Although David Cameron famously denounced the incessant use of Twitter back in 2009 that hasn’t stopped the Oxford English Dictionary in including it into their new 2013 edition. Although the word “tweet” has been in the dictionary for years, it has only previously been included in relation to bird song. Now “tweet”, to post a [...]
What Is Engagement Marketing?
The way in which website owners and marketers are able to interact with their users has certainly changed in recent years. Primarily, this change has been driven by the introduction and rise in popularity of social media. More and more businesses are using websites like Twitter and Facebook to interact with their potential customers. The key to success is to aim for more than interaction and, instead, to engage your audience so that they become active participants with a vested interest in seeing your business, your website, and you succeed.
Traditional Engagement Marketing
Offline engagement marketing has also become more popular. Companies approach their target market in shopping centres, the high street, and other public locations. They send out free samples and they use any other techniques possible to engage their customers. Market researchers and even door to door salesmen that carry their goods with them can be considered to be using different varieties of engagement marketing.
It has also made the move from the high street and the front door mat to the computer and the Internet. Static web pages and plaid emails are long gone, replaced by dynamic websites and online real estate that is designed to excite and to draw website visitors into the experience. After all, the longer a visitor spends on your site or interacting on your Facebook page, the greater the exposure to your marketing message and your brand.
How To Get Online Visitors Involved:
Website Based Engagement – Website based engagement means offering dynamic features on your own site. You can engage visitors in a number of ways. Forum participation, blog commenting, and even article and guest blog posting may be considered forms of engagement and these can be highly effective. You may choose to have small pieces of software added to your site or applications that users can download to their desktop. Either of these digital products should be branded and you should consider offering your users the chance to share your applications with their own contacts and friends.
Email Engagement – Email marketing campaigns were once considered the pinnacle of online engagement marketing. Users became engaged with the marketing email that businesses sent because this is a highly personal form of communication and a unique way of having your message read. Email marketing remains a popular and successful method of persuading people to visit a website, make a purchase, or perform some other desired action while on site.
Social Media And Apps
Social media websites are on the rise and while the likes of established sites like Facebook and Twitter have become a staple part of peoples’ everyday lives, so too have some of the more recent entries. Google+ is more than a year old now and has hundreds of millions of registered users while Pinterest has quickly become a firm favourite with those that are especially keen on photographs and shopping. Look for the social sites where your target market are most likely to hang out and consider developing or having social apps developed for you. These can be branded and have the potential to go viral while turning users into brand ambassadors too.
Crowd Sourcing Content And Information
One of the simplest ways to use engagement to your advantage is to help flesh out or expand on the content of your site or even your social media profiles. You can ask your readers and user to contribute to discussions, provide tips, rate and review products, or simply join in a debate on a particular topic. There are plugins and tools available for all content management systems as well as a number of open source frameworks that can be used for this very purpose and not only are they free but many are of a very high standard.
Market research and consumer surveys are invaluable to businesses and this is why some of the world’s largest and most successful businesses use this form of engagement marketing. You don’t have to have millions of respondents to be able to use the information and you don’t have to offer cash or products to persuade people to get involved. If you have an important decision to make regarding a particular product then ask buyers to have their say. You may be surprised at the response that you get – do ensure that you have absolute confidence in your products before embarking on this kind of project though.
Turning Readers Into Brand Advocates
Branding your website and other online real estate is critical. Your app should link to pages that make sales unless it is monetised in another way. Your social profiles should provide quick and simple ways not only to access your website but to share your site and your profiles with other users. By offering real engagement that keeps your potential customers captivated and gives them something beneficial you can turn them into brand ambassadors that will help sell your business for you.
User engagement is very difficult to measure. You can tell how long a person has spent on the pages of your website but you can’t really ascertain whether they were truly engaged with the content, whether they are convinced by the message that you’re trying to deliver, or whether they have any intention of returning in the future. You should measure time on site, number of pages visited, and similar data but there’s more to measurement than that. Look at the number of comments that are left on your forum, comments on your blog, likes on your Facebook page, and Retweets of your Twitter posts and combine all of this information to give you a clearer picture of how engaged your visitors are with your brand.
Converting Engagement To Profit
Of course, engagement is only part of the story. Once you have your visitors hooked you then need to convert them from visitors into paying customers. Whether you rely on Adsense clicks, affiliate purchases, lead signups, or direct sales of your own products, you have a desired action that you want visitors to take and engagement marketing should always be leading towards this particular action otherwise your efforts will be wasted.
The web is a more advanced place than ever before and so too are its inhabitants. Your website visitors will expect more than they would have ten or even five years ago and it is your responsibility to provide what they want. Engagement marketing can be considered a beneficial tool to add to your online marketing efforts because it can drive visitors, send your marketing message viral, and give you greater profit rewards.
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