Developing a clear customer engagement strategy is an important part of maintaining, retaining and building your customer base. This is especially true in the B2B space where buyers’ journeys are often longer, more complex and usually involve multiple decision-makers.
Plus, the ever-increasing number of digital channels available has fundamentally changed the way your customers source and digest information. This means that they have often done their research well before they choose to engage with your brand. Simply waiting and hoping that they will visit your website and take action is no longer an option. Businesses need to take the action and communicate to their customers to build better levels of engagement and ultimately a strong on-going relationship.
Creating an effective engagement strategy
It’s essential to create an effective strategy that builds brand trust and recognition of your proposition, with the focus on them becoming your advocates.
- Know your customers – who they are, what they are looking for and importantly why
- Map out the ideal customer journey including key contact points
- Define the channels (digital and traditional) that they will most likely consume
- Create a content plan that takes customers on the desired brand journey via the selected channels
- Make sure that all communications are personalised and relevant to the customer
- Measure and analyse their behaviour in real-time – this will provide essential insight into what they are interested in and improve the relevance of the conversation
- Be agile – make sure that your approach is agile and can pivot and change based on insights from your previous communications and sales teams’ feedback
Tips for increasing customer engagement in the B2B marketplace
- Do not wait – for customers to come to you but go and find them! More than likely your brand is not the only option they are choosing from, so make sure you communicate on a regular basis with relevant content that is of value.
- First impressions count – an old cliché but true. So, make sure that you do exactly that – IMPRESS. Ensure that your website and specifically your home page clearly and effectively explain your proposition and the key benefits to the customer. Remember they are more interested in what your brand will do for them, rather than in how you do it.
- ‘Always On’ approach – even if you think you know where your customers potentially are in the purchase cycle, circumstances can change (often rapidly). So, it is essential that you keep your brand top of mind with consistent and relevant content.
- Monitor & analyse and … analyse – understanding what resonates with customers is essential to ensure you can deliver further relevant content that is of real value, helping build a meaningful relationship with your brand.
- Strategy versus Tactic – effective customer engagement is a strategy, not a tactic. If your goal is to build an ongoing relationship with your customers, then your strategy needs to be consistent and on-going.