5 ways to make a powerful connection with your audience

Engagement is all about creating a strong emotional response in a person, says Clive's Olly Adams.

Olly Adams is responsible for insights and strategy at Clive. 

Can you explain why you like certain melodies? Anything that’s good is enjoyed because it makes a person feel something. 

Take films for example. Whether it’s the epic, big-screen action of Avengers or the delicate romance of Amélie, films move people because they resonate with the subconscious, often in ways you don’t always recognise.

How about music? Those goosebump moments, arms-raised and eyes closed. Your first gig, rave or concert. It could be the patriotic feeling of the BBC Proms or the ‘I was there’ closing sets of Glastonbury. Both see equal outpourings of human emotions.

So, good things are human things. Unconsciously triggered feelings are the currency of engagement. 

With that in mind, here are my top 5 ways to create powerful engagement with your audience. 

1. Create a viral challenge to foster feelings of togetherness 

Unite a remote audience by setting a fun challenge like The Juilliard School did during lockdown recently. Apart from just being a beautiful display of human creativity, connectivity, and adaptability – this type of thing, whether face to face or remotely, can do wonders for social, website traffic, employee engagement and more.

2. Deliver a care package to make somebody feel special

Let your audiences know that you’re thinking about them by sending out something real in the post. Hampers are lovely but take the opportunity to up your game like Earl of East did with their 'Scents of Normality' candles. Who wouldn’t want their bedroom to smell like a festival? Simple, funny and nostalgic.

3. Going live to create FOMO

Long before COVID-19, even before Wayne’s World, people have been broadcasting live – and although today it seems like common practice, live streaming relies on a number of factors to get it right; from the tech to the topics of discussion. 

In Amsterdam at RE-Source, we helped Facebook amplify important sustainability messages by creating and facilitating a fully sustainable Facebook Live lounge. 

4. Get your game face on 

Whether you want to incentivise or raise the stakes with competitive gaming, help people feel a part of something by actively participating or give your lockdown audience a little slice of escapism, gaming has the potential to do it all. 

This American Football team used Animal Crossing to reveal their match schedule for the forthcoming season. Nike’s Reactland a couple of years ago was the perfect example of a crossover physical and digital experience that was played by a few but seen by millions. 

5. Get personal to surprise and delight 

I couldn’t write this without featuring a very good dog or two. This example from Puppo shows how you can take masses of data and turn it into something very personal, fun and insanely creative. 

It shows that even AI bots and algorithms can be human. In our field, we have the opportunity to get to know our people, consumers and delegates. So why not turn that knowledge into something they will love?



This article was written by Olly Adams at Clive. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of C&IT Magazine.

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