Customer engagement online is changing. Content is becoming highly interactive and is distributed in ways that allow people to access it from wherever they are via their laptops or other portable devices such as smartphones.
Industrial brands can’t ignore this shift toward greater interactivity across numerous kinds of devices; they have to adjust to these changes. But how? Here are six customer engagements techniques industrial marketers can try out to attract new customers while satisfying their current clients.
Statistics from Facebook indicate that Messenger handles more than two billion business-related messages between customers and clients every month. People are accustomed to sending text-based messages to their friends, and many are comfortable with doing the same when they communicate with businesses.
Chatbots allow industrial companies to continue to engage customers outside of operating hours. They can answer some of the most common questions, giving people the information they need at any time.
It’s also possible to program chatbots to take users through short quizzes about themselves and what they need. Then, the chatbot delivers them personalized advertising through subsequent responses.
Chatbots can also help spread the word about new products, upcoming webinars, and other things brands want to advertise through less subtle means. Some apps and platforms allow for the sending of chat blasts, which deliver a message to every member of a brand’s contact list.
2. Live Streaming
Increasingly fast Internet connections and data plans support the growing prevalence of live-streamed events. Such content can really pay off in the B2B sector and should be relatively easy to produce considering that one recent survey shows that 96 percent of B2B customers already use video marketing.
Live-streamed videos are excellent ways for industrial brands to foster customer engagement and keep clients in the loop. For example, a brand might live stream a product demonstration or a trade-show presentation for people who can’t attend in person.
Industrial companies might also use live streaming to give behind-the-scenes tours of factories. For example, if a plant is investing in advanced robotics or other cutting-edge technology, it could post videos of new equipment getting installed. That approach would position the company as innovative and able to meet evolving customer needs.
3. Mobile Content
Smartphones are ubiquitous in today’s society and provide countless opportunities for customer engagement.
A study published in 2018 indicates that people are more likely to view Internet content on their smartphones than on their computers. With that in mind, industrial brands should adopt mobile-first mindsets when they create social media posts. For example, they should ensure that images are properly sized to appear as expected on small screens and keep text-based content as brief as possible to prevent unnecessary scrolling.
These principles also apply when industrial brands create email product announcements or newsletters for their customers, as well as website design, of course. The best approach to take is to assume that any digital content a brand offers will be seen on smartphones by some people in their target audience.
4. Story-Driven Video Content
B2B industrial brands should also investigate how to tell stories with videos this year. Google calls the concept “storyselling” and thinks 2019 will be the year it takes off. In a feature about the topic, Google cites an example of how one skincare brand boosted its lifetime value sales from $40,000 to $4 million.
Quincy Compressor, an air compressor manufacturer, offers a prime example of how to execute story-driven content in the industrial sector using video. Its ”Avoid the Nightmares” clip warns people of the consequences of unaddressed air compressor leaks — both for company balance sheets and executive sleep quality.
When they’re creating video stories like these, B2B companies should think of pain points their audience members experience and then determine how their brand can provide relief from those issues, using those insights as a basis for creating a story with relatable language and imagery to engage viewers.
5. Succinct Email Forms
Despite the myriad methods for capturing leads, marketers who work in the industrial sector should not overlook using online forms for lead-generation purposes. A study of marketers across all sectors found that nearly three-quarters of marketers use forms to get information from leads.
A different survey found that the form fields engineers most often fill out are “name,” “work email,” and “company” when accessing content meant for technical audiences. Notably, the same survey also indicated that engineers complete more than half of their interactions with a company before reaching out to a sales representative.
These findings emphasize why websites used for industrial marketing must be highly informative and designed to foster customer engagement. When creating forms, industrial marketers should stay mindful of their audiences and convey the value they will deliver in exchange for contact details, such as a white paper. Otherwise, people may not be compelled to complete the forms and submit them.
6. Data Analytics
Research indicates that 67 percent of manufacturing executives plan to invest in big data analytics. Many of them believe the tech could increase production. And while analytics tools in factories are certainly important, it’s also smart to apply them to marketing campaigns.
Before big data platforms were so widely available, marketers had to rely on guesswork and gut instinct. Now, it’s possible to see which marketing efforts are most successful, which channels customers go through before coming to websites, and more.
If industrial marketers want to succeed in the modern era, they should not overlook these platforms or the insights they could provide. The information gleaned from data could shape later marketing initiatives, be used to increase customer engagement, and show which marketing channels or types of content capture leads or cause them to look elsewhere.
Responding Confidently to Changes in Customer Engagement
Recognizing how customer engagement methods are changing is a key to marketing success. Responding to developments in the industry may mean trying new tactics to appeal to customers and experimenting with the trends mentioned here.
As always, industrial marketers should tweak any methods attempted to make them maximally appropriate for their intended audiences. As with most marketing in the digital era, it’s best to try something, observe, and adjust based on performance.