Engagement – the single word that will determine the success or otherwise of most websites and online businesses going forward. While traditional Internet marketing methods still have their place in the spectrum, engagement marketing is fast becoming the new standard. The reason being that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to win over target audience with simple slogans and hard-selling techniques, which is attributed to the sophistication of modern consumer habits.
Engagement marketing differs from all other marketing mediums as it focuses on interaction and genuine interest, as opposed to simple persuasion or begging. The idea is to build a connection with the target audience in such a way as to win their respect, interest and ultimately their loyalty. It’s essentially a similar principle to standard content marketing whereby a brand or business focuses on selling without selling. In order to be successful in engagement marketing, a brand must present itself as interesting, relevant and authoritative to its target audience, which creates a sense of engagement and naturally leads to customer loyalty. This type of marketing does require some specialised knowledge and probably best to seek out a marketing consultant who can help you with interacting with your potential customers.
Of course, all of the above comes as across as a process that’s much easier said than done, which indeed it is. However, engagement marketing is uniquely accessible for all businesses at all levels and presents a wonderful opportunity to capitalise on genuine knowledge, commitment and passion.
Here’s an overview of just a few tips on how to make engagement marketing work in any industry area:
Create a Strategy
First and foremost, the importance of creating a strategy cannot be overstated – to work in any other way is to strive for a goal you haven’t yet defined. A solid engagement marketing strategy should be both detailed and realistic, including such elements as how exactly you plan to engage your target audience, how much time will invest in interaction and the platforms via which the interactions will take place.
Expand Social Networking Efforts
While it’s true to say that Twitter and Facebook remain the world’s biggest and most powerful social media platforms, they should never be seen as the be all and end all. Such is the popularity of both that for a business to speak of its Twitter or Facebook page has to some extent become cliché – smaller platforms like Pinterest by contrast are attaining cult status. As such, it’s always in the best interests of engagement marketing efforts to look a little further than the most obvious social media choices.
Build and Bolster a Blog
One of the most effective and arguably simplest ways of encouraging engagement and boosting your site’s content richness is to begin a blog. The very nature of a blog is such that interaction is encouraged right from the word ‘go’ and therefore gives your audience a real voice. What’s more, it’s even better to allow guests to pen posts of their own in order to bring a good deal of diversity to the site. A blog is in every way a dedicated tool of audience engagement, but will only succeed for those willing to put in the necessary effort and dedication.
Polls and Surveys
What’s brilliant about polls and surveys is the way in which they are free, incredibly easy to implement and yet uniquely effective in creating engagement. There’s often nothing more interesting any given audience than information about that specific audience. Just like you, they want to know what people are buying, what their counterparts are thinking and whether others share their interests and habits. Needless to say, this kind of information is also pure gold for your business and its marketing efforts going forward, therefore delivers a double reward for almost no effort at all.
Engagement and interaction are only possible when your target audience members are able to access and interact with your website. Given the fact that mobile web access has already overtaken conventional desktop as the platform of choice for the new generation, this should really tell any business all it needs to know about nurturing engagement. Put simply, you cannot expect to win over vast swathes of your audience if you make it difficult or impossible for them to get to your site in the first place.
Contests and Freebies
Last but not least, most people are powerless to resist competitions and pretty much nobody the world over can say no to a freebie. So while it may seem a little obvious and cliché, one of the best ways of encouraging engagement is to offer something of a freebie or the opportunity to take home a freebie, with the only proviso being a little interaction. The idea is that you hook their attention in the first place and summarily work your charms to ensure they don’t slip the net.