User engagement is the process of customers interacting with one’s brand. How a customer interacts with one’s website and application will determine the success of their business.
Metrics like how many sales one achieves and the number of positive reviews they receive help business owners build upon the things they already have to create more customer engagement.
Business owners measure the number of downloads, shares, and clicks to determine user engagement. When it comes down to social media, business owners look at the number of views, likes, and new followers to determine how well their content performed.
These user engagement metrics help business owners tune into their mission to impact their audience positively. Engaged users believe in what a business owner has to say. They can relate to the mission of their product and services.
In short, they found value in what one’s business offers to its community. User engagement is so important to the success of a business because engaged users are invested users.
Invested users are brand ambassadors who not only purchase and use products with great success but spread the positive word about the impact that it has had on their lives as well. An engaged user increases money-making opportunities for a business.
Invested users provide valuable feedback that can work in favor of the business and help them create more products and services to reach a more extensive community. It’s safe to say that customer feedback feeds the success of a business.
Valuable feedback is the foundation every business needs to keep up with changes in the industry and stay in the market against their competitors.
How Do I Get User Engagement?
A business owner can get valuable user engagement feedback by providing the channels they need to share their experiences with them. Responding to every customer’s feedback in a timely manner, taking their concerns seriously, and showing them that their voice matters will determine the business’s reputation.
The Four Types of User Engagement
User engagement is not a one-way street. In fact, the way a user engages with a brand is dependent on their preferences and what works best for them.
User engagement is misunderstood in the business world because many are unaware of technology’s role in making engagement more feasible for everyone. Engaged daily users interact with a brand not only because they love the product but because it’s easy to do so.
Opening an app and clicking a like button or a star representing how satisfied they are with the product are easy tasks. Let’s face it, many users will only write a story about their experience if the product or service negatively impacts their lives.
Highly engaged users are usually happy to share their experiences and even help teach other customers how to make the most out of the product. Here are the four types of user engagement.
The Contextual Engagement
Context includes understanding the “why” behind a customer’s engagement. Technology is the liaison that helps marketers better understand why consumers react to their products in a certain way.
For example, customers who engage with a brand at a particular time of day may do so because they see a specific infomercial play on the television.
If a brand knows that an infomercial is increasing sales, they can make changes to it to offer upsells with the current offer. They can also offer deals and limited-time offers that create urgency in their buying market.
The Engagement of Convenience
The engagement of convenience is self-explanatory. Many businesses add convenience to the shopping experience to increase user engagement. Think about it. How many people use the Walmart app to do their grocery shopping?
It takes the guesswork, time, and effort from the shopping experience. All they have to do is select the items they need on the app and drive up to the designated section of the store to pick up their food. They don’t even have to get out of their cars.
Walmart associates bring their food out and put it inside the car for them. Customers who don’t even want to pick up their groceries can order them on Amazon or Instacart.
While grocery shopping online is a newer way of shopping, it has grown dramatically in a small amount of time. Customers share their experiences with these companies. All of the customer feedback is used to improve user engagement.
If the engagement of convenience can be utilized in a business, definitely use it. Consumers may choose a product or service based on convenience versus a need.
How often have you purchased something at your local Dollar General Store that wasn’t what you usually use because you didn’t want to go to Walmart for one thing?
The Emotional Engagement
Many business owners miss the mark by not taking into account emotional engagement. Since humans are emotional creatures, creating convenience and relevance of contextual engagement will depend on emotions. User behavior is based on emotions.
Emotions play a significant part in the buying decisions of consumers. For some, emotions are the driving factor of all their choices. A great example is the OtterBox iPhone phone case. Many users hate that the case is big and bulky.
Unfortunately, the same users have experienced the trauma of dropping their phone unexpectedly, breaking it, or getting it wet. This incident typically results in the inconvenience of needing to purchase a new phone.
For a short time, they may have to live without their number one companion that’s always attached at the hip. The problem creates fear around losing their phone, which is why big and bulky waterproof hard cases are still on the market today.
