This is exactly how I feel about audience engagement these days. When someone visits a digital media website today, the journey one goes through is one of suspicion and caution. The person is continuously on the lookout on where he/she is conceding their personal data. Lets face it, in the world that we live in there is no way that any digital consumer can get a seamless experience without giving away data. Note the fact that publishers of content are already taking data from your browser with or without a manual step. So as a user I have come to the conclusion that it is better to just give my data to people and expect a smooth integration across digital platforms.
I expect content producers (includes publishers, individual bloggers, ecommerce etc) to stop repeatedly taking my data. For example, if I go to a site I need to login to a website with a login service, I need to login to another service to comment, login to another service to make payments, make comments on a different platform and react on content using a different service. I do not understand how this makes sense to these producers as it is extra effort for them to actually use my data and it is a hassle for me to use their platform. Lets not forget about all the retargeted advertisements I receive from Google and Facebook. I classify these as the “In-Site Trauma”.
The next set of pestering these content producers put me through is what I call the “Off-Site Trauma”. Here what they do is they take permissions from me for sending push notifications, emails, instant messages and then spam the life out of me. It is beyond my understanding when these producers send me push notifications for every action they do. It is basic human nature to skip these notifications if they see something unrelated when they are working seriously. I unsubscribe to a dozen of these producers every now and then because I feel they spam me too much about things unrelated to me. The rant I have about this form of communication is the quick time intervals at which they are sent, the relevance of the content. Is it not important for these producers to engage the user with what is important to him? Is it not the sole reason behind collecting all that data when I visited their platform.
Now that I am tired of life and I want to see something really candid, I go to something called Facebook. I also made the mistake of liking this content producer on Facebook. This comes under the “Social Trauma” category. I did this to multiple content producers thinking their content is interesting. Soon I realised that my Facebook wall is not candid anymore. 90% of the content that these producers share is what I am not interested in. I spent a lot of time unsubscribing them from my Facebook wall. These social pushes are painstaking and lend very less traction unless they are shared organically by users on Facebook. I read articles posted by my friends rather than reading content posted by these producers.
After introspection there are multiple ways of solving this problem.
- The producers of these content driven platforms need to invest in building their own tool.
- The producers extend their hand at integrating with a 3rd party tool to do their audience engagement.
- The producers could opt to optimise their content and engage users only on platforms “which know how to engage users properly”. For example, Twitter, Daily Hunt, Facebook. The content needs to be pushed to the right channels with the help of people who know integrations with these platforms.
Point 1 is too expensive for most of the producers. So it is almost out of question if the producer is not backed by a buck. Point 2 is the obvious producers go to but they eventually end up using different tools for different features due to ease of integration. Point 3 is a path taken by publishers who do not depend on Ad revenue and have a product/service to market. It does not make big bucks to the producers.
So since we can narrow down to just Point 2 it would be worthwhile to find a tool that covers the following areas with an easy integration.
- Single Sign On - Sign users into your website which enables then to sign in to other user engagement features
- Different Reaction Widgets like Polls, Sentimental Analysis
- Chat with support
- User generated Content - A way for users to give out their opinions.
- User sampling/reports - Knowing where user behavior on your site.
When you take this much data from us, we expect you to deliver content we really value. Adopting these measures will not only make our life easier, but will also get you publishers more success in terms of engagement and revenue.
Please comment below and let us know what you feel about our own user engagement tool.