Brands, meet your customers: Online branding and engagement
Brand engagement is not high enough on the list of marketers’ priorities. In this post, we tell you why your online branding strategy needs to include serious engagement with customers.
Picture this. You’re at a party. Like most parties, the attendees are as varied as they come in terms of personalities. But you quickly segregate them into three categories according to levels of extroversion. The quiet ones in the corner make the first category – they keep to themselves, avoid making eye contact and answer only when spoken to directly in monosyllabic sentences. The second category is completely contradictory – they loudly talk nineteen to the dozen and almost entire about themselves, their great vacation, their fabulous new purchase etc. The third category seems more relaxed and balanced – they listen as much as they speak and they’re careful not to dominate the conservation. No prizes for guessing which category engages in the most number of conversations and consequently has a better time at the party.
Marketers often forget that the golden rules of conversation in the real world apply to digital branding as well. Your brand definitely needs to act like an individual from the third category at the party if you expect it to succeed. To put it in other words, your business needs to spruce up its online branding engagement strategy.
Most businesses often falter in their very understanding of what brand engagement is. Brand engagement is the process of utilizing all available consumer touch points to interact with target audiences in a way that reaffirms the brand promise and extends the possibility of a long-term rapport with the audience. To assume that the term ‘audience’ here refers only to prospects and consumers would be rather shortsighted. Engagement needs to take a 360-degree perspective covering internal stakeholders as well as external stakeholders such as consumers, competitors, regulatory bodies and so on.
But you may wonder in the midst of all this talk about brand engagement, why it is necessary in the first place. Consider the following factors:
Turn to any form of media today and you will be instantly bombarded with about ten marketing messages in a minute. Marketers are literally jostling each other’s message out of the way, leaving a very small window in which they can make an impression. So it makes sense to step away from the clowns who are talking at the customer and engage in a valuable conversation with the audience instead.
Think a goldfish has the shortest attention span? Well today’s average consumer is beginning to give the fishes some serious competition in that department. The situation is almost unavoidable considering the overload of channels and devices that are available to reach the consumers. Every marketer wants a piece of their attention, leaving them completely unable to devote more than a few seconds on the various messages coming their way. Solution? Interact in ways that are useful to the consumers.
Some smart brands (like Apple, Disney) have realized how important is to demonstrate impressive experiences to turn perception in their favor. To their credit, they are executing it brilliantly gaining some major brownie points for their brands. One common secret ingredient across all great brand experiences? Good engagement with audiences.
With the constant race for visibility, marketers often overlook the most important aspect – offering real value. Mind-numbing chatter is everywhere. What will stand out is extending conversations that will provide customers the information they’re seeking as well as helping them out.
Making a conscious effort to engage target audiences is a choice every brand should make. Modern marketing is centered on the customer’s preferences and needs. One way to ensure that your customer is at the heart of your marketing efforts is by engaging with them in a way that they’ll appreciate. Stop hesitating and get talking.
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