The Social Engagement
Social engagement is influencer marketing. Influencer marketing can come from the business owner. Or just as important, it can come from a customer who uses their products and services with great success.
Influencer marketing is one reason why affiliate marketing is a great way to make money today. Business owners offer these opportunities to consumers because it benefits their short- and long-term business goals.
Consumers talk about the great experience they had with a product and imbed internal links to the product in their testimony, which influences potential customers to try out the product or service. Then in return for their influence, the brand owner pays the consumer a percentage of the sale.
How many believe that engagement is the actual act of clicking, liking, and even buying a product or service? The truth is that engagement is what happens before the consumer takes action. If the user feels that the product will work for them and address a pain point they’ve been struggling with, they will try it.
The Five Levels of User Engagement
Now that we understand the four types of engagement, we can move on to the five levels of user engagement. Each of the five levels of user engagement help put the types of engagement in motion. Thoughts create emotions that create action.
If a brand consistently advertises their product to their potential customers and they start to relate to it, it will only be a matter of time before their thoughts will create an emotion that makes them feel like their lives will be better with the product.
Once that happens, they will more than likely try the product. If the customer gets a great result from the product, you may have just achieved a loyal customer. Let’s talk about the five levels of user engagement.
The Art of Evangelism
Let’s start with evangelism. Evangelism is not to be confused with religion. Evangelism is the process of persuading people to believe in a religion but not religion itself. Evangelism changes a potential customer’s mind from unawareness and disbelief to belief.
The whole purpose is to enhance brand awareness and get potential customers interested in what a brand offers. Evangelism is the most crucial aspect of marketing. Social media posts, commercials, and email marketing initiate and maintain the process of evangelism.
Once the process of evangelism has created belief and a potential customer’s mind about a brand product, it’s time to educate them on the service offer. Engaged users need to believe in a product and trust that their investment is worth it.
An active user of a weight bench needs to know that if they work out on a specific weight bench regularly, they will be safe from injury and achieve the results they desire when they want to achieve them.
Education is the bridge that fills that gap between believing and investing. Education teaches the consumer how the product can solve their problem and enhance their quality of life. It can be as minor as creating foam on top of a cup of chai tea or as complex as overcoming knee pain.
This is also the opportunity for the business to teach their community about how the product came about, their mission to address a specific pain point for their consumers, and why they passionately believe in their product. Education is a great selling point for increasing your product’s number of engaged users.
Another way to enhance customer engagement through education is personalized onboarding or in-person product training. Onboarding enhances user experiences and engages users’ attention to a new service or product. It also has the power to increase the customer retention rate.
It is safe to say that each customer experiences a user journey. The ease of acclamation and progression in that journey can be enhanced by onboarding.
Onboarding creates customer retention because it illuminates the guesswork associated with understanding the ins and outs of a product. It creates an atmosphere of understanding patience for the brand.
Personalized onboarding shows the customer that the brand isn’t just there to close the deal but to ensure a great experience. It is also a great place to collect user feedback.
Some customers would object to onboarding. However, the customers that are open to it are grateful for the process. Personalized onboarding is a win-win for the brand owners because it increases customer satisfaction.
User experience creates the opportunity for growth in any business. User engagement is the driving force behind enhancing a product’s capabilities. When a customer repeatedly uses a product or frequents a store, a relationship starts to form.
Their relationship opens the door to getting meaningful customer feedback and creating products that add certain features for its users. Happy paying customers will always recommend a product or service to their circle of family, friends, and associates. The business’s overall profitability increases as a result of customer advocacy.
Most engaged users become empowered when they know that a brand cares about them as human beings and not just the money they gain from each sale. High user engagement results from this. Positive user behavior is when a customer is happy and proud to purchase a product from a brand.
For example, women who purchased an at-home chemical peel are proud product users because of their results. They have enhanced the look and feel of their skin. They are more confident in themselves and how they look.
