Audience Engagement Untangled

Audience engagement is a convergent space. It’s a collection of strategies that must coordinate, some of which intersect to form additional layers of strategy necessary for success. A holistic approach to audience engagement considers each of these elements and catalyzes the engagement process.


    Creating awareness of a brand is necessary for success but does not define it. The most effective brands connect with their audiences by creating a shared purpose or vision that compels audiences to engage. Connection isn’t a given and generally takes time to develop. It’s emotional for an audience and requires layers of engagement to build a relationship and influence with them.
    Strategic engagement is the core of the collection of strategies. It focuses on mapping the goals of a brand and the needs of each audience segment into a shared journey and designing effective engaging moments that build a relationship and influence with each.Solid branding and engagement strategies are needed to inform strategic and tactical communications plans that influence how your brand is perceived and how your audience engages with you.
    Marketing and communications strategy establishes the who, what, why, and how a brand will deliver and promote content across channels. It determines the strategic themes and key messages that will resonate best to reinforce a brand, to move audiences toward brand goals, and to meet its mission and vision.
    Messaging and content strategies direct development of the stories a brand tells to deepen audience engagement. Tactically, they coordinate engaging moments to amplify the impact of messages. Creating a brand story that delivers across the network of audience touchpoints created by the interconnected channels available to audiences is essential for successful engagement.
    Between digital and analog channels, opportunities to reach audiences are more diverse and plentiful than ever, but actual engagement is more challenging. Windows to engage are short, and competition for that time is fierce. Within the context of audience segments, engagement relies on understanding the strengths of different channels and using best practices in multichannel experiences. Offering the right engaging moment at the right time can amplify efforts to grow relationships and build influence with your audience.
    The necessary infrastructure to collect audience information and manage interactions with them underlies more efficient, effective, and meaningful engaging moments. Outreach strategies include infrastructure, as well as a codified approach to coordinating the who, when, where, how, and why of every audience touchpoint. It maximizes engagement opportunities and amplifies impact.
    Audience engagement must be built on a solid foundation of audience insights. Profiling audiences using behavioral analyses considers information needs, challenges, habits, and influences to better understand what, how, and why audiences engage. The segments created through profiling are painted with broad strokes to provide strategic direction for engagement. While demographic and socioeconomic data alone scratch the surface of what needs to be understood about any audience, they help break large segments into more detailed facets that produce deeper insights for tactical planning.
    From setting goals and baseline metrics to measuring progress over time, comprehensive analytics should be woven into every aspect of audience engagement. A defined approach for how data will be collected and turned into insights that drive future efforts with efficiency allows brands to make data-driven decisions about how to engage audiences. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are powerful new tools that can increase the speed and impact of delivering insights.