What the heck is Natural Engagement?

2nd November 2016

My name’s Allegra, and I’m the Natural Engagement Manager at Cobb Digital. It’s the kind of job title that tends to raise a few eyebrows, and even I have to stop myself doing air quotes every time I say it. So I thought I would take this opportunity to explain what it actually is, and why it matters.

So… engagement…

“Engagement” is a word that gets thrown around a bit too much in digital circles, often without actually meaning anything. But if you strip down all the awful marketing jargon, engagement is a vital element of building a successful business.

So what is it really?

Engagement, in a nutshell, is about building relationships. People do business with brands they like; brands that make them feel valued, add value to their lives, and prove the value of their services. You build a relationship with your consumers, and potential consumers, by:

  • Communicating openly in the style, tone and platform that they want
  • Listening to their feedback, concerns and questions
  • Educating or entertaining them
  • Appreciating and rewarding their custom
  • Responding promptly and effectively when they reach out to you

At Cobb Digital, we help you engage with your audience using a variety of channels, including:

  • Social media
  • Blog and website content
  • Influencer outreach
  • Online PR

What’s the “natural” bit about, then?

There are a number of paid channels you can use to reach your audience, and in a crowded marketplace those channels are vital in order to get in front of the people you want to reach. But Natural Engagement focuses on growing organic, two-way relationships, rather than broadcasting outwards to people. Whereas PPC or online advertising focus on generating sales or direct conversions, engagement activity is playing the long game – building a brand identity and growing awareness amongst your target market.

Sounds great, but why should I care?

You’re probably not going to see a huge ROI from this kind of activity in terms of direct revenue, so why would you bother investing in it? Because the long-term rewards are massive! For example, …

  • Your social following and engagement and number of quality external links impact your natural search visibility – so the more people following you, interacting with you and talking about you online, the more people will find you when they’re searching for services like yours.
  • Consumers are willing to spend around 46% more with brands they consider to be “meaningful”.
  • 43% of UK consumers currently use social media to research products and services – and that number is growing. This means they’re checking out your online persona and what other people are saying about you to see if they feel comfortable spending money with you.
  • It costs 3-5 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, so nurturing those relationships is good for your bottom line.
  • The more time you spend interacting with your customers, and listening to them, the more you’ll understand them – and the more data you’ll gather about them – so your marketing can become more tailored to people like them.
  • When people engage with your brand, they’re sharing your content, which means they’re effectively recommending you to their networks, and recommendations from friends and family are by far the most trusted sources of brand research.
  • People who have previously been exposed to social media messaging about your brand are twice as likely to click on a PPC ad for your brand – and the people who click are twice as likely to convert.

Ok, I’m interested…

Great! Why not have a chat with us about how natural engagement can support the growth of your business? We can help you with a variety of strategic and tactical solutions, including (but not limited to):

  • Digital communication strategy
  • Social media strategy
  • Social media monitoring
  • Content campaigns and content creation
  • Online reputation management
  • Consumer research
  • Influencer mapping and outreach
  • Content audit and competitor analysis
  • Training and support

Give us a call, ping us an email or pop in to Cobb HQ for a coffee to find out more!

 

 

 

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