Effective engagement in the digital space

For one to succeed in the digital space, it is very crucial to factor in audience engagement as a first priority strategy. By factoring in engagement by the audience, there is an emotional bond created that exponentially increase audience loyalty. In order for the engagement to be effective, there are some strategies that one needs to put in place such as omnichannel or multichannel, a comprehensive loyalty program, personalized communication among others.

Firstly, in order to acquire better engagement with different personas in the digital space, it is important for the host to add personality to whatever service they are providing. The digital space has an effect of dehumanizing the engagement between a host and their audience which inhibits the creation of an emotional bond. Furthermore, audiences become loyal and engage better to a host that they can relate to. This can be achieved in various ways such as: giving sneak peeks of the behind the scenes which establishes authenticity which creates a deeper emotional level with the audience which translates to loyalty which is basically better and effective engagement. Moreover, with the current information overload available, unless a host has fostered an emotional contact, it is very easy for the audience to lose focus and to switch to other service providers.

Any digital space should consider the omnichannel approach over the multichannel approach. The latter involves various channels used in promoting or distributing products that function separately and independently whereas the former involves the uniformity of different channels. In example, in a multichannel approach, an audience can interact with an online store and offer information and cease communication and afterwards approach the physical store of the same company, and since they are independent departments, the information provided by the customer is not available to the physical store.

In an omnichannel approach of the same audience, the online store is well versed with the information which allows the customer to have a singular experience throughout different channels, which makes them feel valued and loyalty is created. It also allows the audience to interact with the service provider in a manner they prefer which enforces the audience priority strategy and fosters an effective engagement. Companies that have benefited from the omnichannel approach include: Nike, Amazon, Apple, Starbucks, Walgreens among others.

In approaching an audience, it is important to personalize the communication. This requires the host to be well-versed with audience preferences or information in order to be incredibly accurate. Personalization recognizes that every customer is different. Some of the companies that have effectively incorporated personalization are Netflix, Spotify and Amazon as they have curated what their consumers love and given them preferences based on it.

It is very important to have a strategy detailing a loyalty program that is well suited to the audience the host has or is targeting. The challenge in every digital space is retaining the existing audience and sufficiently engaging them to become advocates of the host to other people. Depending on the level of the host service provider, a loyalty program could be as simple as rewarding the audience with a free service after a number of referrals or orders or making them influences or brand ambassadors for the service they have received or offering a VIP service with various benefits.

Effective engagement involves actively and promptly responding to the audience questions, feedback, calls and more. Speed is very necessary as the audience is impatient and, in the event, where speed is lacking, it is very possible for the audience to lose interest and move on to another service provider who can offer a better experience. This calls for an internal initiative that requires the whole team to ensure that at all times the audience is speedily taken care of.

Effective engagement in the digital space is highly dependent on various aspects such as proper teams in place, available time and money, organizational alignment among other factors. It is still a challenge to many as audiences are different depending on the industry involved. However, it has the potential to be realized once one is comprehensively aware of their audience’s needs, demands and what drives them.