Marketing 101: What Is Engagement? Why It’s Important

Picture of Phil Hughes
Phil Hughes

Have you ever been really interested in or excited about something?

Well, that’s because you were “engaged” with that thing. It describes a feeling

In this article. I’m going to discuss engagement as it relates to marketing. What it is, and why it matters when it comes to your content.

I hope this ‘excites’ or ‘interests’ you.

Let’s get started.

What is Engagement?

So. Let’s start with a few definitions.

Here at Elementary Analytics. Our goal is to make things as simple as possible.

We like to define engagement as “measuring user interactions with content”.

That’s it.

A more detailed definition is: “audience’s level of interaction, attention, and interest in brand content”

Now we are getting more “woolly”. That’s one thing I don’t like about marketing. That’s me though.

Anyway.

Engagement isn’t about the exposure or the number of people who view or read your content.

It’s about how they interact, participate and connect with your content. And when we say content. This isn’t limited to social media posts. It’s anything that you are producing as a part of your marketing campaigns.

Some examples are:

The number of likes, comments and shares on your social media posts.

How many people have opened an email

The number of clicks and ads has had.

How much time someone spends reading content on your website? Or how many pages they view each time they visit the site.

This varies depending on the platform and medium.

Why Engagement Matters

Why is engagement so important?

If people see our content, isn’t that enough?

That’s a great question, and yes getting eyeballs on your content can be key. But it doesn’t tell the whole story.

Engagement shows that the content you’re creating is resonating.

I like to think that we are trying to engage people by entertaining them, educating them, or inspiring them.

And depending on how people engage with your content you can see if you are doing one of these three things.

The downstream effect of engagement could have a big impact on a business.

It helps improve key metrics. Things like, reach, and more traffic to a website. More leads. More conversions which leads to an increase in revenue.

Also, it can help build brand awareness, loyalty, and advocacy.

An engaged audience is more likely to take desired actions.

For me. One of the key reasons to track engagement is it helps you with your marketing. It provides data and insights for optimizing your content strategy.

High engagement rates lead to better organic/paid reach on social.

Engaged email subscribers are more likely to convert.

Positive engagement (comments, shares) builds brand trust and affinity.

It helps you see if what you’re doing is working.

Strategies for Boosting Engagement

If you aren’t happy with the levels of engagement your content is getting. What can you do about it?

Well, it’s hard to know exactly. This could become a massive blog post if we went through all the tactics we could think of.

Here are things we focus on to help out engagement.

Know your audience – create relevant content that meets their needs/interests

Focus on value – offer useful, entertaining, or inspiring content

Evoke emotion – use storytelling, humour, and suspense to provoke a response

Encourage interaction – ask questions, include calls-to-action, run contests

Optimize format – use engaging visuals, compelling headlines, scannable text

Test and learn – track engagement metrics, A/B test, iterate based on data

Consistency – maintain a steady cadence of quality content

So how does this look in the real world?

Well, you could run a poll or question in social posts to spark discussion. Create a how-to video that provides value and encourages sharing.

Even run a giveaway that promotes comments and brand interaction.

The possibilities are endless.

Conclusion

Engagement is the audience’s level of interaction, attention, and interest in your content

It’s essential for building relationships with audiences. And in turn, improve the result for your marketing.

Focusing on audience needs, interaction, emotion, and value are key.

Marketers should focus on engagement as a core metric and test strategies to improve it.

An engaged audiences fuel brand growth. Even helps with conversions and drives revenue.

If you’d like more of a deep dive into data and marketing. Check out our article What is Data-Driven Marketing?

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