عنوان مقاله [English]
The growing trend of using digital media for branding purposes shows that in the near future many companies will spend most of their advertising budget on digital media. In order to evaluate these digital marketing communication efforts, it is vital to develop some practical indicators such as consumers' engagement with brands in the digital environment. Digital marketing professionals frequently talk about consumers’ engagement and consider engagement as one of the most important indicators for evaluating branding activities performed in the digital media. However, there is no agreement regarding the definition of engagement. In this paper, we offer a comprehensive definition of "consumers' engagement with digital branded contents" which is an emerging concept in the marketing literature.
Engagement is a multidimensional construct consists of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral dimensions. Consumers' engagement with digital branded contents is defined as the consumers’ perceived usefulness and enjoyment of these contents, as well as the consumers’ active participation (e.g., sharing a branded post on social media, commenting on a post, or creating some brand-related posts) and their depth of interaction with brand-related contents in webpages, online forums, or social media (e.g., dwell time, recency, frequency). This article also contributes to the literature by theorizing the relationship between this emerging key construct and brand equity. In other words, this paper delineates how and through which mechanism the consumers’ engagement with brands in digital media can gradually change the consumers’ mind about those brands.
Four main dimensions of consumer-based brand equity are brand awareness, brand image/associations, brand’s perceived quality, and consumers’ loyalty towards the brand. Our four propositions state that cognitive, affective, and behavioral dimensions of "consumers' engagement with digital branded contents" have a positive effect on four dimensions of consumer-based brand equity. We propose, through the lens of attitude theories, that increasing the consumers' engagement with digital branded contents will improve brand awareness, brand image, perceived quality, and brand loyalty.