This is what true engagement asks of the marketer: 1) You must create a compelling message in compressed form. 2) You must follow this with an expansive narrative that rewards the deeper immersion. 3) You must create a compelling and compressed takeaway; something people can share forward, confidently.
Most marketers, however, tend to deliver content along simple compression-expansion lines.
The process goes something like this:
First, there is the “compressed” message: it could be a subject line, a teaser, a header, a banner, a button, a link, etc. The point is, it’s the micro. If it works, the reader/viewer is drawn in, moving from a cursory look, to a curious listen.
Second, it’s macro-time: the “expanded” message; at this point, the recipient is no longer skimming; rather, they’re spelunking: diving in, digging deep, exploring.
Most marketers consider this to be mission accomplished. You laid the bait, the reader bit, you reeled them in.
Regrettably, this is also where so many marketers stop.
Regrettable, because that’s not how true engagement works. True engagement takes things a step further.
Compression-Expansion-Compression. Cursory to Curious to Curator. It’s not enough to just reel them in, you have to send them back out again, taking your freshly re-compressed story with them.
Here’s the rub though; you, as marketer, have to provide them with their new micro, the new compressed message; it’s not fair to expect people to distill your content back down for you, and take away a takeaway of their own device; you have to assemble their to-go box for them. And most importantly, they have to want to take it with them. It has to be that good.
Fail to do so, and you’ve only accomplished 2/3 of the goal; sure you attracted them, and sure you delivered the content goods, but to what purpose, and who’s going to know?
Do it right, however, and they become an emissary, an ambassador, a plenipotentiary; spreading the wisdom and expanding the kingdom.
This kind of success can be particularly effective in the context of a strategy often referred to as Influencer Marketing. The idea here is that you’re not only looking for ambassadors for your content — gospel spreaders, brand evangelists — but individuals particularly well-positioned to amplify your message courtesy of their own substantive presence in your targeted space.
So, you’re a marketer, and you’ve got a really special piece of content to share. Influencer Marketing says, find someone with “influence” whose track record suggests they may be intrigued by what you have to offer. Then, calibrate your presentation accordingly. Craft a lean and true-ringing lead that will hopefully attract their attention. Then, reward them for that attention with legitimately relevant and special content. And finally, give them a takeaway. Make sure there’s a concise, clear, imaginative, and dynamic summary statement that is easily identifiable, multi-platform shareable, and as needed, modifiable (should the influencer, for their own purposes, wish to put their own stamp on the content.)
Most of all, remember: Influencers, and in fact ALL actors on the social stage, protect the integrity of their presences, and no one who cares curates lightly.