How to Engage your Target Audience

When you scroll through Facebook or Instagram, what catches your eye? Does it keep your attention? Does it make you want to try or buy or share?

We all know we need to “engage” our audience if we’re going to truly make a difference and tempt them to take some sort of action. But what does engagement actually mean? How do we actually catch and then hold our viewers’ attention?

Here are 3 proven tactics for helping to engage your audiences.

Produce Static Video for Facebook

Go on Facebook and scroll through your news feed. Chances are most of what you see are videos, since there are a staggering 8 billion video views per day on Facebook alone, and much of that is branded content. How is that number of views even possible?

If your branded content is on Facebook, it needs to be worth viewing to capture the attention of someone scrolling down a news feed and pausing for a moment to engage. At the end of the day, you’re asking someone to pause and spend a moment in their journey to engage, and need to make your content worth their time. Facebook realizes this potential and has made it a goal to become an all video platform, meaning their algorithm will favor and boost this kind of visual formatting in the future and people will see you more in their own newsfeeds.

Even if your main platform isn’t Facebook, it’s hard to ignore the metrics that accompany branded video and the potential for ROI and optimization, especially with younger customers. It seems like many brands have good intentions when it comes to dabbling in video content, but many are working blindly and without much strategy, and sacrificing quality.

Sure, the barrier to entry for video is high. It’s more expensive than other types of content which means you’re often creating less content or sacrificing quality (or budget). But across every age group, it’s shown to be the most memorable kind of content. Hubspot puts it best, “Investing in video content today will feel like what blogging was 10 years ago.” There are countless opportunities for those who choose to invest and do it right.

Stream Live With and For your Influencers

Live streaming humanizes a brand and allows it to interact with its viewers in real time. 80 percent of customers say they would rather watch live videos from a brand than read a blog post plus Facebook live videos are watched 3x longer than regular videos. Proving once again that engaging video content works.

Brands and influencers can utilize live video to make announcements, share updates, provide utility/ tips or tease behind the scenes glimpses into the creative process. There’s also the opportunity to invite followers to attend live events to promote a brand’s launch or idea or service. The value given vs value received is measurable and so valuable for the marketing funnel.

Think Traditional for the Boomers and Gen X

Let’s not forget Boomers and Gen X, who crave content in different ways. They’re planning for retirement, becoming empty nesters and transitioning the kids to college, and don’t have as much time to engage with content. They want things easy, and often in the format they’re most used to. Sometimes, that’s email.

While Hubspot’s study about content preferences found that consumers across all age groups consistently want more branded video content, there were huge differences for what makes other types of content top of mind.

Just 22% of young consumers say they want emails from brands, compared to 68% of Boomers prefer email. This decline in email interactions could be because mobile-loving millennials won’t prioritize an email notification over the constant influx of other phone notifications, like texts, social media push notifications and news alerts. With that much distraction from your phone, an email notification is much easier to ignore.

At the end of the day, nothing will engage your audience more than quality video that provides value. Unique, engaging content that’s written specifically to them, for them, from you, that inspires emotion. Content that doesn’t disrupt their day in a bad way, but adds to it in a good one.

Shelly Maxwell, Lead Marketing Strategist

Shelly’s professional experience includes communications strategy, project management, public relations and production. The only thing she loves more than helping to further develop start-up creative companies is exploring the world.  Shelly also enjoys guacamole, Friday afternoons, and cookie dough.

Follow Shelly and Koi-Fly Creative at @livemaxlivewell and @koiflycreative.

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