Beauty & Brains in Branding & Web

Relevancy: The Solution to the Online Engagement Equation

blog_01_300x120Online success isn’t a one-way street. You can’t simply post your content onto your website or social channel and hope it will magically achieve your business goals. For an online campaign to make business sense (as well as dollars and cents) it requires audience engagement. The engagement equation is simple enough; engagement equals clicks, clicks equals conversion, and conversion equals revenue. The formula for generating engagement, however, isn’t as easy.

So, what are the challenges and solutions for marketers seeking to master the math of online engagement?

The Engagement Challenge – An Anonymous Audience

‘Online’ is a big term that encompasses different websites, platforms and social channels – meaning that there are many places to reach out to prospective customers. More than 60% of consumers interact with brands they like on multiple digital channels. In order for it to be relevant to a user, it’s important that the right type of content reaches them on the right channel, and at the right time.

While 38% of US adults are now always addressable online, 95% of the digital audience is anonymous – hidden behind privacy settings and usernames. Your audience is out there but it’s hard to find out who they are and what they want. 74% of online consumers shun irrelevant content and so the solution to igniting engagement starts with identifying and providing what’s relevant to these anonymous consumers.

The 1-2-3 of Relevancy

1. Listen
What is your target audience saying about your industry, company, brand, product and/or service? Search for related terms on social networks; read forums and comment threads related to your offering. Find out where people are talking about what it is you offer and LISTEN to what they are saying. Through these conversations, identify needs and opportunities.

2. Understand
Once you’ve listened to your audience and heard what they have to say, the next step is to UNDERSTAND how these conversations are relevant so you can make a decision about how to engage them. Is someone having a problem that your product can solve? That’s a need you can address. Is your competitor falling short on customer service? That’s an opportunity you can capitalize on. Once you understand who your audience is and what they are looking for, you can act.

3. Engage
You’ve listened to your audience and understood how your product can be relevant to them. Now is the time to strike with relevancy: maybe by email, maybe with a link to some targeted content on your site, maybe directly over a social channel. “It seems you are looking for a product that does ‘x’, our product does just that.” or “Sorry to hear you are having trouble with Brand X, have you tried our product instead?”

When you ENGAGE your target with relevant content, in the right place, at the right time, you maximize your chances of return engagement.

Some Engaging Ideas

Once you are equipped with information about your audience, there are many ways to solicit engagement. Inbound website echoing, for example, is the practice of identifying the campaign that a visitor accessed your site from, and then echoing that message across your website to increase conversion. Another tactic is to identify and recruit social influencers as brand ambassadors.

These are just a few ideas for achieving engagement through relevancy. The fact is that once you know a bit about your target audience and their desires, you are well equipped for all sorts of engaging online campaigns. What are some ways that you drive online engagement? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Lucas

Lucas is a native of Montreal and completed degrees in Film and Professional Writing at Concordia University. As our web and multimedia producer, he assists clients looking to develop new web initiatives and supports the success of our websites through the implementation of multimedia projects. Alongside his interest in creative work, Lucas also has a passion for technology, comics, and all things geek. He can be contacted at lucas[at]htc.ca

Comments

  1. Hi Lucas, the concept of online engagement has been explained really well. Inbound website echoing is very critical to increase conversions.