On The Web: Don't Just Make Friends
Engagement marketing happens when people become a part of the product they're buying or consuming. Many marketers think it begins and ends with sites on which visitors create the content — Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc. They think a simple product mention on these sites will drive traffic and make their sales soar.
But the evidence says otherwise.
Engagement That Sells
Social media sites are entertaining and fundamentally ideal for connecting with people to generate a flow of information. MySpace attracts three to four times more unique daily visitors than Amazon, yet Google can't even make pay-per-click text ads work on MySpace. While these sites are great examples of engagement marketing, they're not yet useful for driving e-commerce sales.
There are, however, other ways to use engagement marketing to drive sales. The offline world is full of successful business models, and some savvy e-comms have begun adapting these models to the online world. Con- sider how some offline, broadcast entities have engaged consumers:
- "American Idol" If you tune into this popular program, you know that vast numbers of people vote for their favorite performers and then watch to see how others voted. Viewers become an integral part of the show.
- Talk Radio show listeners are encouraged to call in and participate in conversations on subjects ranging from sports to cooking to cars. Again, callers become a key part of the show.
There's an unsettling number of other offline examples. They're unsettling because online marketers are supposed to be innovative, yet many of them lag behind media that's not nearly as interactive and far-reaching as the Web. We're caught up in social media and missing the e-commerce applications of engagement marketing.
6 Ideas to Get Started
I challenge all marketers that have heavy online presences to find ways to implement engagement marketing that drives sales on their sites this month. Here are some ways to get you going: