What Is Engagement Marketing?
With so much original content being created daily by brands, it can be a challenge to stand out. Why should someone click on your website instead of a competitor’s that covers the same topic? What are you doing to pique your audience’s interest? That’s where engagement marketing comes in.
Engagement marketing involves strategically creating resourceful content to drive meaningful interactions with prospects and customers over time. Essentially, the goal here is to connect with your audience through memorable, shareable content.
Take GEICO as an example. They’re famous for creating funny, surreal commercials that quickly go viral. Instead of simply saying, “Hey, buy our insurance products because they’re affordable and great,” GEICO opts to tell a story with their ads. Whether it’s a story about a camel that loves hump day or a caveman walking through an airport, they create an experience for viewers that they’ll remember for a long time and associate with their services.
And if you create content that viewers remember and share, you’re driving brand awareness. This is important because consumers are more likely to do business with a company that they’ve heard of before.
Using Engagement Marketing to Connect with Your Audience
How can you leverage your content to excite your audience and drive business growth? Here are a few things to consider:
- What is the positioning of your content?
- Which target audience(s) does the content appeal to?
- How does your content provide value to your audience?
Don’t just think about content for your current customers, though. Think about your ideal prospects and make something that they’re likely to find interesting or valuable. What might they remember and share with their own network? This will involve research and experimentation, but once you find what works, you’re well on your way to bringing in more qualified leads.
One brand that achieved incredible results from an engagement strategy is Old Spice. In an effort to revamp their brand and cater to a younger audience, Old Spice launched the “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” video campaign in 2010:
Within 30 days, the video drew over 40 million views on YouTube. The brand also saw a 107% increase in purchases of their body wash as a direct result of the campaign. Not too shabby, right?
A big reason for this success was that Old Spice knew who to target. They found that 70% of consumers who bought household toiletries were women; even if the product was meant for men, the person making the purchase was a woman more than half the time. So, Old Spice targeted this video campaign for men’s body wash to appeal to women. And it worked!
This Old Spice commercial is a perfect example of engagement marketing done right. The brand knew exactly who to target and catered their content to this audience in a way that was memorable and shareable. More than that, it led to real business growth.
The Key to High-Performing Content
Content marketing and engagement marketing go hand in hand. When you’re brainstorming new ideas to boost your content marketing strategy and connect with your audience, think about the intention of each content piece. The goal is to be helpful rather than sales-y.
We’re not saying you can’t promote your business within the content. But your main goal should be to provide true value and create positive experiences that people associate with your business. If you post a new blog and it’s all about how wonderful you are, why would anyone share it?
As you’re drafting new content pieces, remember E.A.T.:
- E = Expertise. Are you demonstrating expertise on the topic you’re trying to target?
- A = Authoritativeness. Are your visitors finding and sharing credible information on your website?
- T = Trustworthiness. Is the data your content cites accurate and backed by links to credible sources?
If the answer to these questions is yes, this will help rank your website above competitors. To search engines like Google, the perceived value of your website as a whole is an important ranking factor.
The more that people find and share your content, the more Google will see you as a viable resource. And this will help your website climb to the top of search results for a relevant topic or industry.
So, always think about what your audience wants. They want to have a positive experience with your brand and learn from the useful information you provide. If you’re going to promote your business within the content (which you should), do so strategically. Find ways to promote your products or services within your resources without being disruptive.
Using Video to Educate, Engage, and Inspire Action
According to HubSpot, 88% of video marketers reported that video gives them a positive ROI. With video being the most popular format used in content strategies, it’s a mistake to not create videos of your own.
A key advantage of creating original videos is that they add a human element to your brand. People want to do business with people they know. So, if your customers and prospects don’t know you personally, you can at least make them feel like they do.
Uploading videos that feature yourself and your team is an excellent way to build trust with your audience. Viewers will feel like they know you better and see you as a trusted resource rather than just another brand on their busy timelines. You’re connecting with them as a fellow human being instead of as a business trying to make a sale.
But when you’re producing original video content, there are several things to keep in mind:
- Who is your target audience? Is it narrow or more broad?
- What video format makes sense for the story you’re trying to tell?
- Where will your video be shown? Are you adding it to social media? If so, which platform(s)?
- What thumbnail will yield the best engagement?
All of these questions should be answered before making your video to help guide the process.
For example, if you know that you’ll be uploading your video to Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, you’ll want to keep formatting in mind. Facebook and YouTube videos should be uploaded at a 16:9 ratio, but an Instagram image should be uploaded at a 1:1 ratio. This will impact how the video is shot and edited.
Ultimately, the goal of your videos should be to inspire action amongst viewers. Do you want them to buy your product or service? Do you want them to sign up for an event? Make sure your goals are clear when putting your videos together to drive real results.
Engage Your Audience at the Right Place and the Right Time
Once your content is distributed on your channel(s) of choice, your work isn’t done! You’ll need to track its ongoing performance on your website and analyze the data.
As you collect and inspect your data, measure the return on investment (ROI) of your content. If the ROI is low, it’s time to put an action plan together and improve your numbers. This can involve optimizing the content using more relevant keywords, adding internal links to increase your visitors’ time on site, and so on. As long as you’re consistently tracking results and using the data to improve your strategy, you should see performance increases over time.
Any content strategy you have in place should be revisited as you add new assets to your site. Trends will change and your audience’s priorities will change, so your content strategy should be flexible to account for this. A good strategy is an adaptable one!
Speaking of adaptability, we also recommend checking out your existing content to see what can be repurposed for other applications.
For example, if you have an awesome case study on your website, repurposing it into an animated video would be a great way to share your brand’s successes in an engaging way. This type of video can benefit your sales team by helping them elevate their pitch and demonstrate expertise. Your potential customers are likely to respond better to a fun, colorful video than a chunk of text on your website.
Regardless of your existing content strategy, make sure to keep tabs on your competitors. What types of content are they sharing? How is their audience responding? You can use this information to experiment and update your strategy as you see fit.
Ready to Engage Your Audience Through Digital Content?
New Pace Productions is a video production company in Philadelphia devoted to creating impactful customer experiences through compelling video content. Since 2007, we’ve helped our corporate clients accomplish their marketing goals with corporate video production and explainer videos that illuminate their unique audiences and inspire them to action.
Find out how our simple four-step process for producing high-level corporate video content can work for you—and don’t forget to take a look at our featured work.