workflows for different customer actions. You can decide which marketing workflow will be triggered for distinct customer actions. Determine what content will be sent to customers via SMS, Email, or WhatsApp.
Behavior-based messaging can help you target customers effectively and enhance their experience with your brand. This will help you to increase online customer engagement and boost conversion rate as well.
8. Customer loyalty program
You should try to build strong relationships with your customers. This will help you to turn them into brand advocates. You can launch a customer loyalty program that encourages them to engage with your brand actively.
You can give referral discounts to your customers. This will help to increase online customer engagement as they will recommend your brand to their friends and family. WebMaxy eGrowth can help you create and launch a customer loyalty program on your website.
Ways to measure online customer engagement
For determining online customer engagement, you need to track various metrics. These metrics can help you evaluate the ROI of your marketing efforts. Here, we have given a list of metrics that you can track for measuring online customer engagement strategy success.
- Website traffic: This indicates how many people are engaging with your brand and going to your website to learn more about you.
- Active users: This is the number of existing customers who actively use your website or app.
- New customers: This is the number of people that a brand is able to convert into new customers.
- Likes, comments, and shares: This indicates how effectively customers are engaging with your social media content.
- Interactions with links: This is the number of times customers interact with links that you provide online.
- Click-through rate in emails: This rate shows how effective your emails are in engaging customers.
- Feature use: This indicates which features of your website and app are most used by people online.
- Unsubscribe: This refers to the number of people who unsubscribe from your email lists.
- Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter analytics: These analytics show how your brand is performing online.
Online customer engagement best practices
There are many ways you can boost your online customer engagement that we discussed above. However, it all comes down to keeping your customers happy and satisfied. Here, we will give you some best practices that you can follow to engage your customers effectively.
1. Understand your customer journey
To optimize your customer journey it’s important that you see it from your customers’ perspective. Start with analyzing your marketing & sales process, onboarding, product, and customer support. All these stages play an important role in leading customers to the end of the funnel.
Find out how you can improve your customer experience throughout the funnel and at each customer journey stage. Make sure that each of these touchpoints are made to offer the best customer experience. For example, having a returns policy that ensures customers can return the product if they don’t like it.
2. Brand’s first impression
A brand’s first impression matters as customers decide from it if they want to do business with them or not. Potential customers should feel engaged and valued from the beginning to convert. Happy customers provide positive feedback online which helps other customers take the final purchase decision.
For example, a customer comes to your website and puts a query in the chat but you don’t reply to them in 2 days. This will create an impression in their mind that your brand doesn’t care about customers. Therefore, you should aim to provide the best experience to customers from the initial stage itself.
3. Personalize communications
A brand’s communication with customers has a vital role in building a relationship with them. If you’ll treat all customers in the same way, then chances are less they’ll continue with you. Try to personalize your communication by sending messages with the name of customers.
You can also assign different customer support representatives to a group of customers. This way all your communication would be done by a particular customer support representative with these customers. This will help to keep your communication uniform and build a real relationship with customers.
4. Respond to customers
For boosting online customer engagement, it’s important you respond to customers. Your customers shouldn’t feel that they are interacting with a wall. Whenever you receive any communication from your customers, you must reply to them. Let it be a comment, mention, or email by a customer. You must try to respond to all your customers at the earliest and resolve issues if any.
5. Take customer feedback into consideration
No matter how much you improve, some people will never stop criticizing your brand. However, this doesn’t mean that your customers are not giving you the right feedback. When too many customers are pointing out something, it means there are certain things that you definitely need to improve.
You should take your customers’ feedback into consideration. You should try to understand their opinions and viewpoints. If you want to increase online customer engagement, you should take your customer feedback into consideration and improve your products or service.
Online customer engagement examples
In this section, we will give you online customer engagement examples for your reference. From these examples, you’ll get an understanding of how you can engage customers effectively.
In 2014, Coca-Cola launched a new marketing campaign that became quite popular in a short period of time. The campaign was #ShareACoke in which the company’s logo was replaced with the 250 most common names in the U.S. This campaign was extremely successful in increasing online customer engagement.
