Engaged users yield the highest ROI. Tapping the most out of your first-time visitors is not so easy. You have to engage them at the right place and the right time. There are various strategies to hook your users and give them what they want.
But, how do you build these strategies?
As a marketer, it’s essential to understand all the channels where users interact with your brand. Every channel on which a business has its presence, has one thing in common, i.e., to make a business profitable through activities right from acquisition to engagement, and then conversion.
The goal of your users could be making a purchase, getting to know your products/services, understanding the product usability through case studies, webinars, and more.
In this article, we’ll focus on different aspects of user engagement. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to build your own user engagement plan. The topics we would cover below are:
1. What is a user engagement
2. Why should you focus on user engagement
3. Strategies to engage your users effectively
4. User engagement KPIs
What is user engagement?
User engagement is an interaction between your brand and your customers through online and offline channels. You can measure user engagement for digital channels through various KPIs like downloads, time surfed on a website, number of sign-ups per week, number of returning users, and more.
Let me simplify user engagement through the example below:
A user has signed up for your product. After signing up, you need to guide them to the integration guides present on your blogs.
How many possible ways can you engage the same user?
- Once users sign up, send them a welcome mail to make a positive onboarding experience.
- Direct your users to the integration guides present on your blogs.
- If the integration is not done after a specific time, you can activate your follow-up plan.
- Once the integration is done, a user would need to understand your product features in detail. Therefore, provide them with quick demo links or blogs explaining product features.
The above example is just one of the many user engagement scenarios, which changes from one product to others or the type of services you provide.
We’ll discuss engagement KPIs in detail later in the blog. Make sure you read this complete guide, so you get a comprehensive plan to engage your users.
Why should you focus on user engagement?
When users are provided with the necessary engagement, they feel more valued and connected to your brand.
Engaging your users throughout their life cycle will drive more ROI rather than spending more on the acquisition. Marketers spend on acquisition as high as 56% of their marketing budget.
Imagine the ROI that you can generate by engaging the existing users!
How to engage customers
1. Create valuable and engaging content
In his book “Stand out social market,” American author Michael Lewis explains that publishing content on 2 or 3 channels increased engagement by up to 24%.
Besides publishing content on more than one channel, the essential branding aspect is to create engaging content.
What is engaging content?
Engaging content offers unique information, a new perspective, entertaining and inspiring information to your users.
Here are few ways you can build valuable and engaging content:
Use visuals and infographics
While writing this article, I have read many existing articles on user engagement. Some were straightforward with a long-form of text-based content; some included infographics, while some had a mix of text and image content.
As a reader surfing on specific websites, infographics are the most engaging ones that gave me some useful insights, and I would like my readers to be aware of that. It takes relatively less time to go through visual content. And, ultimately, I would prefer to go through the complete infographic. This way, a brand is successful in engaging its readers.
Here is an infographic that explains how visual content is far better in retaining your users while providing statistical data. It grabs attention and doesn’t seem boring to you.
Set the right content tone
One important thing to consider while building user-engaging content is to write what your users would relate and understand simply.
Set the tone of your content like a conversation. Communicate and not teach them. Provide your users with solutions to all their first-time queries.
Avoid using jargon so that your readers wouldn’t leave your brand page and look out for a dictionary to never coming back to your page.
For example, most of your users would prefer to read “How to build an amazing customer experience?” rather than “How to build an amazing CX?”. Some might be familiar with the term CX, but all can easily understand the term customer experience.
Create short and shareable content
Create a short form of content like a short blog or a quick 1 to 5 minutes video, that urges your users to take action. Share useful tips from the customer’s standpoint. It increases shareability and generates more leads and traffic.
Here are some of the ideas you can consider to build shareable content.
- Trending: content that covers hot topics and the latest trends and discussions.
- Emotional: hit a chord with audiences and make them feel something.
- Useful: provides answers, solutions, and helpful advice.
2. Provide best Customer Experience
According to Forbes and Arm treasure data, 74% of customers are likely to buy solely based on their customer experience.
Suppose a visitor comes to your site and reaches out to the chat window. No responses from the brand would be more likely to ruin the experience of your users. And the result? Your product will be out of their preference.
“It comes down to how your customer experiences the brand – and how that brand makes a person feel.” ~ Alex Allwood, The Holla Agency.
Customer experience must be one of your top priorities when it comes to engaging your audience. Here are few ways you can make your user/customer have a positive experience with your brand:
- Welcome your new users and provide them insights on how they would benefit from your product.
- Make your website engaging and straightforward enough for users to take action.
- Listen to what your customers speak about you and resolve and prioritize their concerns.
- Thank your users for the reviews and make them feel valued.
- Ask your users what they would like to receive from your marketing campaigns. And optimize your campaigns based on their preferences.
- Offer live chat to your users while keeping the minimum response time.
According to chat statistics, 46% of users prefer live chat on the website, followed by 29% for email, and 16% prefer social media handles for a company.
In Econsultacy’s report on digital trends 2018, here’s what companies were excited about taking ahead.
The above graph speaks of how important customer experience is for brands followed by content marketing and other aspects of marketing
3. Give a personal touch to your brand
Give a human touch to your brand. Let your users feel your brand has a voice that communicates to its users.
Appreciating employee contribution goes a long way in building healthy work environments.
Show your employees in your brand portfolios. Speak about their contribution. Publish your employee’s videos speaking about your brand and how they go about it behind the scenes. Your users should feel your brand is not only recognized by your logo but also by its people.
This would make it more authentic, and your users would for sure connect to it.
4. Appreciate your customers
Brands that engage with their users beyond their products and services give them a reason to stay for a more extended period.
