This post was updated on August 24, 2023
Engagement Marketing: The Key to Your Business Success
The current marketing playbook is outdated.
For a long time, marketing focused on analyzing consumer demographics, firmographics, and any other "graphics" to target buyers with messages.
The problem? This strategy is one-way and heavily focused on the marketer.
The result? Day after day, customers feel disengaged and disconnected from brands.
The solution? Marketers need a way to bring consumers back into the equation because good marketing should serve the customer at every touch point. That's where engagement marketing comes in.
In this article, we'll talk about how to leverage engagement marketing, what tools to use, and how to measure its effectiveness.
Note: Have you been experimenting with engagement marketing but want to revamp your strategy? Take our engagement marketing assessment to learn what you need to improve.
What Is Engagement Marketing?
Engagement marketing, also known as relationship marketing, is a marketing model that focuses on building relationships through two-way communication channels.
Engagement marketers use two-way communication channels such as email, social media, in-person events, and virtual event marketing to provide a high degree of personalization. These channels offer the opportunity to interact with the customer and build an authentic relationship with them.
While the traditional method takes a transactional approach to customers, engagement marketing focuses on the emotional states that guide buyers toward their desired outcome. So, with engagement marketing, you create meaningful interactions with people based on emotional empathy, rather than presenting them with content that serves the business more than the customer.
According to Gallup, “fully engaged customers represent a 23% premium in share of wallet, profitability, revenue and relationship growth over the average customer”. There has never been a better time to invest in engagement marketing.
The four tenets of engagement marketing
- Relationship-centered: Today's marketers have mastered one-way communication with their audience. Whether it's your typical content marketing strategy of SEO driven blog posts or a brand and feature centered website, they're pros at pushing their message out to their audience. But without the link of two-way communication channels, marketers today fail to connect, listen, and build long term, authentic relationships with their audience.
- Full-funnel marketing: Your audience's buyer's journey is neither linear nor a funnel. It's a complex maze of brand experiences and marketers need to take ownership of fostering impactful relationships at every point. The first step in driving impact? Begin measuring marketing-sourced pipeline and revenue instead of top of funnel lead numbers. Understand how you’re impacting your business.
- Audience-obsessed: Stop focusing on "pain points" and start identifying your audience’s desired outcome. Doing so will automatically shift your attention to helping them reach their ultimate goal by pinpointing the internal drivers that motivate them.
- Community: Engagement marketers need to learn how to empathize, listen, take risks, and encourage bravery in their audience.
As you experiment and implement your relationship marketing initiatives, you must ensure that your strategy reflects these tenets.
Key Benefits of Engagement Marketing for the Business
Stronger Customer Relationships
When you’re focusing on your customers and their buying habits, you’re not just fueling your sales funnel, you’re driving successful customer engagement. Stronger relationships, and deeper engagement means greater customer loyalty, which pays off as you grow your brand.
Qualified Leads/Faster Conversion Rates
Your lead generation strategy can either result in soft leads that need gentle persuasion or cold leads that will cost a lot of time and money to convert. Simply having a strong engagement marketing strategy will help improve your conversion rates among your loyal client base while building strong leads based on referrals.
Increased Brand Authority
Your reputation is based on your company’s transparency and ability to represent the demographic you serve. As you use engagement marketing to determine your demographic’s interests and buying habits, you situate your company as an industry authority. Use engagement marketing examples to help you increase your brand awareness and authority.
Strategies for effective engagement marketing
1. Use interactive webinars
Today’s best webinars are engaging and interactive.
Take advantage of this opportunity to meet your audience, survey them, and build a community in real time. Through these two-way interactions, you’ll be able to connect with your audience and match your event to their stage in the emotional buyers journey.
Here are some ways to make your webinars interactive:
Polls engage your audience en masse and give you beneficial insights you can use both during and after the event.
For example, you can run a poll to determine the most relevant area to focus on within the topic you're about to present. Allow the answers of your polls to help shape the content for the rest of the webinar. This way, your audience feels like a part of the content, rather than simply an observer of it.
Mastering the chat is essential to keeping your webinar interactive. It allows your audience to ask you questions or give feedback. It's also a place where your audience can interact with each other and feed off everyone's energy.
Depending on the platform, you could bring on moderators (a dedicated team) to help answer questions or respond to feedback in the chat.