This personalization touch made people engage with the campaign actively. People could see their names on the Coke bottle and even people who didn’t have common names could get it personalized. The “Share A Coke” campaign made people talk about and engage with the brand quite a lot.
Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign is one of the best online customer engagement examples. This campaign was started in March 2015 and was made to highlight the latest phone’s camera. Apple asked its users around the world to submit their best photos with the hashtag #ShotoniPhone.
Then, Apple selected some of the best photos and published them through their media channels, and put posters on billboards. This created a lot of buzz around Apple’s latest iPhone. People engaged with this campaign a lot online with the hope of seeing themselves on Apple’s posts and billboards.
Starbucks is known for its tactics that boost online customer engagement. Starbucks prompts users to make purchases through reward points, loyalty programs, and games. They also offer a higher ratio of reward points to customers when they make purchases within a specified time.
Starbucks is also the most popular in-person mobile payment method. As per statistics, 23 million people make a purchase at least once in six months with the Starbucks app. Starbucks has implemented the best strategies and tactics that help them increase online customer engagement.
Online customer engagement: The conclusion
Online customer engagement shows how happy and satisfied customers are with your brand. The better your content, products, or services, the more customers will engage with your brand. Every touchpoint on the customer journey is an opportunity to enhance the customer experience and build a stronger relationship with them.
In this blog, we have given detailed information about online customer engagement and how you can boost it with the best strategies. In the end, it’s important that you understand your customers and deliver the products or services that help them achieve their goals.
Online customer engagement platform: WebMaxy eGrowth
WebMaxy eGrowth is an advanced customer data platform that can help you understand your customers better and automate marketing campaigns. It comes with many advanced features such as a KPI dashboard, marketing insights, marketing workflows, customer segmentation, social campaigns, WhatsApp commerce, email marketing, WhatsApp marketing, customer loyalty, help desk, and retargeting.
eGrowth can help you segment customers based on their recent activity, purchase history, and buying journey stage. Then, you can target these customers with personalized content and marketing strategies. You can also create customer journey workflows for different customer actions. You can automate your SMS, Email, and WhatsApp marketing and set triggers to initiate them.
Use Social campaigns to effectively engage with customers on social media. Plan and schedule your social media posts for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Analyze how your different social media posts are performing and driving engagement. There are many other features in eGrowth that can help you enhance customer experience and optimize their journey.
Schedule a call with our experts to learn more about WebMaxy eGrowth and its features, or email us at [email protected].
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Online customer engagement: FAQs
What is online customer engagement?
Online customer engagement refers to any interactions that occur with customers online through digital platforms like websites, social media, paid ads, and remarketing. Engaging with customers online can help you build relationships with customers and increase their loyalty toward your brand.
How to increase customer engagement online?
Online customer engagement can help you build the trust of customers and boost sales.
You can increase customer engagement online by following the ways given below:
– Post interesting & engaging content
– Announce new features
– Take customer surveys
– Segment customer feedback & follow-up
-Make data-informed decisions
How to create online customer engagement?
Creating online customer engagement can help brands stay at the top of their customers’ minds. You can create online customer engagement by following the strategies given below:
– Leverage social media
– Build brand voice
– Active listening
– Contests & giveaways
What is online engagement strategy?
An online engagement strategy is a plan that aims to engage potential customers through different digital media channels to push them ahead in the buying journey. An online engagement strategy can help brands build trust and increase customer loyalty. We have mentioned below the steps to build an online customer engagement strategy:
– Set the right goals
– Identify your target audience
– Determine metrics to track
– Gather feedback from different teams
– Optimize and refine your strategy
What is an example of customer engagement strategy?
Conducting contests and giveaways is an example of a customer engagement strategy. People like participating in and winning contests. By conducting contests and giveaways, you can build excitement in people and increase online customer engagement. You can also ask people to share and tag their friends as a part of the contest. This in turn can help you build brand awareness.
What is online engagement in marketing?
Online customer engagement in marketing refers to the process of engaging customers online through different marketing channels such as social media platforms, websites, emails, paid media, and so on. It helps marketers to turn prospects or potential customers into loyal paying customers.