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The Power of Engagement - 8 Ideas You Can Add To

  |  August 3, 2010   |  Comments

Engagements that you can encourage and measure to add octane to what you do online and use to layer in a whole new world of metrics to your reports.

There's a whole world of engagement actions to offer, encourage, and measure in the online media landscape that do a couple of really exciting things.

First, they create much deeper brand/consumer interactions that leave a deeper impression in the mind of your target audience, and if done properly can be the equivalent of months and even years of impression frequency. In one shot you can embed an incredibly durable set of thoughts, desires, and emotions into the mind of your target consumer. For example, when you get a consumer to play a game, watch a video, or join a contest that has a robust brand building workflow, you pack in the equivalent of a consumer paying attention to literally dozens of your ads into one session!

Second, you can actually utilize engagement to create millions of additional impressions from the paid engagements that you encourage, adding serious octane to your advertising programs. This is powerful stuff and can turn even modest ad budgets into major brand builders.

So below are some interesting examples of engagements that you can encourage and measure to add octane to what you do online. These are things that you can use to layer in a whole new world of metrics to your reports. What am I missing? Please add them in the comments section.

  • Social sharing: Now, if you read my column, you know this one is my favorites. (See my earlier column on chiclets.) Everything you do online should be infused with social sharing technologies that enable people to post and tweet about your content and promotions. Give the consumers something interesting to share and they will!

  • Games, quizzes, and trivia: OK, you're setting the bar kind of high here, as what you do has to be entertaining. But, if done right a modest investment can live all over the Web, in Facebook, and even on people's mobile devices for years into the future.

  • Video views: This is nothing new, but have you ever done something fun like a "choose your own adventure" type decision tree with video? How many 30 to 60 second segments can you get a person to watch?

  • Connections: This is sort of analogous to opt-ins to your e-mail list, but in this one-click world how many people instantly Liked your products, became a fan, or followed you on Twitter? Incorporating your social connection goals into your campaigns adds a level of interaction to your creative that results in lasting consumer connections.

  • Crowdsourcing: Are you letting lovers of your brand join in the fun of promoting it? Are they submitting their photos to your album, recipes to your site, or videos to your channel? Check out this example of crowdsourcing my company did for the Harley-Davidson catalogue cover.

  • Downloading: This is different than converting. I'm talking about giving stuff away like coupons, white papers, posters, and infographics - no form required. How many items can you inject into the online and offline space by giving them away? Make information and art fun, interesting, and free and people will take it and share it. Imagine a banner campaign that's simply giving away a cool piece of branded art by a famous artist? What if Peter Max did a poster for your brand - do you think that would get downloaded, printed, and even framed?

  • Polls: Polls let people express themselves, and people will often take the poll simply to see the results. Furthermore, if they're interesting, they will share them!

  • Contests: Do you ever think of working social sharing and content development into the workflow? My company has run some video contests that have yielded amazing content. Add in voting and you'll get the people who submitted the content to promote it.

The key thing with the above ideas is, whether they are new or not, they can all be worked into your online campaigns and be measured. Encourage people to think beyond the impression and click to formulate full paths of engagement that a) deepen the branding experience, b) escalate people through the sales process, c) encourage social sharing, and d) inject assets into the consumer space that can live forever.

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Harry Gold

As founder and CEO of Overdrive, Harry Gold is the architect and conductor behind the company's ROI-driven programs. His primary mission is to create innovative marketing programs based on real-world success and to ensure the marketing and technology practices that drive those successes are continually institutionalized into the culture and methods of the agency. What excites him is the knowledge that Overdrive's collaborative environment has created a company of online media, SEM, and online behavioral experts who drive success for the clients and companies they serve. Overdrive serves a diverse base of B2B and B2C clients that demand a high level of accountability and ROI from their online programs and campaigns.

Harry started his career in 1995 when he founded online marketing firm Interactive Promotions, serving such clients as Microsoft, "The Financial Times," the Hard Rock Cafe, and the City of Boston. Since then, he has been at the forefront of online branding and channel creation, developing successful Web and search engine-based marketing programs for various agencies and Fortune 500 companies.

Harry is a frequent lecturer on SEM and online media for The New England Direct Marketing Association; Ad Club; the University of Massachusetts, Boston; Harvard University; and Boston University.

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