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10 Solid Brand Engagement Strategies that Work

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Engaging with customers in a meaningful way is critical for brands looking to stand out from the crowd. With so much choice and competition, simply having a good product is no longer enough. Brands need to focus on creating positive interactions that foster loyalty and keep customers coming back.

In this post, we‘ll explore 10 powerful yet practical brand engagement strategies you can start applying right away. From social media marketing to exclusive offers for VIPs, these tactics will help you boost satisfaction, retention, and advocacy.

What is Brand Engagement?

Brand engagement refers to the various touchpoints where customers interact with your company. This includes not just the moment of purchase but across the entire customer journey – from initial brand awareness to post-purchase support.

The goal is to create positive perceptions of your brand at each touchpoint. Customers should feel valued, understood, and have an emotional connection to your products or services.

Essentially, brand engagement is about crafting memorable and meaningful experiences between your brand and audience.

Why is Brand Engagement Important?

Investing in customer engagement pays major dividends across key metrics:

  • Increased revenue: Engaged customers buy more frequently and spend more money. According to Gallup, fully engaged customers deliver a 23% premium over the average customer in share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth.

  • Higher retention: It‘s much easier to retain existing customers than acquire new ones. Brand engagement boosts satisfaction and emotional connection to your offerings, making customers more likely to repurchase instead of switching to competitors.

  • Greater advocacy: Satisfied, loyal customers become powerful evangelists for your brand. They‘ll happily promote you to friends by word-of-mouth or on social media. This organic reach helps drive growth in a cost-effective way.

Simply put, focusing on engagement leads to better business results across the board. Let‘s look at 10 effective tactics you can implement right away.

1. Master Social Media Marketing

Being active on popular social platforms is table stakes for brands today. Doing it right means implementing an integrated strategy across channels like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc.

Great content alone isn‘t enough. To drive engagement you need to focus on:

  • Contests and giveaways: Incentivize users to participate and promote your brand to their networks. Tools like Gleam make running sweepstakes easy.

  • User-generated content: Repost authentic photos and videos from fans. This builds credibility and makes audiences more likely to engage.

  • Interactive formats: Posts that invite response or conversation perform far better. Try live Q&As, polls, quizzes and other formats that prompt feedback.

  • Influencer collaborations: Work with relevant creators to tap into their engaged audiences. Make sure to track ROI properly using unique links/codes.

The key is crafting campaigns tailored to each platform‘s audience and features. Track what content and formats resonate then double down on those areas.

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2. Develop a Distinct Brand Voice

Beyond social media, make sure your messaging aligns across touchpoints like websites, ads, product packaging and more.

Consistency matters – customers engage more with brands that have a clear personality. Define core brand characteristics like:

  • Tone: Casual? Formal? Humorous? Inspiring? Choose descriptors that match your positioning.

  • Values: What does your brand stand for? Highlight causes, beliefs or viewpoints your audience connects with.

  • Voice: First person or third person? Conversational or authoritative? Build out guidelines with examples for context.

  • Visual identity: Cohesive imagery, logo usage, color schemes and fonts boost recognition.

With distinctive branding in place, audiences quickly learn what to expect from your content and interactions. This familiarity breeds comfort and affinity.

Skincare brand Glossier nails this with their approach focused on enhancing natural beauty. The friendly, inclusive tone matches their products and value prop – no retouching or filters needed.

3. Personalize as Much as Possible

One of the most powerful tactics for boosting engagement is personalization. Tailoring messaging and offers makes each customer feel valued as an individual.

Personalized interactions span basic segmentation by location or past purchases, to advanced machine learning algorithms that serve up highly relevant recommendations.

Done right, it transforms how people relate to your brand, making it seem like you "get them" specifically.

  • Localization – Adapting sites, ads and messaging to a customer‘s city helps better connect by feeling close-by and familiar.

  • Individualization – Calling customers by name and remembering preferences makes communications feel 1-on-1 rather than mass blasts.

  • Predictive content – Serving blog posts, videos and products based on past engagement helps customers discover offerings a custom fit for their needs.

