Develop an engagement plan

To be successful, you need to start with a clear strategy, plan and approach for your engagement marketing. Your plan will have to include how you will reach out to your audience. You also need to firm up which media you will use and how you will be able to respond and interact with your engaged participants.

Integrate with your marketing mix

All aspects of your marketing communications need to blend together seamlessly, which is why your engagement plan is so important. Every outreach in your arsenal needs to include a ‘call to action’ for engagement. Use direct mail, email, social media and even telemarketing, where it’s appropriate for your outreach. Try to move your audience from one marketing channel to another to  increase engagement.

Focus on content and relationship

Water dealers who want to attract new customers need to make their audience feel that you are providing them with information they can’t get from anyone else. That’s why they are hanging on your every word! You can build genuine relationships by providing great content that is important to the individual. This is the best way of achieving the two key goals of engagement marketing. These are creating loyalty and being the expert.

Become a thought leader

Expand your reach by becoming a guest blogger or commentator on other sites. Consider writing articles for trade magazines. Or, you might speak about water quality at the local chamber of commerce or PTA. These actions give you more credibility. As a result, you will have opportunity for additional interactions.

Grow your list

Use permission-based techniques to encourage subscriptions to your own email list. This way you can reach out to customers and prospects via email, phone or direct mail. You can do this in a variety of way. Think about contest entries, subscription registration, water testing and bottle drops, or using a lead magnet to drive interest. You might also want to add look-alikes to your list, using rented prospect lists for both mail and electronic marketing.

Invite readers to interact with your blog

You want to establish a culture and enthusiasm for engagement. You can do this by encouraging your audience to contribute comments and suggestions to your blogs and posts. This helps them connect with you even further.  Their comments are also broadcast to their networks. Consequently, this increases your reach with their connected communities.

Conduct surveys and polls

Run surveys from time to time to give your customers and prospect audiences the chance to tell you what they think. This is another way to initiate engagement for learning from and about your listening community. Use surveys or web polls to start the dialogue that is relevant to the individual. Water dealers who want to attract new customers need to know what their existing customers like. Just remember, you may get negative input. In this case, you will want to take action ASAP!

Engage with social networking on the appropriate sites

For business-to-business (B2B), use LinkedIn. If your goal is to attract consumers, try Facebook and Instagram. If you’re looking for a younger consumer segment, consider Snapchat. Remember, in social networking, you are not hard-selling. Rather you are engaging with people in their own interest areas. Your goal is that they share your content with their own networks. For example, remember the Larry David clip I emailed to my social networks in the water industry? It was shared hundreds of times, which broadened my outreach in the industry tremendously.

Marketing on social sites

Marketing on social sites is not the same as networking and posting puppy pictures. This is the opportunity to upload email addresses of clients and prospects to Facebook or Google. When you do this, you can increase your visibility and boost your brand. Your goal here is to start the engagement process on social media sites using sponsored posts and ads. Likewise, you can also target look-alike audiences. By this I mean reaching out to people who look like your existing customer.

After the sale

Encourage customers to give you great reviews on your products and services and share those reviews with their networks.

Conclusion

Remember, once you have an interested community engaging with you, make sure you keep the lines of communication going. In this way, you can learn and adjust your strategy. You goal is to ensure your engagement marketing will deliver bottom-line results to your business. You want to increase your customer base and repeat sales from your engaged customers. Make them trust you. And then they will buy from you.

 

NOTE: reprinted from

 

About the author
Dale “DataDale” Filhaber is President of Dataman Group Direct, a Florida-based direct marketing company founded in 1981. She is an author, lecturer, listologist and direct-marketing innovator. In the past 30+ years, Filhaber has trained many water qualitydealers in direct marketing and lead generation techniques. These techniques range from direct mail to telemarketing to social media. Her latest book, Lead Generation for Water Quality Dealers, has received rave reviews and can be purchased at Amazon.com. Filhaber is also the author of Pure Water Profits, a blog on marketing focusing on the water treatment industry. She is also a frequent guest lecturer at the annual WQA conference. Filhaber can be reached by phone, (800) 771-3282 or email, dale@datamangroup.com