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4 Forms of Engagement Marketing to Grow Your Business

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Engagement marketing is a strategy that focuses on intentionally interacting with your customers and building relationships with them.

You can do this through outreach, like emails, phone calls, and targeted ads. You can also get people engaging with you by creating great content that draws people in.

There are plenty of things you can do to intentionally engage your audience and build relationships with them. So today we're going to break down four of the most common and easiest to implement engagement marketing channels.

Each is powerful by itself, and as you grow and learn, you'll be able to strengthen your efforts by adding more channels. Let's dig in!

Email Marketing

Email marketing often brings one of the highest returns on investment of any strategy.

Getting people to give you their email address is relatively easy, and emails are so cheap to send that you can reach and convert people even with low average open rates (benchmarks are around 25%).

Email marketing can be very simple, or it can very complicated. You'll probably want to start simple, and get more detailed as you learn and grow.

For starters, there are three types of emails (or campaigns) that you might use:

  • Newsletters
  • Promotions
  • Drip campaigns

Each can be effective alone, but they work really well in conjunction.

Representation of the Customer Buying Journey

Newsletters

Newsletters usually involve sharing a new piece of content you've added to your website (or several).

Unless you're publishing multiple new articles a day, a successful newsletter gives your contacts an introduction to the new article, tells them why it's important that they read it, and then in one way or another says "Click this link to read more."

These newsletters are a great way to share press updates, new valuable information you've added, new features or service descriptions, and even to introduce new employees to your customers.

Promotions

I'd bet this is the type of email you get most. A promotional email pushes a new sale, coupon, or event you're having to customers and other prospects.

These are good for engaging current customers and creating repeat sales, because people who've worked with you once (and have had a good experience), are much more likely to purchase again than those who haven't worked with you yet.

Engagement Marketing Promotion Example

So next time you're giving a seasonal discount or hosting an event, make sure you email all of your contacts about it.

Drip campaigns

Drip campaigns are automated emails that go out to contacts based on forms they've filled out or actions they've taken. You'll see these a lot from bigger or more tech savvy brands.

At some point you've probably downloaded an ebook or subscribed to a blog, only to receive a series of emails over the next few weeks.

That business isn't manually sending out those emails every time. They've created them all once, and then scheduled them to go out to people at certain intervals using a "marketing automation" program.

Truthfully, these emails are easy to create. The difficult part to creating a successful drip campaign is accounting for all the moving pieces.

Sales and Marketing Funnel

For example, if someone signs up for a free trial, what needs to go in the emails you send them before that person upgrades to a paying account? What part of the funnel is this contact in at any time?

How many variables do you need to account for, such as which features or products they really care about, what their goals are, or how many times they've interacted with your brand before?

Drip campaigns are a great way to engage more people without spending any extra time, and they're key to scaling most businesses, but they do take quite a bit of upfront planning.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is all about getting people to come to you. It's kind of like fishing. You toss bait in the water, and with the right bait in the right place, the fish will bite.

Your content is your bait. Articles, ebooks, infographics, videos, whitepapers, and more make up your tackle box. The internet is where you go to fish.

Inbound marketing focuses on providing valuable content for your target customers. Often, this means answering their questions in helpful ways providing solutions that can improve their situation. 

You create this content to live on your website. Then, through search engine optimization and various social media platforms, people find your bait - I mean, content. And then they come to you.

If people find your content particularly helpful, they'll take a next step - giving you their email address or even purchasing, depending on the situation.

Inbound engagement marketing methodology

This strategy engages people by making resources they want easy to find and obtain. If your content is particularly helpful, people will spend more time interacting with it and engaging with your brand.

Typically, inbound marketing flows something like this:

  1. You create content.
  2. You make that content easy to find and access.
  3. People who are really interested will take a next step.
  4. You use email, calls, and ads to move contacts through your funnel.
  5. Some percentage makes a purchase.

People flock to value, so when you provide more value more often, you'll engage more customers - and make more money, too.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is similar to inbound marketing. You create a lot of helpful and valuable content (articles, videos, infographics, etc.), and then spend time and resources promoting it to target audiences and publishers.

There are several inbound aspects to content marketing, but the big difference is that content marketing involves pushing your content out to people more than bringing in visitors organically.

Types of Digital Internet Marketing

It's a powerful channel for most business, because with a few dollars you're able to get your message in front of the right people. You can do this by emailing your content out to all your leads or customers, and promoting it in paid ads on social media, among other ways.

Through this, you'll encourage shares and comments, even subscriptions and sales! And you'll expose your brand to people you likely haven't been able to reach before.

As more people find value in your content and share it, your content will add more value to your brand. When done right, this creates a virtuous circle of growth and engagement.

Who doesn't want that?

For more details, view our guide: 3 Content Marketing Fundamentals and Why They Work.

Text Messaging

People spend more time on their phones than on anything else these days, and the number one form of mobile communication is text messaging.

You can create a lot of engagement with customers - and strengthen a lot of relationships - by simply communicating the same way they already communicate with each other.

Consumers would rather text you than call someone else

Friends text each other, and 89% of consumers want to message a business, so why not join in?

Text messaging can be used for marketing messages, sales, general communications, lead generation, customer service, and more. For more details, view our guide: 15 Unique Conversation Starters to Drive Customer Communications.

In Sum

Engagement marketing should be a focal strategy for your business. The better you become at building relationships with customers, the better off your business will be.

Similarly, the better you are at giving customers and leads reasons to interact with you again, the stronger your brand will become. Use these four channels to get there, and let us know if we can help!

Related: 7 Small Business Marketing Tips to Drive Exponential Growth