If there’s anything that the COVID-19 global pandemic has taught us is that customer retention is critical to a business’s health, especially during times of economic turmoil.
Yet, to facilitate customer retention, you’ll need to have a concrete online engagement strategy that has already proven to be successful and perfectly-tailored for your brand and your targeted audience. If you’re completely unfamiliar with what online engagement entails, no worries.
Keep on reading to learn the top six tips on increasing your online engagement numbers, and protecting your business from economic shocks.
Online Engagement 101: What Is Customer Engagement?
Before we dive into the core tips on increasing your online engagement, we must ensure that you thoroughly understand what customer engagement is all about.
In the simplest of terms, customer engagement is used to describe the act of building authentic relationships with your targeted audience. The terminology covers any sort of communications that businesses will leverage throughout the whole pre and post-purchase process.
Needless to say, the tone and messaging needs to be uniform and unified. After all, you won’t want to shoot your brand in the foot by sending different messages or using a misaligned tone through every channel. And that brings us to our very first tip.
1. Engage Across Multiple Different Channels
It’s critical to meet your audience where they hang out. You can’t expect them to hunt down your content on their own. Therefore, the first tip on hiking up your engagement numbers would be connecting and monitoring all of the different channels.
For instance, if you saw a negative comment about one of your products on social media, you’ll want to reach out to your customer on the same platform, then migrate the complaint through a different channel, like opening a help desk ticket, to solve the issue.
2. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
You’ll want to make it easy to read and access your content. As most people will conduct not only their shopping but their primary research into your business on their smartphones, you’ll want them to get a spectacular first impression.
Having a visually-appealing website is a great first step. Yet, you must ensure that it’s optimized for mobile devices as well. Moreover, if you’ve got some SEO plans for the quarter (and you should), it’s important to note that having a mobile-friendly website can help with your Google rankings and SEO numbers.
You should also keep a close eye on your on page insights, as these analytics can show you what you’re doing right, and what needs to see some improvement.
3. Prioritize User Experience (UX)
Another essential key point you’ll want to keep in mind is your website or platform’s user experience (UX). Generally speaking, there are no more Coca Colas in the world, whatever you’re selling, you’re bound to have a competitor (or ten).
Thus, if your website doesn’t have a streamlined UX that’s easy to navigate, and your website load time is abysmal, you won’t be able to retain your current customers, and any potential ones won’t convert.
Besides, UX isn’t only important for your conversion numbers, but it’s a big priority for search engines as well. For example, a second’s delay in page load time can immensely downgrade your customer satisfaction numbers.
4. Build the Right Community
If you want to retain customers to perpetuity, you must invest in building a great online community for your loyal customers, where they can interact with both you and each other.
Whether your brand image leans more towards forum users, or social media-based groups, like LinkedIn and Facebook groups. With your customers already spending a huge chunk of their time online on those platforms, it’s a great idea to engage with them in their comfort-zones.
In other words, you might like to use LinkedIn groups’ capabilities of setting up topics to attract new customers or creating your specialized brand community.
5. Put a Face to the Brand: Host a Webinar
It’s always a good idea to remind your customers of the human face of your brand. By hosting a webinar, you’ll be engaging with your customers. You can also take advantage of your increased reach, for example, by broadcasting your webinar to reach a larger target audience.
Furthermore, make use of the visual elements of a live video, so add slides, graphics, and whatever appropriate interactive options available to you. Webinars will allow for the creation of a personal and authentic connection to your customers, as well as attract new clients to your brand.
Just make sure that the presenter, whether you or an employee, are passionate and engaging. And don’t forget to open the door for comments and questions from your audience at the end of your webinar.
6. Offer Exclusive Content for Your Loyal Customers
There’s the evergreen content that you’ll have widely available on your blog and other social media platforms. On the other hand, there’s exclusive content that can only be accessed by your loyal customers who’ve signed up for your newsletter, or they’re the members of a special group that they had to register for.
You don’t need to add a paywall to that sort of content unless you want to, and you’ve studied your customers’ appetites for such an initiative. All you have to do is ensure that there’s a simple registration or sign-up process. This will compound the “special” effect and confirm that they’re a part of your exclusive group.
This group will become great word-of-mouth agents for your brand, especially once you’ve started offering them special discounts and pricing plans. Just make sure you’ve included a forum or a communication capability to this sort of group to build unity and engage with your customers on a more intimate and personal level.
Ready for a Boost in Your Customer Engagement Numbers?
If this is the first time for you to put an online engagement strategy together, we understand that the process can be a bit overwhelming at the beginning.
Yet, remember that you can always start small and build your way up by adding (or discarding) steps and processes that don’t work for you. We hope that our key tips on increasing your online engagement numbers have given you a couple of new ideas to integrate into your strategy.