➡️ Live CTAs
Drive your attendees to a specific URL that helps them take the next step (we call this a Featured Action). Maybe it’s a free trial CTA, or maybe it’s a blog post that goes deep on the concept you just shared.
Provide handouts during the webinar session that extend the value of the event. The more actionable, the better, so consider templates, checklists, and calculators.
Most webinar tools don’t support all the above features, but Demio isn’t your average webinar tool. With Demio, you can engage your prospects, launch polls, gather feedback, answer questions, create brand loyalty, and build relationships to turn more leads into customers.
Want to make your webinars less boring and more interactive? Try Demio for free today.
2. Encourage marketers to call prospects
When looking to gain insights into your target market, there’s no replacement for talking to customers.
Getting on the phone with prospects is usually seen as a Sales Development Representative's (SDR) job, but this tactic is crucial for marketers. Marketers have to construct customer engagement marketing strategies and content around customer emotions and their desired outcome, and to do that, they need to talk to customers and understand what they’re trying to achieve.
Empathy gives you the ability to connect with your audience in a way that data can't. For example, while generic market research statistics provide insight into who (i.e., the type of people who make up your market) and what (i.e., the product or service they buy), it misses the most crucial element — the WHY.
➡️ Why did they start looking for a solution like yours? Were they frustrated? Were they worried? This gives you more details into what emotions drive their actions.
➡️ Why did they need a better solution in the first place? What's their desired outcome? Do they want to do their job efficiently? Do they want to spend more time handling complex stuff? This gives you insight into how you can help them achieve their desired outcome.
➡️ Why did they choose your product over your competitors? Maybe your competitors are doing something wrong, or your brand makes them feel more valued and respected. This is instrumental in updating and improving your current engagement marketing campaigns.
Conducting one-on-one interviews allows you to pull out their why's and develop empathy for each customer and the audience they represent.
3. Bridge the Gap Between Marketing and Sales
In most companies, marketing and sales teams work separately. Marketers often know too little about what the sales team is learning about their market through their conversations and demos.
SDRs and marketers usually run separate campaigns and work on different acquisition funnels. As a result, each department builds an acquisition funnel based on different personas they’ve identified as their ideal customer profile (ICP). And failure to align marketing and sales makes it even harder to find consensus on who the actual ICP should be.
By aligning marketing and sales, your prospects receive a single branded customer experience instead of separate, siloed ones. As a result, everything — from the frustration stage at the start of the customer journey to the gratitude stage — is linked.
Here's how you can align your sales and marketing team:
➡️ Adopt a full-funnel approach. Marketers are not top-of-funnel content creation machines. So take part in every step of the funnel, not just the first. Also, start measuring marketing-sourced pipeline and revenue rather than lead numbers.
The benefit of engagement marketing is it makes you realize that the customer journey is a complex maze of brand impressions, and leads you to build impactful relationships at every point.
4. Meet your prospects where they are
Engagement marketing is all about two way interactions between your company and your target audience. To generate those interactions, share your content where your customers will see it.
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Who are my customers?
- How old are they? Are they Gen Z or Millennials?
- Where do they go to find expert insights to solve their problem? To the library or on Google? What social networks do they use, LinkedIn or TikTok?
- Where do my competitors achieve the most engagement?
The answer to these questions will give you a better idea of where your customers are. For example, Millennials tend to use Facebook while Gen Zers are on TikTok and Snapchat.
Even though most of today's consumers are online, social media isn't the only place to meet them, so consider incorporating other channels. And this applies whether you’re a B2B or B2C company.
5. Consistent Messaging
Consistency in messaging is a strategy in engagement marketing that ensures your brand's voice and values resonate consistently across all touchpoints. It involves crafting a cohesive narrative that reflects your brand identity and mission, delivering a unified experience to your audience. Consistent messaging fosters recognition and familiarity, enabling your audience to connect with your brand on a deeper level. Whether it's your webinars, social media posts, support tickets, or sales demos, maintaining a consistent tone, style, and messaging reinforces your brand's credibility and builds trust. When your audience encounters a coherent message at every interaction, they are more likely to remember your brand, engage with your content, and eventually become loyal advocates. Consistent messaging is a powerful tool that reinforces your brand's presence in the minds of your audience and contributes to the success of your engagement marketing efforts.
