Engagement – the silver bullet metric?

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Followers don’t cut it; likes don’t always show the reach; impressions aren’t the full story; and who cares if your Mum likes your economic whitepaper; but it’s great your main CEO prospect likes that video of your cat.

I’m evaluating success for 3 different clients. I’m not looking at the obvious commercial results, which are of course an ultimate goal, rather looking at how to understand and measure the success of design engagement.

Understanding your definition of “engagement” could be a silver-bullet metric, especially for those frustrating campaign update meetings with your boss.

Platforms, printed media, digital media, groups, influencers – it’s a minefield. Design and content has to work everywhere. Publisher Dao Nguyen of BuzzFeed thinks about publishing in the age of “distributed content”. (I like this, even though he’s about as far as I could get from B2B.)

Close to 75% of the company’s content is never viewed on their site and therefore difficult to measure. Rather it’s crafted for sharing on networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. He agrees there’s no single silver-bullet measure and I think my B2B colleagues could learn a lesson.

We’re used to complex sales cycles, including everything from event attendance, posters, flyers, referrals, email campaigns, blogs and face-to-face meetings. Business development is not a linear process, that’s for sure. So maybe engagement is a view across all this good work?

Regardless, as I look at the results of campaign design I can see that in the end, what “engagement” looks like, can be very different. But each design project starts in exactly the same way. And that is, what does “engagement” mean for you?

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