Starz In Their Eyes (Remix)
Eyeballs are not action. Only action is action. Duh.
In the tech world, engagement is a grossly misunderstood concept. The term is readily thrown around to describe the level of interaction that a particular post, tweet or picture is able to garner.
People want it. Others promise to deliver it (for a fee, of course). But neither side seems to know what engagement is, really. So how do you know that you actually achieved it? And when you should pay to chase it?
In the physical world, observation and measurement of utilization is pretty darn straightforward. You pick up a product, use it to accomplish a task (or consume it). If it worked (or was delicious), you do it again. Easy breezy, Cover Girl.
That is engagement in its most literal form.
But how do you accurately measure something as fleeting and esoteric as digital content? Especially when you are just one tiny bee in the massive swarm trying to differentiate your buzz.
Most look to metrics including number of followers, likes, thumbs up, hearts and the equivalent. (Or, if you are Twitter, whether someone just happened to mindlessly scroll by. While labeled as an ‘impression’, that is about as misguided as our passing silently on the street and me suddenly declaring us besties and showing up at your rehearsal dinner to deliver a toast.)
Get a bunch of these whatevers, and you are killing it. Well, relative to everyone else going through the same hollow motions, that is. Combine enough of these meaningless stats with thousands of followers purchased off of Fiverr and you might even be able to call yourself an influencer.
But what does this all mean? And does it even matter?
What we really need is action. Plain and simple. Just getting people to do what we need them to do.
If the content is intended to sell a product or service, it only counts when a transaction is closed and the money is in your pocket. A heaping pile of likes does not move the needle. You cannot put those in the bank. A clicked upon heart-shaped arrangement of pixels may deliver a fleeting warm and fuzzy feeling, but it does not feed the family. You cannot pull the bottom line into the black with likes alone.
Don’t get me wrong, though.
Building a brand or telling a story as part of a greater, over-arching dialogue is fine; it is an important part of marketing a product or a service, for sure. But if all you ever do is say, “Gather round kids, it’s story time”, and fail to nudge your target customer towards a desired outcome, then you are just part of the noise.
Buzz, buzz, buzz. Just like everyone else.
Content needs a call to action. And, better yet, an easy way for your target audience to act on it right then to seal the deal.
While not set in motion by the ALS Association itself, the Ice Bucket Challenge is a great example of how a silly little internet stunt went on to raise $115 million to fight Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. This eye-popping amount was made possible by the clear set of guidelines: complete the challenge, capture it on video, share it on social media and then call out the next target. By name. They then had a choice: make a video or make a donation.
Many did both.
That, my friends, is how you win digital marketing – and blow the roof off the fundraising goal for your non-profit.
So, before you hit ‘submit’ on your next Insta, tweet or (for the handful of you still actually using it) Facebook post, pause a beat to ponder if you are doing it just for the digital validation (“I got a 100 likes! I matter!”) or if you want to actually accomplish something.
Deliver your message – and make it memorable. Be clear. Maybe fun (or even funny). But don’t forget to weave in the ask. Push them to action. Then, measure those results.
And don’t forget to wave from your shiny, new luxury car at those with more likes and less sales as you pass them walking on the street.
To prove that I drink my own Kool-Aid, this post would not be complete without my own call to action:
Be sure to do them all. In order. Right now.
Starz In Their Eyes by Just Jack
This song and Just Jack, in general, are guilty pleasures. Normally, I am not fond of those that add a ‘z’ to pluralize words. (But, in all fairness, this song came out in 2007, so maybe he was ahead of the curve and not part of a played out trend.) This song covers the pumped-up rise and inevitable, shoulder-shrugging fall of a pop star. It seemed only fitting to take the same red-hot-then-fizzle storyline and arc it over to digital marketing. Plus, the catchy tune will have you bouncing in your seat.