13 Strategies to Drive Customer Participation in Marketing Initiatives
From social media giveaways to local in-store contests, businesses have found innovative ways to spark customer engagement around their marketing initiatives. Regardless of what specific approach is used, it’s crucial for businesses to not only capture attention but also create a sense of excitement and involvement among customers. However, leaders may not always be sure of the best way to drive that engagement.
To help entrepreneurs and business leaders looking to drum up engagement around a specific marketing initiative, 13 members of Rolling Stone Culture Council shared their expert insights. Read on to discover their best strategies for increasing customer engagement and why they’re effective in driving success.
Match the Approach to the Customer
Making sure the approach matches the customer you are trying to reach. Different types of people access information in different ways and have different motivations for taking action. From cannabis consumer data, we know that the motivations, behaviors and characteristics of consumers are varied. Does your campaign speak to the person you want to activate? – Amanda Reiman, Personal Plants
Give the Best Possible Customer Experience
Plan to capture the attention of existing customers by making sure they have the best experience possible when they are interacting with your brand throughout their journey. Improve customer engagement by creating a customer loyalty program. These encourage repeat business and boost brand loyalty. Reward loyal customers through coupons, points, discounts, special gifts and more. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Agency. Inc
A user-generated content (UGC) campaign is an effective way to drive consumer engagement. UGC campaigns foster authenticity, increase brand visibility, save costs and build a loyal community. By encouraging customers to create and share their own content, businesses can capitalize on the trust and credibility that come from real-life experiences, ultimately boosting sales. – Joshua Adragna, Eyerate
Leverage the power of scarcity. Consumers in younger generations are willing to sacrifice their time and money to be unique and stand out from everyone else. – Adam Ayers, Number 5
Do Story Shoutouts
Involving clients through story shoutouts during giveaways is a great way to get your product seen organically by a lot of people. This marketing tactic is commonly used by companies like Venmo and Cash App to drive brand awareness. Don’t just have someone comments on a post and tag people; actually have them show their followers what’s going on. Make sure the reward is worth people doing so. – Christian Anderson (Trust’N), Lost Boy Entertainment LLC
A giveaway via an email redemption or mail-in rebate and asking the audience questions will translate into customer engagement. To be effective, the campaign must target qualified leads via audience questions. Broad-match questions will not be effective in reaching the campaign tipping point. – Adam Rumanek, Aux Mode Inc.
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Create a Sense of Urgency
Businesses can drive engagement by creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity around campaigns. For example, they can limit the time frame for entry or offer exclusive prizes. This creates a feeling of excitement and encourages customers to act quickly, which can lead to increased engagement and brand loyalty. – Theo Sastre-Garau, NFTevening
Leverage ‘Community-Source’ Content
Open innovation and design thinking take customer engagement to the next level. It communicates that a business trusts its community enough to rely on its skills for development. Transitioning from the giveaway to the contest is not easy; community sourcing implies investing in customers’ feedback, letting them be the protagonist of their consumer narrative. – Jacob Mathison, Mathison Projects Inc
Host a Contest
Contests are terrific; it’s easy for consumers to join and an excellent analytic tool for companies, but beneath the gimmick is genuine engagement. Ensure that your contest and prize are on brand with the campaign or product. Inspire users to join with motivational images, videos or quotes, and don’t forget to show thanks to your participants by liking and re-sharing relevant posts. – Cynthia Johnson, Bell + Ivy
Gamify Your Marketing
A super-effective way to drive engagement is through gamification. Gamification refers to the use of game-like elements, such as challenges and rewards, to motivate and engage. This technique works because it taps into our innate, and very human, desire to “win.” If the initiative is fun or interactive, customers are more likely to participate, interact and organically share on social media. – Jennifer Sodini, Hidden Hand Media
Move Beyond Social Media
Consumers have never been more connected, but it’s never been harder to connect with them. Today you can still buy media, but you can no longer buy attention. You have to earn it. Modern marketing is about relationships, not the medium. So move beyond social media, own your fans and IP — and carry a huge opt-in email marketing database. – Igor Beuker, Igor Beuker
Go Back to Your (Grass) Roots
If it is a new product rolling out in stores, offer digital swag when someone gives a shoutout of where they saw it. Ask people to share and the most shares gets a free ticket or some sort of perk. It’s grassroots marketing at its best. – Susan Johnston, New Media Film Festival®
Tease Campaigns Before They’re Live
We’ve found doing a tease of a sale, promo or giveaway before it’s live can be a great way to get people to sign up, pre-build their cart or get interested before the campaign is fully live. Rewarding people for word of mouth is also a natural way to increase your reach without driving your spend up for the campaign. – Ben Spell, GOOD RANCHERS