Start Using Engagement Marketing in 3 Steps

In the first part of our interview with Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman, we learned what engagement marketing is and how it can be used to help fuel small business growth.

In this second part of the interview, we see a three-step process emerge from Goodman’s advice for small business owners. Small business owners will be happy to learn that engagement marketing doesn’t require a fat bankroll or a big chunk of your time. In fact, the beauty of this marketing technique is that it can be accomplished in baby steps.

Because engagement marketing is propelled forward by word-of-mouth referrals online, the majority of the work is done for you when happy customers tell their friends about you in various ways. This is accomplished when they like your content, retweet your links, share your posts, or forward your emails and newsletters. Not every customer has to take every action to have an impact on your business, so every little like matters.

So the object of engagement marketing is to give a customer something remarkable to share with their friends. They’ll come through for you almost every time.

We asked Goodman to share a few of her tips with small business owners who are interested in using engagement marketing, but may not know where to start. Here’s what she said.

Start Small

It’s ok to start with one marketing tactic — such as an e-newsletter or a Facebook page — and build on it. It’s much better to have 100 fans on one social media platform than to have 25 fans each on four different platforms. So start small and engage those few fans you do have, even if you have only 15. That’s ok! All businesses have to start somewhere.

Celebrate “Small” Engagement

Whether you have a hundred newsletter subscribers or fifty Twitter followers, if just one or two reply back to you, mention you, retweet your content, whatever, celebrate! When you get a thumbs up here or there, it means you’re on the right track. Keep engaging, and over time your list will build, your follower base will build, and so will your engagement.

Find a Way to Stay in Touch with Customers

Use the tools you have available like email, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, because when you don’t stay in touch, people forget about you. Out of sight is out of mind. A customer will forget about your business literally minutes after an interaction.  It’s entirely up to you to ask if you can keep in touch.  And don’t be afraid to ask! If someone has just had a fantastic experience in your store, chances are they’ll be very happy to connect with you.

You can ask people to sign up for your newsletter or like your Facebook Page right in the store or ask them to connect with you on LinkedIn during that networking event.   Make connections while you are fresh in their thoughts.

Has engagement marketing worked for you? What “small” things have you tried to prompt customers to start talking about your business?

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Emily Suess
Emily Suess is a full-time technical marketing writer in the software industry and a part-time freelance copywriter. To learn more about marketing your small business online, check out her copywriting blog, Say It With Me.

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