We hear a lot about engaging with our customers and other “constitutents.” The trick is to know how to engage in an effective and sustainable manner.
A recent webinar “Beyond the Campaign: Engagement Marketing for Non-Profit Organizations” gave some practical tips for such engagement. The webinar was presented by Outmarket and featured Lori Wizdo, principal analyst of Forrester Research. I encourage you to view the recording.
In the meantime, here are some of the webinar’s highlights for me.
First of all, engagement marketing is different from campaigns (e.g., fundraisers). By definition, campaigns are about an organization’s goals (not necessarily about its constituent’s interests). Campaigns are episodic and time bound.
Engagement marketing is about relationships. It’s continuous. It’s marketing around themes, rather than around events or requests.
Both campaigns and engagement marketing have their place, but campaigns don’t help you “be found.” And the fine art of being found is key in today’s marketing environment.
Four tools that can help you “be found” and engage with your constituents are:
• Public relations
• Social media
• Engagement content, and
• “Mobile moments.”
For me, the most significant tool was using content to engage, which was defined as “a marketing strategy where brands create interest, relevance and relationships with customers by producing, curating and sharing content that addresses specific customer needs and delivers visible value.”
Engagement content has several advantages because it:
• Pulls people to the brand or organization.
• Lets you influence customers early in the journey.
• Helps drives traffic and leads.
• Lets you learn more about your constituents (because your audience selects the content that interests them and you learn by their selections).
There is a lot of content out there, but it is possible to break through. A short video entitled First World Problems is a good example. The video shows third-world people stating first-world problems. (For example, a man standing in front of a hovel says that “I hate it when my house is too big I need two wireless routers.”)
In the process, the video makes the point that “first world problems are not real problems.” The campaign has been amazingly effective in generating donations for Charity: Water, which is bringing clean drinking water to people in developing nations.
And (more good news) you don’t need to actually create the content. You can curate existing content. But this is not just aggregating content and it’s not a matter where quantity beats quality. Curation adds value; it requires making judgment calls to select the best content on a given topic.
For example, you could put together a list of “the top 10 things you need to know about xx.” Several good content-curation software tools are available to help with this process.
Again, these are elements of the webinar I found interesting, not an attempt to summarize the entire webinar. Watch it yourself and see what impresses you.