Today's businesses have a pervasive challenge that the latest apps, viral social media trends, and communication "hacks" won't solve: consistent engagement.
As our always-connected world escalates the battle for attention, the tendency of most businesses is to try and cut through the noise with even louder, more dazzling demands. At LOFT, however, we believe a more successful strategy is founded upon valuing engagement over attention, actions over impressions, and behaviors over inclinations.
With that in mind, here are four ways to transform your target audience's attention into lasting engagement:
1. Start by Defining Behavior Outcomes
It's easy to get started on the wrong foot by merely focusing on what your business goals are. Yes, a sales target and related sales strategy are important for a sales team to know. Knowledge alone, however, is not power.
- What do we want our target audience to think, feel, and do differently than it is now?
- What current behaviors are we hoping to elevate or change?
- How will we know when our target audience is now exhibiting those new behaviors?
By first defining behavior outcomes for the target audience of your next corporate event, you'll be able to better craft an experience that meets (and even exceeds) your business goals.
2. Beware of "Business as Usual"
If your annual corporate event follows a consistent format each year, chances are you already have an engagement problem. This is because humans by nature are wired to ignore repeated experiences. Same type of venue each year? Same call to action and imagery in your campaigns? All of these repeated aspects may improve operational efficiency; however, they are detrimental to driving audience engagement.
Shake things up. Include new people on your internal team, or better yet, bring in an external expert to provide fresh ideas.
3. It's Not Engagement if it's Not Meaningful
Want to use a popular keynote speaker but their topic has no tie-in to your desired audience behavior outcomes? Take a pass. Same goes for that hip new parkour, techno, beatbox, cirque du something act that is merely entertainment for entertainment's sake. We're not saying you shouldn't hire a group that can inject energy into a long day, but what must be considered is the long-term engagement value.
4. Leverage External Engagement Experts
Chances are, you know your business leaders, employees, customers, and partners quite well. This knowledge is essential fodder for creating experiences that drive engagement. How those experiences are shaped, however, more often than not requires a fresh perspective. Here is where an external engagement expert can help.
Not only will an engagement expert bring a vast repository of what works, what's fresh, and what's next, but they can help ensure engagement doesn't come to a crashing halt once the meeting or campaign is over. By properly tracking engagement metrics before, during, and after, plus charting that engagement over multiple experiences, your business can build upon every success and continue to drive increased results year over year.
So if your goal is to go beyond mere "impressions" and "likes," consider developing and measuring your next project in terms of engagement. Your audience will thank you.
Loft is a boutique agency based in Toronto, Ontario, that specializes in elevating the business outcomes of its clients by energizing engagement.