The onslaught of the second wave of the COVID19 pandemic has posed many businesses into the most challenging times. It has cast its doom, especially on specific sectors like travel and tourism and others as well. Social distancing and lockdowns have now become the new norm. Most offices now have had to resort to work-from-home strategies. Given the disruption caused by the deadly virus, only online means have been the only channel to keep things moving under these stressful times. However, online companies like the eCommerce portals of the likes of Amazon have registered phenomenal growth.
Building the Right Online Presence- The way forward for any modern business
The trend is loud and clear; if your business is to survive in the current scenario having a significant presence in the online space is the only option. Therefore, before it is too late, you must look for ways to boost customer engagement for your business. When it comes to online engagement, there are two parts: Online Customer Engagement. These are as follows:
1. Retaining the Existing Customers
The internet indeed provides plenty of opportunities for businesses. But along with the opportunities, the competition is intense as well. Studies in the field reveal that 65% of a company's entire business is generated from existing customers. So, if your business is to survive the killer throat competition on the internet, you need to ensure the retention of your existing customers, to begin with. In line with this, you need to design the right online customer engagement strategies to ensure that your business can retain your existing customers.
2. Acquiring New Online Customers
However, if your business is to grow, you must be able to lure in new customers.
Before we get into further details and the exact strategies to engage your customers online, we look at why customer engagement is essential.
Why is Customer Engagement critical?
The sole and most important reason for you to ensure that customer engagement is that you can always ensure that you are always in close touch with your customers or potential customers. As goes the popular saying, "out of sight out of mind." So, you need to increase the online visibility of your business and ensure you are always in the mind of your customers. Only then will your business be able to acquire more customers or retain the existing customers. On the other hand, if your customers are more engaged in your competitors' online channels, you cannot acquire new customers.
Moreover, you will lose your existing customers too. Therefore, in the face of the killer, online competition online engagement of customers has become the single most crucial factor for the success of any business. Let us now, therefore, look at the best means to increase customer engagement.
A. On-Page Web Strategies
Building the Right Website & Web Applications
The first and foremost online strategy to enable your business to have the proper online customer engagement is having a well-designed website or web application. The website is your business address on the online space. It provides it with a 24X7 online presence. So, the critical importance of having a good website for your business can hardly be emphasised. Given the intense competition on the internet, the user expectations from any website or web application have reached the highest levels. Your business website must not only be well designed so that it is attractive to grab immediate customer attention. But at the same time, it has to be very user-friendly too. It must have all the relevant information that customers seek. It must ensure easy navigation. Due to the killer online competition, the bounce rates have become very high. To retain the online visitors' attention, the website must ensure the optimum user experience, failing which you are bound to lose customers.
It is therefore of primary importance that you have the right website and web applications for your business. You must ensure that all the on-page content on it is relevant at all times. You could consider having a blog section that provides your potential customers with all the latest updates about your business and all the latest trends in the sector in which it operates. By doing this, you can make sure that your online visitors stay ever interested in your website and they will be kept engaged at all times.
B. Off-Page Optimisation
Building an Online Community
Along with the on-page strategies involving matters directly relating to the business website and web applications, the off-page strategy also plays a critical role. To begin with the off-page approach, the optimal use of social media platforms is of prime importance. Building an extensive online community can go a long way to ensure the optimal engagement of online customers. The most crucial form of doing the same is through the optimal utilisation of social media platforms.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
You would already be aware that social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn are dominating the online market space. You would find that almost everyone is now are hooked on to them. Though these are known as social media platforms, they are now also big online business generators. It is because of this that you utilise these platforms well. You can make use of organic means like putting up relevant posts on them and so on. You could have online contests, online polls on relevant issues, and much more.
Apart from these organic means, you can also use paid online promotions on them. For example, you could consider Facebook & Instagram paid campaigns. Depending on the nature of your business, you need to find out what would be the most relevant ones and then promote them.
Blog Posting on relevant websites & Holding Webinars
Apart from the Blog section on your website, you could also get involved in a renowned blog posting sites and platforms. Along with this, you could also think about conducting webinars and podcasts regarding the issues in the sector in which your website operates. Through this, you can make potential customers aware of your business and the products you offer. It will ultimately lead to better customer engagement and better chances of procuring business.
Prompt & Appropriate Response of Feedbacks
As already mentioned, social media engagement is the key to a successful customer experience. While using social media, it is critically important to make the users feel good during the interactions you have with them. It is essential that you make them feel like their opinions matter and they are being heard. It is also vital that if someone leaves feedback on one of your posts, you respond as soon as possible, so any negative comments turn into positive ones- making both parties happier! Thus, one proven way of having the proper customer engagement online is to have prompt and appropriate user interaction.
Therefore, we can see that for the success of any business in the current scenario, staying digitally active has become imperative. You must ensure that you have the proper customer engagement in the online space. We are confident that by employing the online strategies mentioned above, you will have the desired results.
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Q. With the Right Customer Engagement, will it ensure Business Growth?
Ans. Yes, definitely once you ensure that your customers are rightly engaged, not only would the existing customers be retained, but at the same time, it would enable your business to acquire new online customers as well.
Q. How long does it take to have the right online presence?
Ans. Achieving the right online presence would in no way happen overnight. Ensuring that your business website ranks high on the search engine ranking pages (SERP) takes time. The right online strategies should be put in place and need to be consistently implemented. Only then would your business website rank high and continue to remain high. If you want to achieve quick results, you would have to invest in online promotional campaigns.
Q. How important is Social Media Marketing now?
Ans. Amongst the off-page strategies, Social Media Marketing has become critical. You must be able to utilise them effectively to achieve the desired results.
Q. Is it necessary to employ digital marketing professionals?
Ans. Given the intense competition on the internet, it is best to hire an expert digital marketing professional who would deliver the desired results in a specific time frame instead of doing everything on your own.