If you’re immersed in the world of content, it’s more than likely that you hear the word “engagement” dropped into marketing conversation on a daily basis. It’s often phrased as a question: How do we engage audiences? How do we measure and score engagement? And how does engagement stack up against other metrics?
These are all important questions. Engagement is not a passing buzzword. It’s an incredibly powerful metric. linked to revenue and other important organizational outcomes finally applying a clear ROI for what has previously been difficult to measure.
In the not too distant past, companies looked to the number of clicks, “likes” and “fans” to measure the success of a campaign. However, the metric of engagement is much more substantial than a simple head count. It captures information about audience behavior behavior patterns that are likely to repeat through large groups of people, and ultimately allow for predictive analytics. That’s why I believe that
In this white paper, I explain why engagement is the best metric to measure and score success. I review the history of engagement as a metric. Based on my experience, I propose a framework for understanding engagement, and describe how the availability of data has made measuring engagement so accessible for all marketers.
THE EMERGING METRIC
While the measurement of engagement is a recent phenomenon, the concept is not new. In the age when marketing was dominated by signs, leaflets, and face-to-face interactions, engagement was measured by actual relationships.
Engagement is the obvious next step in the evolution of satisfaction, loyalty, awareness, and favorability. With digital analytics, engagement has the ability to measure actual behavior, rather than measure behavior by proxy with questions of intention.
Take, for example, the Net Promoter Score. Asking, “How likely is it that you would recommend [your company] to a friend or colleague?” the NPS aims to capture customer loyalty. It was accepted as the industry standard in 2006 but it has its drawbacks. The question has to be posed directly to the consumer, and the score relies upon self-reported information that doesn’t necessarily match the consumer’s actual behavior. Engagement bypasses these pitfalls. You don’t have to ask the question, because you already have the information real, reliable data collected at the time of the experience.