Tools and Platforms That Drive Engagement Marketing
Now that you know how to make engagement marketing work, here are tools you can use to leverage it.
Social media offers a direct and interactive channel to connect with your audience in real-time, fostering meaningful interactions and building strong relationships. Through social media, you can share compelling content, engage in conversations, and respond to feedback promptly. These digital marketing platforms provide an avenue for showcasing your brand's personality, values, and expertise, allowing you to resonate with your audience on a personal level. By leveraging features like live videos, polls, stories, and interactive posts, you can actively involve your audience and create a sense of community. Social media's wide reach and diverse user base make it an ideal platform to target specific audience segments, tailoring your engagement efforts to different demographics. With strategic planning and a genuine commitment to building connections, social media becomes an invaluable tool in your engagement marketing strategy, enabling you to inspire, inform, and captivate your audience while building lasting brand loyalty.
Interactive webinar platforms
Interactive webinars are a two-way experience that allows brands to showcase their brand voice and to connect with their audience on a deeper level. According to a University of Michigan study, video conferencing is almost as effective as face-to-face for building trust.
Here's how to incorporate interactive, experiential marketing into your engagement marketing efforts:
➡️ Use interactive elements.
Using polls, CTAs, live chats, and other interactive tools during your webinar makes attendees feel like active participants.
➡️ Ask your audience to submit their questions a few days before the webinar.
This creates a sense of contribution for your attendees while giving you a first-hand look at what they want to know more about.
➡️ Reward attendees.
This is an easy way to produce an enjoyable, all-encompassing experience for your audience that’ll entice them to come back for future webinars. Giveaways can include certificates of completion, coupons, hands-on content, or other resources.
Our interactive webinar tool, Demio, lets you:
- Ask your audience a question at any time with Polls
- Use Featured Actions to link your audience to an offer, sign-up page, or any URL during the event
- Share handouts, gifts, and bonuses for your audience to download
- Easily manage Q&A with dedicated features for organization and answering questions live
- Give your audience more ways to interact through emoji gestures, as well as the ability to mention other participants
- Bring attendees to the stage
Using these features, Nutshell managed to boost their conversion rate five times, from 12% to 60%, via their weekly lunch-and-learns and improved customer engagement
Measuring and Analyzing Engagement Marketing Efforts
So, how do you measure the ROI of engagement marketing?
While there are several approaches, the method will differ depending on the channel.
Key Metrics for Tracking Engagement
When it comes to engagement marketing, measuring the effectiveness of your strategies is crucial for continuous improvement and success. Tracking key metrics provides valuable insights into how well your efforts are resonating with your audience and where adjustments might be needed. Here are some essential metrics to monitor when gauging the impact of your engagement marketing initiatives:
- Click-Through Rate (CTR): This metric indicates how effective your call-to-actions are in encouraging users to take the next step, such as clicking on a link or button. A higher CTR suggests that your content and messaging are compelling and relevant to your audience.
- Conversion Rate: Tracking the conversion rate helps you understand how successful your engagement strategies are at driving desired actions, such as signing up for a newsletter, downloading a resource, or making a purchase. By analyzing this metric, you can identify which tactics are most effective at turning engagement into tangible results.
- Bounce Rate: The bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate on a page with a chatbot might indicate that your engagement efforts are not aligning with user expectations, prompting visitors to leave quickly. Monitoring this metric can help you identify areas for improvement in user experience and content relevance.
- Social Media Engagement: Likes, shares, comments, and retweets on social media platforms indicate how well your content resonates with your audience. Monitoring social media engagement helps you understand which topics or formats generate the most interest and interaction.
- Email Open and Click Rates: For email marketing campaigns, open and click rates are essential metrics. They reveal how engaging your email subject lines and content are to your subscribers. By analyzing these rates, you can refine your email content to better capture recipients' attention.
- Engagement Score: This overarching metric combines various engagement actions, such as webinar activity, to provide an overall view of how your audience interacts with your content. Tracking engagement rates over time helps you identify trends and adapt your strategies accordingly.
- Customer Feedback and Surveys: Gathering direct feedback from your audience through surveys and feedback forms can provide valuable insights into their engagement experience. This qualitative data helps you understand their preferences, pain points, and expectations, allowing you to tailor your engagement strategies to better meet their needs.
