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If you are the author of a blog or you’re running your own online business, audience engagement is a vital component of effective content marketing. Keeping your audience engaged is something that strengthens the investment that your audience has in your blog or brand. Increased investment in what you have to say in your content inevitably leads to more conversions, whether this is something as simple as subscribing to your newsletter or a tougher conversion such as purchasing a product or service that you’re selling on your website.
But how exactly can you achieve and maintain audience engagement over the lifetime of your blog or website in an era when people get distracted so easily by multi-tab web browsing and even multi-device usage? Here are five content strategies that’ll help you out.
Visuals, such as infographics and images, should be included in most of your web content. Infographics are effective for driving a point or an idea home, and images help readers feel more of an emotional connection with a piece of content than just plain text. This is especially true in the case of memes, which add a sense of humor to your content.
Both of these visual aids also help to limit distraction, ensuring that you deliver your message effectively. You want the information you provide in your content to resonate with people, and it won’t have the desired impact if they’re not fully invested in what you’re saying. Images help to break up large walls of text, and infographics summarize key points from longer content in a visually appealing way. Utilize both of these visual aids as much as you can, and don’t worry about going overboard with them.
Image via Flickr by The Wild Blogger – Digital Marketing Blog
You need to know when to promote your content in order for it to drive as much audience engagement as possible. Understanding the online behavior of your target audience is vital in helping you understand the importance of sharing content for the sake of it versus sharing content when people need it. There are certain times of the week when readers are more ready to engage with web content, and that’s when you need to ramp up your promotional activities on social media.
According to an AddThis report from 2014, people are 55 percent more likely to engage with your content on Tuesdays and Wednesdays than on the weekend. If you direct people to your content when they’re not ready to engage with it, you’re wasting valuable time and potential conversions. Share at the right time and you’ll always keep people engaged.
Providing valuable information in your content is the cornerstone of effective audience engagement. By answering frequently asked questions, or teaching people something about your niche, you automatically appeal to your audience as someone they can trust to give them the answers they need. The main reason people tend to read online content in the first place is because they’re looking for an answer to a question.
Consider writing one or more guides related to your niche to build your authority and ensure people feel more invested in what you have to say in the future. The key point is to make this information valuable — if your audience can easily find the same answers you provide with a simple Google search, it’s not that useful. Use your own knowledge and insights to provide answers in a compelling way, and you’ll soon reap the rewards of increased audience engagement.
Internet marketing gurus often peddle advice about content length; with many of them prescribing to the notion that long-form content is the only kind of content you should be writing. It is true that on the whole, people tend to engage more with longer pieces of content, but that doesn’t tell the full story.
On the contrary, varying the length of your content can help improve audience engagement because the truth is that nobody wants to read only articles that are over a certain length. If you can provide valuable content in 200 words, you should absolutely utilize it on your website. Nobody likes content that is full of fluff and just a few snippets of useful information. Your audience is far more likely to engage with the content on your website if you can deliver brief snippets of valuable information in as few words as possible.
Consider mixing your content up by posting short and snappy cheat sheets that solve problems or answer questions related to your niche. Varying the length of your content will help to ensure it doesn’t become too formulaic, while also meeting the needs of people who like to process information on the web in shorter bites of content.
People tend to engage more with content when they feel a connection with the person who has written it. Savvy internet marketers know this, and they make sure to consistently add a personal touch to their content.
The best way to achieve that personal touch is to always tell a story to your readers. No matter what the content is, include some of your own reasoning for providing specific information.
You can also try to deliver a strong opinion on a topic related to your niche in some pieces of content. Polarizing views tend to provoke a lot of discussion among your audience, which by its very nature makes your content more shareable and more engaging. You don’t need to be controversial for the sake of it, but try to talk passionately about something you believe in if you want to strengthen how invested your audience is in what you have to say.
Now that you know how to improve your content in a way that drives audience engagement, it’s important that you incorporate the above five strategies into all future pieces of content that you publish on your blog or website.