Awareness is when someone knows the name of the artist or band (or company or brand). This is what advertising or PR tries to do - build awareness. But just because someone knows about you, it doesn't automatically mean that person will become a fan. For that to happen, everything must go to the next level, which is engagement.
Engagement is the act of getting someone to respond. This could mean something as simple as listening to a song, watching a video or reading an email, which is all well and good, but true engagement really takes things to the next level. That means really turning the person into a fan by motivating them enough to physically do something, like go to a concert or buy a download, CD or a piece of merchandise. Even just talking to their friends about you is an excellent example of fan engagement, since nothing spreads the word like direct communication.
So how do you change awareness into engagement?
First understand that awareness is built by a mass-marketing campaign. It's a shotgun approach that's meant to cover as many people as possible. This might be a good first step, but it also might mean a lot of effort and money spent on building awareness with people who will never be your fans in the first place, and therefore never engage. If you're a rap artist, there's no point building your awareness with someone who loves country music (unless your music is connected with country in some way).
Engagement is all about targeting. It's finding the people who are most likely to respond and concentrating on them. How?
By watching the metrics from apps like Google Analytics or StatCounter, but also from the more empirical data on a personal level like reading emails or blog responses or even speaking directly to fans.
Once you'e found that potential fan base, the next step is content, content, and more content - songs, shows, videos, and regular (but not too regular) communication. Contests, surveys, and give-aways are excellent ways of engaging because you engage fans by giving them something to engage. The deeper the connection to your fans, the more engagement.
Above all, remember that engagement is what you're actually trying to achieve because a career can't be had from awareness alone.
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