Are you overlooking the importance of brand engagement for your company? That would be a huge mistake. Having your customers feel an emotional attachment to your well-developed brand will quickly translate into sales. More than simple brand awareness, brand loyalty is palpable and worth the enormous work to cultivate.
Related: Creating and Growing Your Brand Vision and Mission
What is Brand Engagement?
Brand engagement is a popular buzzword in the marketing industry. But what does it really mean? Despite many definitions of brand engagement, they all boil down to the interactions between your brand and your customers. These interactions can take many forms via various avenues, but all have the same result – a positive and robust relationship between your brand and your customers.
Of course, the main goal is sales, but effective brand engagement extends beyond the first sale. Your company’s social media, website content, blogs, and email marketing are all ways customers will engage with you. And their continued participation demonstrates a healthy relationship.
You can facilitate brand engagement by providing valuable content on the various channels mentioned above. This allows your customers to engage meaningfully and emotionally.
Why Brand Engagement is so Crucial
Research tells us that engaged customers represent 23% more revenue and profitability for your company than average. If you don’t have a strategy to facilitate these interactions, you’re missing out – big time.
The channels of engagement will vary by customer. Some people love Instagram, while others enjoy reading your blogs; still, other customers and prospects would prefer to receive your emails. This is why your engagement strategy should be varied and allow your customers to engage in the ways that work best for them. But interactions should focus on these things:
Major brands use responsive social media posts, personalized discounts and offerings, and engaging email content to encourage brand loyalty.
Brand Engagement Benefits
Some of the many benefits of brand engagement:
- Increases customer loyalty
- Enhances brand experience
- Improves customer experience
- Boosts sales velocity
- Provides customer feedback & insights
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Another benefit of close customer interactions is the insights it provides. Keen marketing experts can fashion the engagements to gain information about their customers. You can gauge their preferences and leanings, which simplifies the marketing decision-making process.
Related: The 4 Keys to Building Brand Loyalty with Millenials
Proven Brand Engagement Strategies
The American Marketing Association (AMA) reveals the top activations techniques to drive engagement:
Make An Impression on Your Customers
Due to the reduced attention span of the average American, Coca-Cola’s senior VP of strategic marketing says that brand impressions need to be fast and strong.
Customers should experience memorable and lingering engagements. For instance, test drives, in-store experiences, giveaways, and product demonstrations are all exciting ways to engage with your brand.
Another prominent brand, Mountain Dew, gave their U.K. customers an incredible experience. At several destinations across the country, at music festivals and transportation hubs, for instance. They allowed customers and prospects to taste their product, get free samples, and participate in competitions. The brand connected with their customers one to one, but there was also a digital component to the campaign. Photo booths ensured there was plenty of social media sharing. The company was rewarded with a 185% return on investment, with 55% of the participants purchasing at least one Mountain Dew, and about 33% of the visitors became new customers.
Boost Engagement with Brand Partnerships
The joining together of two well-known brands can be significantly beneficial to both companies. Interestingly, the companies don’t even have to belong to the same industry. For instance, Ford and Hearst, BMW and Montblanc, Covergirl and Lucasfilm, and EVA Air and Hello Kitty are all examples of brand partnerships that became successful marketing campaigns.
More recently, Heineken International (beer-makers) established a partnership with the U.K. Isle of Wight Festival. The festival, which drew more than 13,000 festival-goers from the 18 to 24-year-old demographic, sold Heineken’s cider (Bulmers) at the popular event. Heineken provided exciting and lively event promos all over social media to over 2 million young adults. The enhanced brand engagement was a win-win for both companies.
Brand partnerships take the strengths of two great brands and create lucrative new avenues of expanded customer bases, profitability, awareness, and brand loyalty. This brand engagement strategy is becoming more popular as companies realize how effective experiential and live marketing is.
Add Customer Value
With so much competition in any market or industry, customers have the luxury of being picky. They consider the pros and cons of products and companies, and can easily take their spending dollars somewhere else if a company is found wanting. More than having an incredible product or service, brands must add value. Tradeshows, for example, are a great place to do this. Consumers have the opportunity to experience the value of the product first-hand and form positive feelings about the brand.
Luxury car brands add value by allowing prospects to test-drive their cars. Tech giant, Apple, lets consumers touch, handle, and use their products in open spaces where staff are available to answer questions if necessary.
Be creative in allowing prospects to experience the value of your product or service. This can be done in person, via optimized social media posts, or on your website.
Related: 5 Key Metrics for Measuring Brand Loyalty
The Last Word on the Importance of Brand Engagement
Brand engagement is crucial for your company. Without it, your best efforts at marketing will fall flat. It’s not enough to know your target audience; you have to get them to know who you are. They need to feel that you understand their needs and are happy to meet them. What do you get in return? You get sales, brand loyalty, improved customer experiences, and insights and information that lead to more of the same.
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