Just within the realm of web and mobile marketing, there are so many vehicles for “getting the word out” that it can get awfully overwhelming.
In fact, it’s easy to lose sight of the entire purpose of it all. You may have experienced this moment before: You’re in the middle of a direct mail project or managing your Twitter account and you ask, why am I doing all of this anyway?
The big picture answer is an easy one: You want to get someone to do something. And that’s why it is important to understand the difference between exposure and engagement.
First, There’s Exposure
Exposure is getting you or your offering in front of people that might be interested. Exposure alone is rarely a bad thing. In the past, one rule of thumb was that potential customers must encounter your brand seven times before it “sticks” in their minds. This “stickiness” factor is much like what has been referred to more recently as “top of mind awareness.” (See also Made to Stick and The Tipping Point for more.)
For several reasons, I don’t know how true the Rule of Seven is anymore. The good news is there are a lot ways to get that exposure now – far more than in the past. The bad news: There is far more noise than ever before.
Then, There’s Engagement
One of the goals with exposure is to make your message stand out from the noise. But, remember your ultimate goal? To actually get someone to do something?
A call to action is one of the first steps toward engagement – a level of interaction that brings that special someone closer to doing that special something. Your call to action doesn’t have to be a direct plea to buy your widget immediately. It can be. But, more often, it will be something free or something that will benefit your audience and build real trust.
Five Sample Calls to Action
Sample calls to action might involve:
- A simple question to get your audience thinking.
- An invitation to connect with questions.
- A contest.
- A helpful blog article.
- A discount code.
There are, of course, many more possibilities. In the next installment, we’ll look at a real nuts and bolts example of what exposure vs. engagement looks like.
Meanwhile, do you have questions? Ideas? I want to hear from you, and I’m happy to give free advice based on your questions below.