When asked about building a robust Web presence, inevitably the notion of online engagement enters the conversation. One client recently mused that the marketing department’s primary role is to create content that inspires visitors to care. I shared a contrary viewpoint. I suggested that it was more about attracting visitors who already care. So, is achieving some level of online engagement a pipe dream or just a bunch of hype?
What is Online Engagement Anyway?
First, let’s define engagement. For some content consumers, it’s just that… consumption. They visit, they read, and they leave. The only evidence they were actually there is through anonymous statistics tracked via Google Analytics. In the online world, we call these folks Lurkers, the 90% of the population who don’t contribute to the online conversation. If most blog readers fall into this category, no wonder it’s difficult to collect comments on blogs and gain traction with Social Media content.
At the next level are Intermittent Contributors, representing about 9%. On the other end of the spectrum are full-fledged Contributors, a mere 1%. They are your coveted evangelists, individuals who love your content and share it willingly. They re-tweet your brilliant 140-character musings. They fan your Facebook page. They share your posts to an ever-growing network. These visitors are called Influencers, representing the online elite.
So, in the quest to build online engagement… is there any hope?
According to Seth Godin in his best-selling book “Tribes,” he believes everyone is not just a marketer that everyone is now also a leader. Each and every one of us has the opportunity to create a tribe, a community based upon a common interest and desire to make a difference. He also goes on to say “Tribes are about faith — about belief in an idea. And they are grounded in respect and admiration for the leader of the tribe and for the other members as well.”
Notice that Seth didn’t say anything about creating a compelling argument to induce faith. It’s not about presenting the most interesting rationale. I suggest that we focus on what inspires us in our business. Share why we do what we do. Beyond the obvious need to pay the bills, we’ve chosen our respective businesses for a reason.
What’s Spectrum’s raison d’etre? We love to educate our clients about online marketing in a way that supports their integrity and unique brand. We’re also driven to help businesses grow. Not for growth’s sake, but to help others improve their financial situation (for the business owner and for those that they employ).
Now that’s our idea. We think it’s worth spreading and adding to the online community. What’s yours?