These women could complete the process at home with few side effects. Now they are empowered brand ambassadors willing to provide pictures and share their experiences that will motivate other women to purchase the product.
Enlistment is being a brand ambassador at its best. The most engaged users are loyal customers that love a brand product so much they are willing to work as an influencer. Some may even opt to work for the brand because of the positive impact that it has had on their lives.
A great example of this is an individual who has had years of experience driving a Honda. This individual loves the Honda brand, knows how reliable the car is, and understands all the ins and outs of maintaining the vehicle.
They enjoy the brand so much that they are willing to help Honda make more sales by working as a car salesman. The individual spends their days matching customers up with the car that fits their needs and most of their preferences.
They have become an enlistment to the brand by choice. The same applies to individuals who work at beauty supply stores or specific makeup brands. The makeup has enhanced their skin, and they just want to spread the awareness of the experience to make the world a better place.
When that happens, brand owners can tweak their strategy to ensure it still fits in with their business goals. However, there are seven elements that each customer engagement strategy must include.
The Elements of a User Engagement Strategy
User engagement is not something that just happens. A brand has to have a profitable customer engagement strategy to enhance the overall success of its business. Changes in the industry, as well as what works for the customers, will change with time.
Before a user engagement strategy can be created, a brand must know the goals they are looking to accomplish. Having a certain number of sales is only a part of the goal.
For example, business goals for a candle-making business can include sales, awareness, community building around a particular audience, loyalty, and even increasing the customers’ self-confidence and self-worth.
If the storyline behind each name of each candle scent aims to accomplish this, one has now created a goal for engagement.
Now that the engagement goals have been determined, how will the brand convey its message to its current and potential customers? At this point, it is vital to determine what message will relate to the customers’ pain point and how.
The fun part about constructing a message is understanding it can change over time. It relieves the pressure of thinking that one must create a perfect message now. To make this process fun, one can interview members of their target audience.
Interviewing individuals in person or online through social media surveys, blog posts, and email marketing work. Once enough research is conducted, it’s safe to say that it’s time to create the message.
The conditions of a user engagement strategy are simply the point of contact. What engine will the brand use for marketing to the customer? Business owners should plan to deliver relevant content to their customers regularly to keep the process of evangelism alive at all times.
The personalized message should encourage users to try the product. It should incorporate the five levels of engagement and the four types. Conditions should not overwhelm the customer or always be aiming to sell to them.
Instead, conditions should convince them how the product will positively impact their lives.
Touchpoints coincide with conditions because they look at where interactions occur in the customer journey. Are customers interacting more with the brand on Instagram or Facebook? Is the brands’ website getting more traffic from Facebook or Pinterest?
It is good to plan touchpoints in the beginning. For example, choosing to use Instagram and Facebook is brilliant. However, one industry may only get a lot of engagement from Instagram.
That’s OK. The goal is to find out what works and what doesn’t. Then all efforts can be put towards what works for increased user engagement and overall brand success.
It is essential to have active alerts on what’s happening. Technology plays a significant part in creating these alerts to keep one on top of negative comments, questions, and positive testimonials. One can set up reminder alerts of the best time to advertise a specific deal.
For example, right after Christmas and New Year’s, a business can begin to advertise their Valentine’s Day discount instead of waiting until the week before. It increases the message’s reach and sells more products that cater to that holiday.
Customer loyalty is only as strong as a brand’s loyalty. When a customer has a problem or question, it is essential to have a system set up to handle their issues quickly and respectfully.
Effective customer escalation will increase positive user engagement and customer retention.
Customer escalation services are managed through technology that provides instant alerts. They are facilitated by customer service representatives that can relate to the customer and help them solve their problems.
Getting feedback from the customer will be much easier if one has an effective customer engagement strategy in place. When the time comes for customer feedback, customers will either be willing to provide it without being asked or feel comfortable providing it upon the brands’ request.
The goal here is to create trusting relationships with customers so that they feel privileged to share their experiences.
