The ocean of content is growing exponentially. And every business is using the latest SEO techniques to be “found” by web searchers. While this is certainly a valid marketing tool, content marketers need to stop focusing solely on SEO and consider the quality of their content first. SEO will follow naturally.
It’s About Engagement
Whether you are creating content for your blog or your social media platforms, the key to making it “work” is audience engagement. Nothing happens to any piece of content until an audience sees it as valuable and reacts to it in any number of ways – by commenting, participating in discussions, sharing it, and/or acting upon it in some way.
It’s called engagement. And it’s becoming harder and harder to achieve, given the competition for that engagement. Content creators will have to focus on finding ways to motivate their audiences to engage and interact if they hope to capture their share of the marketplace.
So, exactly how do you increase audience engagement in a digital age that blasts content out there to consumers who are busy and tired of being blasted?
- Help Others
Here are have done all of the research and collected the data for an informative blog post. You may have carefully crafted it, adding visuals, breaking up into snackable sub-headings, used a simple reading level a casual tone. These are all “rules” of content writing that every experienced content writer follows.
But none of this makes you unique. What will compel an audience to read your posts? One thing for certain is if they know up front that it will provide value to them, they will want to at least access it and see for themselves.
So here are the “rules” for engaging an audience by providing help of some sort.
- Find topics that you know are trending with your targets; research the type of humor they appreciate; find out what inspires them. Millennials, for example, are interested in products/services that will ease their everyday lives, are inspired by companies that demonstrate social responsibility and commitment to diversity and equality, and appreciate a good sense of humor that may incorporate sarcasm or a bit of sophistication.
- Use your titles to promote the value that is to be provided. This calls for creativity and uniqueness. Be mindful, though, that you must deliver what your title promises, whether it is information, humor, or inspiration.
- Promote that post with intriguing teasers on social media and via email subject lines.
The goal is to get a click to your content and to be certain that your audience is given the value that you have promised. Remember, too, that helping others is not necessarily about your product or service. It is about solving a
- Create Content that is Worthy of Shares
What type of content do today’s consumers enjoy? No matter what the topic, they want content with which they can interact on an individual basis. Most of all, they don’t want to read a lot of text – they are too busy and too much in a hurry.
In order for a content reader/viewer to access your content, stick with it, and then find it great enough to share, means that it must be amazing in some way.
Several years ago, two young men believed they could solve a problem for their peers. They launched their company but knew they would have to create amazing marketing content if they were going to draw an audience and motivate that audience to share their great concept with others. So, they crafted anexplainer video which combined the value they offered with hilarity and alanguage/tone that would relate to their audience. It went viral, and thecompany’s success is now history. That company is Dollar Shave Club, which isnow a billion-dollar company. Within the first two weeks after the launch of thevideo, 12,000 had subscribed to this razor blade subscription service.
Your content may not go viral, but it can be good enough to attract an audience that will then share that content with their tribes. Consider the following tools and techniques:
- Create surveys, quizzes, interactive infographics, etc. This will motivate your audience to respond. And if those are engaging enough, they will share them.
- Use videos to replace text. Today’s consumer prefers video – it is easier and faster than words on a page. According to a recent Hubspot survey, 72% of internet users would rather access video to learn about a product/service. And 83% of consumers would consider sharing a video that they have enjoyed. Enough said.
- Experiment with augmented and virtual reality experiences. This is probably the most trending type of content marketing that will carry over into 2019. Companies of all types and sizes are now developing such experiences for their customers – from wine companies embedding their production process in labels that can be accessed with a swipe from a smartphone to resorts providing virtual experiences of their amenities, to clothing retailers allowing customers to virtually try on items before making a purchase. These experiences far outweigh textual descriptions and photos.
Of course, all of this does not mean that text is dead. You must still have a website, blog posts that contain some text, and even text on your social media posts. The key is to make that text exciting and engaging, and that takes both creativity and writing skills. You can get help by accessing any number of best online writing services or freelance creative writers who specialize in creative copywriting.
- Provide Ease
Consumption of content is one thing – it’s what you want. But if your audience has to struggle in the least little bit, has to make too many clicks to access or share it, or is disrupted by annoying popups, they will not be happy.
Make everything easy and use plugins to do so. Here are the things you want to be certain of:
- Don’t force your audience members into your sales funnel before they are ready. This means you don’t make them “uncheck” boxes that are automatic signups for other content. Use an email address plugin that allows them an option.
- Don’t force Captcha codes before allowing users to comment or join discussions. Use an anti-spam plugin instead – it will catch questionable comments that are nothing but promotions for other stuff.
- Don’t make comment forms complicated. One click is all they should need.
- Make sharing truly easy. Consider installing moving share buttons that slide down as a viewer goes through your content. This makes it easy for them to share as they hit a piece of content that is of great interest. If you wait to the end, they may forget why they wanted to share in the first place.
These Three Things
While there are only three strategies listed here, they are packed with action able tips that you can begin to implement right away. Check all content that you create against the suggestions here, refine what you do accordingly, and you will see your following grow. And with following comes conversions.
Daniela McVicker is a passionate digital marketer. Daniela is interested in everything related to SEO and blogging. She collaborates with Grabmyessay and other websites where she shares her experience and helps marketers make their name in the online world.