Meaningful engagement is key to determining whether shoppers will buy from you once or come back for more. According to Forrester Predictions 2016, “2016 will prove to be the most consequential year for companies adapting to digitally savvy, empowered customers.”
Following are 3 case studies and tips to help you achieve engagement versus transactions;
1. Engage Consumers To Tell Their Story
American Express is empowering both consumers and travel professionals to honor what the company calls “Journeymakers“SM — the people who go the extra mile to make trips more memorable. Card members and professionals can share stories in a “Gallery of Recognition.”
The company embarked on a marketing campaign themed around Journeymakers in conjunction with their 100th anniversary, “… For our 100th anniversary, American Express Travel wants to help you give recognition…” Email, social media, advertising in consumer and trade publications were all used to encourage participation and there were even Journeymaker cocktails served in American Express Centurion Lounges.
“We want to bring together everyone—our colleagues in the industry, consumers, anyone who is passionate about travel—to celebrate together the people who make great travel experiences possible,” explained Claire Bennett, executive vice president of American Express Travel.
In the Mintel American Lifestyles 2015 report it was stated “Americans seek input from others.” Fiona O’Donnell, Lifestyles Category Manager at Mintel commented, “In a never-ending quest to buy the ‘best,’ consumers are looking to others, peers and strangers alike, to glean from their opinions and experiences in order to validate the choices they’ve made …”
2. Let Consumers Demonstrate How They Use The Product
For the 2015 holiday season, International Delight coffee creamers is asking consumers to “show us how you share holiday moments” for a chance to win a $5,000 catered holiday brunch.
Consumers are asked to “make a video, take a photo, or tell a story“. Posts are shared on a “Spirit Gallery” with top 10 finalists determined by the most votes/likes in each media format. Avenues such as Social media posts encourage consumers to get involved, “Make sure to ‘like’ your favorite entries and share with your friends!”
Establishing communication channels with, and among consumers, lets them give their peers new ideas for product usage in an authentic and credible way. Additionally, when brands take the time to appreciate participation, it cultivates good will and positive brand attitudes. In an Iconosquare 2015 Instagram study it was reported that “65% of Instagram users feel flattered when a brand likes their post.”
3. Let Consumers Get Behind a Cause
Food Network is jumping on the social responsibility bandwagon by asking consumers to “Bake it Forward” this holiday season.
Bakers can join Food Network and No Kid Hungry to provide 1 million meals to children in need by taking a picture of their baked goods and sharing it on social media using the hashtag #BakeItForward. Participants can then go on to nominate a friend to do the same. Food Network has pledged to donate $1 to No Kid Hungry , which provides 10 meals to those in need, for each photo that’s shared and tagged.
In the 2015 Cone Communications/Ebiquity Global CSR Study, it was noted that “consumers have a better understanding and are more optimistic overall about their own ability to make a positive impact.” Alison DaSilva, executive vice president, Cone Communication commented “… This is an opportunity to engage consumers more fully in new Corporate Social Responsibility, collaborating to push the boundaries of responsible consumption and lifestyle.”
The creation of authentic and credible engagement opportunities that provide easy vehicles for brand participation are a critical element of BtoB and BtoC strategies for 2016. Be creative, push the envelope and enable consumers to emotionally engage with your brand.