Exponential Interactive has released their whitepaper,“Engagement: Not Just a Buzzword, The Art of Driving Active Attention with Your Next Consumer.” It discusses the significance of ‘engagement’ – and why the lack of understanding around user engagement leads to misaligned incentives, dissatisfying results and wasted dollars.
“Our industry has used the term ‘engagement’ liberally for two decades, with little consensus on what it means. Instead, we turn around and optimize our advertising campaigns towards simplistic metrics that reward high-volume, low-involvement content,” says Bryan Melmed, vice president, insights services, for Exponential (pictured top left). “This isn’t working for anyone, especially brand advertisers. We need to think critically about why engagement is important in the first place and what metrics we can use that truly capture active user attention.”
Some other points raised in the paper include:
Engagement should be discussed in terms of capturing conscious, active attention – by looking at the brand as a learned behavior and attention as the allocation of mental resources to visible or conceptual objects.
Big data is ultimately insufficient without effective application of engagement tactics because data by itself may be too convoluted, overvalued and intrusive.
Emphasizing engagement is not only cost-effective, it aligns incentives for advertisers, publishers and vendors alike.
Opt-in user interaction is best enhanced through video advertising and rich media – particularly with optimal use of the teaser and brand consistency in interactive elements.
When measuring brand impact, advertisers should look at cognitive, emotional and physical engagement on a spectrum that is well-tailored to the specific campaign. This includes larger, brand awareness metrics such as purchase intent, sentiment and intent to seek more information to more physical metrics including conversion rate, dwell time and interaction rate.