April 22, 2014 ↘︎

Engagement Score: the one metric you need (if you care about brand).

Lately we’ve become a bit excited in the digital balance office about the Engagement Score metric. In the past we’ve written about the what and the how of engagement and tackled the question of who engaged visitors are. But we’ve found that it’s the one metric us digital balance-ers keep revisiting and getting more and more excited about.

Each organisation’s version of engagement will be unique.

If you’re unfamiliar with the metric check out this definition from respected thought and practice leader, Eric Peterson.

Engagement Score – a measure of how much your audience loves you (or not).

We’ve been implementing Engagement Score for clients since 2010, but as the digital landscape evolves, we’re realising just how incredibly relevant it is today. With Google making massive changes like Hummingbird and hiding keywords our digital presence must now, more than ever, be built on incredible content that resonates spectacularly with our audiences.

But our metrics are being left behind. Traditional top line success metrics such as how many people come to your website are fast becoming antiquated. Even traditional engagement metrics like how long someone spends on your site give a pretty shallow view of how ‘successful’ your website is – especially considering how much effort you put into it.

Defining success: quality vs. quantity.

Unless you have a really clear conversion goal on your website, it’s difficult to know what success looks like. Traditional metrics like visitation put a lot of focus to quantity and not a lot around quality of visitation.
Emphasis on the number of people that visit, rather than the experience had once they get there, encourages generating the wrong type of traffic. You need a much more mature, relevant goal to measure and optimise yourself on.

Engagement Score measures engagement based on the type of content your audience is looking at – which, needless to say, completely changes the way you look at your data.


Engagement Score is based on the type of content a visitor interacts with – content deemed as further along the ‘sales journey’ is given a higher score.

By assigning points to a visitor each time they view or interact with a piece of content, we can calculate an overall Engagement Score.  This score can then be segmented a whole bunch of different ways, including by traffic source, so you can start to see where your most engaged visitors are coming from.

You can now be a whole lot smarter with allocating your marketing dollars, and optimise your channels based on quality of visitation.

Engagement Score gives context to traditional engagement metrics.

Not all content is created equal. More money and resources are spent on refining the content that better delivers on your organisation’s goals, and so you should. Traditional engagement metrics like how long a visitor spends on site and how many pages they look at (called the Engagement Index), don’t take into account what type of content your audience is looking at.

By adding traditional engagement metrics to Engagement Score you can start to get a holistic picture of engagement levels across your site that reflects the true value of your content.

Eventually, you can even start to identify and target different content to your most engaged (or least engaged) audiences.

Content and context – humanising the way we deliver content.

Imagine being able to deliver different content to the different sections of your audience depending on how engaged they are with your brand.  It means you are able to build a web presence that knows when it’s time to take the relationship to the next level – and even more importantly – when it’s time to hold back.

Digital is all about spectacularly good content, but it’s also about delivering that content at the right time and in the right place (context).  And for us planners, Engagement Score is the one metric that may actually bring this idea to life.

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