Engagement Marketing is Here, Take Advantage

The goals of just about every company can be summarized pretty quickly: to acquire customers efficiently, grow their lifetime value and convert them into loyal advocates who influence new customers.

The social and mobile world has made it very hard to drive that cycle.

Buyers are now more empowered. They have access to a seemingly endless amount of information and they are forming opinions and drawing conclusions way before they even choose to interact with a brand. A study conducted by Forrester’s found that 2/3rds to 90% of a buyer’s journey today is self-directed, happening before buyers interact directly with the brand.

On top of that, customers are hit with almost 3,000 messages per day! This makes it very difficult for a brand to stay top of mind and relevant. If it can’t do that, it can’t grow the lifetime value of its customers.

With banner ads and other messages being tuned out, buyers are now being influenced by other buyers. A study by McKinsey shows that up to 50% of purchasing decisions are influenced by advocates. Clearly, marketing is shifting from the traditional technique of mass marketing and transactional marketing to engagement marketing.

Shifting to Engagement Marketing

We know social and mobile technologies have changed the way marketing is interacting with people. Yet, brands are still using old marketing “schools of thought” with these new technologies simply because “this is how we’ve always done it.” It is time to change.

If today’s digital world has shown us anything it’s that the “click” is only the beginning of a customer relationship, not the end. Marketing has shifted from talking at people or focusing on transactions, to engaging with people – building meaningful, life-long, and personalized relationships.

Engagement Marketing is about connecting with people.

For individuals, engagement marketing means shifting from mass communication to targeted, personal communication. This means understanding a customer’s individual preference, history and relationship with your brand. Persona-based marketing may speak to “typical” buyers, but 1:1 engagement marketing speaks to customers as a single person with their own style, behaviors and set of preferences.

Engagement marketing moves away from demographic marketing to marketing based on behavior. Instead of assuming what a customer is interested in because they fit a certain profile, engagement marketing uses data to tell you precisely who to target, with what and when.

Take Down the Silos

Siloed communications does not take into account the reality of today’s customer moving from email, to Facebook, to blogs, to a brand’s website, back to other social media channels. Engagement marketing shifts this to an integrated marketing approach. It is now about “omni-channel,” not just multi-channel. In order to achieve this, marketers need to create consistent experiences across every single platform, continuing a conversation from one channel or device to the next.

Engagement marketing does not rely on disconnected, point-in-time campaign blasts. What it does rely on is a continuous process. Engagement marketing responds to customers at every stage of the purchasing process and keeps them engaged to the ultimate point of purchase. It constantly flows and every interaction asks for another interaction thus creating a longer chain of events. With this, a customer’s first purchase is just the beginning of their value.

We all have goals right? What engagement marketing does is it moves from unclear objectives to clear customer journeys. Every interaction moves customers further along their lifecycle. Your goal is to move those buyers into the next phase with call-to-actions that are targeted with laser focus.

As marketers we need a measurable impact. Engagement marketing is measurable with advanced analytics and reporting. You can track customer actions and tie them to a specific tactic. With this, you can then optimize going forward and show marketing as a revenue-driver.

Conclusion

With the technology available to consumers combined with the fact that these consumers are always on the go, it’s necessary to coordinate marketing campaigns faster and more efficiently. Tasks that were a “time suck” can now be done in minutes to manage volume and complexity. Campaigns across multiple channels become a coordinated effort and what’s more, engagement marketing allows for total scalability.

Engage & Influence Your Audience

Engagement and Influencer Marketing

It’s a tough world out there for marketers and advertisers – Their job is centered around reach and frequency. They want to get their message out to their target audience in the easiest manner available and for little as possible. Luckily for them, almost everyone has a smart phone and spends the majority of their day using it. It’s easier now than ever for marketers to get their message in front of eyeballs. However, this isn’t always the best route to take – they should be investing heavily with engagement and influencer marketing. 

Marketers can’t just blast their audience with ads anymore. Users have become so immune to advertisements – it’s easy for them to just flip a switch and easily tune out all ads. Not to mention the increasing amount of people using ad blockers. That means wasted dollars for little to no impressions. Marketing and advertising campaigns now have to get extra creative or think outside the box to find a new way to engage their audience.

This is where we start to see marketing campaigns rely heavily on influencer marketing and engagement marketing. Not only agencies but brands are starting to see the potential in these new types of marketing strategies. Tide recently executed a great campaign using both influencer marketing and engagement marketing. They partnered with a bunch of social media and YouTube celebrities to kick off their Tide Challenge campaign. These influencers have huge followings across social media and Tide was able to tap into their audience by working together to create unique content.

The campaign resulted in millions of views for the Tide YouTube channel and drove thousands of people to subscribe to the channel. By partnering with influencers and creating original content, users proactively engaged with the content in a more natural way, rather than being subjected to pre-roll advertising. Tide was still able to increase their brand exposure but without the risk of alienating a potential audience from too many ads.

