CONTENT MARKETING: AN ACTION RESEARCH APPROACH TO DEVELOPING A CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY



Wiggins, Cynthia ORCID: 0000-0001-6937-1190
(2020) CONTENT MARKETING: AN ACTION RESEARCH APPROACH TO DEVELOPING A CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY. Doctor of Business Administration thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Abstract

ABSTRACT Content Marketing: An Action Research Approach To Developing A Customer Engagement Strategy Cynthia Wiggins Purpose: The purpose of this thesis was to provide an online customer engagement (OCE) strategy for a start-up content marketing company based in Barbados called ABC Investments (a pseudonym). A framework which assisted in determining a process for identifying the antecedents and consequences of online customer engagement and the strategy to engage online customers was proposed and tested. Rationale: The ability for a start-up content marketing company to create a strategy and monetize its content depends on the company gaining a good understanding of the antecedents and how they influence critical online customer engagement metrics. This thesis aims at contributing to the field of online customer engagement in the context of content marketing by researching the antecedents and outcomes of OCE in a real-world environment. Methodology: The research follows a Mixed Methods Action Research (MMAR) approach utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative data was collected from a start-up content marketing company via Google Analytics, Facebook, and Instagram to identify the "what" of the antecedents. The influence of eleven (11) antecedents was tested against six (6) metrics including page views, bounce rate, pages per session, average session duration, average time on page and social engagement rate. The qualitative data was collected from interviews with an in-house employee and used as scaffolding to determine the "why" and "how" of the results from the quantitative data collection stage. The Action Research process was used to test the hypothesis after each quantitative and qualitative iteration. Findings and Implications: Originally eleven (11) antecedents were proposed, however on completion of the research twelve (12) antecedents were determined to have an impact on the six (6) online customer engagement metrics. There were two new antecedents which came to the forefront after qualitative analysis; “human personality” as an extension of vividness, and “discovery percentage” which replaced “hashtags”. The results also showed that online customer engagement antecedents could be grouped into two main categories: content-based antecedents, and platform-based antecedents. Additionally, the determination of which antecedents impacted on which consequences for practical application is much more complex than posited in previous literature; with results showing that an antecedent may impact on one online engagement metric positively but not on others. Firstly, the findings point to a need for an iterative process when determining the drivers of customer engagement. Secondly, the findings indicate the necessity for developers of content to first understand how the components of their content impact on customer engagement and utilize this understanding to create their online customer engagement strategies. Originality and value of the research: Little research exists on online customer engagement within the context of content marketing, which provides a framework for the understanding of the antecedents that drive customer engagement metrics in a real-world environment. In my research, I provided a list of twelve (12) content and platform engagement antecedents and tested their impact on customer engagement to address this gap in the literature. New content marketing companies and content marketing managers can use the findings to create customer engagement strategies, manage engagement levels, and enhance online engagement. Key Words: Online Customer Engagement, Customer Engagement, Content Marketing, Viral Marketing, Start-ups, Content Strategy, Facebook, Instagram, Google Analytics

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Business Administration)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Management
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2020 15:15
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 23:57
DOI: 10.17638/03078878
Supervisors:
  • Garg, Lalit
  • Sambrook, Sally
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3078878