Can you engage your customers in a two-way conversation through your inbound marketing strategy? Yes, you can. Most companies assume that generating leads and closing sales in our digital age is an impersonal approach when compared to the customer-facing strategies of the past. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, when done properly, your inbound marketing strategy can increase customer engagement and increased engagement means more business.
1. Live Chat: Most companies assume that live chat is a customer service tool and it is – to an extent. However, it’s really a customer-facing tool and one that you can use to generate leads, renew interest, push new offers and drive sales. Live chat is the ideal customer-engagement tool because it's a real-time solution focused entirely on what the customer wants at that exact moment.
2. Non-Intrusive Welcoming Page: Yes, you want to convert as many visitors as possible, and yes, you have a lot of great things to offer. However, inundating users with useless information, redundant offers and intrusive advertisements and popups won’t win them over. Having a clean, well-designed and customer-friendly landing page will. Ditch the confusing and cumbersome layout and your engagement will increase.
3. Social Media: Use social media as a customer-outreach tool, one where you provide customers with a chance to voice their opinions, express their likes and dislikes and provide you with the kind of feedback that will improve the buyer-seller relationship. Don't just be present. Instead, be proactive and follow what your customers care about most and then make that a focus of your approach to reaching them online.
4. Encourage Feedback: Make sure your customers always have a chance to provide feedback. Make it a focus of your approach to social media, how you structure different landing pages and how you engage every visitor coming to your website. Give them a platform to express themselves and they'll provide invaluable feedback.
5. Leverage Market Influencers and Brand Champions: Your inbound marketing strategy must leverage your most loyal customers while also capitalizing on your most fervent social media followers. Building a network of highly-regarded market influences and everyday customers is a must. Prospects want to know what people just like them think of your brand so don’t be afraid to show them. Case studies and testimonials can have a positive impact.
6. Expand Your Content's Reach: An inbound marketing strategy cannot rely upon advertising alone. Engaging customers means having a content strategy, one where all your content is focused on your customers, what they care about, want, need, prefer and are interested in. That means using blog posts, videos, podcasts, webcasts, eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, and eye-catching imagery.
7. Use Compensation Programs: Reward your customers for their business. A compensation program is a great way to engage your customers and your market. Give your customers a reason to return and they’ll show their appreciation. A reward program is a great source for customer referrals and those referrals come from a customer base that's engaged and invested.
8. Manage Your Online Reputation: Manage both ends of your search engine results page (SERP) by proactively managing your online reputation. Don't just focus on your top 5 positive SERP results. Investigate the negative portion by understanding what complaints customers have. Engage upset customers and provide workable solutions and always follow up until that customer is satisfied.
9. Be Vocal and Active: Your inbound marketing strategy should show who you are, what your company cares about and how you support the things that matter to your company. If you support a cause, then make it known. If you care about an issue, then explain why. Being quiet won't work with a digital customer base that invests itself in the brands they care most about.
10. Responsive Email Marketing: Follow up on important customer actions with a responsive email campaign. If a customer places an order, send an email thanking them and offering new products and discounts. If they take an action on your landing page then send a follow-up. Responsive email marketing keeps customers engaged and incentivizes them to respond.
Customer engagement is essential for business growth. The aforementioned strategies are ideally-suited for today's customers. Use them. Embrace them and they will pay off.
Contact us. We can help you revamp your inbound marketing strategy so you can take advantage of the strategies best suited to your circumstances.
Written By: Doug Milnor