At the same time, Tide used social media to connect and engage with their audience on a 1:1 ratio. That means every time Tide was mention on social media, a member of the social media team would respond. This level of engagement only helped to increase the awareness for the brand during their campaign.

Businesses and marketing agencies can learn a lot from the Tide Challenge campaign. People are more open and responsive to engaging with a brand if it comes on a recommendation of one of their favorite influencers. You see this happening all across the internet with bloggers, podcasters, and social media stars partnering with influencers to get their message to an audience. It helps if these brands have an active social media presence and work to build a community of their own. Keep an eye out and you’ll soon start to notice many more brands working with influencers to grow their awareness.

 

There’s a Big Shift Happening in Marketing You Should Be Aware Of

Engagement Marketing is Here

The team at Good Monster recently had a call with a mid-size company who was looking to make a big push into engagement marketing. Their goal was to separate themselves from their competition. Now, typically we go into these types of meetings preparing for some push back against this engagement marketing concept.

Even though the term engagement marketing has been around for a while, companies are typically very apprehensive to dive head first into this marketing strategy. It’s usually more of a dip of the toe, maybe posting a few blog posts or pictures of the company holiday party, then waiting for people to comment on them. But this rarely has any impact. The reason? There is little-to-no incentive for the audience to comment, like or share it. Without engaging in conversation with your audience, and showing them your value, they won’t give a crap about your content.

The biggest reason brands are still a bit sluggish with engagement marketing is because they’re stuck with the idea that there needs to be a direct ROI attached with any and all marketing campaigns. They want to know, “If I spend $10,000 on this how much will I get back?”

While engagement marketing definitely has a significant ROI, it’s often not immediately quantifiable. It takes time and effort. Think of it like sales. Most companies hire a sales team to facilitate and continue growth. Any good sales director will tell you that a sales cycle is not an overnight thing. It takes time–identifying leads, filling the funnel, reaching out, following up, answering questions, following up again–all before you get to the sale.

There are slight differences between sales and marketing, but they are both based on the principle of earning your audience’s trust before they even think about buying your product or service. Whether you are a salesperson, or a social media rockstar, you need to earn your audience’s trust.

Needless to say, after hundreds of client meetings, we prepare ourselves to explain what engagement marketing is and why it’s important.

I usually start prospect meetings by giving a background about our agency, what we do, what we stand for, who we are–you know, the typical introductory stuff to show them that we are people underneath our agency. After that, I like to spend a good amount of time learning about the company. I mean, sure, we can do our own research online and look at where their brand is succeeding and where they could improve, but we need to hear it from their mouths. We need to hear what their hopes, dreams and fears are. This is the best and only way to really dive in deep to craft a good solution for a marketing campaign, especially an engagement marketing campaign.

In this particular meeting, after the general introduction of both companies and descriptions of what we stand for, I began to outline the principles of our engagement marketing strategies, our approach, the different platforms that are valuable right now. We tossed around some ideas. Then we prepared for the question.

“Well, what’s the ROI? When can we see that return?”

After fifteen minutes into the conversation, we still didn’t hear this question. Twenty minutes, nothing. Thirty minutes, still hadn’t touched on it. After an hour conversation about how to best implement a engagement marketing campaign across digital and social media platforms, they never once asked, “What would our ROI be?”; I was shocked.

The only change in tone over the course of the conversation was increased excitement about this opportunity. We talked about the attention that they could get. We talked about the types of content that would be created; fun, exciting content that would really make an impact in their audience’s lives. We talked about short-term strategies, long-term strategies and even longer term strategies. We talked about how their brand and their products would be displayed, what their voice would sound like, look like, feel like. We talked about building a cross-platform, in-depth, detailed engagement marketing campaign that would build their brand into a dominant player in their market and gain an amazing amount of attention from their target audience. But nothing about the ROI of social media or engagement marketing.

It was in the very last five minutes that the prospect made a comment about how excited they were to see the long-term return on investment of a engagement marketing campaign. They were sure that this is the direction that they wanted to take their brand and are excited to build something great.

I can tell you that this is not the only time that a prospect or a client has been excited about engagement marketing. But I have to say, that they are one of the few that are “all-in” before we even explain the possibilities.

We are seeing a changing of the tides in marketing. For most marketers and brand, social media is nothing new. But their willingness to invest a significant amount of their time and money into it has been relatively scarce.

If there is one thing that you do as a marketer, understand that whether you’re a B2B, B2C or some mix of the two, engagement marketing is and will be the most effective way to build your brand over the course of the next one, two, five, 10, 20 years. As your potential audience consumes more content via whatever device is trending, it’s going to become more important for you to produce engaging content that they will want to consume and that will earn their trust. Because, in the end, this is really the only way that you’re going to get any sort of ROI from your marketing investment.

So I ask you, are your efforts helping your company build trust with the right audience?