This is the 100th time I’ve tried to write this blog post and there are three things I’ve realized:
- This specific topic, Content Engagement, is really hard to define.
- Today it really boils down to a reaction.
- And, there will be a lot of bullet points in the blog post.
First and foremost, why is content engagement so darn hard to define? I’ve spent the past three days marinating on this and I chose to focus in one direction on this topic, then switched directions, and then yet again tweaked the direction. CONTENT engagement. Still difficult to define and articulate, but doable… I think… maybe… over a few posts. ;-)
Let’s look at what’s going on with “engagement” for content marketers. We’ve all seen the very, very well reported statistic about content marketing in the B2B world. The Content Marketing Institute's yearly benchmark report is linked here. One of the most interesting statistics on page 27 is a lovely graph showing “Producing Engaging Content” as the number one… sorry… #1 challenge faced by B2B marketers. This means we are struggling to create content that stands out, resonates with the audience, and inspires people to… engage (whatever that means).
So let’s jump to the problem. We are creating content that is not engaging and, like every problem, we need to find the start. AND this is where the problem with defining content engagement starts. We can slice and dice this a few ways.
Industry and Role
Internal vs. External
The person that you ask in the company at any given day… everyone has an opinion.
BUT there is one known I can confirm about content engagement—it boils down to a two-way communication between the customer and the brand. To break it down and to take things home, I think Facebook just stumbled on the next step of defining engagement. It’s about a reaction to your content. In our world (B2B), it’s something that starts a conversation. It’s content you create that gets you:
Closer and closer to a sale by starting a conversation (Marketing).
Closer to an opportunity that turns in to a win ($ales).
Closer to a successful customer that runs into lifetime customer and advocate (Customer Success).
With this reaction, we can then form engagement, and it can take on a tone and voice throughout the buyer/customer journey of any industry/role/vertical/persona group we examine.
Ultimately, the engagement we are trying to define and the content you create is designed to have a reaction. Look at these examples:
A lawyer creates content to engage her judge or jury to get a winning verdict = reaction
A cook creates a dish that gets a reaction that satisfies the patron = reaction
A DJ play music that gets the dance floor movin’ = reaction
A B2B marketer creates content so good an anonymous visitor turns into a lead = reaction
Content engagement can be defined as content created for a reaction. So this is the basics of content engagement from where I stand. But where are we going?
Facebook created reaction buttons
We have Instant Articles coming out soon. Better content that creates more contextual reaction.
How does this translate for B2B marketers? I mean Facebook isn’t our ideal social profile of choice, but there is something to learn with their new announcements. We want our reactions to translate into powerful content that generates reactions or engagement through:
Interactive content creation for B2B marketers can create the “wow” worthy content we all seek… with results to back it up. Check out what these brands have done with ion interactive’s content platform to get a reaction:
- Fact Based Research Company Aberdeen interactive roadmap.
- Global Events Marketing Company UBM’s interactive map.
And we aren’t the only ones that feel this way.
Stay tuned to our blog for installment number two in this monthly series focused on content engagement and improving how you connect with your audience.