August 21, 2019

Exploring the Value of Digital Engagement

Since the advent of the internet, large portions of our lives and experiences have moved online. The average person spends more than eight hours a day on the internet, and that number only seems to be increasing. 

That’s pretty much half of our lives we’re dedicating to this relatively new digital landscape, which basically only took shape a few decades ago. With the emergence of this disruptive technology, the nature of communication between businesses and their clients has also been dramatically altered.

In this piece, we will explore the nature of contemporary B2C communications and how to effectively utilize it to create a strong and lucrative relationship between you and your consumer base.

The Digital Problem

Often, the first contact potential customers will have with your business is online, which presents a bit of a challenge. While the internet has made interactions considerably more convenient, it still lacks the tangibility of real-life scenarios and interactions. 

Humans instinctively make choices based on their five senses. In a business sense, that could be the smell of your shop, the firm handshake of a salesperson greeting you at the door or the appetizing taste of your product. These concrete experiences solidify a customer’s perception of a business.  

Unfortunately, the digital sphere can only speak to two of these senses: sight and sound. That means, in a digital sense, your business only has 20-40% of a person’s entire perceptual experience to work with. This creates a severe feeling of disconnection between people and the digital realm. This is where engagement comes in – emphasizing the humanity of your business, humanizing the digital.

Cultivating a sense of familiarity

There is a phenomenon known as the “mere-exposure effect”. In a nutshell, it states that humans are inclined to trust things/people more simply because they are more familiar with them. When interacting with the internet, we are drowned in a digital ocean of information. The only way to distinguish yourself from your competitors in this vast playground is to establish a strong and trustworthy relationship with clients.

The mere-exposure effect: a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them

Interacting with your audience develops a sense of familiarity which, in turn, develops a sense of loyalty. Think about your personal relationships. If people don’t make the effort to keep in touch, then they start losing interest in each other. Engagement needs to be consistent to cultivate familiarity and sustain interest.

There must be value

Many, if not all, interactions are driven by intention. If this intention is not satisfied and the person does not gain results from this interaction, then the value of that interaction decreases. Interaction must deliver results. Beyond familiarity, you must convince your customers that you and your product or services are relevant to their lives. Proving your relevance will emphasize your value to your customers.

Additionally, engagement is a two-way street. Interaction WITH your audience makes them learn more about you, while interaction FROM your audience lets you learn more about them. Comprehending this fact means that value can be harvested from both ends of this relationship.

Conclusion

You need to build a trustworthy connection between you and your audience so that you are their first choice. This can only be achieved through engagement, which cultivates a reciprocal relationship.

Fruitful engagement is an art not many have mastered. Shapeshift can aid you in building a strong relationship between your business and customer base.

 

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash