What Is Digital Engagement (& How to Increase It in 2023!)
Digital engagement is all about tailoring your digital marketing to make your customers’ experience of your brand the kind that keeps them coming back for more.
Better yet, they sing your praises to their friends and family.
On the flip side, doing the bare minimum to engage your customers has real-world, real-money consequences:
- Low visibility on social media
- Below-average customer loyalty
- Negative reviews and high bounce rate
So, how do marketers avoid all that and take their digital engagement strategy into the winner’s circle?
What Is Digital Engagement?
As the name suggests, digital customer engagement uses digital channels to communicate and connect with past, present, and potential customers.
It goes beyond selling digital products to build strong relationships and solve problems.
Your digital engagement strategy should include a digital marketing strategy for each of the channels you use to reach your target audience — as well as all the channels they can use to contact you:
- Social media pages
- Social media groups
- Email marketing
- Your company website
- Guest blogging
Some digital engagement examples
Now that you’re familiar with the general idea, let’s look at specific examples showing how your customers might engage with you and your brand:
- Customers asking questions using your website’s AI chatbot
- Customers asking questions on social media and getting a response from a customer care professional on your team
- Customers watching a tutorial or introductory video on your website or YouTube channel
- Customers interacting with a company representative and with each other on a community forum
- Customers on your email list reading an email and clicking on a link to learn more about your product or service — or about a new promotion
Why Digital Customer Engagement Is Essential
Digital customer engagement involves everything you do through digital channels to earn and hold onto customer loyalty.
More than half of customers polled say they’d switch brands after just one negative experience.
That percentage jumps to 76% after more than one disappointment.
Earning the loyalty of your customers is only half the goal of customer engagement. How often you engage with customers who’ve purchased your product or service is just as important, if not more so.
Customers want to know you care how satisfied they are with their purchase. Not only that, but they expect you to keep giving them reasons to choose you again.
The long game is all about creating the best digital customer experience with your brand.
Digital engagement trends to watch for
Any one of the following digital customer engagement trends can mean the difference between successful engagement in massive numbers and a sky-high bounce rate.
- AI and chatbot digital technology advancements
- Customer interactions through voice command
- Growing customer expectation of personalized attention
- Greater emphasis on employee experience and satisfaction
Employee empowerment matters at least as much to customer satisfaction as any technological advancement.
Motivate your crew, and they’re more likely to take care of your customers.
Customer engagement model
The customer engagement model is a theoretical framework that highlights specific points along the customer journey.
The whole point of building a clear engagement model is to create the best possible customer experience (CX), which contributes to the following:
- Customer retention and loyalty
- Improved brand reputation
- Helpful feedback for product improvement
The more you understand the makeup of a positive digital experience, the more clearly you can see the most effective engagement tools and strategies.
Customer brand engagement
Digital engagement with your brand involves every customer interaction using digital channels and goes far beyond brand awareness and the process of getting a sale.
Once you’ve gained a customer, engagement becomes about ensuring they’re super satisfied — and giving them a reason to share their positive experience of your brand with others.
Digital Engagement Strategies
We know you want to maximize your digital customer engagement — that’s why you’re here. But you need to know how.
The following steps will help you develop a customer engagement strategy that fits your brand and meets customer expectations.
1. Determine your business goals.
The first step to devising an effective digital strategy is to get clear on your business goals, which depend on the following:
- What you want to accomplish with your brand
- What marketing tools you have at your disposal
- What your brand’s weaknesses are
Once you spell out your goals, look to research data to prove your progress toward each.
2. Decide which digital channels you’ll use.
Each of the digital channels you use needs a clear, well-defined strategy, which will depend on the different strengths behind them.
- Webinars — engage with customers and gain feedback
- Live Chat & Messaging — connect with customers looking for answers to their questions about your product
- Email Marketing — engage your customer through their inbox
- Social Media Marketing — engage your audience and demonstrate brand values
- Paid Search — engage potential customers with content related to their search
3. Use a customer relationship management platform.
A customer relationship management platform (CRM) is a digital platform that gives you a place to securely log and access essential customer data:
- Purchases made
- Contact preferences
- Interactions with your brand
A full-featured CRM helps you personalize your customer service and gain valuable insights into how your engagement strategy impacts the customer experience.
Features to look for in a CRM
Look for the following features in a CRM to ensure you reap all the benefits of using one:
- Omnichannel capabilities facilitate engagement across all your digital channels
- Intelligent routing directs customers to the right place for assistance
- Automation tools enhance employee efficiency, productivity, and job satisfaction
- Workforce management tools track job performance and identify training needs
- Training resources enable employees to quickly master essential tools
- Analytics and reports identify weaknesses in your engagement strategy
4. Implement a digital engagement strategy.
Building a workable strategy starts with breaking down goals into clear, actionable objectives and tracking key progress indicators (KPIs) as you go.
Your objectives should line up with what the customer expects of you:
- Clear information and easy access to user-friendly tools
- Special incentives that reward them for engaging with your brand
- Personalized content and support at every stage of the customer journey
5. Personalize the customer experience for digital engagement.
Personalizing your customer’s digital experience of your brand involves customizing every digital interaction with them:
- First Contact — when the customer first interacts with your brand
- First Purchase — everything leading up to the checkout process
- After-purchase — get their feedback on the entire process and gauge satisfaction
- Checking in — post-purchase and regular check-ins to maintain the relationship
- Follow-up — incentivize continued engagement with your brand
Digital Engagement Best Practices
The best plans go to waste without consistent daily action, which is difficult to maintain without having the right systems in place.
Systems that support customer engagement depend on the best digital engagement practices described below.
1. Embrace social media.
Social media provides a digital space for connection and branding and for research, sharing ideas, and identifying the trends worth jumping on.
Real-time interaction also makes it easier to provide personalized attention and support.
2. Utilize chatbots.
Live chat options — including AI chatbots — enable your consumers to interact with your brand and quickly get answers to common questions or solutions to simple problems.
The chatbot can connect the customer to a live human for more personalized interaction and support when necessary.
3. Use personalized messaging.
Every interaction can provide valuable data for the segmentation of your customers by their interests, values, and preferences.
Personalized messaging via social media, email, and webchat makes it possible to build an emotional connection with each customer and get useful feedback.
4. Implement self-service options.
Make it easy for your customer to learn more about you and your product.
- AI chatbots are interactive and provide answers to common questions
- FAQ pages offer clear solutions to common problems
- Multimedia libraries provide helpful resources your customers can use to get better acquainted with your brand
5. Analyze customer feedback.
To make the best use of the content your customer shares with you, analyze it for the following:
- What triggers them to buy or to bounce
- Impressions of your website and your sales funnel
- Customer satisfaction and suggestions
6. Adopt an omnichannel strategy.
Omnichannel functionality gives each customer a seamless brand experience across multiple channels (email, mobile app, social media channel, etc.).
Your customers are more likely to maintain a relationship with you if it saves them time and energy.
7. Integrate with your CRM.
Integrating your CRM with every major element of your customer engagement experience also contributes to a seamless experience. It makes it easier and faster to anticipate and respond to customer concerns and record new data with each interaction.
Maximize Digital Engagement for Your Brand
The more you prioritize digital engagement, the sooner you’ll begin to see the benefits:
- Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Decreased bounce rate
- Increased sharing of branded digital content
- More helpful customer feedback and reviews
Not only that, but you’ll see an increase in the number of high-quality influencers eager to share your brand with their followers.
As the quality of your customer engagement in the digital world grows, so will your returns.