How to Increase Customer Engagement From a Distance These Holidays

How to Increase Customer Engagement From a Distance These Holidays

How to Increase Customer Engagement From a Distance These Holidays

This holiday season you’ll be interacting with your customers at an arm’s length… literally!

Well, in fact, it’ll probably be much more than an arm’s length because most people are spending the majority of their time at home and online. They’re engaging with friends on social media and spending their Christmas budget at online shops.

Compounding this challenge, research has determined that the customer experience is high on the priority list of businesses, above even pricing and product development in its importance.

What-is-the-top-priority-for-your-business-in-the-next-5-years

Business Priorities Graph

So without a physical presence that accelerates the trust-building process with your customers, how do you plan on engaging with them this year? How will you innovate and improve the customer experience?

Let’s take a look at some tactics you can use this holiday season to increase customer engagement from a distance.

Interactive Experiences

Just “turning up” won’t be enough this holiday season. Yes, your customers are online and waiting to be wooed but your competitors are ramping up their digital activity as well.

Scheduling a few memes on social media or sending out discount codes via email won’t break through the noise. You need to think outside the box and find ways to stand out that your customers aren’t familiar with. They’re already subconsciously filtering out the standard digital marketing tactics.

Interactive experiences generate 4-5x more page views and 2x more conversions than static content. Contests, quizzes, calculators, and polls are simply more unique, relevant, fun, and memorable than banner ads and blog posts.

Here are some examples of interactive experiences you can use to increase customer engagement this holiday season:

  • Instant Win Contests. Just as the name suggests, instant win contests reward entrants immediately after they submit a form or interact with a button on your landing page. A typical prize for this style of contest is a coupon code, where entrants can cash-in immediately after entering. You can also increase engagement by encouraging non-winners to try their luck again.

ACME-Headwarmers-Instant-Win-GiveawayShortStack’s Instant-Win Giveaway Template

  • Points for Actions Contests. This style of contest taps into the concept of gamification to increase customer engagement. Basically, you reward participants with more chances to win in exchange for completing certain actions, such as sharing the contest on social media, inviting friends to enter, or visiting a web page.

Extra-Entry-PointsShortStack’s Points for Actions Contests

  • Voting Contests. Asking contest participants to vote is a great way to increase engagement. They may be voting for the prize they win, or perhaps they vote for the winning entry in a photo contest. Whatever it is, human nature entices us to click that vote button when we see something we like.

Multi-Stage-Voting-Contest
ShortStack’s Voting Contest Template

  • Video Contests. Video submission contests are a very personal way to connect with your customers. Not to mention personal video creation is all the rage at the moment with platforms like TikTok and YouTube going from strength to strength. You can have participants upload videos directly to your landing page to capture user-generated content or, alternatively, have them share a TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook link.

ACME-Food-Network-Tiktok-Video-Contest
ShortStack’s TikTok Contest Template

  • Comment to Enter Contests. Social media comment contests are a more traditional interactive experience than video or voting contests, but they work extremely well at increasing customer engagement. With ShortStack, you can collect comment entries from Instagram and Facebook and randomly choose winners.

Social-Media-comment-contest
ShortStack’s Comment to Enter Contests

  • Quizzes. Marketing quizzes deliver a gamified experience that has the potential to go viral and significantly increase brand engagement. Not only will a quiz entertain your customers, but they have the potential to capture valuable segmentation data that you can use to personalize your marketing in the future.

Marketing-Quizzes-What-Kind-Of-Wine-Are-You
ShortStack’s Personality Quiz Template

These are just a few examples of how you can utilize technology and interactive experiences to increase customer engagement this holiday season.

Online Events and Live Video

In the absence of in-person meetings and events, online video-sharing platforms and conferencing tools enable you to create a personal connection with customers without physically being next to them.

Even in the last six months, online events and live video have come along in leaps and bounds. What was once a way for individuals to share funny faces and capture daily moments on their smartphones has become an essential part of brand building on social media.

Here are some examples of ways you can use live video to connect with your audience this holiday season:

  • Q & A Sessions. What better way to interact with your customers than running a live Q & A session to answer their most pressing questions about your business and the way it operates. It’s up to you which types of questions you’ll address, but it could work well to create a branded hashtag and collect questions in a Twitter feed that you can refer to as you answer them.
  • Expert Interviews. Positioning yourself alongside an expert in your industry is a great way to build credibility and trust with your customers. You could apply the Q & A structure to an expert interview so that your customers can get answers to industry-specific questions.
  • Educational Content. Webinars and live events allow you to share a slide deck and educate your customers on important issues or challenges they face. Consider partnering with a complementary brand, expert, or influencer to host the event and boost your credibility and reach.
  • Live Giveaways. Why not take the concept of running a contest or giveaway to the next level by hosting it live online? You could host a full-day event that pieces together multiple prize giveaways with expert guest interviews, interactive games, and customer Q & As – the whole shebang!

Online events and live video streams help humanize your brand by putting a face to it. They are the perfect replacement for an in-person meeting with your customers this holiday season.

Conclusion

How do you plan on elevating the customer experience this year in the absence of in-person events and retail promotions?

With all your competitors ramping up online activity, ad spends, and digital marketing initiatives, you need to find ways to innovate.

Interactive experiences that you can automate with technology, partnered with live video events to humanize your brand, provide the perfect mix of scalability and personalization in the search for better customer engagement.

Will Blunt
will@bloggersidekick.com

Will Blunt is the founder of Sidekick Digital, a publishing business that launches, manages, and grows brands with content marketing. Connect on Twitter here: @WillBluntAU. Read more articles by Will Blunt.