Personalization boosts marketing KPIs like open rates, click through rates and conversion rates across industries:

  • 80% of consumers are more likely to engage with personalized offers
  • 52% say personalized content is more likely to convert them
  • 44% of shoppers say they‘d likely become repeat buyers after a personalized experience

The more you can tailor interactions around understanding each customer as an individual, the more engaging your tactics will become.

4. Create Valuable Content

Content remains one of the best tools for establishing authority and nurturing engagement over the long-term. But it can‘t just be any content – you need to consistently create content that offers real value to your audience.

  • Solve pain points: Identify your customers‘ major challenges and create posts with actionable advice around overcoming them.

  • Answer common questions: Check forums and conversations to see what people are asking. Turn those queries into in-depth guides and FAQs.

  • Entertain and inspire: Mix in lighter stories focused on delighting and engaging your fans, not just always selling.

  • Promote engagement: Interactive polls, quizzes and contests keep audiences leaning in instead of passively consuming.

To determine what content to produce, keep a close pulse on customer conversations in your niche. Identify knowledge gaps and opportunities that align with your brand values.

This customer-centric approach results in higher interest, shares and conversion vs. content that solely focuses on product pitches. Valuable education makes your audience more receptive when you do have an offer or launch to promote.

5. Actively Listen to Customers

Many brands focus engagement efforts on pushing outward communications and messaging to customers. But it‘s equally important to listen to the feedback coming back in.

Actively soliciting input shows customers their perspective matters. It also provides crucial insights you can use to fine tune products and services to better match needs.

Ways to listen better include:

  • Surveys: Quick pulse checks on key issues gives rapid feedback for tweaks. In-depth surveys annually uncover deeper patterns.

  • Reviews: Product and brand reviews sites like Yotpo let you respond publicly and gather data on sentiment + common complaints.

  • Support conversations: Frontline teams offer insights into pain points and opportunities direct from customer conversations.

  • User testing: Rather than guessing what customers want, observe them actually interacting with site flows, product demos etc while thinking aloud.

  • Feedback forms/email: Provide easy ways for customers to share suggestions, issues and ideas. Respond to negative experiences to diffuse problems.

  • Social listening: Monitor mentions and conversations on social channels to understand perceptions. Join discussions to offer help where possible.

Listening to feedback is crucial but customers will disengage if comments disappear into a black hole. Close the loop by circling back with improvements implemented based on what you heard.

6. Embrace Conversational Interfaces

Chat and voice interfaces represent the next evolution of digital engagement. Messaging apps, smart speakers and chatbots make conversations with businesses frictionless.

When done right, these tools enable personalized engagement that deepens loyalty. Key opportunities include:

  • 24/7 automated assistants via chatbots handle common requests from order tracking to returns. AI-powered tools scale support without staffing up.

  • Concierge services via SMS or WhatsApp turns communications into an ongoing relationship vs. one-off transaction.

  • Proactive notifications keep customers updated on order status, appointments, new recommendations etc.

  • Voice commerce through smart home devices simplifies re-orders and research via conversational UI.

Conversational interfaces boost engagement across industries when applied strategically:

  • 30% of customers prefer chatbots for quick inquiries like store hours or shipping delays
  • 72% of customers say valet-style text messaging makes them more likely to purchase again
  • 40% of consumers say they‘d buy more from retailers with shoppable voice skills

As people grow accustomed to Siri-like experiences, brands need to make sure they show up where consumers are talking.

7. Reward Loyalty

Recognizing and rewarding your best customers pays dividends in satisfaction and retention. Giving VIP perks and surprises makes loyal brand advocates feel valued.

Tiered programs are the most common approach, where customers unlock better benefits as they spend more or engage further with the brand.

  • Early access to new products
  • Free merchandise
  • Expedited shipping
  • Discount codes
  • Concierge service

But you need to carefully consider the right rewards to provide value without eroding margins.

