Build Engagement, Not Websites

engagement_hand_white

I was asked to give a presentation at the Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism on the topic of using photos and video on websites. Not being one to follow directions terribly closely, I instead started thinking about why we use photos and video, especially in the travel and tourism industry. The cliché answer is pictures are worth a thousand words, so video is like thousands upon thousands of words. Why are they worth so many words? Is it because of the common belief that “people don’t read on the web,” so photos and videos circumvent this? (Maybe it isn’t that people aren’t reading, but the content isn’t interesting and engaging enough for people to read. But I digress…)

Words, photos and videos can’t do it alone. Through content, along with interactivity, back-and-forth communication (a.k.a. conversations), context, and reciprocity, the goal is to create useful information… something people care about and serves a purpose. It isn’t taking outdated tactics and using social media as another broadcasting channel. And it isn’t creating a website and hoping people will find it. It’s not where you’re communicating, it’s why you’re engaging and how you’re interacting.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Part One presents the idea of building engagement, not websites. Some of the takeaways are:

— Engagement is media and technology agnostic.
— Engagement is beyond the web. It’s mobile, it’s offline, it’s in-person, and yes, it’s online.
— Engagement means interacting with one another. Thinking about what you want to accomplish from an engagement standpoint determines strategy, which then determines tactics.
— Strategy without tactics is just thinking. Tactics without strategy is just doing stuff.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Part Two is an in-depth look at some engagement ideas, and their results. The sites referenced in the presentation are:

Oregon Coast Visitors Association: visittheoregoncoast.com
Oregon Bounty: bounty.traveloregon.com
Portland Trail Blazers: iamatrailblazersfan.com
Ride Oregon: rideoregonride.com

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Thank you to everyone who came out to the presentations at the conference. Hopefully some of the ideas and concepts we practice with our clients can provide some inspiration on ways for you to engage with your audience. And if you need more inspiration, we’re always here.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.