5 ways media and entertainment organizations increase customer engagement

Posted on August 18, 2023
7 min read

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In today's crowded media landscape, customer engagement is critical because it directly impacts customer lifetime value, revenue, and retention. Furthermore, engaged customers who consume content often become brand advocates, making media and entertainment customer engagement an essential priority for organizations in this space.

However, achieving high engagement across the board is easier said than done. Audiences have endless entertainment options and short attention spans. American consumers today spend around eight hours daily consuming digital media. With customers inundated with choices, grabbing and retaining their interest is an uphill battle.

What's the key to increasing customer engagement in media and entertainment?

Increasing customer engagement starts with understanding the importance of empathy and customer feedback. The more you connect and empathize with your customers, the better you can tailor your offerings to meet their expectations. Great results can come from a user testing solution for media and entertainment

While flashy marketing and promotions may temporarily grab people's attention, real engagement requires:

  • Identifying your customers' needs and pain points
  • Listening to feedback—both positive and negative—to improve the experience
  • Providing ongoing customer value to nurture engagement organically

Customer engagement is also an excellent way to mitigate risk. When you understand your audience’s needs and pain points, you can make informed decisions about engaging with them meaningfully. You can plan your product and marketing initiatives to reduce the risk of failed initiatives.

Here are five actionable tips to increase customer engagement in the media and entertainment industry by using empathy and customer feedback:

1. Offer loyalty programs that are easy to join and feel valuable

Rewarding your customers is a fantastic way to increase engagement and keep them returning for more. By offering loyalty programs that are easy to join and provide a fair value exchange, media and entertainment organizations can encourage customers to have a strong, lasting connection with their brand. For example, a streaming service can offer exclusive early access to new show releases or free monthly content for loyal subscribers who have been with the platform for over a year.

To make loyalty programs accessible and straightforward, eliminate unnecessary membership steps or requirements. Otherwise, you risk frustrating customers and discouraging participation.

Offer rewards your customers perceive as valuable. Your customers should feel their engagement is worth the rewards they receive. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your loyalty program through user feedback, and fine-tune it to keep it relevant and engaging. A well-designed loyalty program turns casual audiences into loyal advocates who feel valued and recognized.

2. Promote authentic brand values, show customer empathy, and communicate what you're doing

Customers resonate deeply with brands that reflect their values and principles. Identifying and promoting your brand’s values can establish a meaningful connection with your audience, enhancing engagement. 

Emphasizing empathy in your decisions is also equally important. Today's consumers want to engage with brands that show genuine concern for their customers and what’s important to them. Empathy is not just about understanding your customers' needs—it involves demonstrating your understanding through actions.

A media brand can highlight a commitment to inclusive storytelling by showcasing diverse voices, perspectives, and creators on the platform. News outlets can spotlight values like accuracy, journalistic integrity, and transparency through their reporting.

To communicate these efforts to your customers, keep them in the loop by regularly updating them on the changes you're implementing, particularly those influenced by their feedback. This direct communication will make your customers feel heard and appreciated, encouraging further engagement.

3. Personalize the customer's experience and suggest relevant recommendations

Today's on-demand environment has conditioned consumers to expect hyper-personalization. A generic, one-size-fits-all experience won't cut it anymore. Use data and customer testing to tailor interactions to each customer's tastes and needs. Understanding user preferences and viewing habits lets you curate content recommendations aligned with their tastes.

For instance, streaming platforms can analyze individual viewing histories and favorite genres to offer personalized recommendations. These recommendations help users discover other movies or shows they may enjoy based on their viewing history. Services like Netflix invest heavily in recommendation algorithms to boost engagement.

You can also segment audiences by various attributes, such as age and language. Then, tailor your recommendations to resonate with these target audiences. For example, send targeted emails promoting anime shows to subscribers who frequently watch Japanese cartoons. A gaming platform can promote a new role-playing game (RPG) to users under 25 who have played multiple RPGs. 

However, avoid being too intrusive. Getting customer feedback will help you find the right level of personalization that delights audiences instead of pushing them away. Begin by testing personalization with a small user group. This lets you iterate and refine your approach before investing in them. 