Measure User Engagement
There are several ways one can measure user engagement. Engagement can be measured using certain engagement metrics such as:
- Session duration
- Product engagement
- User returns
- Number of Users
- The number of trail users
- Conversion rate
- Google analytics
- User activity
Session duration is how long a user interacts with a web page. It will determine the bounce rate of the interaction.
For example, if a blog post is estimated to be a three-minute read, and the user clicks away from it in 10 seconds, it’s safe to say that they were not intrigued enough to continue reading. Relevant content is essential to user engagement and gaining the trust of customers.
Product engagement is measured by the number of sales and user returns. If one is measuring product engagement of content, they will be looking at the number of likes, clicks, shares, and session duration. These pieces of data will help brand owners determine if their current strategy is working or not.
Number of Trial Users
It’s always handy to offer a trial period to customers because it reassures them that there is no obligation to keep the product. If the product does not work for a customer, they can return it and receive their money back. In other words, it’s risk-free.
Looking at the number of trial users that convert into regular customers is a great way to measure product engagement. It is also an excellent opportunity to reach out to customers that return the product to find out what changes, if any, would change their minds.
Conversion rate is the percentage of individuals who convert from prospective customers to paying customers. The transition from lead to paying customer is what determines the conversion rate. For example, how many individuals read a landing page and sign up as an email subscriber?
When it comes down to monitoring most of these metrics, Google Analytics is the one-stop shop for managing them. Google Analytics provides all website metrics, including the number of sales, bounce rate, session duration, user activity, and shares, just to name a few. One cannot measure the progression of their success without using a metric system like Google Analytics.
User activity can be anything from retweeting to subscribing to a website. When it comes to user engagement, all of these metrics matter because they provide a bigger picture of what is working for the brand and what they could improve.
While brand owners may opt to move away from certain aspects of their strategy to focus more on working methods, they need user activity analytics to do so. It’s not about what the brand wants. It’s about what works for their customers.
For example, one may start with a low touch relationship model and later determine that their customers prefer a more high touch relationship model. In other words, things like onboarding and meaningful actions are needed from the brand to empower customers.
Understanding Active and Engaged Users
There is a difference between active and engaged users. Many believe they are the same, but this misconception can cost you. While their similarities can overlap, knowing the difference is vital.
Engage users are dedicated to the brand and what it has to offer. They interact with a brand regularly by continuously purchasing products, interacting with online content, and sharing their experiences with others. Engage users are consistently using the benefits and features of the product.
Monthly Active Users
Monthly active users interact with the brand each month. However, they are not considered engaged users because they aren’t consistently interacting with the product or service.
According to Saas companies’ definition of active users, they may log in to see what they missed but not take the time to engage in it.
The following are questions others frequently ask about user engagement:
The work of user engagement is evangelism. A brand works to persuade potential customers that their product will help them overcome a problem. Once the potential customer starts to believe in the product, the brand then works to educate them to increase their belief and engagement.
The five levels of user engagement are evangelism, education, engagement, empowerment, and enlistment. Each level of user engagement builds on the next. Evangelism persuades customers that a product can help them.
Education teaches customers how a product can help them and increases their engagement. Once the customer makes a purchase and has a positive experience, they become empowered to the point of enlistment or acting as a brand ambassador.
User engagement in application is simply a brand creating and executing a strategy that aims to build a community of individuals who love their products and services and want to share the positive impact that it has had on their lives with the world. The process consists of creating relevant contacts, onboarding, customer escalation, and all things that build a trusting relationship between the brand and its customers.
The fundamentals of user engagement focus on creating the user journey from unawareness to brand advocate. The best way to ensure a brand is on the right track to increasing user engagement is to create a user engagement strategy that includes the seven elements of effective execution.
The strategy must incorporate the four types of user engagement: contextual, convenience, emotional, and social. It must also include the five levels of user engagement: evangelism, education, engagement, empowerment, and enlistment.
Last, the strategy should have platforms in place to measure what is working or not working for the brand. These metrics provide a healthy foundation for the changes that can be implemented to increase overall business success.