Engagement copywriting is about building a connection with your audience, through careful, considered and strategic content creation.
But, at the same time, the effectiveness of engagement, as a marketing strategy, can be difficult to measure.
There are also issues to do with defining engagement in the first place.
At a time when marketing budgets are tightening, or even disappearing, is engagement a worthwhile marketing strategy, and is engagement copywriting still relevant?
Why Engage with Your Audience?
Engagement is creating a two-way communication between a brand and its audience.
It is about building relationships, rather than going in for the hard sell.
Content marketing has grown massively as a means of executing engagement strategies, because the huge spread and increase of digital and social media has made engagement that much easier. In theory, anyway.
What’s the issue with engagement then?
If we agree that it makes sense for brands to build relationships with potential prospects and customers, the question is then how?
Traditional, bullhorn marketing methods are very much about talking at, rather than to, your audience:
- Announcing special offers and loyalty discounts to your target market
- Letting them know what’s in it for them if they buy what you’re selling, but they need to be quick about it so as not to miss out.
What content marketing emphasises is that people no longer want to be sold to, in the traditional way.
Or, to extend this, they don’t want to be sold to, until they’re ready.
Engagement, then, is about making your audience ready for when you sell to them. But how will they do this?
Think about your own online experiences. You explore things, searching for what you want until you find it.
The key to first engaging your audience is to tap into this inbuilt need to explore, and to provide the answers they are looking for.
How Do You Answer Their Questions?
If you want to build a connection with your audience, you need to build trust.
Therefore, if you are going to answer the questions your audience is asking, you need to do two things:
- You need to empathise with your audience, stepping into their shoes
- You need to demonstrate your own credibility.
This is something of a balancing act, and you have to hit the right tone with your content.
On the one hand, you want your audience to feel that you are like them, understanding their issues; but on the other, you must also show your expertise, without putting yourself on a pedestal.
The importance of engagement copywriting is in striking these correct notes.
What Are the Channels for Engagement Copywriting?
There are various channels that brands can use to engage with their audiences, including:
- Social media – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube etc, plus, if you’re B2B, LinkedIn
- Website content – including landing pages, blogs and articles, and downloadable ebooks, whitepapers and guides
- Third-party platforms – guest blogs, online magazines and bulletins
- Email promotions and newsletters.
Not all channels will be appropriate for all brands and their audiences. The vital thing is to know your audience, and how best to connect with it.
Is Raising Awareness Enough for Engagement?
This is the crux of the matter, and the reason why engagement can seem such a tricky subject.
Engagement copywriting is not simply about raising awareness of your brand.
Raising awareness is a fair enough goal, but it shouldn’t be your only goal. On its own, awareness is too broad an aim to have any real impact as a marketing strategy.
And it’s where the whole issue of measurement comes in. There are plenty of vanity metrics, which might seem to indicate some success in your engagement strategy.
- Page views
- Social media likes
- Email subscribers.
But what do they actually show? They have to be accompanied by corresponding actionable metrics to be meaningful:
- Conversion rates
- Social media engagement or referrals
- Competitor followers
- Email opt-in conversion rates.
Engagement should be a properly thought-out strategy, like other marketing activities.
You can easily obtain vanity metrics in large numbers, but the numbers won’t add up to much if they cannot demonstrate ROI clearly.
What engagement should do is:
- Capture and hold your audience’s attention
- Drive interaction
- Get your brand’s message across.
Without clear objective, beyond broadly raising awareness, measuring the success of engagement is too ambiguous.
Why Use Engagement Copywriting?
Content is the key that unlocks engagement. It is the thing that can engage and connect with audiences.
When someone is searching for something online, the right content can stop them in their tracks, driving them to you.
But can’t you miss out the engagement bit and just sell to them, in a no-nonsense way?
Think of it this way: you’re competing for attention online. Unless you have a truly exceptional, unique product or service, then you will be vying for you audience’s interest alongside competitors.
You might be able to compete on price alone, but how long can you sustain this approach and not see your margins erode?
Engagement is Not a Luxury
Engagement is not an end goal, but one means towards achieving your marketing and business objectives.
It is a functional tool, which can help you compete more effectively and grow your market share.
If you’re tightening your belt, consider first what the implications are if you reduce your visibility?
You cannot force people to want to buy from you, but, with the right kind of messaging, and connecting with your audience in the right way, you can shift their opinion.
Engagement is not a luxury you can simply afford to ditch when the going gets tough. It’s how you can win business and keep going, even when the economic climate is challenging.
Is Your Content Cutting It?
Engagement copywriting can help you cut through the noise and connect with prospects and customers.
For more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07896 711853.