If you are like most people, you cannot stand having a conversation with someone who is not paying attention.
A good conversation involves reactions and responses. And if this is missing, it can get frustrating.
The same case applies to creating content that does not draw any engagement. You are working your guts out, trying to up your content marketing strategy during these hard economic times. But you just can’t tell if you are getting through to your audience.
The solution is easy – effective content engagement strategies.
What is Content Engagement?
The action a reader takes at the end of reading your article is known as content engagement.
It can be a comment, share or like. And it indicates that the content was relevant to the reader. It places you in the good books of Google and enhances your content marketing strategies.
Content engagement increases traffic and conversion. But this engagement does not happen by chance. You have to come up with an effective strategy.
You will need to compete for your readers’ attention with other authoritative voices in your niche, funny cat videos, and memes.
Here are seven tips to get you started:
1) Consistency is Key
Posting articles when you have the time or are psyched up will not cut it. You need to post at predictable intervals.
Pick a specific days and times and your audience will learn to expect your posts. It builds familiarity with your readers and encourages engagement.
I know some days and weeks can be crazy busy, so automate your publishing schedule.
Write several blog posts when you have the time. Then schedule them to go live on specific days of the week.
Have a week’s or a month’s worth of posts available so that you are always posting on time.
Now, to address your fear of going out of fresh content ideas, find inspiration on Quora, forums, and discussion boards. Create time to brainstorm and create a long list of blog post topics.
2) Original Work is Worth Sharing
A lazy rehash of other articles on the web will not create the engagement you crave. You need to get your hands dirty and create original and awesome content that adds value to your audience.
First off, understand your readers and know the issues they face. Then dig into research materials and address these needs with new information and the best answers to their questions.
Ensure that you are accurate in your information. Use numbers and link to reputable sources where you can, such as research studies. By all means, I do not advocate being boring. You can use a humorous approach, and still, be informative with your posts.
Such blog posts will encourage your stagnant readers to share your posts on social media, comment, and ask questions.
In 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy, Luminita D. Saviuc addresses a problem most people face.
It is a topic you can find in most lifestyle websites. But this article uses a straight-shooting but friendly approach that answers the reader’s question effortlessly. It has more than 1.2 million Facebook shares.
3) Engaging Posts Evoke Emotions
Ever wondered why none of your posts get the kind of engagement that makes the article go viral? You do not provoke the reader or provide that aha moment that makes them want to react to your content.
Be bold, provocative, controversial, and mind-boggling. But try not to go overboard. Your aim should be to elicit a positive emotional experience. People are more drawn to sentiments, such as delight, amusement, surprise, happiness, hope, affection, and excitement.
Experiment with providing a complex emotional experience, such as contrasting sentiments. Take them from interest and amusement in your introduction to shock and surprise in the details. The revelation could then induce anger and sadness, which will prompt them to react.
An article titled ‘Why I regret getting straight A’s in college’ by Jon Morrow is a great example of controversial content. And it did not just attract one-word responses.
The readers shared their views and kept commenting for years. People would still be commenting now, over a decade later, but the section is currently closed. This screenshot shows two comments that are five years apart.
4) Just Ask…
We like to complicate things that we have no business complicating. We seek complex solutions, and ignore the simple approaches. If you want people to comment and share your post, ask them.
Invite them to comment with their thoughts on the topic. Ask a question and encourage them to answer in the comment section.
In case of a ‘how to’ article, encourage the readers to share strategies that they have used and worked. Or to post the results they get after following your tutorial.
And when they do comment, be sure to respond. Answer their questions, react to the compliments and criticism, and be as helpful as you can.
Do not use automated responses. Give it a human touch.
For instance, you can mention the reader’s name in the response and use emojis to show enthusiasm. It will encourage them to engage in your future content continuously.
5) Use Visuals
The brain responds to visuals better and faster than text. Results from a study by neuroscientists found that the brain can process images in as little as 13 milliseconds.
From the moment your reader wakes up, they are writing and reading words in e-mails, text messages, and books. You can be sure that a little break will be welcome.
Besides, presentations that use visual aids are 43% more persuasive than those that do not use plain text. This is enough reason to use visuals in all your content marketing strategies.
Visual content will invite readers to your content and make your blog more engaging. Breaking continuous blocks of text with images and videos will make it easier for your readers to process and skim through the page.
Your audience will be more excited about your content, share it, and drop in their comments. Include screenshots and graphs where you can.
Use colour in your graphics. It enhances memory performance. Colour improves the brain’s ability to encode, store, and retrieve information successfully.
6) Make Use of Your Storytelling Skills
Blog posts that are infused with character are always more exciting. Your content should read less like a thesis and more like a conversation between two people.
Experiment with stories. They are an excellent way to simplify complex subjects. It makes it easier to reach the less knowledgeable readers. Stories also hold the interest of your audience.
Wrap your content in a creative story. It can be fictional or real, but make sure it is compelling. If storytelling is not your strong suit, use a story that is widely known to convey your message. You can quote a scene from a popular movie or show.
Paint a vivid picture in your reader’s head. Go all out on the tiny details of your story relating to the senses of feel, touch, sight, smell, and taste.
When you engage your reader’s senses, you build a connection with them. And this will prompt them to react to your content and look forward to future posts.
7) Use Compelling Titles
Applying these tactics to your content marketing will be pointless if you cannot get the reader to open the post. Your title is the first impression you make to your reader. Use it to prove that the content is worth their time.
The best titles will:
1) Ask a compelling question
2) Indicate you are providing a list – everyone loves lists, they are easy and clear on what to expect
3) Uses evocative words
4) Create a mystery that is intriguing to the reader
5) Promise to teach something
Ensure that the introduction is equally good. Start with a question, an interesting fact, an anecdote, or a lenient confrontation.
This blog post on Smart Blogger, ‘An Open Letter to Writers Struggling to Find Their Courage’, is a clear illustration. It has a compelling title that draws the reader.
And does the content disappoint? Of course not.
It tugs at the emotions of an undecided writer, uses fictional stories, and, as a result, has 229 comments. Here is the attention-grabbing introduction.
Here are the key takeaways:
- You can only create engaging content if you understand your audience and create content of unmatched value. Prove in your title and introduction that you can deliver.
- It takes more than great skills to create engaging content. Step out of the box. Be intriguing and bold.
- Let go of the good old ways of content creation. Get creative and use visuals and stories to pass your message.
- Do not shy away from asking for a reaction
- Respond promptly to comments from your readers
You may be an excellent writer, but so are many others in your niche. If your content marketing strategies are going to work, you need to get tactical.
Take advantage of tools such as Trello. They will make your content marketing easier through better management of your posts.
Apply the tips provided, and you are sure to experience a soar in the number of shares, likes, and comments your next post gets.
If you have any questions, do ask us in the comment section.