Digital branders are always trying to find new ways to boost engagement. They also want to raise brand awareness and ultimately conversions. However, this can be tricky for a wide range of reasons.
For one, the marketing landscape is always changing. Technology moves fast. One big change is that customer service is taking on a new role in marketing.
New research paints an interesting picture of what marketers are worried about. It also shows how they are trying to address these issues. The constantly changing and super-crowded digital marketing landscape is a definite challenge.
But, here’s how you can crack it.
The Algorithm Problem
Many marketers work heavily through social media. For them, algorithm changes can have a big impact. Nearly 2/3 of the respondents of a survey from Bynder and OnBrand magazines cited algorithm shifts as the largest threat to their engagement.
However, the anxiety caused by social media algorithm shifts is not new. In 2018, a study by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs was conducted. It included roughly 300 B2C content marketers. 63% of those surveyed identified changes to SEO/search algorithms as their biggest content marketing issue of the year.
Other Key Issues
Digital branders cited several other large issues. These show some wider trends with big impacts.
Over half of those surveyed consider ad-free streaming a threat to their digital engagement. This will likely become a bigger issue over time too. More consumers will pay for ad-free TV and music subscriptions in the future.
Another cited threat was ad and pop-up blockers. These are popular with savvy internet users and Gen Z. People are increasingly opting for ad-free subscriptions. They are also blocking ads altogether.
So, how can marketers reach them?
Why Are Customer Service And Marketing Starting To Blend?
Throwing customer service into the mix might seem surprising. Marketers are not often thought of when it comes to customer service. After all, it is generally not the job of marketers to field complaints. They also do not usually serve customers face-to-face.
However, customer service is the top-cited method by brand marketers of cutting through the clutter in the digital space. 30% listed it as their top response. This is almost double the amount of those who chose the second most cited tactic. Only 16% chose content personalization and campaign innovation.
So, why are these previously separate roles starting to blend? It likely comes down to how social media has changed the commerce space.
Social Media Has Changed Everything
It’s no secret that social media has changed our buying behaviors. In 2018, e-commerce was responsible for nearly 12% of all global retail sales. Also, people do more of their shopping online every year.
In addition, according to a report from Hubspot, 71% of consumers rely on social networks to guide their purchasing decisions. People research products and find new ones on social media.
Social media has made the consumer-company dynamic far more public too. It has changed it entirely. Consumers don’t have to call anyone or go to a store in-person to complain anymore. Now, they can send out angry tweets or reviews in an instant.
Social media empowers consumers. Of course, it is impossible to please everyone. There are also some reasons why reviews can be skewed.
Take a look at our blog post on debunking common myths about reviews.
However, if many consumers have similar complaints, this is valuable information for any business.
Consumers Want To Interact With You
Social media also enables customers to become advocates. People often show off products that they like on social media. If a brand has a cool image, it is common to see younger people posting about their products online.
Social media can make consumers feel like they are interacting with a person, rather than a company. This opens up marketing to new forms of relationships. Consumers can directly celebrate your brand or criticize it.
As such, customer service is no longer staying in a single department. According to Sprout Social, nearly half of all consumers have used social media to call out brands.
Unsurprisingly, social media is the first choice of Millennials when it comes to addressing problems with brands.
New Ways To Serve Customers
As a result, it only makes sense to put effort into stellar customer service. If your customer service is lacking, you will likely hear about it on social media. This could put a damper on even the most stellar social media campaigns.
Also, unless customers have been involved in business themselves, it is likely that they see your brand and business as a single entity. They will probably not view your company as a number of separate departments.
Your social media presence is the digital face of your brand. So, it makes sense that they would reach out to you on your branded social accounts.
Why You Want To Get It Right
We exist in a web environment of social media callouts and canceling. So, it might be helpful to understand exactly what makes consumers call out brands on social media.
While every case is different, there are overwhelming trends when it comes to what customers dislike. Customer service plays a big role too. It is actually one of the biggest things consumers are likely to criticize a brand for on social media.
The top things which trigger callouts are:
- 60%: Dishonesty
- 59%: Bad customer service
- 58%: Plain rudeness
- 45%: A bad product experience
- 35%: Overcharging
Appealing To The Heart
In cases like this, your customer service and social channel must combine. How you handle negative feedback on social media is so important. It plays a big part in how people think of your business.
If you fail to respond professionally or with sympathy, people will notice. They might even call you out. Some may choose to leave your brand behind too. This is not what you want.
Ultimately, emotions are at the heart of consumer buying choices. People tend to like to think they make choices for purely logical reasons. However, this is rarely the case. People often like or dislike things in spite of facts.
First, you want people to feel positive about your brand. But, creating likability can be hard. People are more likely to make purchases from brands they like. Your customer service plays a big part in your likability.
The Engagement Issue
New research suggests that marketers across the board are struggling to engage consumers too. However, more than anything else, a well-known company with a strong professional brand can help to bridge that gap.
Ultimately, branding, customer service, and social media are merging. They need to be cohesive to inspire loyalty. You also want to spark positivity in the minds of consumers.
Marketers are pursuing a number of tactics to achieve this. This includes personalization via predictive analytics, AI, and chatbots.
All of these work to serve the customer. Overall, they provide them with a better experience. That’s what it’s all about.
The marketing landscape becomes more and more high tech with every passing day. However, it is important not to lose sight of what matters.
Ultimately, you want your technological know-how to humanize your brand. Combine personalization and stellar customer service. That way, consumers can truly connect with you.
The rise of social media has created a new environment. Marketers are being put on the front lines of customer service. So, you have to take this shift head-on.
It is easier than ever for consumers to speak out. So, your organization needs to be ready to cope with all that social media throws at you.
You want to make your customers feel valued and heard. You want them to feel connected with your brand on social media too. A big part of this is your overall customer service.
So, marketing and customer service are coming together. You need to be aware of this. Then you can leverage it. Finally, you will be able to cut through the overstuffed social landscape.
What would you consider a serious social media faux pas? Comment below…