Startup City Magazine

Digital Channels and the Engagement Strategies the Industry Is Moving Towards

By Deepankar Biswas, Co-Founder & CEO, Offergrid

Deepankar Biswas, Co-Founder & CEO, Offergrid

Headquartered in Bengaluru, OfferGrid was founded in 2011. It is a cross-channel digital advertising platform. It removes the complexities involved in various media functions required to run an effective cross-channel campaign.

Doing advertising campaigns across channels without customer engagement is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but the girl doesn’t give a hoot.

Digital channels and their providers are proliferating like mushrooms.  Whether its search, social, display, video, mobile or even wearables; there is always a swarm.  It has become relatively easier to reach out to them, be ‘viewable’ and create an ‘impression’.  Does these advertising campaigns really return conversions?

Not really! There is always a lack of compliment for non-engaging campaigns. The accolades and returns start increasing when we start engaging the customers with the brand, for whom we put up the impression. ‘Engaging’, as easy as it seems in the physical word, is like saying ‘hello’ and stroking a conversation; but on the other hand, it becomes much more difficult in the virtual world when the customer is almost invisible to the brand at the time of saying ‘hello To understand this better, here are two contrary situations:

When a customer meets the brand without an engagement strategy
Customer searches for a product, gets a basic ad, clicks, views, and may convert/may not convert. The brand is left high and dry if he decides not to.

When a customer meets the brand with an engagement strategy
Customer searches for a product, gets the ad with more info, clicks, views at more relevant content, shares/comments/leaves contact details/asks for more information. Even if he decides not to convert, he has engaged with the brand, probably shared with his friends or even left his contact details for someone to reach out to him.

There are no short-cut strategies to gather customer engagement. However, there are some principal guidelines, which can be coined as ‘Ca-Wa-Na-Like’

  • Cajole - Don’t hard push the surfers, but instead create an engagement eco-system in your campaign.
  • Create a Want - Identify a channel specific engagement model which leaves the surfer wanting the product/offering.
  • Can I know thy Name - Create sharp actions where the user takes a dip with the brand and shares some credentials.
  • Would you Like this or that? - Have A/B testing experiments on the engagement model.

We can review the above principles with an example of a landing page based campaign.

For a web surfer, cajoling would mean guiding him seamlessly to the landing page with the right intent, copy, placement and creativity. The landing page should have the most appropriate information and connecting the dots from the first click.  The landing page carries a lot of importance as it provides the opportunity to the brand to make an impact with the right content and right call-to-action in front of the user. That is their chance and probably the last chance to convert every surfer to a lead/customer.

For a mobile app, cajoling would need to be right from the type of ad-format to where it is placed (i.e. within a game or a notification). It is assumed, we have the right targeting on, as you can’t cajole every surfer to your app.

Have all possible action buttons/links on the page, and on the lines of what the surfer could be thinking.

Create a Want
You now have a surfer walking around your page/app.  Behaviorally, he/she is looking out for something which benefits him/her before any body else in the entire world.  He is neither a philanthropist nor a charity contributor.  To create this need, try to connect to one of his emotions; say happiness.  Figure out the messaging which can stroke this emotion for him/her and their near and dear ones for long term.  He would buy in.

Can I know thy name?
In some cases, there are standard placements for the call-to-action to kick in. You need to identify the information you seek.  For example, would you want just his details would you prefer him to be sharing this page on social media.  The latter one is engaging, and can be subtly included to give you more earned customers than paid.

Would you like this or that?
If half of your surfers land on one page, and the others on the other, you know how the engagement behavior looks like at the end of the campaign.  Prepare your final offering accordingly. Engagement is no longer an illusion. It’s the sugar of the campaign. If you don’t have it in the right balance, the campaign is in imminent danger.

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