Guest post by Kiran Bajpai.
The term “customer engagement” has become quite a buzzword over time. Customer engagement reflects the amount of a brand’s interaction with its audiences across various touchpoints. It helps foster brand growth and loyalty.
But it’s no longer only about the number of sales. With so many channels available to interact with customers, it has become a measure of the ongoing practice of brands anticipating their customers’ needs and keeping in touch with them.
Social media, email, video marketing, online advertising, and blogging are all effective digital marketing tactics for creating brand awareness and offering promotions. However, compared to other channels, the potential of blogging is still under-realized.
While 93% of B2B marketers use email as a marketing channel and 92% use social media, just 75% of B2B enterprises have blogs. Further, barely half (53%) of marketers say blogging is their top content marketing priority. And as Michael Brenner has reported, only 20% of bloggers publish at least two posts per week. 36% publish one post per month or less.
Big brands like IBM, Google, Microsoft, Starbucks are seen blogging regularly as a means to interact with their customers. But blogging regularly can significantly increase website traffic (particularly from organic search and social media) for small to midsized companies as well.
Why You Should Consider Blogging (or Posting More Often)
- Every month, 409 million people view more than 20 billion blog pages.
- 57% of businesses have acquired customers through blogging.
- 72% of marketers agree that content creation is one of the most effective SEO tactics.
- Businesses with blogs get double the traffic than companies that don’t blog.
Blogging is an effective method for actively educating customers about your products and services based on the buyer’s journey, and motivating them to want to learn more. It provides a platform for businesses to connect with their current and prospective customers.
Here’s how blogging helps build customer engagement.
Establish Yourself as an Authority
Blogging enables you to showcase your knowledge and become an authority in your subject of expertise. In order to be seen as an industry thought leader, you need to consistently produce high-quality and relevant content that helps establish trust with your target audience. Gradually, they will start looking to you as a reliable source of information.
The best blog posts provide customers and prospects with solutions to the problems they are trying to solve. You need to be able to put yourself in your buyer’s shoes, to understand not only what issues they are facing but also what words and phrases they are most likely to use when searching for answers.
A great example is Google’s blog “Keyword.” Its’ targeted at audiences who are interested in information technology. Apart from sharing information, Google also uses local blogs to engage with regional customers.
Help Prospects Discover Your Brand
Blogging can help you improve your search visibility. Google’s algorithm is designed to display relevant content to display on top of the search engine result page (SERP). If your blog posts provide that information or solve the user’s queries, Google will rank your page more highly in search results.
Every time you publish a blog post, you create a new page online. This increases your chance of ranking, getting shared on social media, and other websites linking to you. So by staying on top of your SEO game, you can increase visibility to your target buyers.
Blogging is an effective way to regularly share fresh content related to your industry or business. If your target prospects find your information useful, they will likely return to your blog. A steady flow of fresh, relevant content enables you to both attract new readers and build a relationship with returning readers.
Sharing stories about your organization’s culture, product development, and customer experiences can also help keep your customers engaged. You may want to check out Starbucks’s blog to see how they do this.
On their blog, they reveal various aspects of how they source their ingredients, keep customers updated about the launch of new drinks, and more. You will find a special section on their blog where they discuss various tea and coffee recipes. This helps build relationships with their target audience.
How to Get the Most Out of Blogging
Just producing content—even great content—isn’t enough. It needs to reach your audience. Here is a multi-channel approach to promotion.
Leverage your website: Add a prominent link to your blog on your homepage. Use some of the screen real estate in the main body or footer of your home page to promote your most recent posts. You can also use the blog sidebar to display your recent or most popular blog posts.
Share posts on social media channels: Publish your posts on various social media platforms. In fact, you can do it multiple times. You can publish the post that you wrote two months ago to gain traction again, but it needs to be relevant. 95.9% of marketers already promote their posts via social media.
Promote posts through emails: Email is still one of the most effective marketing channels. Send out relevant content to your leads based on their interest and pain points. Include blog posts in your email newsletters.
Enable subscriptions: Keep your readers updated with your blog posts by allowing them to subscribe via email or RSS. It will keep appearing in their information feed. Use a (tasteful, not obnoxious) pop-up or slide-in subscription box to encourage visitors to subscribe to your blog updates.
The golden rule is consistency. If you are not consistent in publishing your posts, it won’t help build engagement.
Leverage the Power of Technology
By leveraging technology coupled with a well-formulated plan, you can increase your odds of success.
Using customer engagement software, you can monitor and analyze your customer’s journey so that you can figure out ways to encourage engagement.
Customer engagement software is an automation tool that centralizes and manages customer interactions across all channels and touchpoints. It can cover social media platforms, email, CRM, web chat, customer self-service kiosks, and much more.
It includes analytical tools that provide insights on customer behavior. You can spot patterns and deliver targeted content to each segment.
These insights help you determine what topics, types of posts, and promotion channels are working best for you. You can use this information to plan content that drives more customer engagement.
Effective customer engagement software encompasses the entire customer journey and consistently helps provide value to the customer. The software enables you to consolidate and automate all your customer engagement activities.
- Allows collaboration and sharing to fast track business processes.
- Helps in segmenting customers and delivering them personalized experiences.
- Enables omnichannel communications, including email, social media, and online ads.
- Defines various key metrics to measure the success of the campaign.
Consistent, high-quality, relevant blog content helps you build engaging relationships with your customers. By leveraging customer engagement technologies, you can make data-driven, customer-focused decisions that drive continual improvement of your customer engagement metrics.
Commit to a regular blogging schedule. The more you blog, the more you opportunities you create to get found. Each blog post is a new chance for you to connect and interact with your audiences.
Kiran Bajpai works as a Marketing Associate at SoftwareSuggest. Her expertise lies in Accounting Software. Reading books is something that she can never get bored of especially those related to history and politics.