Brand Evangelists and The Art of Customer Engagement

Blog The Orange Box
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By Lean Fernandez

Marissa is an operations manager at a startup. She’s been testing and trying out different types of software to help her manager her business operations smoothly and more effectively.

 Then she runs into your productivity software. She begins using them and gets great results!

 After a while, she has noticed an increase in productivity for herself and her team. More tasks are being done in less time, and the back-and-forth communication between Marissa and her team have been significantly decreased (in a good way!), thereby saving everyone time.

 Marissa is your brand’s evangelist - even without her knowing it.

 It’s basically free marketing. And you know what the best type of marketing is? Word of mouth.

 

Why is customer engagement important?

 

Customer engagement is a key metric in any business. It allows you to identify how your consumers see or feel about your brand.

In the State of the American Consumer, Gallup states that a customer’s emotional rationale in dealing with your business can be explained with the following statements:

1. This brand/product/service always delivers on what they promise.

2. I feel proud to be a customer of this brand/product/service.

3. This brand is the perfect company for a person like myself.

 

How to set up an effective customer engagement strategy

 

Like all strategies, prior research to the case at hand is required. Find out what your customers love about you and improve on those. Alternatively, identify spots in your business model that consumers get turned off by and do what you can to avoid or eliminate these specific points.

 
Focus on People's emotions

 

Engagement is driven by emotions, not prices. It has been shown that customers usually gravitate toward brands that have the same values as they do. Give your customers a reason to empathize with you; be that one relatable company. Stay on top of trends and establish a connection with the audience by bringing them along on the ride.

With that said, however, your brand should be decisive enough to pick a value and stay true to it. You may not be relatable to everyone, but look at it this way: if a consumer doesn’t resonate with your values and what you stand for, then they’re probably not the right audience for you. Be true to your brand, and you’ll definitely bring in high-converting leads.

 
Engage in human-to-human marketing

We’ve all heard about B2B and B2C marketing; but we’ve never really fully embraced the most important type: human-to-human marketing.

Again, circling back to the values that your brand stands for - you need to be authentic and stand true to your core values. Swaying away may be viewed as being indecisive, lost, or just straight-up fake! You wouldn’t want consumers to label you as a fraud, would you?

Humanize your brand. Master the art of storytelling; tell stories from a human perspective, appealing to human feelings and sparking human reactions. I know, we’re here to sell and make a profit - but it doesn’t hurt to be personal and genuine. After all, a relationship is founded on truthfulness and real human connection.

If you want to be a master in the art of storytelling I recommend to you The Art of Storytelling by John Walsh 


Be straightforward

When writing copy, we tend to become too focused on what we sell - its features, benefits, specs, and what-not. We get it… you only want everyone to know the specifics of your product. But ask yourself this: if you were in the consumer’s shoes, would you understand any of the technical terms?

I bet not.

Leave the jargon within the company, when discussing updates and product innovations. Be straightforward in communicating with your audience. Tweak your copy so that it seems like you’re engaging in a casual conversation with them. The more they understand, the more likely they’ll convert.


Make things easy

 When running giveaways, promos, and contests, it’s in your best interest to keep things as simple and easy as possible. Don’t make your audience go through hoops to engage with you! Campaigns like these such be easy, fun, and hassle-free!

Happy employees, happy consumers

You know how physical beauty radiates from within? It’s the same thing with customer engagement! Happy, loyal, and engaged employees make for happy, loyal, and engaged consumers! Employee disengagement rubs off on your customers - and you don’t want that!

Constantly improve upon your employee retention programs and conduct surveys on how your workplace can be a better, more suitable place to work.

 
Give back

Brand evangelists and loyal advocates aren’t paid by the company to talk about and promote your business. They do it out of their own will - because they love you and they want to see you succeed. They love your product or service too much that they would want to keep your business going - booming over time.

Always take note of these efforts made by consumers. Acknowledge them and show appreciation by offering some form of reward. Rewards could come in different forms: loyalty rewards credits, cashback offers, affiliate programs, and the like.

Regardless of how you show your appreciation, the important thing is you do it genuinely and from the heart.

 

Conclusion

Because of its emotional nature, customer engagement is slightly tricky to track - so hard work and tons of trial-and-error tests should be done. Remember, when you get the right formula, you’re going in the right direction - BUT it’s never the end point… because in customer engagement, there is no finish line.

Creating, implementing, and modifying your strategies to fit with your audience’s current mood is an ongoing task - so don’t give up!

Best of luck!

 

Tags: engagement strategy, customer engagement