4. Encourage online communities

Give passionate customers an outlet to bond over their favorite series, characters, or celebrities. For media and entertainment brands, creating online communities offers an exceptional opportunity to:

  • Foster deeper customer relationships as users share opinions, analyze plot points, or watch live events together
  • Provide a shared space for open communication

These communities are more than just digital gatherings—they serve as a platform where customers can connect, exchange ideas, share experiences, and discuss your content. The sense of belonging these communities promote can significantly enhance customer loyalty and engagement.

Nurturing ongoing dialogue is a powerful way to ignite conversation and engagement within these communities. TV channels can host virtual watch parties with live commentary for season premieres. News media can have journalists or experts host Q&As with viewers. These interactive formats invite users to contribute their thoughts, questions, and opinions in real-time, creating a dynamic and engaging environment.

Introducing discussion forums also paves the way for continuous user interaction. Customer engagement is not just about having a one-time conversation but about fostering an ongoing dialogue that keeps your audience engaged and coming back for more.

By actively nurturing these communities, you do more than create a communal space for interaction. You open a channel for gaining your target audience's direct, valuable insights and feedback. It gives you a genuine understanding of your users' needs and preferences, enabling you to tailor your content and services accordingly. For instance, lively debates about plot direction can give writers ideas for future storylines. Viewer comments on news events can highlight topics or angles warranting more coverage.

Moreover, these communities can serve as a support network for new users, helping them navigate your platform and services. Experienced members often provide tips and guidance, facilitating a smoother customer journey and enhancing the overall user experience. In this way, your online community becomes a self-sustaining ecosystem that nurtures customer engagement and boosts user satisfaction while providing crucial feedback and insights.

5. Engage with gamification

Gamifying parts of your customer experience taps into people's natural desires for competition, achievement, and recognition. Incorporating game-like elements, such as points, leaderboards, or challenges, motivates users to engage more extensively with your content.

A news app could award points for reading multiple articles that unlock exclusive subscriber content. A streaming platform can let users earn badges for binge-watching entire seasons that rank them on public leaderboards. Rewarding users with points for such activities can drive increased interaction. When redeemable for rewards, these points offer an added incentive for user engagement.

But gamification goes beyond just enhancing engagement:

  • It cultivates a competitive yet enjoyable environment that attracts new customers
  • It turns everyday activities into rewarding challenges, transforming passive users into active community members

Through gamification, even routine tasks can become opportunities for users to earn points, climb leaderboards, and outdo their previous best. It can infuse a new level of enthusiasm and excitement into the user experience, igniting a sense of accomplishment. Your platform becomes a hub of interaction and entertainment, strengthening the bond between your brand and users and enhancing overall engagement.

Boost customer engagement the right way

Customer engagement in the media and entertainment industry goes beyond mere interaction. It's about building a relationship with your customers, understanding their needs, and creating experiences they find valuable.

UserTesting offers the industry's most comprehensive experience research solution. It enables you to get input directly from customers earlier in the process, helping to reduce guesswork and bring experience data to life with human insight. 

Contact us today and create world-class media and entertainment experiences with UserTesting.

Frequently asked questions

How can media and entertainment organizations build a customer-centric culture to enhance customer engagement?

You can build a customer-centric culture by making your customers the focal point of all your decisions. This includes tailoring your content and experiences to your customers' preferences and maintaining open communication channels for their feedback. 

Also, regularly train your staff on customer service and foster a responsive and empathetic culture. You'll deepen connections and increase engagement by prioritizing your customers' needs and experiences.

What strategies can you employ to measure the ROI of customer empathy effectively?

To measure the ROI of customer empathy, you can conduct surveys to monitor customer satisfaction and engagement. You can also track the impact of customer empathy initiatives on crucial business metrics like revenue and customer retention.

How can the use of social media platforms aid in boosting customer engagement?

Social media platforms provide an interactive space for sharing content and direct communication, fostering a community feel. Regular updates, live events, and discussions engage customers in real-time. Direct feedback and user-generated content deepen audience connection. These social media interactions significantly boost customer engagement.

How can you leverage user feedback to identify and address potential risks and challenges?

You can do so by closely monitoring and analyzing audience responses. This feedback can provide insights into potential content, services, or overall user experience issues. Proactively addressing these concerns can improve your offerings, prevent customer churn, and build a strong media brand.

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