4 Essential Ways to Engage With Your Audience – Digitally

In this age of technology, growing your digital reputation is no longer an option, but a requirement for any business.  The easiest way to do this is to engage with your existing audience and offer the best customer experience online. Still, doing so involves more than just casting your product and hoping somebody takes the bait. Whom do you appeal to, and how do you engage with them?

1. Data Analytics

A recent survey by Deloitte revealed that 67% of executives are not comfortable accessing or using data from their existing tools and resources. In turn,  Forbes says that 83 per cent of enterprise executives say they’ve pursued big data projects to gain a competitive advantage.

When it comes to analytics, many think it’s a job catered for only the skilled mathematicians, but in reality, it’s something everyone needs to build into their jobs. 

For your business to grow, you need to attract audiences that already engage with your brand and content. Looking at the numbers and patterns provides you with meaningful information to make better business decisions. 

Social analytics tools such as Hootsuite Analytics, Brandwatch, Talkwalker and Facebook Analytics (among others) help you make sense of your social media traffic and aid in informing your strategy.

2. Audience Segmentation

77 percent of email marketing ROI comes from segmented, targeted, and triggered campaigns, but 42 percent of marketers don’t segment and only 4 percent segment with multiple data types.

Let’s take this oversimplified scenario: you own a store that sells vinyl. Although all your clients love music, it’s unlikely that a classical music fan will be interested in the release of a limited edition signed copy of a heavy metal album.

Companies often make the mistake of creating generic content, out of fear of “leaving out” a customer. Hypothetically, this makes sense. Theoretically, not so much, and here’s why: customers like to feel like the offer in place was created just for them.   

Audience segmentation makes that kind of personalisation possible. The process is simple: observe your audience and learn enough to be able to divide them into one of the most common segmentation types (demographic, behavioural, psychographic and geographic), and cater your marketing according to the results.

Remember that spamming your audience reduces your brand’s reputation, so tailor your marketing to smaller audiences with similar interests.

3. Direct Communication

Live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel, with 73%, compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone.

Posting on your social media is great, but it only gets you so far. You want to incentivise people to take a deeper into your brand. The immediacy of being able to talk to someone straight away makes DM  an excellent medium for conversations on a more personal level.

With that said, a lousy campaign and DM marketing can easily be mistaken for spam. Automated generic messages and direct sales pitches can go as far as costing you a customer, so if you want to reap the benefits, it’s essential to learn to do it correctly:

Engage with your target audience:  just to recap, targeted marketing campaigns result in more positive behaviour, but you also don’t want to come across as a sales call. Engage with your target’s social media post so you “show up on their radar” before even approaching them privately.

No automated DMs!: they only serve to annoy your latest followers and damage your brand’s image, and many people ignore automated messages on principle alone. Instead, aim to establish a relationship by building a rapport, so you establish customer loyalty.

Chatbots: they can satisfy a customer’s requirements while still offering quality support and solution and give you time to focus on other aspects of the business.

Additionally, automation tools like
Instazood and ManyChat can help you make marketing strides without lifting a finger.

4. Content Engagement

42% of the world’s population uses social media, but 50% of consumers say that seeing user-generated content would increase their chances of buying products through a brand’s social media.

People like interacting with brands on social media – according to the Sprout Social 2019 Index, 66% of consumers say they Like or Follow a brand on Facebook, and  90% of Instagram users follow a business on the platform.

Creating content that encourages discussion, prompts people to share their thoughts or adding a video to a text post can dramatically increase engagement. Alongside content strategy, you can even go up one level and use social media monitoring tools to help you keep track of what’s happening. 

While reach is important, content engagement is vital. Think of your content like a painting in an art gallery: sure, having many people see it is excellent, but what you want is for them to buy it.”

ASKING FOR HELP

Sometimes companies overlook the importance of advertising and tend to reduce the budget of marketing and PR communications.  This puts far more pressure on marketing teams to find the time, resources and skills to deliver excellent results under less than ideal circumstances. 

These are uncertain times for the business sector, especially for marketers. Still, before you pull the plug on the marketing budget think twice about the repercussions, it could have on your business in the future. 

  • Currently, 88% of marketers predict an increase in consumers’ use of online services
  • 86% of marketers expect to see a rise in social media activity
  • 79% predict an increase in e-commerce usage

This can only mean one thing for online traffic: it will boom, and marketers should take advantage of that.

So what can you do?

Monitor customer behaviour more closely and adjust your strategy accordingly. If people are searching for your product/service/solution, you want to show you are doing your best to be there for them in any capacity.

Engaging with digital audience

Use this time to prepare for what is going to be an extremely competitive market once it all passes and most importantly, make your digital efforts a regular investment.