PR and marketing has fallen into a trap. This trap is something we call the ‘spinning wheel of engagement’.
PR and marketing teams have become very good at engaging their target audiences online and within social media. Like good little hamsters attracted by some food, the target audience is being drawn in and clicking their ‘follow’ and ‘like’ buttons. And then…nothing.
The engagement wheel goes round and round but the hamsters never move forward. Or to be more accurate, if they do move forward to eventually buy something, the PR and marketing teams will not be aware that they have and it will not be because of an intentional journey that they devised.
The end result is that the quest for engagement has seen engagement become the goal. Companies have to wake up to the hugely wasted opportunity this represents.
Once engaged, businesses must consider what will happen to the audience next. Every engagement is a potential sale in the making. However, that simply will not be the case if the audience cannot progress from that initial, engaging piece of content to another and another which is all purposefully designed to take the audience forward towards a commercial goal.
Does that content need to be contextually relevant and meet their needs? Yes, it does. Must it be equally engaging and not some contrived rush to a sale? Also yes. However, without a journey, the investment and resource put into creating the content and engaging the audience with that content is being wasted.
So, it is time to leave the spinning wheels to the hamsters and make every piece of content an opportunity for your target customer to progress forward on a journey.