Surprise and delight tactics also show appreciation:

  • Handwritten thank you notes
  • Small free gifts with purchases
  • Partner brand cross-promotions (Uber credits etc.)
  • Donations to customer‘s chosen charities

Personal outreach recognizing loyalty milestones helps strengthen emotional connection to your brand as well. It‘s crucial to make VIPs feel special, not just like your most profitable segment.

8. Entice with Freemium Models

One of the best ways to introduce customers to your brand is a "freemium version" giving access to your core product for free.

This tactic lowers barriers to try your offering, building engagement at the start of the funnel. It also sets up upsell opportunities once hooked on the product.

Software and apps most commonly use freemiums, but the model can work for many business types, including:

  • Free trial periods
  • Limited tier of service
  • Demo versions
  • Sample products
  • Teaser excerpts/chapters
  • Entry-level community access

The key is finding the right mix of value vs. limitations in your free version. Give too much away and paying customers won‘t see reason to upgrade. But make it too restrictive and trial users bounce without experiencing your product‘s real benefit.

packaging company NakedWines.com grew primarily thanks to their "$1 Wine Deals" trial. These low-risk $1 bottles pulled in new customers to try their service who then became regular purchasers at higher price points.

9. Use Push Notifications

In a crowded digital landscape, brands must sometimes gently remind customers why they opted-in across channels like email, web and mobile. Used judiciously, push notifications keep your offering top of mind by serving updates right where they already spend time.

Some smart ways to leverage notifications include:

  • Promoting limited sales + special offers
  • Announcing new products or features
  • Directing fans to fresh content
  • Recapping recent activity on their account
  • Personalized recommendations based on past behaviors
  • Confirmation messages for recent actions

Push notifications see impressive engagement for brands using them thoughtfully:

  • 53% of users enable push notifications to receive deals and discounts
  • 49% of millennials say push notifications influence their purchase decisions
  • 22% will re-engage with an app after clicking a notification

Just take care not to go overboard. Too many intrusive alerts will backfire, annoying customers instead of informing them. Keep frequency and targeting dialed so messages feel timely vs. spammy.

10. Track Engagement Metrics

How will you know if all this effort is paying off? By keeping close tabs on your digital engagement KPIs.

With hard data in hand, you can double down on tactics working well and revamp areas missing the mark.

10.1 Site Bounce Rate

Bounce rate shows what % of visitors arrive at a page and then leave without any further activity. High bounce rates generally indicate engagement issues – something about the experience is unsatisfactory.

While benchmarks vary by industry, staying below 50% bounce rate is a reasonable goal for most websites.

Use click analytics to see where dropoffs happen. Identify pages lacking strong calls-to-action or valuable info that don‘t incite further exploration.

10.2 User Retention

If you sell an app or software service, focus closely on customer retention rate. This metric looks at what % of users continually use and pay for your product month-to-month.

Retaining customers is far cheaper than constantly acquiring new ones to replace drop-offs. 5% improvement in retention can boost margin by 25-95%, depending on your business model specifics.

If churn creeps up, dig into why via surveys and cancellations conversations. Pre-emptively save at-risk accounts using in-app messages and special win-back offers.

10.3 Core Action Completion

Every brand needs to identify their "core action" – the key user behavior essential for their business model, whether it‘s download, sign-up, purchase etc.

Analyze how many site visitors or app users complete this action to determine if you effectively guide people to convert.

Low completion rates signal failure to communicate the value upfront or complicated/confusing user flows. Narrow down where things fall apart then streamline those pain points.

Good goal metrics for core action completion vary greatly but aim for the highest rates possible, constantly testing and optimizing to drive up this critical conversion event.

Brand engagement remains vital for companies looking to stand out among endless choice online. Investing in memorable customer experiences across touchpoints builds affinity and loyalty over promotions or price cuts alone.

Use this list of 10 tactics as a starting point for better engaging your audience. Start small by focusing on one weak area and build positive momentum from there.

Consistency matters most. As Gary Vaynerchuk says: "In a world of noise, engagement is the currency that drives growth."

Commit to engaging customers in new ways this year – your bottom line (and brand advocates) will thank you for it!

I hope you found this article helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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