With all of the changes Google has made in the recent past, and the inevitable threat of dropping links from their rankings algorithm altogether, marketers are scrambling for new ways to get more traffic and convert leads. One of the newest trends in online marketing is a tactic commonly seen in the traditional marketing world for years. Engaging your customers and getting them to interact with you is one of the hardest aspects of marketing. If done right, customer engagement can turn a one-time buyer into a life long supporter or sponsor. Your normal visitor may turn into your best marketing resource.

What Is Customer Engagement?

Customer engagement is the amount of interaction between a company and their customers. How long can you keep your customers interested in the products and services your business has to offer? If you are an online business or just trying to sell more of your products from your website, customer engagement is important. But customer engagement does not just happen on your site. You can achieve customer engagement through online tactics, such as social media, online advertising, and traditional tactics, of which I call offline engagement.

Guerilla marketing is a perfect example of offline engagement. You purchase a peddlers license or get permission to set up a booth on a local college campus with a table, free t-shirts, a bull horn, and other branded material, so you can pass out free merchandise and spread your brand message. Next thing you know, people will approach your table, ask for free products and want to learn more about your brand message. That is great customer engagement. Now hopefully you were a smart enough marketer and your website was plastered all over your marketing material. If done right, your message would have created a lasting image in their minds and they will be more likely to check out your site later.

Onsite Customer Engagement

Here goes the hard part. How do you keep all of your new leads engaged once they land on your site? First of all, you need good site architecture or flow. People need to be able to easily navigate from page to page. I recommend menus at the top of your page, but also adding menus to the bottom or side helps tremendously. The worse thing you could have happen is loosing these potential leads in the early part of the funnel, so adding call to actions on every page is a huge marketing bonus. Figure out what is important, identify your biggest goal for the user and make sure you send visitors directly to your landing page.

Customer Engagement Tips and Tools

There are tons of things you can do to help entice customers to engage. Not in any particular order, but you can add a comments section at the bottom of a page, add live chat so customers can get help fast, incorporate video pages and encourage people to comment or send in their own version or rebuttal, and incorporate enticing posts, which ask visitors to get involved.. Increase the allure of your site by adding some sort of tool you think the majority of visitors will need when they get to your site, but make sure it is relevant to your audience and business. If you can develop some sort of game or interactive app people can play that would be amazing also. If you are an independent real estate company, you can add some type of building game, where people build houses and flip them. Doesn’t have to be complex, just something to keep people entertained and coming back to your site

What Can Good Customer Engagement Do For Your Business?

  1. Builds brand awareness and places your company in front of the consumer longer.
  2. Builds customer loyalty. By satisfying the needs of your customers, you can begin to build a loyal online customer base.
  3. The longer your customers are engaged the more likely they are to find your product or services useful.

In short, if you are a marketer or business looking for away to prepare for those days when Google drops links from the search algorithm there is no better way to combat that than with great customer engagement.