In the business world, marketing has mostly one goal: to offer clear solutions to specific problems of their market. The channels, the content, the advertising, and the campaigns all have different goals, but they all mostly serve the same purpose, making their target market aware of why “our” solutions to “their” problems is the best deal they can get.
Growth marketing is no exception to the rule; even if the approach to achieving these goals is different, awareness and sales are still what move the engines.
And yet, the digital age has not so much changed the way marketing works as it has thrown every rule out of the window. Social media, e-commerce pages, all these media have made engagement with your target audience not only faster than ever but crucial for any brand that wants to stay relevant.
But what does “engagement” really mean in marketing? This is the question we wish to answer in this blog – or to be more specific, the question other marketers and professionals had answered, and we wish to analyze what they meant.
So instead of bringing a common “by-the-numbers” definition, we want to bring perspective to a word all marketers use from time to time and bring a couple of unique insights to help you uncover the potential of true engagement.
1. Engagement is caring for what your audience has to say
“There is a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to speak.”
Simon Sinek, author & entrepreneur
Let’s start with a simple one: at some point or another, your audience will have direct contact with your marketing, it may be social media or an online ad, or even a friend telling them about you (if you are doing it well, more on that later). And at some point, your audience is going to interact again with your marketing – but imagine that they do, and everything they see is talking about the exact same thing: you, yourself, and you again.
Media is a series of mass communication channels, not megaphones of different sizes for brands to talk about themselves 24/7. Just imagine meeting someone who never listens and only cares about themselves. It would be maddening!
True engagement is not a soliloquy. It’s a conversation. It’s listening to what the other person has to say and then adding something valuable in response to it. It’s about offering solutions, by hearing and caring about the audience’s conversation. That’s how true growth is accomplished.
Remember: every post, every ad, and every piece of content your brand gives is an opportunity for creating meaningful conversations. And remember, just because you start a conversation, doesn’t mean you’re supposed to do all the talking.
2. Engagement is the true purpose of Content
“Content is king but engagement is queen, and the lady rules the house!”
Mari Smith, aka “the Queen of Facebook”
True engagement is all about meaningful content. In other words, if your marketing is in charge of starting the conversation, the content is supposed to set the topic.
As an example, let’s take a look at a wonderful post by the meal prep company Gobble:
As a quick setup, Gobble is a company dedicated to offering simple, quick meal recipes to people who are too busy with their lives – and from the delivery to the instructions, they try to make the entire cooking process as simple and delicious as possible.
So with all of that said: what is this post supposed to accomplish? What is it trying to solve? It’s more than just showing food recipes, that’s for sure.
What they are trying to do (and succeed in doing it) is to make their audience see one thing: a confirmation that they, in fact, can solve what they need. In every post and recipe, what their audience sees is something they truly love – and more importantly, something they may be able to do. From the interactions to the comments, you’ll see the gratitude and even questions of different ingredients on those recipes.
In other words, engagement. An opportunity for their audience to make an input.
3. Engagement is something you must measure, constantly
“There are three objectives for content marketing: reach, engagement, conversion. Define key metrics for each.”
Michael Brenner, CMO influencer & content marketer
What makes Growth Marketing unique to other approaches isn´t one specific tool, but a series of strategies designed to take every potential customer through every step of the “sales funnel”. And to know if these strategies worked, there is only one way to find out: data.
Interactions, likes, comments, CTR, shopping carts, every metric you have regarding the performance of your marketing is a great opportunity to find out the true interests of your audience. Just like the end of the sales funnel is “loyalty”, every piece of data you can gather is an insight on how to lead them better to that end.
The quote mentions Content Marketing, but that insight is valid for every piece of advertising your brand makes. So take a deep look into your brand’s input, then ask yourself:
What are the main ways our target audience interacts with us?
Is there another key metric more important than any of those?
Is there a way to improve those numbers?
4. Engagement is what happens when your marketing works
“People share, read, and generally engage more with any type of content when it’s surfaced through friends and people they know and trust.”
Malorie Lucich, head of product communications at Pinterest
There is an old saying that goes: “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure”. It isn´t even that old, really, but that insight feels almost timeless. After all, isn´t all work (marketing included) supposed to be accomplished with enough determination? Growth marketing takes that exact same premise but then turns to the digital tools we have at our disposal and asks the question: “can we make it better?”.
Engagement, the one that makes every brand shine through, is not an easy nor fast task to accomplish. It’s the result of a holistic approach to all of your marketing, from the colors of your post to how well that post can speak to their needs and wants. It’s about knowing what your audience is and making something they can value, follow and share with others who are just like them.
Engagement, in essence, is what happens when you do your job well enough that other people want to be a part of it as well.
Do you want your marketing to connect better with your audience? Looking to finally make your brand into a bridge between your customers and your services?
With Nomad Digital, we’ll take everything that makes your brand special, and turn it into a spotlight for everyone to see; to turn every person that sees your marketing from a curious bystander into a follower who truly engages with your brand.