The purpose of your content marketing is to attract, engage and acquire customers and potential franchise buyers.

Engagement is the sixth step in the Cadence9 7 Step Content Marketing Lifecycle and, hopefully, the catalyst for a prospect to become a customer, brand advocate or franchisee as a result of interacting with, sharing and consuming your content.

Engagement is Key to Success

What’s the first thought that comes to mind when someone says, “Social Engagement?” Likes? Tweets? Shares? Follows? Comments? Purchases?

All those actions are actually the result of engagement. Unless someone engages with—reads, views, listens to—and likes your content, they won’t be sharing it with their friends or patronizing your franchise business.

The responsibility for creating engaging content lies with you, the franchisor. You have to publish content that is interesting, useful, entertaining and sharable in order to engage your audiences.

Engagement Grows With Exposure

When you publish new content, socialize it by cross-promotion with all your social media channels and throughout all franchise locations. One mention or post is not enough to get good engagement with your content, you need to work it!
  • Tweet about a blog post to direct people to your website
  • Host a video on YouTube, embed it on your website and tweet about it
  • Highlight great tweets on your Facebook page
  • Have follow/connect/share buttons for all your channels in your content
  • Promote content thorough personal emails and email blasts
  • Ask others to curate your content to their networks
  • Use Pinterest and Instagram to post visuals of your content with links back to the original
  • Discounts, contests and games should be cross-promoted, all linking back to your website
You can expand your digital footprint by following and connecting with others wherever your content will be relevant. For some B2B (Business to Business) traction, you can promote complementary sites or businesses to generate reciprocal promotion of your content. For example, if you sell a line of beauty products, promoting a salon, spa or gym that in turn promotes you, will expand your presence and invite engagement with prospects that may be outside your target audience but are very viable.

Scott Stratten of Un-Marketing.com, shares the concept of moving engagement to the “third ring.” First ring is socializing your content with your immediate contacts. These first ring users share it to their contacts—the second ring. At this level, you’re into “new prospects” territory with people who probably don’t know you. If your content is engaging enough, they will share with their contacts—the third ring, and you’ve gone viral.

The Anatomy of Viral Content


Engagement is Online Conversation

Engagement is a two-way street and all of your content should be an opportunity for starting a conversation. From first contact, all through discovery and finally to purchase, you want content throughout the buyer journey that makes communication easy by inviting comments, sharing, retweeting or other interactive options. Engagements can take the form of:
  • Questions
  • Comments
  • Praise
  • Complaints
  • Suggestions about products or services
  • Sharing a story/image
  • Seeking employment/franchise opportunity
Whatever the communication, people want to know that they have been heard, and that what they say matters to you. You should have systems in place to track customer engagement on all social platforms, so that you are quickly aware of engagement and can respond appropriately. Incorporating social media listening provides further engagement opportunities to monitor online conversations people are having about you, your franchisees and even your competitors. This allows you to jump in where appropriate and join the conversation, building relationships and being an active participant in the online community.

Every Engagement Presents an Opportunity for Your Franchise
  • Answering a question may close a sale
  • Responsiveness builds trust and loyalty
  • Customer praise or sharing a story can become sharable content
  • Questions can translate into a “Frequently Asked Questions” blog post or feature
  • Complaints or suggestions about products or services could actually help improve your
  • product or customer service practices if it’s valid input
  • An employment query may become a valuable employee or franchisee
If you’re generating engagements in the form of likes, shares, comments, follows, signups and sales, you are obviously providing quality content that is valuable and useful to your customers. At the same time, you’re enhancing your brand image and driving business for your franchisees.

Are you tracking engagement levels as indicators for your content planning and identifying what types of content you should be providing to your online audience?

Next week we’ll look at Measure, the 7th and final step of the Content Marketing Lifecycle. Measurement is the process of assessing the results of your content marketing strategy.

Main image: The Anatomy of Viral Content