What is engagement and strategies to increase it

How to not only be popular, but more popular than others? And that under equal conditions, they prefer you... It's not the script of an American comedy about high school life. It's the daily life of brands. Or, better said, the daily headache for their marketing departments. And the answer lies in the engagement. Although this concept is surely familiar to you, we want to give it a little more attention because it's really important. That's why today we talk in detail about what is engagement and strategies to increase it.


Marketing funnel


To better understand the concept of engagement, let's turn to the famous, and hated by many, marketing funnel. If the phrase "pushing leads through the sales funnel" doesn't give you chills, congratulations, you're still at the beginning of a long and exciting journey in the world of marketing. If you've started to break a sweat, be strong, buddy, we share your pain.


But let's go back to the funnel. This is nothing else than a graphical way to represent the different phases of the relationship of a potential consumer (lead) with a brand. From initial attention, or discovery, to the utmost loyalty and the role of brand ambassador, or advocacy. 


What is engagement


It's the phase where a potential consumer has already become a real one and is loyal to the brand to a certain extent. In other words, saying that a brand has good levels of engagement means that it has a good ability to retain its consumers. And what's very important to understand is that it's always a dynamic process, not a result that is achieved once and for all. Engagement must be worked on a daily basis through different strategies and actions.


And here we must clarify one thing. In social media slang, very integrated into the marketing language, engagement refers to the ability of a piece of content to retain the attention or levels of participation of a follower. It's just a very particular case of a much broader concept which, in this article, we're dealing with in its entirety.


Strategies to increase engagement


Broadly speaking, the main strategies can be grouped into 3 categories that you should always keep in mind.


1. Add value


The idea is very simple. To keep someone’s attention, you have to offer them something interesting. And to know what might interest them, you have to know them well. But in your case, it’s more complicated. You're addressing someone who receives thousands of advertising messages a day. So, either your message adds value, or it will go completely unnoticed.


That's why studying consumer insights is so important. Those are the concerns or thoughts that motivate people to modify their behavior and make decisions regarding products and services they choose. The variety of insights, their hierarchy, seasonality, and the time of day when they become especially relevant can inspire you to add value and provide consumers with the solutions they seek. In other words, adding value to the consumer is the primary way to keep them loyal.


And the best way to add value is through experiences. They are memorable moments that appeal to the very heart of the insight, to the way we live it. Therefore, experiential marketing becomes increasingly relevant within overall strategies to increase engagement.


2. Interact and build community


We live in an age of horizontal hierarchies, equality, and bidirectional communication, driven by the rise of social media. Nobody, neither politicians, nor stars of any sort, or commercial brands can afford to live in a "see and don't touch" glass tower. Attention is the new gold, and it's achieved by building bonds and providing feedback.


Fortunately, with social networks at our disposal, it's relatively easy to maintain this varied and fluid communication with consumers, step by step creating a community of followers of your brand. Yes, social networks require time and effort. But if you do it right, the reward is a community of true fans whose emotional engagement with your brand is priceless.


3. Consistency, please (and frequency)


As we've already said, to maintain high levels of engagement or increase it requires constant work. Therefore, one of the keys is the frequency with which your brand contacts its public, whether through physical events or digital campaigns.


And another important aspect is the consistency in messaging. Your brand has a personality and a tone with which it addresses its audience and deals with a limited range of topics. Just like a person, your brand cannot have an opinion about everything or, even worse, change its opinion on topics it considers relevant. Communicational frequency and consistency are essential to increase reliability and, as a result, to build customers' loyalty.


And finally, we would like to highlight the importance of measuring the impact of the actions aimed at increasing engagement. Remember that measuring and analysing the results helps us choose the best strategies and refine the tools, increasing the effectiveness of our actions.

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