Creating Interactive Conversations With Consumers

  |  March 22, 2012   |  Comments

Seven principles for using digital channels to drive engagement.

I am speaking at SES New York on how to use digital channels to drive over 51 percent engagement. My presentation is a compilation of best practices that have helped me create interactive conversations with the consumers that I serve. Here are seven of 17 key principles to think about.

1. Intrigue versus incentive. If you offer an incentive to get people to sign up for your email list or give them an incentive to "like" or "follow" on a social network, their attention seems to wane away after the incentive has gone. Instead, think about using intrigue - ask them a question that will make them want to know the answer. Follow up by asking more questions to get to know them better and use this information to create segments. Also, smaller incentives tend to increase loyalty more so than a one-time larger incentive.

2. Create expectation and build anticipation. Show your consumer what they will be getting by signing up for your digital program. Tell them about the type of content they are going to receive via digital and the value of that content. Use your channels to show the excitement and build up anticipation - this way the consumer looks forward to interacting with your brand.

3. So they told you (but is that what they did?). Your consumer listed a few of their preferences; they told you what they liked and what they didn't like. You need to observe their preferences to see if they hold true. Use this interaction history to confirm what they originally told you and build up a rich repository of preferences that can be leveraged for future dialogue.

4. Take a look at your content. Your consumer can be engaged by multiple media options. You have to make your content interesting and enjoyable - integrate words, pictures, and even video to tell a compelling story. Take as much time to think about the picture you want to use, as it helps you to tell the story and "makes" your message more enjoyable. Video is very powerful if it is done well.

5. How are you going to grab the consumer's attention? Once you have written your multi-media message, think about the headlines that will help you grab the consumer's attention. You may come up with two to three headlines that can be used via email, Twitter, and Facebook. You can incorporate more headlines by taking parts of your main email messaging and promoting them on social networks.

6. Recycle good content. Alternatively, you can take the most popular articles from your social sites and share them with your email list. You can measure the popularity of the article with a combined score of total comments, shares, and views. A simple, "Our most popular articles…" goes a long way in getting consumers to pay attention.

7. Build your insiders club. The best way to get consumers to pay attention to your brand is to utilize your brand ambassadors. Find consumers who like your brand and are willing to spread the word on your behalf. Leverage testimonials by asking often and for specifics.

Good luck with driving up your engagement, and I look forward to connecting at SES.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sundeep Kapur

Sundeep Kapur has been assisting organizations with their converged channel marketing strategies since 1990. From direct marketing to digital to converged, he is a passionate teacher who works with businesses across multiple industries, helping them to enable technology and services to brand, and personalize and speak to consumers more effectively.

He is an industry-recognized expert who has delivered keynotes, run panels, and delivered "relevant, inspirational, and outstanding" education for organizations around the world.

Sundeep is also an avid user of social media, having leveraged words, pictures, and video into a conversational digital book. His daily dose of best practices can be found at www.EmailYogi.com, where he has more than 1,200 articles on best practices.

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