Why measure engagement in 2022? Digital engagement is the direct line into your audience’s unfiltered and unbiased opinion. Full stop. Okay, so why would you want an unfiltered and unbiased opinion? Because this helps you understand what your audience loves about you, and what they don’t like so much.
The most successful businesses, associations and institutions in the world use this data to inform their next moves, which helps them increase sales, drive recruitment and create better relationships with their audiences.
Let’s break it down.
Say you need to promote your upcoming event, like an annual conference. You hire a digital marketing agency or content studio to make your video. You work together to come up with a cool script that promotes your event, makes your organization look awesome and the whole thing even comes in under budget (ha ha). They give you a video, you post it up on your website, your social media, your YouTube channel, it does amazing and gets 10,000 views.
Did you increase your event attendance? Did you grow your audience? Did the 10,000 people who saw your content actually like it?
You can answer all of these questions if you take steps to measure your digital engagement. If you figure out those 10,000 people actually did like it, you can get a better understanding of why they like you. If you know the video worked to increase your attendance, you can create more content like it. If you know it grew your audience, you can develop an audience persona to market toward, and grow your audience even bigger.
It’s like cheat codes for your business, except no one’s cheating and everyone’s just getting more of what they really want.
Planning out your engagement touchpoints and making sure your entire team understands your objectives will drastically improve your marketing efforts.
Measuring engagement is as simple as creating a map of your audience touchpoints and figuring out how you can pull their data.
Let’s take your event promo video, for example.
You uploaded it to your website which is great! Your website is an excellent touch point which, when set up correctly, should provide you with a ton of data you can use to tell you how awesome your content is and inform your future tactics.
In the old days, businesses and associations would often take out newspaper ads or create entire magazines through which they could distribute print advertising. With no way to determine how many people saw your ad, what they thought of it, or what they did after they saw it, that’s the marketing equivalent of throwing a big bowl of spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks.
Today, you have a ton of opportunities to measure engagement on your website. You can upload the video to your platform, create a comments section that allows people to give you feedback, create a call-to-action button that lets people buy tickets right from your page and even create a “share” function so your audience can do your marketing for you. It’s a win-win-win.
These are tactics that are going to boost your engagement, but they’re also valuable sources of information that let you know how your audience likes to interact with you. Do you get a ton of video views and not so many conversions? Maybe the video was exciting, but didn’t do a great job of selling the event. Did you get a ton of conversions but not many shares? Maybe people weren’t sure of the mass appeal of your event.
A few touchpoints to measure your audience engagement and a little critical thinking will help you make smarter marketing decisions, and they'll help you throw out the bathwater but keep the baby. No more wasted money just hoping things work.
You want to be a super marketer, an ultimate engager, a recruiter of all? Then you want a nice juicy strategy to go along with your video. When you use video strategically, you set yourself up to hit every touchpoint along your customer’s journey.
Check it out.
In the awareness phase, your audience member, we’ll call them “Bob,” has just discovered your association’s annual event. Bob saw a poster, or heard about it through their friend. You can control this touchpoint and measure engagement through designing it yourself, in the form of an email (you could call it an e-blast, but that sounds gross), social ad or website banner that direct to your video. Then when Bob clicks on any of these options, you have an engagement point. You can see where Bob found you, when they clicked you and what they did after they clicked; whether they visited your website, shared your post with a friend, or watched your promo.
Bob clicked the “Sign me up!” button and not the “Unsubscribe” button. Thanks Bob! Now Bob’s on your website and they’re reading through your marketing copy. That’s right, in this strategy, you had a professional write marketing copy that will scintillate, titillate, and do all sorts of other good things with $5 words to describe them.
Bottom line is, Bob’s now deciding whether or not they’re going to pull the trigger on your event tickets. They’re scrolling through the copy, they’re jumping into another tab to google reviews of your past events, they’re sending the page to their boss to ask if their boss would spring for tickets. Good thing you hired a copywriter to create that event description, because Bob’s boss just read it and now they want in too. You know this, because your web page is set up to see how people found your page, what they click on, how long they stay on it, and what section they get to before they leave. Plus, there’s a great big juicy “purchase now” button at the bottom.
Bob is simply enamored with your event page, they’ve watched the promo video you uploaded as the page header a few times, they’re telling all their friends to check it out, and finally they scroll to the bottom of the page and hit that purchase button. You know this because you’ve rigged up the call to action that alerts you of a purchase and generated a form that captures Bob’s email address, occupation and employer. Now you’ve got all the info you need to send out that automatic email that’s going to address Bob by their first name and pitch them all the benefits of the webinar you know they want to watch to upskill in their position, because you know their role, too.
The Other Guys™ are more than happy to take Bob’s money, let Bob enjoy the event and be done with Bob.
Don’t be The Other Guys™. Instead, pretend Bob is an old friend. You really enjoyed having them around. You want to see them again some time, so hey, keep in touch! Have staff greet Bob, chat them up and get any other info you want from them. You have Bob’s email address because you built some engagement touchpoints into each previous step of Bob’s journey, so now you can follow up after the event and ask them how you did with your post-event thank you email!
At this point, you and Bob are practically family, so they’re happy to fill out surveys, rate your Google Business page, write you an online review – and you’re right there to track all these awesome favors Bob is doing you. Be sure to direct Bob to your social media where they can give your Facebook page a like, retweet you, post all about you and tag you on Instagram, get you all that shared and earned media you could ever dream of.
You started with a promo video, and for the cost of your marketing coordinator’s time, you have 10,000 Bobs who are now members for life, fighting tooth and nail to get their friends and colleagues informed about you.
Of course, there’s a ton more tactics and components that go into a solid strategy, like cutting up your longer promo into a few bite-size pieces to post on social media, creating your email campaign, writing your event page, but a video is a start. A really amazing start.