As a content marketer, your goal is to get as many eyeballs on your blog as possible.
To do so, you will invest in social media marketing, email marketing, link building, and similar online marketing tactics.
Unfortunately, in today’s overcrowded digital marketing landscape, these practices don’t guarantee better rankings, traffic, and shares.
In just 60 seconds:
- 1,440 WordPress articles are published
- 3.3 Million Facebook posts are shared
- 149,513 emails are sent
For you, as a content marketer, this means poorer chances to put your content in front of the right audiences.
The research study by Moz backs me up on that, claiming that the majority of business-related posts gain few shares and even fewer links.Instead of adding to this deafening noise that is created online, you need to focus on creating highly valuable content that sets you apart.Click To Tweet
Here are a few tips that will help you boost online engagement and shares:
Understand Your Target Audiences
To create content that resonates with your target audiences, you first need to get to know them.
Before launching a blog, do thorough market research, conduct interviews, and track your audiences’ communication online.
Based on this data, create customer avatars.
These semi-fictional customer personas should include your audiences’ demographics data (their age, location, family status, education, etc.) as well as psychographic information (their hobbies, interests, fears, preferences, needs).
Focus on Trending Topics
The hottest topics have a greater search volume, as the number of people Googling them is high.
Logically, if you create a highly valuable and informative piece of content around a trending topic, you will also earn loads of authoritative shares and backlinks.
There are numerous ways to find out what’s trending.
- Google Trends – enter your keyword into the search box and the tool will tell you how many searches it gains.
- BuzzSumo lets you choose relevant keywords and informs you every time fresh content is published around the topic. For each post, you can see how many social shares and links it has. There is also the Trending section, which tells you which posts are being shared the fastest.
- Facebook/Twitter Trending sections let you see the hottest topics on these platforms.
Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines
A headline is the first thing a user sees when conducting searches or landing on your blog page.
Headlines alone can generate a sea of shares. Namely, a recent study emphasises that 59% of links shared on social networks aren’t even clicked on. Users share them based on their headlines.
So, if your headline is generic, irrelevant, or obscure, you will miss out on an opportunity to boost your engagement rates.
To create a headline that sucks the reader in, make it straightforward, concise, and clear.
A user should immediately understand what topic you’re discussing and the benefits of clicking on your link. Make it direct – speak in the second person.
BTW: Want to discover the psychology behind social shares? Check out our post about the Top Reasons People Share on Social!
Make It User-Friendly
Your site’s responsiveness dictates how people will perceive you.No matter how informative or valuable your post is, if it’s not user-friendly, people will abandon it without reading it and sharing it with their network. Click To Tweet
Make your content more valuable with these tips:
- Have responsive content: With the expansion of mobile searches, your content needs to be optimised for all types of screens. Make sure it fits smaller screens and that all links, form fields, and buttons work.
- Choose your domain name registration options carefully: Make your domain short, relevant, and easy to remember so users can memorise your site and find your content faster.
- Speed your site up: If a page doesn’t load in 3 seconds, the majority of visitors will abandon it. If your site is slow, consider changing a hosting provider, investing in CDN, or simply start by compressing images. Find out more here.
- Make your content easier to digest: Make sure that each piece of information is relevant to the reader. Break up long paragraphs into smaller sections. Use informative headers and visuals to make your text easier to follow and memorise.
Diversify Your Content Strategy
Not every website visitor will have the same preferences.
When landing on your blog, some people will want to read text-based content, while others will seek images and videos. This is why you need to create different content formats.
In addition to traditional articles, in-house research studies and case studies will establish trust with your audiences. Ebooks that discuss the latest industry trends or data-backed white-papers will deliver lots of value to a reader and serve as a powerful lead magnet.
Infographics are a powerful way to make your content visually appealing, easily digestible, and more attractive to share.
Videos have also been gaining momentum over the past few years. This is one of the most effective ways to engage audiences, communicate with them and evoke their emotions.
When writing long-form text, like in-depth articles, comprehensive guides, or whitepapers, ensure they’re easy to follow and that they’re spruced up with visuals like photos, animations, short videos, GIFs, etc.
Sure, you should experiment with the different content types to find ones that resonate with your audiences. Above all, you can repurpose your content to increase its reach. For example, you can turn articles into podcasts, case studies into infographics, or white papers into SlideShare presentations.
Keep Your Content Valuable
According to The New York Times, 90% of online users will consider the usefulness of your content before sharing it.
Your content needs to be highly informative, inspirational, and helpful. It should identify your audiences’ major problems and provide actionable tips that address them. Always ask yourself whether your tips can be applied in real-life situations.
Also, make sure that each post is supported by relevant data and research. To gain users’ trust and establish credibility, mind what content you’re linking to.
Always choose the studies, facts, and statistics from relevant and authoritative sites in related niches.
Don’t stuff your content with a bunch of keywords. You’re writing blog posts for people, not Google’s crawlers. Focus on conversational and long-tail keywords and always strive to implement them organically and logically.
Finally, insert a clear CTA that grabs users’ attention and encourages them to share the post or convert.
Starting to understand the uniqueness and relevance of your content, people will come back to your site again and again and be willing to share your posts with their online communities.
Make Sharing Buttons Easily Visible
Instead of waiting for your readers to share content on their own, you need to inspire them to do so. As an author, your goal is to make it easy for them to share your content seamlessly across their favourite accounts.
First, add social sharing buttons to all of your blog pages to increase user engagement and get them to share your content organically.
Second, include a clear CTA button that grabs people’s attention and gets them to take the desired actionHighlight callouts that inspire people to click to share. For example, a simple 'Click to Tweet' button can grow your reach on Twitter and gain lots of traffic and shares. Click To Tweet
Over to You
Note that these tips will work only if you create high-quality and user-centred content first. Each piece of content you create needs to be authentic, informative, and fresh.
To maximise your rankings, traffic, shares, and conversions, test the performance of your content regularly. Set realistic goals and start tracking the KPIs relevant to them.You will need to experiment with your writing style, design, UX, content types, and tone of voice a lot before you identify the tactics that gain shares from your audience. Click To Tweet
Most importantly, you should listen to your users.
Allow comments, create review pages, and monitor your brand mentions on social. Only by doing this, will you meet users’ expectations and skyrocket your shares.