The world of marketing and communication has shifted. Prior to the advent of the internet and social media, brands of the world communicated in a one-sided fashion with their consumers, feeding them the intended messages via non-interactive campaigns. Advertisements bombarded consumers, articles appeared in publications… the dialogue was absent.
Nowadays, with the power of social media, brands are much more vulnerable and studies have shown that consumers are more influenced by their peers and network, versus the messages a brand is sharing. This shift has changed perceptions, whereby consumers are expecting more from brands. They expect a connection to be made, personalization of experiences and for brands to listen. After all, where is the first place consumers go to, to vent or complain about a brand?
The brand’s response rate is integral.
How can brands engage consumers more?
1) Tell stories. Storytelling is the new way to engage consumers and capture their attention in a saturated world.
2) Develop emotional connections. Introduce yourself and tell them personal stories. It also helps to source brand ambassadors to create loyalty.
3) Giveaways and gifts. Consumers like to receive gifts. Incentivize it for them via contests and photo competitions. Genuinely make them feel their opinion matters.
4) Listen. When a consumer gives you feedback, acknowledge it. Thank them for taking the time to share with you how you can improve the experience. If you can implement it, do so!