Engagement has become a buzzword—and not just in the wedding industry. Employees who feel engaged at work are more likely to report high job satisfaction. Consumers who engage with a brand are more likely to buy. Viewers invest time or money in companies whose ad campaigns are engaging and interactive.
Here are five ways you can engage more effectively with your readers, members or consumers.
Emotional advertising is proven to be more effective than its rational counterpart. For example, research conducted by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising showed that purely emotional ad campaigns rated twice as high with consumers versus rational or mixed campaigns. Not exactly shocking news. The revelation is that “emotional” interaction comes in more than one form. Co.Design found that emotionally charged content is broadly placed in one of four categories: funny, useful, beautiful or inspiring.
Some ads focus on one of these target areas, such as the Doritos commercial above that aired during the 2016 Super Bowl (funny), while others like these artist-created motorcycle part portraits for Harley-Davidson Parts & Accessories embody two categories (beautiful, inspirational). The kicker? Their study also showed that preferences for these emotions were nearly equally divided. Employ humor and you reach 29 percent of men aged 25-34. Use all four emotions in your campaigns and you connect with 100 percent.
Make Yourself Human
Consumers aren’t keen on interacting with faceless corporate drones. We get enough of that from the IRS or our phone company. Post blogs with a byline. Make someone in your company the face and personality of your social media page. Or consider giving your company its own personality. We don’t necessarily advocate going as far as national fast-food chain Wendy’s did with their brutal early 2017 Twitter account, but hey, I bet their sassy social media writer drew at least a few thousand McDonald’s converts.
Offer Something (Or a Chance for Something)
This suggestion plays to human nature. Who wouldn’t like to win free movie tickets, or a trip to Spain? Host a photo or comment hashtag contest, such as last year’s Messy Kids search by Wet Ones, and you can dramatically increase mentions of your business on social media. Five winners scored a $2,500 Visa Card from the baby wipes company. Wet Ones, on the other hand, probably got millions in FREE word-of-mouth advertising and photo content.
Tell a story
Many of the best viral ads involve personal stories. This 2015 Microsoft Office piece on the #CollectiveProject beautifully combined the power of celebrity (Robert Downey Jr.) with the story of a 7-year-old and his need for a bionic arm. It’s uplifting, inspirational and heartwarming. It also garnered 10 million views and became an instant viral hit. You don’t have to tell a personal story. The generalized father-daughter dynamic of “The Hoop” (below) by Dick’s Sporting Goods proved just as powerful as a true story.
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Interaction is more than tired CTA (Call to Action) buttons or prompts found at the end of sales-focused blogs. Remember, this is about building a better relationship with your audience. Invite them into your content, and thus into your world.
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Engagement, whether on social media or through an ad campaign, is a critical element of marketing success. For example, market research conducted by Chadwick Martin Bailey in 2010 showed that engaged consumers are more likely to recommend or buy a product/service they follow on social media. By incorporating the suggestions above, you shift the paradigm from a company focus (How can we get more sales?) to a client focus (How can we better serve our customers?). It’s a win-win for you and your audience.