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Recipes for Brand Engagement Success in the Age of Mobile

The mobile-first shopping era has changed the marketing game for retailers. Ads scattered across digital channels—such as websites and social media networks—are necessary components of a cohesive marketing strategy, but no longer the backbone. Instead, brands seeking to ramp up their consumer engagement strategies on mobile must identify the best ways in which they can foster conversations and calls-to-action on each channel.

Facebook: Although some experts say it continues to wane in popularity among the youngest millennials—which are some of the most elusive customers—Facebook offers fantastic opportunities for real-time, two-way conversations. The Facebook Live platform enables brands to live stream any type of content and spur viewers to leave comments, tag their friends and interact with the post via a slew of emojis. Last year, resort wear retailer Lilly Pulitzer tapped two well-known fashion bloggers—who double as social media influencers—to star in a Facebook Live segment dedicated to clothing recommendations for warm-weather vacations. Viewers were encouraged to ask the bloggers questions in real-time and check out Lilly Pulitzer’s site to purchase some of the featured items. Taking advantage of Facebook Live’s interactive capabilities can guarantee that a retailer’s Page stays on its target consumers’ radar.

Snapchat: Snapchat geofilters continue to be a worthwhile mobile marketing investment for major brands. Users of the photo-sharing app have some of the highest engagement metrics out of any social network, making them prime targets for relevant and shareable filters. These can include seasonal filters, filters that feature a beloved product, or ones that contain animated graphics.

Retailers can also leverage Snapchat to enhance engagement in brick-and-mortar stores. Recently, Victoria’s Secret invited fans to take a screenshot of a Snapchat coupon and show it to an in-store associate to receive a freebie with purchase. This method forces consumers to interact with the Snapchat account and make room in their photo downloads for a piece of heavily branded content.

Instagram: Some marketers may find Instagram harder to break in the engagement stakes. However, the key to Instagram success can, in many times, be found in the form of contests and incentives. Furniture retailers such as Wayfair and Pottery Barn have excelled in mastering this strategy. They will often post a photo of aesthetically pleasing interior design or décor accessories, and invite their fans to win the featured products by uploading a photo of a similarly themed design with a branded hashtag. If individuals know that winning a prize is a possibility, they will be much more likely to willingly post brand-inspired content to their own Instagram feeds.

Chatbots: Chatbots are one of the latest-and-greatest mobile engagement tools that brands with large followings can use. By enabling smartphone users to message with a branded bot—either on Facebook or on Kik—retailers can offer customers personalized product recommendations, opportunities to purchase items without going to a mobile site or app, and ultimately, an unforgettable moment of levity. For example, Starbucks created a chatbot last fall that personified its beloved pumpkin spice latte and let users take a quiz to learn about the drink’s traits. Despite not having a mobile ordering element, the chatbot was still able to engage consumers for minutes at a time and ensure that the autumn-themed beverage would be on their minds the next time they visited a Starbucks.

The best thing about acing brand engagement in the age of mobile? The variety of options available. If a retailer doesn’t have a large enough budget to corner all of these mobile channels, it can simply hone in on one or two that could be the most lucrative. Mobile engagement is, ultimately, about quality, not quantity.

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Alex Samuely, Contributor

Alex is a marketing and communications professional with extensive experience in analyzing digital and mobile marketing trends. She has also covered brand-oriented mobile strategies spanning the retail, travel, financial services, and food and beverage industries.

Topics: brand engagement

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