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What Does "Customer Engagement" Mean, Anyway?

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A lot of buzzword's are thrown around in digital marketing, and "customer engagement" is perhaps the biggest. But what exactly does "customer engagement" mean, anyway?

We'll explain below, and add context for why marketers care about it so much. Let's dive in!

Why do marketers care about customer engagement?

Business in 2017 is fast-paced, and it's only getting faster. If business feels fast-paced internally, imagine what it feels like to consumers! They interact with dozens of companies every day, and they're all moving at fast.

With so much going on, it's more important now than ever to continually interact with your audience - whoever they are - even if they're already customers.

People have short attention spans, particularly online. It's not because we're ADHD, but because there's so much going on, and all of it's trying to get our attention.

Average Adults Daily Media and Ad Exposure

The brain can only focus on one thing at a time. If you're not actively interacting with your audience (i.e. if you're not practicing customer engagement), some other business will.

You need to be able to grab their attention and keep it. And you need to give customers a reason to stay with you instead of going to a competitor who does keep them engaged.

So, what exactly is customer engagement?

Customer engagement is a marketing practice that most businesses today have to implement just to stay afloat. Exactly how to engage customers is different from one business to the next, but the premise remains the same.

For instance, to a local business, customer engagement could mean being active in your community. You're constantly interacting with your target audience (local community members), so when they need the services you offer, they think of you - not someone else.

If you're a digital media agency, it could mean creating content (blog posts, videos, infographics, etc.) to publicize on various channels. You're drawing in potential Google searchers, and giving current followers and customers something new to engage with.

Whatever your business or industry, you can think of it like this:


Customer engagement is a process of interacting with your audiences to grow your reputation and customer base.


This can happen through word-of-month and customer testimonials, through sharing posts on social media, or by intentionally striking up conversations with customers, among other options.

Customer engagement is one of the most important tactics of today's thriving businesses. With so much vying for people's attention, you have to be able to stand out. Customer engagement helps you do just that.

Related: 15 Unique Conversation Starters to Drive Customer Communications