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What is digital customer engagement?

Last updated

14 May 2023

Author

Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Jean Kaluza

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Today, most businesses and organizations primarily communicate with their audiences through digital channels, such as websites, blogs, and social media. This means digital customer engagement is essential for growing your brand, attracting leads, and making more sales.

Digital customer engagement is the sum total of actions customers take in response to digital content. These actions include the following:

  • Liking or upvoting posts, videos, and other content

  • Leaving comments

  • Sharing content

  • Participating in polls, contests, and other interactive content

  • Mentioning your brand in their own content

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Why is digital customer engagement important?

Most businesses have some type of content strategy, whether it’s posting to a blog, sharing photos on Instagram, connecting with business colleagues on LinkedIn, or making videos. But content only benefits a company if customers engage with it.

Omnichannel vs. multichannel

When planning your digital engagement strategy, you have probably seen these two terms: omnichannel and multichannel.

They are sometimes used interchangeably, but there is an important distinction between the two.

Multichannel marketing is a strategy that includes more than one channel. Your channels may include your website, email list, Facebook page, and other social media pages.

Omnichannel marketing also involves using multiple channels but takes the idea a step further. An omnichannel strategy is built across all possible channels and aims to provide customers with an integrated and seamless experience. This means users can easily engage with the brand using their preferred channel but switching to another is seamless.

Starbucks is an example of a large brand using omnichannel marketing. The brand allows customers to use and reload their reward cards in-store, by phone, on the website, or on the app.

An omnichannel marketing strategy is recommended if you’re trying to boost customer engagement. Customers will have varying preferences for engaging with you, and they’re more likely to engage if you make it convenient for them to find you anywhere online.

Digital engagement strategies

How do you create the ideal strategy for building customer engagement?

Consider your business goals

What are you trying to accomplish with your digital strategy? Most businesses have multiple goals. You may want to build brand awareness, get signups to your email list, sell products from your online store, or get customers to visit your physical locations. 

Choose the right digital channels

You need to pinpoint the channels where you want to engage with your customers. Consider who your customers are and how they prefer to communicate.

You’ll decide to include or exclude certain channels depending on your audience’s demographics. Every business needs a website, for example, and people from all demographics use Facebook, so these two channels are relevant for everyone.

Other social platforms have more varied audiences. LinkedIn is best for business-to-business connections. Meanwhile, younger customers prefer visually-oriented sites like Instagram and TikTok.

Choosing the appropriate channels is also related to your business model and goals. You should also consider what you are marketing, as some products and services are best presented visually. For example, travel, real estate, fashion, and many physical products are niches where customers like to see what they are buying. On the other hand, visuals are not as important if you’re selling an app or SaaS product.

Benefits of a customer engagement platform

A customer engagement platform is a powerful tool for implementing an omnichannel strategy. It allows you to track engagement across multiple channels. Some examples of customer engagement platforms include Segment, OutReach, and MoEngage.

Here are some benefits of using a customer engagement platform:

Providing a unified experience across platforms

A customer engagement platform’s main function is to simplify communications on many different channels. You’ll be able to manage conversations from one dashboard, whether the customer is using Facebook, WhatsApp, email, Twitter, or another platform. Managing multiple channels helps you respond more quickly while avoiding redundancy. You can determine the customer’s preferred mode of contact and focus your efforts there.

Improving your analytics

Organizing your data can be challenging when you’re connecting with customers across many channels. A customer engagement platform lets you consolidate data, making it easier to understand your customers.

Improved analytics also lets you track which channels are giving you the most engagement. This can help you decide where to post content in the future, which can improve your conversions and help you to find new customers in turn.

Creating stronger relationships with customers

A customer engagement platform helps you offer a more personalized experience since you can tailor your efforts to each customer’s preferences.

It helps you respond to queries more efficiently, no matter what platform the customer is using. It’s especially helpful when it comes to customer service, which is a priority for many customers. Zendesk found that 81% of customers say that positive interaction with customer service increases their chance of making another purchase with that company.

How effective is digital customer engagement?

Every company wants to be able to find strategies that improve its return on investment (ROI). A digital customer engagement strategy can improve your ROI in several ways.

Higher visibility and increased competitiveness

An omnichannel strategy that engages with customers on multiple channels makes you visible in more places. You have a presence everywhere your competitors are and possibly on platforms they’re not using.

Boosting customer loyalty

Customer retention is one of the most critical metrics for profits, and better engagement is one of the best ways to improve it. It’s five to 10 times more costly to acquire new customers than to sell to existing customers, while current customers outspend new ones by 67%.

A more effective customer journey

A strong customer engagement strategy helps make the customer journey smooth and straightforward. Without closely tracking engagement, you may unintentionally send out redundant or irrelevant messages. For example, customers may receive promotions for products they have already bought or that aren’t relevant to them.

Get more positive reviews and recommendations

Engaging with customers is likely to give them a more positive feeling about your business, which motivates them to leave reviews and recommend you to others.

You want to make it as easy as possible for customers to write reviews. The more platforms where you are active, the better your chance of getting reviews. A customer is unlikely to sign up for a site simply to leave you a review, so it’s best if you give them as many options as possible. Depending on your niche, this may include Facebook, Yelp, Angie’s List, Google, and any industry-specific sites where customers can leave reviews.

Examples of digital customer engagement

Here are some examples of brands that are exceptionally good at digital customer engagement:

  • Uber began by disrupting local transportation, giving people an alternative to taxis. With Uber Eats, they expanded their market and added some powerful personalization features. Restaurants can create customized menus for Uber Eats customers based on their history.

  • Nike has recently leveraged the power of an online community. Aside from an omnichannel strategy that includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and other channels, the athletic wear company has also succeeded with campaigns that encourage sharing and user-generated content.

  • Starbucks has tapped into the power of engaging with users on platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. Rather than simply posting ads, they post videos with human interest stories that encourage viewers to share and comment.

How to improve digital customer engagement

Improving digital customer engagement takes a consistent strategy. The following are especially important to keep in mind:

  • Personalization—customers want to be treated as unique individuals. While automation tools such as chatbots and AI are useful for certain tasks (such as answering FAQs), personal engagement, whether that’s via email, social media, or other channels, can’t be substituted.

  • Prioritize digital engagement on the channels your customers actually use, not just the ones that provide the best ROI.

  • Use a customer engagement platform that meets your needs and allows you to optimize engagement.

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