There are thousands of different approaches a brand can take when it comes to online marketing, but in any and all cases the goal is exactly the same. There’s really no room for quick fixes these days – what every business is gunning for is a large, loyal and ideally a consistently-growing base of customers. Of course, as selling anything to anyone isn’t exactly the simplest of jobs, gaining a loyal following is indeed far easier said than done. However, there are certain approaches to marketing that can boost a brand’s potential for both winning and retaining target audience members for the long-term – none of which holds more potential than engagement marketing.
What Is Engagement Marketing?
In terms of what the name itself actually refers to, engagement marketing is the type of marketing strategy that’s used to generate real and genuine engagement among target audience members. How it differs from conventional marketing is that rather than just going for the hard-sell, it’s all about generating discussion and two-way communication between the brand/business and its target audience. While most marketing focuses around the primary principle of advertising a product and communicating how wonderful it is to those who may want to buy it, engagement marketing is a much more social strategy on the whole.
How Does It Work?
Of course, it’s one thing to know what engagement marketing is but another to understand its mechanics – not to mention the logistic of putting it into action. There’s no outright blueprint for success in this kind of marketing…or any other for that matter…but the key to kicking off a successful engagement marketing campaign lies in creating killer content. With this kind of marketing, you’re effectively looking to practice and perfect the art of ‘selling without selling’ – using the content of your site and your own efforts to sell your brand and what it is you do.
If you can create a site that’s packed to the rafters with incredibly engaging, relevant, unique and sharable content, chances are it’ll do all the marketing work on your behalf. The very heart of engagement marketing is that of creating a bond and something of a kinship with target audience members, instead of existing on two very different sides of the fence. However, where engagement marketing differs from content marketing is that you ideally want to get as many of your audience group as possible involved – precisely why focus on social media, blogs, forums and discussion groups is of the utmost importance.
It’s one thing to sit around and wait for folk to comment, offer their own two cents on any given subject or sing your praises in general. However, it’s something else entirely to personally reach out to a target audience and do everything you can to both build links and generate discussion. The latter of the two is of course the more involved approach and takes much more time and determination, but this is really the only way engagement marketing can be successfully pulled off.
By capitalising on the popularity and reach of social media, it’s actually pretty simple to strike up a two-way communication channel with a target audience. However, it’s not enough to just dip in and out as and when you see fit – engagement marketing is a long-term strategy and not a one-off endeavour.
Why is Engagement Marketing So Powerful?
The simple reason why engagement marketing works is, as mentioned by professional marketers as Jenkinson and Associates, the way in which it constitutes selling without selling. These days, most consumer markets are so jaded with businesses trying to extract their hard-earned cash that they instinctively avoid, ignore and in many cases despise traditional hard-sell adverts. In addition, they also cannot stand businesses that pretend to care about their needs or act as if they can relate to their customers, when it fact they don’t give a damn about anything but stats and figures.
With engagement marketing, a business has every opportunity to break down the walls that exist between the business and the consumer in order to create a bond of mutual benefit. The client benefits from gaining trust in a brand that delivers more than just the products they need, while the business of course benefits from a larger client base and a stronger reputation. And what’s more, just as soon as the brand has become known as one that’s right ‘in there’ with its audience base and knows what it’s talking about, this in its own right represents the most powerful kind of viral marketing on the face of the Earth.