Using Data to Engage Customers Online

Using Data to Engage Customers Online

The Internet has dramatically improved customers' access to information. However, this can make it more difficult to successfully target marketing efforts for the right audience.

Businesses need to proactively identify their customers, learn around their preferences and send them relevant communications to convert them into buyers. This is easier said than done.

You need to have extensive information on who your customers are and where they are located to create more effective marketing efforts.

How to Learn About Customers

Fortunately for businesses, nearly every customer interaction generates data that can be used to inform future marketing decisions. Although it's a more obvious approach, you can survey previous clients to determine why they chose to buy from you instead of a competitor and what was most appealing about your product.

Surveys can also uncover basic demographic similarities among your audience, such as age, location, gender and income levels. You can also gain some information by asking visitors to fill out forms on your landing pages.

In addition to being a valuable source of information, surveys can improve customer loyalty. Clients want to feel like their feedback is being taken seriously. If you try to implement some of their suggestions, customers will likely hold a more favorable view of your brand.

Surveys can be most effective when you offer them through multiple channels, giving users the ability to take them through the medium they prefer.

For some companies, determining who and where customers are may not be as complicated. Some businesses only cater to a very specific geographical region. Depending on the product, marketers may have a very narrow target audience.

However, it's a mistake to assume this customer segment without actually assessing your real customers. Your true target audience may be different than who you thought it was or it may change over time. It's important to regularly check.

The Different Stages of Online Customer Engagement

Using Data to Engage Customers Online

Knowing your customers is especially important for businesses that maintain an e-commerce presence. Companies need to consider the online process of discovery and how casual browsers become customers.

This concept is still important for organizations that don't run an online store because most customers do some primary research on the Web before deciding to buy.

Here is a closer look at the different stages of the customer journey:

Reach

This is the time when the client first becomes aware of your website, The Drum stated. They may arrive on a landing page or discover the home page through organic search. However, many retailers overlook this aspect of the process because most market sectors are so competitive.

Having a better understanding of how and why visitors end up on your website can help you guide them in the direction you want.

In addition, social media is now a major influencer because it serves as digital word-of-mouth advertising. This can either help or harm your marketing efforts.

Convert

Just because someone visits your website doesn't guarantee he or she will become a paying customer (by difranco). What visitors do on your website is very important. A/B testing can reveal some information about how well your landing pages work to drive conversions.

Retention

It isn't just about making connections with customers the first time they visit your website. You need to determine what will keep customers coming back over time.

Businesses need to form a retention strategy for their marketing campaigns. It costs more to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing ones. Transactional information could be a valuable source of data for refining retention efforts.

How to Re-engage Inactive Customers

Using Data to Engage Customers Online

While some customers may not disappear entirely, it's common for some members of your client base to cease their activity for a while. Even if your business has a loyalty program with a low level of turnover, there can still be issues,Chief Marketer said.

In fact, there is a major disparity between the number of customers who join loyalty programs and those who actually take advantage of them - it could be more than half. One of the biggest issues with loyalty programs is the rewards often aren't in line with what clients want. 

Maintaining loyalty over time is important for a healthy sales pipeline. Understanding why customers are frustrated or disengaged is crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. No matter what your company does, you need to start with clearly defined goals to make your campaigns more successful.

You need to know which channels your target audience is most active on because this can help you reach them in the right places. For example, if you cater to a professional audience, their social media network of choice is most likely LinkedIn, not Facebook. Having this information and putting it into use can make a huge difference in inbound marketing efforts.

Additionally, social media is a great way to connect with customers and learn more about them. These platforms can be used to spur engagement, rather than just sharing promotional content.

Social media can be used to drive traffic to your landing pages, but you need to put your customers' interests first. In most cases, social media followers don't want to read your latest company news. They want content that relates to their preferences and needs.

What are some customer engagement strategies you use on your website?