You've Got Fans But Are They Engaged?
I’ve said it before and I will say it again. It’s not important how many followers or fans you have. What matters is how engaged they are with your brand. A small, involved audience will always beat a large audience who doesn’t care.
When I was at SocialVibe, we measured “completed engagements” as one of our core metrics. “Engagements” consisted of a series of branded activity steps that a consumer would complete in order to earn some form of digital currency. The results achieved through these interactive marketing messages were astounding, with consumers spending an average of over a minute with each brand message!
A core element of each of the messages was the inclusion and maximization of rich media. “Rich media” (also referred to as “Interactive media”) is defined as “products and services on digital computer-based systems which respond to the user’s actions by presenting content such as text, graphics, animation, video, audio, games, etc.” And recently rich media has started being used in all sorts of contexts from advertising to newspaper articles.
Take for example, the NY Times Snow Fall article. The story itself (of a group of skiers lost after an avalanche) is fascinating enough, but the use of rich media really helps the reader to grasp and get immersed in the story. Another great example is the Old Spice Muscle Music online video/game. Tell me you don’t recall that brand after getting sucked into the game for 20 minutes!!!
Another effective tool for encouraging fan engagement is social media. As we all know, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media platforms are now a critical component in the marketing of any brand if they want to successfully generate positive consumer support. As the folks at Comedy Central point out, “the focus has moved to giving the people what they want in order to generate dialogue via retweets and other kinds of sharing." Social media is used to ask consumers for their opinions, to enter contests and even to “crowdsource” their feedback during product development.
Did you tweet your favorite subtitle for Syfy’s Sharknado 2 movie? Starbucks crowdsources ideas from their consumers as to improvements they can make to their stores, products, etc., driving fans from their Twitter feed to their website. And Bon Iver fans remixed an entire music album on social music site Indaba Music in the Bon Iver, Bon Iver: Stems Project.
To summarize, the name of the game these days in marketing is engagement and rich media and social media are both great tools for achieving this.