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV): Engaged customers tend to have a higher CLTV because they are more likely to make repeat purchases and advocate for your brand as loyal customers. Tracking CLTV over time can help you measure the long-term impact of your engagement efforts on revenue generation.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): NPS measures customer loyalty and satisfaction by asking how likely customers are to recommend your product or service to others. Engaged customers are more likely to give a higher NPS, indicating their positive sentiment and potential for word-of-mouth referrals.
By consistently monitoring and analyzing these key metrics, you can fine-tune your engagement marketing strategies, optimize your customer experience, and achieve the desired outcomes that drive business growth and success.
Measuring engagement marketing ROI on different platforms
➡️ Webinars and Virtual Events
In order to understand which virtual event metrics suit your business, you have to first establish your virtual event goals. Gone are the days where virtual event ROI was based on who attended the event. That doesn’t provide marketers with enough data to understand how that event impacted their audience. Demio allows you to not only track registrations and attendees, but also to pinpoint where your registrants are coming from, and dive deep into data on how your attendees engaged inside your webinar, helping you better identify qualified leads. For example, you can see how focused they were during the webinar and when you lost their attention. Plus, you can export that data, and upload it into your CRM to calculate each attendee’s engagement score.
➡️ Social Media
Engagement actions on social media include clicks on your website link, comments on your post, brand mentions, or sending a DM. You can then score each of these actions and evaluate your prospects' engagement based on the number of times they interacted with your brand.
Note that this doesn't apply to social media alone; you can use it with other two-way communication channels as well.
Webinars and virtual events benefit from engagement marketing ROI to ensure you’re best meeting your customer’s needs and not losing the interest of your attendees by missing their pain points in your presentation. Remember that feedback surveys sent at the conclusion of live and pre-recorded presentations give you excellent insight into the buying behaviors and desires of your consumers.
How to improve your engagement marketing strategy
To elevate your engagement marketing strategy and forge deeper connections with your audience, consider incorporating the following approaches:
Develop Customer-Centric Content
Creating content that resonates with your target audience is a cornerstone of effective engagement marketing. Understand your audience's pain points, aspirations, and preferences to craft content that addresses their needs and interests. Conduct thorough research to identify trending topics and industry challenges, then present solutions and insights through blog posts, videos, webinars, and more. By focusing on delivering value and addressing your audience's specific concerns, you can establish yourself as a trusted resource and encourage ongoing engagement.
Implement Interactive Marketing Techniques
Interactive content stands out in a crowded digital landscape and encourages active participation from your audience. Incorporate elements such as quizzes, polls, surveys, and interactive infographics to spark curiosity and engagement. Interactive techniques not only capture attention but also provide valuable data about your audience's preferences and behaviors. This information can guide your future content creation and engagement strategies, ensuring that you're consistently delivering what your audience craves.
Engage Through Social Media
Social media platforms offer a dynamic arena for engagement marketing. Regularly interact with your audience by responding to comments, asking questions, and fostering conversations around your content. Share user-generated content, conduct contests, and create interactive posts that encourage likes, shares, and comments. By showing genuine interest in your audience's thoughts and experiences, you can foster a sense of community and build stronger relationships.
Using Personalization and Segmentation
Personalization is a powerful tool for engagement marketing. Tailor your content and messages to cater to different segments of your audience based on factors such as demographics, interests, and behaviors. Leverage data analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) systems to gather insights that enable you to deliver personalized recommendations, product suggestions, and targeted promotions. A personalized approach makes your audience feel understood and valued, increasing their likelihood of engaging with your content and offers.
As you integrate these strategies into your engagement marketing approach, keep in mind that consistency and measurement are key. Regularly assess the effectiveness of your efforts using the key metrics mentioned earlier. This iterative approach allows you to refine your strategies based on real-time feedback, ensuring that your engagement marketing efforts remain dynamic, relevant, and impactful.
Build Lasting Relationships, Drive Results
Marketing doesn't stop at acquisition. You have to cultivate a successful relationship with every milestone you share with your customers. This helps you know how to better serve your audience and generate more ROI.
Work with Banzai to create quality experiences that make it easy to engage your customers, help them grow, and earn their loyalty. Take our engagement marketing assessment to learn what steps you need to take to successfully execute your engagement marketing strategy.