Show your customers how you care about them and this would be the best way to appreciate them.
Here’s how G2 made me feel appreciated during the pandemic. This small effort made me connected more to the brand. In simple words- G2 engages its users by appreciating them.
Build user generated content
You can create user-generated content to appreciate your users. It’s always exciting for users to get featured on your brand’s pages across various channels.
Allow your users to speak about how they are using your products or services. The more human elements you add to your marketing efforts, the more your users would trust you.
For example, Airbnb shares how their users are satisfied and more excited for their services by sharing their journey on Instagram.
5. Create multi-channel marketing
Engage your users on the channel they prefer to use.
Your users are present everywhere, and that’s where your brand needs to be. Having a multi-channel presence rules out the possibility of losing your potential customers who are present on other channels.
“Marketing leaders must take a coordinated multichannel approach to managing these efforts to maximize their impact on customers’ digital behaviors.” — Digital Marketing Strategy and Execution Primer for 2020, Gartner.
For example, if a user is active on social media and not on emails, then engaging them on social media would simply make more sense rather than sending them emails with little or no response from a few of your customers.
On average, with each additional channel, multi-channel marketing and selling increase revenue by 38%, 120%, and 190%.
Since we’ve talked about how crucial it is to have multichannel marketing plans, let’s not forget how social media channels contribute to it.
A strong presence on social media will represent your brand as an active player in the market. Also, make sure to reply to each comment on your posts. This is the first step to make it an engaging social community.
6. Personalize your communication with users
We once had an instance where one of our customers was Puerto Rican. He reached out to us in his native language.
And, what could we possibly do here? We communicated back in his same preferred language.
When you personalize your marketing channels, it boosts engagement with your users.
In fact, 79% of customers say they prefer to engage with a brand if it offers personalized products or offers. Besides, personalization also boosts relationships with your customers.
7. Improving the product’s usability
One sure way to increase user engagement is to improve your product’s usability. Other than all the marketing efforts to engage users, in the end, it’s your products and services they use.
Product usability is how your users achieve their end goals using your product’s design and interface.
Excellent product usability would further add to the word of mouth branding. Therefore, the easier it is to use your products, the more likely your users will speak about it.
Above, I have covered how you can engage your users through different strategies. It takes time to get into the flow of measuring user engagement in the long run. However, you should follow the below KPIs to understand and track if your engagement is going in the right direction or not!
User engagement KPIs to look forward to
1. Measure your site traffic along with active users (daily, weekly, and monthly basis)
If you measure how many active users are coming on your brand channels, be it on social media or your website, it gives you an idea about the active user’s graph is going downslope or upslope. And based on the numbers, you can fix the engagement where it’s broken and improve at other places.
Focus not only on your monthly active users but also on a daily and weekly basis.
Here are a few ways/tools you can use to analyze your user engagement metrics.
- You can use Google Analytics to track your active users (as seen in the blue section in the image below).
It also provides a number of users for different days and periods.
- You can also check your website traffic from time to time. Your website traffic refers to the number of users or sessions your website receives.
To directly measure a website’s traffic, you can use a free Chrome extension from SimilarWeb and measure many other parameters like bounce rates, avg. visit duration, etc.
2. Measure Retention
User retention gives you an understanding of how many users stayed after a specific period.
This is how you can calculate your user retention.
For example, suppose you had 100 active users in January and by the end of January, the total number of churns is 20, then your retention would be 80%.
This is how a regular retention graph looks like as shown below. The blue line indicates good user retention, whereas the red line shows bad retention concerning the monthly active users.
If your retention is going down, focus on improving your user experience and building better customer relationships. Read this blog in detail to improve your retention rates- “Do this when your retention goes down”.
3. Know your Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Your net promoter score shows how likely it is for your users to recommend your product to others.
This is how you can find out your net promoter score:
Do a survey on a small sample of your users. Give them an option to rate your brand on a scale of -100 to 100, where 0 indicates neutral, -100 indicates not likely, above 50 indicates excellent and above 75 indicates world-class NPS (as visible in the image below).
The NPS score analysis scale is as shown on a scale of (-100 to 100):
You can calculate NPS by using the formula below:
NPS = %Promoters – %Detractors
Promoters are customers who respond with either 90 or 100. Passives are the customers who select 70 or 80. Detractors are your customers who choose between 0 and 60.
If your NPS score is less than 0, then it is a high time you improve your customer satisfaction levels and then do repeated surveys to keep a track of your product’s progress.
Below is the NPS score benchmarks industry-wise:
4. Bounce rate
Your bounce rate is the percentage of people who exit from your site after visiting the first page itself.
A higher bounce rate indicates that your users are not finding value in what they are looking for on your site or other brand pages.
Bounce rate varying between 26 to 40% is excellent. Whereas 41 to 55% of bounce rate is the average line and from 56 to 70% is higher than an average.
If your site’s bounce rate is above 70%, it’s time you restrategize your homepage content, blogs, and social media content to make it more relevant to your users. You can do A/B testing, split URL testing to set the right content and structure.
You can check your site’s bounce rate using SEMrush. Here’s the link. Enter your URL and then go to the ‘traffic analysis’ tab on the left side to check the bounce rates. Or else, you can use the Chrome extension from SimilarWeb to check the same.
User engagement could look complicated at first hand. However, brands can work on revamping their strategies as mentioned above to have the ultimate user engagement.
By making interactions with your users in a way they feel empowered and achieve success, you will less likely see them in your churn counts.
Once the strategies are aligned, start measuring them through the KPIs we have mentioned above, and let me know what methods helped you engage your users?