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Internet Marketing that Engages Customers

Engagement Marketing Builds a Big Following
The disruptive force of the Internet has created the biggest marketing opportunity since the advent of the television.  Engagement marketing is Internet marketing with a focus on engaging customers with value added content and information.  This interactive form of Internet marketing is emerging as a leading strategy because it earns you the right to communicate with customers on a going basis so you can build a long term relationship.  

“But, do customer’s really want a relationship?”, you may ask.  If all we do is capture their name and tell them how great our company is, they will have no interest.  But if we engage customers on THEIR terms, and provide them with information THEY are interested in, then we can build a dialog with them that builds trust in the brand.

The nature of the relationship between company and customer must evolve from “telling customers OUR message” to “engaging them with compelling content THEY are interested in”.  This is because today’s consumers have the technology and power to control what information they receive, when and how.   Consumers now use the Internet as their primary tool in getting the information they need.  Consumers proactively seek out information at the time when they are interested in it. This completely changes the marketing game from outbound marketing to inbound marketing. 

Inbound Marketing
With inbound marketing the tables are turned.  Instead of defining our target market and then “finding them”, we need to figure out how to enable them to “find us”.  There are two big advantages to the new paradigm of inbound marketing.  First, most companies have not yet figured it out.  Therefore, the companies that strike first by investing in inbound marketing can get a head start on their slower competitors.

Second, and most important, when customers use the Internet to search for information on a topic, they will be receptive to a message.  And the best way to get attention and to become known to your customer is to provide them with value added information on a topic they care about at a time when they are interested.   Search Engine Optimization and Pay-per-click advertising are the two biggest Internet marketing tools for your customers to find you.

Engagement Marketing Methodology
At Brand Periscope, we approach Internet Marketing with an Engagement Marketing Methodology.   While inbound marketing focuses on having customers find you, engagement marketing deals with the entire customer experience of how to attract, engage, and convert customers.  

Our Engagement Marketing Methodology defines five clear steps: i) Be Different, ii) Attract, iii) Engage, iv) Convert, and v) Nurture.

Methology
  1. Be Different! First, it is important to offer something unique and different to the market.  This unique value proposition should be clearly defined in a brand strategy & positioning document and internalized across the company.  Then, the value proposition should come to life in the brand identity.  When a company offers something unique, then everything else will be more effective and generate a higher return.  When a company offers a commodity, all the sales and marketing efforts risk quickly retreating to winning business through price competition that reduces the profit margin.
  2. Attract.  To build awareness and attract customers, the Internet Marketing tool box includes: the company website, search engine optimization, search engine marketing (AdWords), and social marketing.  Outbound marketing can be added with traditional media as well as outbound email or telemarketing efforts.
  3. Engage.  It is not enough to attract customers to our website.  We must ENGAGE them!  Otherwise they will quickly bounce from our grasp to another site and a different company that makes a better connection.  By taking a “relationship approach” with visitors and asking the question “How can I add value to my visitors?” we can begin to engage them with relevant and compelling content.  Our goal is to make them like us and then to build credibility that we are a subject matter expert in a topic they care about.  To build the relationship we need to talk about their problems and challenges and the subjects that interest them; not necessarily about what we want to talk about.  Our Internet marketing toolbox for this includes: blogs, PDF’s of customer problems, videos of customer problems, social media, PDF’s of customer solutions, tips and tricks, testimonials, and case studies.  
  4. Convert.  Engagement marketing is like building other types of relationships.  Most people need to get comfortable with a situation before making a commitment.  After we engage them we earn the right to ask for increasing levels of commitment that might ultimately result in a purchase.   Initially, our call to action can be for smaller commitments such as posting a comment to a blog, signing up for an e-newsletter, registering to download a document or case study, or contacting us about a product or service.   Ultimately, our goal is to build the relationship to a point that, when the customer is ready, we are at the top of their list of companies they would like to do business with.
  5. Nurture.  When we win business we want to deliver a great customer outcome that truly delights the customer.  This gives us the opportunity to move from a “Transactional Mentality” to a “Relationship Mentality”.  When we sell a deal as a transaction, we earn the profit from a single deal.  When we build a relationship with customers, we generate profit that endures over the lifetime of the relationship.  Nurturing customer relationships opens several doors that lead to new leads, sales, and profit.  We can get additional business from existing customers.  Loyal customers can become advocates who provide valuable testimonials and case studies for the website.  Additionally, loyal customers are the most likely to provide referrals that lead to new business.

Contact Us and Start Engaging your Customers!

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