- Content Marketing

Beginners Guide To Cross-Channel User Engagement

Today’s customers are a fluid bunch.

From blogs to mobile apps, from mobile apps to email, from email to Facebook, from Facebook to search, from search to video, they’re always on the move.

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Omnichannel marketing is no longer an empty by and by buzz word — it’s an everyday reality companies must adapt to or lose the competitive edge.

According to Genesys, 83% of consumers say switching channels, such as moving from web chat to a live conversation, is desirable, but only 50% of businesses support such cross-channel interactions.

Often, a customer starts a buyer journey on one channel or device and ends it in another. Keeping them engaged as they jump from channel to channel is a mammoth challenge. You need a focused but nimble approach to keep the conversation going so you stay top of their minds when buying time comes.

But how exactly do you keep your customers engaged across channels?

Good question.

In this post, you’ll discover four steps to help you engage your customers better regardless of the channel they’re on.

Let’s start by defining multichannel engagement.

Multi-Channel Engagement: What It Is And Why You Need It

Multi-channel engagement is a systematic on-going and gripping conversation with your brand’s customers on a specific media they use regularly.

This conversation should revolve around relevant content and activities customers find valuable and interesting.

An effective multi-channel engagement strategy yields a tonne of marketing value including:

  • More opportunities to engage with prospects and customers.
  • More opportunities for customers to buy your products.
  • More integrated approach to marketing.
  • More data collection points so you learn more about your customers,
  • More buzz around your brand as you have a presence in several channels.

Now that we’ve defined cross-channel engagement, let’s explore the four specific steps you should take to keep users glued to your brand.

Let’s jump in.

Dig into your analytics

Many novice marketers rush to the latest trending channel to chat up their customers.

Do that and you’re doomed.

The best channel for you to engage your customers is not the one everybody’s talking about. It’s the one they love using. But how do you discover it?

Easy.

Dig into your analytics.

A good analytics tool will reveal a lot of beneficial info about your customers based on recorded behavior. Things like…

  • Who your customers are (demographics).
  • Where they’re coming from (channels).
  • What they’re using to talk to you (device).
  • What type of content thrills them (content types).

Based on this data, you can then craft your engagement strategy. This way you’re more likely to succeed instead of relying on guesswork or what’s popular at the time. A tool like Web Engage is invaluable when it comes to capturing engagement info. It shows many data points from one dashboard.

Beginners Guide To Cross-Channel User Engagement

Image via Capterra

You can see channels, campaigns, conversion rates, revenue generated and engagement levels in one convenient place.

In short, powerful analytics is the foundation of a successful engagement strategy.

Brand consistently across channels

Typically, companies have different team members working on different channels.

And so you have a social media expert running social media, an email specialist crafting the emails, a paid ad expert churning out the ads and so forth.

All this is well and good, right?

Not quite.

While it’s great to have pros engaging consumers in a specific aspect of your business, this may cause serious problems.

It’s easy to lose consistent messaging in such a set-up. In the end, you may become a schizophrenic brand with different faces for different platforms. This’ll result in incompatible experiences for customers.

Therefore, it’s crucial to say the same thing if you’re to keep consumers mesmerized by your brand. Provide consistent experiences throughout.

A good example is Chubbies. Whether they are reminding a customer she left an item in a trolley or advertising on Twitter, their fun-loving style is unmistakable. Take a look at one of their latest tweets.

Image via Twitter

This guy’s having a good time, isn’t he? Chubbies maintains this amusement trend on every channel.

Make your eCommerce brand standout immediately by keeping your style everywhere.

Integrate your marketing approach

Most brands approach marketing in a fractured way.

Their marketing strategy tends to divide customers into separate silos. So they come up with some tactics for email, display, social, mobile and so on. While it’s true that each specific channel has a specific approach, this stance won’t produce stellar results.

Why?

Simply because the system is broken.

Today’s customers hardly start and end their buyer journey on one channel.

So if you map out a complete buyer journey for them on one channel, you’ll lose a lot of potential sales. To succeed, you need to weave all these independent verticals together so that you’re able to sustain the conversion momentum regardless of which channel they’re on.

This graphic from a report by Merkle captures the essence.

Image via Merkle

To integrate your marketing do the following:

  • Allow customers the liberty to research online and buy offline (ROPO) in a brick-and-mortar store. This is an ever-growing tendency among buyers.
  • Investigate how different channels affect the customer purchase decision and optimize accordingly.
  • Develop clear objectives for each channel.
  • Afford customers the chance to buy on their favorite social channel if you haven’t done so already.
  • Ensure consistent branding and messaging across channels.
  • Create cohesion between online and offline behavior – brownie points when this is hyper-personalized.
  • Establish a single set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that all teams work towards.

Show off your personality

Nowadays consumers are sensitive and picky.

They’re bombarded by marketing messages all day long. Their Twitter streams are jammed with ads, their emails clogged by a torrent of pitches.

To win them over you’ve got to come across as an authentic brand.

How you’re asking?

By abandoning the formal style the majority of brands adopt when talking to their customers. Discard dry corporate speak. Speak naturally like one human to another. Show off your personality. Let off some steam in a way your audience can relate to.

Sam Ovens, a successful business consultant, knows how to delight his audience on their favorite channel: Facebook.

His simple gobbledygook-free conversational style certainly resonates with his followers as the high engagement levels at the bottom show.

Communicate with people as a human, not as a brand and you’ll see engagement levels intensify.

Engage On Every Channel And Increase Profits

Companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue and a massive 89% retention rate of their customers.

To succeed with omnichannel engagement, put the customers dead center of your strategy.

Follow them everywhere. Engage them their way. And, while you are at it, keep the brand experience consistent regardless of channel.

Get it right and the results will surprise you.


Author Bio

Qhubekani Nyathi aka The Click Guy is an irresistibly handsome (wife’s baseless claims!) freelance copywriter and long-form content strategist. He helps SMBs rapidly grow their income and impact through actionable long-form content that ranks high, builds authority, and generates tons of leads. He is a contributor to top blogs like Crazy Egg, Search Engine People, Techwyze, AWAI, and more.

Beginners Guide To Cross-Channel User Engagement

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