If you are a nonprofit, ministry, or sell goods or services for profit, you have what we call “an engagement cycle” with your consumers/followers/donors/audience. And regardless of whether or not you’ve identified this engagement cycle, it exists.
The engagement cycle is a cyclical process of relationship building between a brand and its consumer – moving from an unknown quantity through various stages of identification. It moves through four steps as follows:
Discover: Someone finds out that your brand exists through some medium
- Example: A coworker tells them about your organization
Interaction: Someone makes a choice to engage your brand in some way
- Example: They follow your brand on social media post
Participation: Someone takes an action in being personally involved with your organization
- Example: They attend a donor event
Advocacy: Someone becomes a loyal promoter and activist for your organization
- Example: They tell their friends about your organization and inviting them to church on Sunday
And like most things during a pandemic, we’ve seen a change in how a consumer moves between these steps. On today’s post, we want to talk about the shift in moving someone from “Discover” to “Interaction” and how we recommend your brand accommodate these new times.
Long story, short: We need more touch points between steps one and two in this all-digital world of content saturation. How do you stand out and actually get people from just knowing who you are to actually interacting with your brand?
- Tell them what problem you solve
Too often organizations assume that people understand the problem they’re solving and only talk about the solutions. However, if someone doesn’t know that a problem exists, they can’t connect to the solution you’re offering.
For a church, for example, instead of communicating “Come worship with us and make our church your home,” it may be more effective to speak to a felt. Something like, “Are you struggling with finding a safe place to explore your spirituality?” or “have you had trouble finding authentic community in such a big city?”
These types of problems are relatable and allow you to first communicate in a relatable way, and then present the solution.
- Tell them how you solve the problem
It’s not enough to just tell them the solution you offer. You have to show them how you solve it. Explaining the “how” instills trust and understanding in such a way that moves people to the next action.
For example, as a nonprofit you may communicate a statement like, “we help eradicate the effects of homelessness in Nashville.” But take it a step further and communicate more details about how you do that instead of assuming it’s obvious. Something like “We help eradicate the effects of homelessness in Nashville by providing clean showers and to over 100 people each day.”
Providing more context to the solution will ignite more interest and potential passion through others for what you’re doing.
- Show me proof that what you’re saying is true
Don’t just talk the talk. Show your audience proof that you’re actually doing what you say you do. Utilize statistics and data, testimonials and social proof. This step may be the most “trust-gaining” step of all three, so it’s crucial you don’t overlook this in your communication as you try to move them from awareness to action.
Once someone has experienced all three of these steps between “Discovery” and “Interaction,” they are much more likely and primed to taking the next step in the engagement cycle leading to deeper relationship building and enhanced loyalty.
If you need help identifying what each step of the engagement cycle looks like for your organization, and what tactics each step involves, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here for you and we want to see you make a bigger impact.