‘Engagement’ – it was the buzzword at the B2B Marketing Forum in Amsterdam this year and ‘to engage with your customers and prospects’ is still a challenge for many B2B companies. Why should we invest more of our resources in our online presence and enlarge the engagement with our target audience?
Interaction with your audience: Online engagement
Nicola Meinders – EMEA Marketing Director of SDL – was interviewed during the live streaming talk show, CMO Talks, at the B2B Marketing Forum. Meinders defines engagement as follows: “No matter what channel, content or language. Make sure that you interact and have a good dialogue with people. You are able to talk with them at all levels and have a conversation with them.” It seems that it is all about the interaction you have as a company with your target audience. It is a fact that this happens mostly online.
Scott Stratten – president van UnMarketing – has a strong opinion on engagement and he preaches that it is all about the commitment that we have with our (potential) customers. “Stop abusing all the social media tools we have at hand if you don’t engage in any dialogue with your followers.” According to Scott Stratten 95% of the companies do not reply to Facebook posts. “You would be out of business the next day if you would not answer 95% of your phone calls.”
Reasons to invest in online engagement
It requires focus and time to build a relation with your clients online. Unfortunately companies don’t always see the added value. Many times we hear arguments such as:
- “What is the ROI of my online presence?”
- “I have too little time to do this next to my current tasks.”
However, there are plenty of reasons to work on online engagement:
- Enlarge your online presence against minimum costs compared to the costs of traditional marketing
- Increase your relevance for search engines
- Increase your visibility as an expert within your industry
- Build a long term and valuable relationship with your customers
Maersk Line shows what it takes
Schipping gigant Maersk Line understood this. They took up the engagement challenge and launched a Facebook-page to establish more interaction with their many self-service clients who normally doesn’t have any personal contact with the company. “We decided that social media is a natural next step in building our relationship with customers.”
Meanwhile Maersk Line generated more than 248.000 likes and built up huge online recognition via social media. Priceless. Especially when you realize that only one person within Maersk is spending half time of his job driving this to a success.
A unique story within a unique industry when we talk about social media and B2B. Because as Scott Stratten emphasizes – “it is an industry where you think nobody would be social. It is about shipping containers in boats across the ocean!”
If a shipping company who transport containers can be that successful in online engagement – what stops you to do the same? Stop your marketing and start engaging!