Five golden principles of audience engagement

golden_tick-1So, what I would like is to continuously create content that resonates deeply with the intended target audience. The would be an audience that takes what I’ve created or helped create to heart, that engages in the way they’re intended to engage and that teaches the creators a thing or ten about their own creation during the course of the interaction.

This would also be an audience that goes beoynd being merely an audience, morphing into a collaborative-producer state, freely creating within the boundaries of the original creation.

I have an inkling that this is something quite a few other people – producers and creators – would be happy with as well.

Thing is, though… it’s a very, very, difficult thing to get right. That, on the other hand, needn’t be too bad, as the FFF-principle (Fail Fast Forward) is quickly becoming one of the most important skills to master when producing content today.

Here, then, are five points I believe are crucial when it comes to engaging an audience in a meaningful way, turning a traditional producer-audience situation into a mutually beneficial co-creative entity:

  • Know your audience. This is such a no-brainer that I’m actually a bit reluctant to include it. But at the same time, it’s one of the things many still get wrong, and it’s such a crucial part of the process that everyone need to take it to heart. Don’t go for a huge audience – find the niche that you’ll cater to, what they do and how they react. Try stuff out and draw the right conclusions!
  • Celebrate others and promote others. You might think you and your content is at the heart of the project you’re working on. Think again. Without an audience, we’re all pretty meaningless. Make sure you celebrate all the people choosing the engage in your content. Promote others, so that they in turn will be positively promoting you.
  • If you give a promise, keep it. Deliver the quality your audience has been promised, and continue deliver at the same standard that they have been accustomed to. Don’t let standards slide.
  • Work on your timing. There are so many tools out there right now that can help you figure out when to publish stuff, when you will resonate the best with the audience you’re trying to reach… plan your strategies well, but be prepared to change them if your analysis of how your project is playing out indicates that a change would be necessary.
  • Be yourself. Chances are – especially if this is a small project – that you’re leading wih yourself first. Don’t try to be something you’re not – that’ll only get in the way of meaningful communication . And that’s what you’re aiming for – communication of different kinds, that is meaningful for you as well as for your counterpart.

Good luck!! 🙂

Simon Staffans is a content and format developer and media strategist, employed by MediaCity Finland. He works with multiplatform storytelling, transmedia development procedures and great stories. Contact him at simon.staffans(at) or follow him on @simon.staffans.

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