Today, it seems everyone is online all the time. How can you capture your customers’ attention to share valuable information? Engage your customers through proven strategies for developing digital marketing content.
Personalization Is Key
Data shows that customers prefer to purchase from organizations and brands that know their name and deliver customized information:
- 90% of U.S. consumers find marketing personalization very or somewhat appealing. – Statista
- 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging. – SmarterHQ
- 70% of millennials are frustrated with brands sending irrelevant emails. – SmarterHQ
- 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized. – Instapage
- 56% of online shoppers are more likely to return to a website that recommends products. – Invesp
- 63% of consumers will stop buying from brands that use poor personalization tactics. – Smart Insights
- 66% of consumers say encountering content that isn’t personalized would stop them from making a purchase. – CMO by Adobe
- 42% of consumers are annoyed when content isn’t personalized. – CMO by Adobe
Factor in All the Ways Your Customers Communicate
Let’s be honest. Most of us check our phones before we get out of bed. We use our phones for social media and text messaging much more than we do for voice calls. We use wearable technology to track our steps and heart rate. We get too little sleep because it’s too tempting to click on “next episode” on Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, or Amazon Prime. What does this mean for utility marketing and community relations? You must create relatable, interesting content that fits into your customer’s daily routines.
In business-to-consumer marketing, it’s a waste of time to produce long emails and articles. To cut through the digital clutter and get your customers attention, you will find much more success using such tools as emailed videos and smart speaker alerts with personalized bill explanations and energy savings tips. Plus, you should use social media for much more than pushing out generic utility announcements.
Make sure your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts mean something to your customers. Make your posts interactive and fun. Post photos tagging your customers and partners. Include popular industry hashtags such as #cleanenergy, #renewableenergy, #electricvehicles, #energystorage, and #publicpower.
Think about hosting live online events. For Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram live events, there are all sorts of options for interesting content: cultural discussions, community news, contests, award shows, new product announcements—the sky’s the limit. Use utility social media, ads, newsletter, and blogs to promote the live event. And of course, for the live event, make sure you have a solid internet connection.
Consider paying an advertising fee to boost a social media post. A small Facebook ad buy of $25 to $50 can produce good results.
Encourage the posting of comments and respond to them quickly. Forty percent of consumers expect brands to respond to within one hour of reaching out to them on social media.
Email Marketing Fatigue Is Real
The average office worker receives around 121 emails and sends about 40 emails PER DAY. How do you breakthrough the email clutter when communicating with customers? Using video to tell a story is very effective. Ninety percent of customers say watching a short video helps them make a purchasing decision. People are much more likely to watch a video than read text. When you do use text, use as little as possible and always include an image.
Personalized, automated marketing is another strong option. “Hi, Sally, we notice four items in your shopping cart, but you haven’t placed your order yet. Can we answer any questions for you?”
During the COVID crisis, use short videos, text messages, and emails to promote rebates, payment plan options, and other ways in which the utility is supporting the customer. Remember to keep the content BRIEF.
Apogee Customer Engagement Solutions
Customers respond to information that relates to how they live their lives. They ignore generic marketing content. Apogee Interactive, Inc. helps community-owned utilities to communicate and engage with customers in meaningful ways through information that is personalized, timely, and thoughtful.
Apogee is a leading full-service provider of proactive customer engagement SaaS solutions for energy utilities. As the Hometown Connections partner for customer engagement, Apogee’s digital engagement platform delivers proactive, targeted, relevant, and personalized communication for hundreds of North American utilities, including some of the largest and most progressive, such as Southern Company, ConEd, LADWP, and Jackson EMC.
Engaging Customers with Personalized, Outbound Energy Messaging
Apogee’s platform for digital engagement provides personalized, outbound, and proactive energy messaging that delivers higher satisfaction and measurable results. Apogee uses bills, weather, and when available, AMI data, to produce a wide range of digital opportunities for proactive, customizable engagement:
Personalized Video Messaging. Customers receive timely, useful videos that offer customized bill explanations or beat-the-peak reminders. Videos include customers’ own name and billing data, as well as utility branding.
- Public Service Announcement Videos. Personalized or generic public service announcements distributed to smart phones, tablets, and computers. Videos can accomplish anything from announcing capital credits to providing helpful safety tips in advance of an approaching storm.
- Energy Alerts. Notifications sent via email or text show current bill amounts and factor in weather and historical usage patterns to closely forecast final bill amounts for a billing period.
- Energy Summary Reports. Reports offering graphical breakdowns of monthly or annual energy usage are mailed or emailed.
- Monthly Emails. Apogee works with utilities to customize an ongoing communications campaign to customers.
- Field Audit Application. Apogee’s Field Audit Application for iPad is a powerful productivity tool for residential energy auditors, showing the customer onscreen exactly how costs change with different thermostat settings, equipment choices, and behavioral patterns.
- Special Purpose Calculators. Utilities choose from 35 calculators to add to their website, including heating and cooling, pools and spas, electric vehicles.
For more information on the customer engagement solutions from Apogee Interactive, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carol Morgan, MIRM, CAPS, CSP