There are many moving parts in a well-constructed marketing funnel. In this post, we’re going to look at a part called engagement. Engagement is the point of the marketing process where the visitor begins to get to know your brand on a closer level.
Dating and Marketing
If we were to compare the engagement phase to the phases of a date, it would be about the first 30 minutes or so. What happens at this point? Each person is sizing the other one up and making judgments about how things are progressing. Neither is committed to taking it any further (yet), but each is interested enough to want to know more.
Just like with dating, there are different engagement strategies. Content marketing is a slower seduction of the customer but a very effective one when done right. A visitor might have to come back to several pieces of content (multiple dates) before being ready to commit to a purchase. This can be contrasted with a pushy landing page or sales letter page that demands a conversion right then and there.
How Conversion Fits into the Funnel
Engagement can be measured at different levels of a funnel depending on what you want to evaluate. For instance, social signal markers can measure the level of engagement with a social media channel. Other examples are visits to webpages deeper than a level or two or spending a certain amount of time on a site.
Within the broader picture of a funnel, the majority of engagement happens near the top. That’s where you’ll have the largest number of potential contacts. But engagement is something that does happen throughout. Solid content marketing could get a user engaged but a poor shopping cart experience could boot them right out.
However, engagement doesn’t happen at the very top, where awareness happens. Awareness is like your friend telling you about a potential dating partner and setting you up. The real connections haven’t started yet. Thus, engagement strategies start when you assume that your visitor has an interest in your brand or products.
The goal of engagement should be to generate sufficient interest in the visitor that they’ll want to consider moving forward with a purchase or whatever conversion metric you’re measuring. How you do that depends greatly on your audience and niche, but here are some general principles:
- First, whatever awareness tactics you used to get their attention, an SEO meta, a social media post, a guest post backlink, these need to be congruent with the engagement tactic. To use another metaphor, awareness is a spark and engagement is the tinder to make it grow into a small flame. Give the customer what they’re expecting.
- Second, match the copy of the page to the type of content that attracts your ideal customer. Millennials, for instance, like dense sub-500 word posts, infographics, and videos because they like to have a lot of information delivered in a short period of time. Older generations might prefer long-form articles or a personalized sales letter. Just like with dating strategies, you’ll need to experiment to find which methods of engagement work well with the kind of customer you want.
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