The Informed Marketer

Jun 16 2011   6:36PM GMT

The Value in Creating Audience Engagement Online

MarilouBarsam Profile: MarilouBarsam

There is a lot of conversation around the term “engagement” recently. Some see it as the new proof point and metric for success in an online marketing campaign. If a marketer has successfully captured the attention of a prospective buyer and kept them engaged for longer periods of time while they peruse their content then this is deemed as good as gold.

However, other pundits challenge that “engagement” is not measurable , especially in a social environment. They argue that it is too abstract and can’t be quantified like hard core profile data on a reg form.

I’d suggest that the need for valuing “engagement” is a dynamic fueled by the realities of Internet marketing that can’t be ignored. There are so many competitive distractions vying for the attention of any online prospect that it is almost an imperative that marketers find ways to engage online audiences for longer periods of time over the duration of their buy cycle.

The simple fact is that if a vendor is successful in capturing the prospect’s attention for a single interaction (like downloading a white paper and getting them to register), right after this action occurrs  the prospect may then interact with yet another vendor and yet another . We actually have observed this level of activity with our audiences and it forces the question-what will stop them in their tracks and get them to spend more time with one brand over another.

The logical answer would seem to be around creating  a dynamic that encourages them to interact with multiple versions of content so that they can in fact self-educate themselves on the topic in question and the vendor sponsoring that educational discussion in the most efficient manner possible.

Our most recent research suggests that BtoB and IT audiences’ buy cycles are even more compressed  than ever before with average buy cycles being noted as 6 months and less. This reflects that a solid strategy online begs for ways to accelerate prospect interaction with key marketer content assets, such as white papers, videos and webcasts with integration to key social streams that help the education process and inform the prospect. By creating enhanced engagement opportunities, marketers achieve several goals simultaneously covering off on brand awareness, building solution preference, and providing social validation for their products and services. Additionally,  they can also accelerate the prospect’s buy cycle by way of introducing more content that engages and moves the prospect downstream.

Understanding that the former is a real marketer pain point, TechTarget just announced a set of solutions aimed at doing just this. To find out more- download: 

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