This is a Guest Post by Payman Taei. Payman is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.
One of the tricky things about tracking engagement in marketing is that, by and large, people can’t seem to agree on exactly what it means in the first place. According to one recent study:
- A full 63% of marketers tend to define engagement as some form of definitive action like customer renewals, repeat purchases or some other clear cut sign of retention.
- 22% of marketers consider engagement to be a brand awareness tool – it’s a sign that people are aware that you’re out there and, generally speaking, they know what your brand is all about.
- Another 78% of marketers think that engagement occurs either in the middle stage of the marketing funnel or at the very end.
The problem with all this is that it tends to take too much of a macro look at what you’re trying to do. Yes, getting people to make multiple purchases is always key… but as the old saying tells us, “slow and steady wins the race.” That’s a great indication that people are engaged with your brand. But on a more hyper focused level, they also need to be engaged with your actual marketing collateral in a slightly different way.
Surveys Are All About Active Engagement
Infographics have long been considered a great way to increase engagement because they’re excellent for:
- Taking complicated ideas and distilling them down to their bare essentials.
- Visualizing boring data in a way that is fun and interesting to digest.
- Both of these things at the same time.
What they’re not really great at, however, is being active. In terms of an Infographic, engagement is essentially measured by A) whether someone finishes reading the content, and B) whether they take the next step and share it with their friends and family members on Facebook or some other type of social network.
All of this is important in terms of brand awareness, yes – but there is a way to push this further that a lot of people overlook.
When you make an effort to create a visual survey using a tool like Visme, it’s almost like you’re creating an Infographic that someone can interact with. Engagement suddenly goes beyond “was someone exposed to that piece of collateral for the appropriate amount of time” and into something deeper and far more meaningful.
Surveys are an excellent tool to increase brand engagement because people can not only interact with them, but do so in a way that literally changes the end result of the experience that they’re about to have.
Essentially, they get to feel like they’re a part of something and that they have some tangible influence over your brand as an idea. Along those same lines, surveys are also an incredible way to both collect quality data and show people that you actually care about what they have to say in the first place. A survey can be anything – from a fun, goofy idea that you want your audience to ponder to a legitimate question that you have about your products or services.
The point is that surveys are an excellent input to take passive marketing and turn it into active collateral in a way that is engaging and visual in one fell swoop.
None of this is to say that surveys are the silver bullet you’ve been looking for in terms of engagement, however. According to one recent study, once the length of a survey reaches 20 or more minutes, both the quality of the data being collected and the attention span of the respondents begins to greatly diminish with each passing minute. To take that one step further, a massive 52% of people said that they would not spend more than three minutes filling out any type of survey at all, whether they were very interested in the premise behind it all or not.
Based on that, it’s clear that the power of a survey certainly has its limitations – but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Surveys used for marketing purposes shouldn’t be a marathon experience, but instead more of a sprint. It’s all about posing an engaging question (or two), giving your audience something interesting to think about and getting in and getting out as quick as you can. If you’re able to master that, there is really no limit to what you might be able to do.
Engagement Creates Engagement
In the end, it’s important to remember that engagement – regardless of which shape it takes or where it occurs – is always a good thing and should always be a top priority. But in terms of marketing collateral like surveys, Infographics or even Scatter Plots, you need to consider engagement within the larger context of what you’re doing.
Someone who has their interest piqued by an interesting survey may not immediately jump over to your website and make a purchase, no – but they are very much interacting with your brand. They’re doing so in a fun, exciting way that is also A) proactive, and B) heavily visual. If you can get them to engage with your brand on any level, it’s very easy to get them to keep doing it.
That is how you push them, little by little, from one end of the sales funnel to another. Think about marketing engagement a bit like a campfire. Once you actually manage to get the thing lit, you may have to work to keep it going, sure – but you’ll have a far easier time maintaining that momentum than you did when you originally started the fire in the first place.
That is what marketing engagement is all about and that’s why surveys are such a powerful tool to help you accomplish that goal over the long-term.