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A Buzzworthy Buzzword: Engagement

Every industry has its jargon.

Ask us what a malocclusion or a Cantilever Bridge is and we’re just confused. (Side note: those are glamorous dental terms.)

Even though marketing speak might seem a little more user friendly, it can still be daunting to keep track of as the buzzword dictionary grows. 

Here, we’re taking it back to basics. Check out this series for a much-needed refresher on some of the most-used and most-loved buzzwords.

Use them … but don’t abuse them.

Engagement [en-geyj-muh nt] – noun
In the digital age, consumers are bombarded with thousands of advertising messages daily. To help filter through them, consumers have become more informed, more selective, and much savvier.

Engagement is how brands fight through this clutter to reach consumers. And with the rise of digital media, there are now more channels than ever through which brands can engage their customers.

Engagement is all about a brand’s ability to build meaningful relationships—to establish trust, form an emotional connection, and share experiences. Because social media platforms are naturally interactive, brands often opt to put social media at the forefront of engagement initiatives. For good reason, too. Surveys by Marketing Week indicate the consumer behaviors most often associated with engagement are social media clicks, shares, likes and mentions.

But just like real-life humans, relationships with consumers can be formed in many different ways—both on- and offline—and brands should decide which channels and strategies best align with their core values and consumer preferences.

Consider the following key principles of effective consumer engagement.

Repeated Interactions. Just as human relationships are built slowly, consumers’ relationships with brands are too. This means that consumers need repeated exposure through a variety of different channels, both traditional and non-traditional, over an extended period of time.

Interactive and personalized. Messaging should be customer-centric and personalized when possible. This is what makes social media a go-to platform. But brands shouldn’t feel limited. There are plenty of opportunities for immersive experiences offline. Think event marketing or unique experiences at brick-and-mortar locations.

It adds value.
If it’s not interesting, useful or otherwise entertaining, consumers can zone out. And who can blame them. Engagement—one way or another—should add value to consumers’ lives.

It is measurable. While things like social media likes and online clicks are easily measured, other things like positive word-of-mouth are not so easily measured. A multi-tiered engagement strategy that incorporates both on- and offline initiatives should have some tangible and easily measurable results.

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