What Does Impactful Audience Engagement Look Like?

How to get the people who matter most to care about your message and your brand.

If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, does it make a sound? There is no easily attainable answer for this age-old philosophical thought experiment. Luckily, it is far simpler to know whether or not our content makes noise. Through an array of tools for measuring audience engagement, we can gain a deeper grasp than ever before of how many users interact with our campaigns in meaningful ways.

Who is Engaging with Your Content?

At a basic level, strategic content is defined by these two characteristics: it reaches the right people, and connects with them in a way that drives some type of desired action. Doing this effectively is a matter of laying groundwork and utilizing the best available tools. There are several recommended methods for targeting your audience on LinkedIn, such as A/B testing and finely tuning personalization based on demographics.

As the world’s most powerful professional networking platform, LinkedIn enables you to drill down and find segmented audience information that empowers you to optimize engagement. Within Campaign Manager, you can find impressions, CTR, conversions and more for specific targeting dimensions: Industry, Company Size, Location, Country, Job Function, Job Title, and Job Seniority.

These findings often prove invaluable. Once you parse out your traffic and engagements, and learn which specific types of professionals are interacting with your content, you can begin to alter your strategy accordingly.

Engage Your Audience on LinkedIn, the Sophisticated Way

It all begins with building a great LinkedIn Company Page. Take no shortcuts and avoid blandness. Make it informative, creative, and distinct. Create the kind of page your employees will proudly promote within their own circles.

That last part is key. On average, employees have 10 times more social media connections than their company has followers. Content shared via employees consistently register 2x higher click-through rates than those shared from company pages. Today, forward-thinking businesses structure their approaches around these principles.

LinkedIn Elevate is a sleek tool for curating and sharing content in a way that makes employee advocacy relevant and rewarding. Statistics show that team members using Elevate share content six times more than they did previously. This provides mutual benefit, with the employer receiving invaluable exposure and endorsement while the employee strengthens his or her personal brand and professional network.

You can then use Elevate’s real-time data tracking to measure who in your target audience is actually engaging with your content. The image below provides a snapshot of these audience engagement breakdowns:

In addition to this audience analysis, Elevate provides business level results such as traffic to your website and converted leads.

When employees share content, it broadens organic reach, which then greatly enhances the efficacy of amplifying posts. This is a fundamental, yet often overlooked aspect of social media advertising. Organic performance shapes the way your paid content will disperse to new users. It can also help identify which posts are worth boosting.

How to Optimize for Audience Engagement on LinkedIn

Different messages tend to work better in different formats, often in ways that are difficult to predict. A/B testing presents a reliable method for removing the guesswork. Run varying copy, imagery, and calls to action in two ads promoting the same product or service. Then, contrast the results using LinkedIn’s deep suite of analytics. Which one performed better in the most telling measures?

We should not view all audience engagement metrics under the same cookie-cutter framework. For instance, while a high bounce rate is generally not encouraging, in some cases there is nothing wrong with it. If a user visited a page, got exactly what she wanted, and then left, did you really fail? On the flip side, if a quick form-fill page is yielding lengthy time-on-page durations, might this indicate that your fields are confusing or overly complicated?

Analyze each page and piece of content on its own merit and purpose. Understand the goal of every campaign before it launches, and lay out specific methods that will accurately track progress toward those goals.

Remember: nothing drives engagement more than uniqueness and creativity.

Meet the Metrics: Measuring B2B Engagement Metrics That Matter

When it comes to demonstrating engagement, a few metrics rise above the pack. You can get a high-level view of all the most pertinent B2B marketing metrics in our coverage from Proof Week, but let’s look a bit more closely at those measuring audience engagement.

Increased Traffic to Targeted Pages. Measured against an existing baseline, how many more visitors did your campaign drive? 

Increased Pages/Visit and Time on Page. As mentioned earlier, these are not always imperative indicators, but by and large, seeing them climb upward is a reinforcing signal. We want people exploring our websites and company pages. It conveys interest, and hopefully there is plenty of good stuff to discover and absorb.

Decline in Bounce Rate. A high bounce rate is not always a bad thing, but a declining bounce rate is almost always a good thing. It shows that, even when people find satisfactory solutions on the landing page, they are still inclined to dig deeper, tying to the previous metrics.

Increase in Inbound Links. It is almost always going to be more effective for someone else to link to your content than for you to link to your own (not that there is anything wrong with the latter). Whether it is blogs, news outlets, or individuals, they are bound to have their own trusting audience. And of course, inbound links are great for search engine optimization.

Increased in Opt-ins to Gated Content. Similar to a rise in inbound links, increasing gated content opt-ins expresses a direct positive correlation to your audience engagement techniques. You can easily trace these activities to your LinkedIn marketing activities using Conversion Tracking