Top 10 Tips To Increase Content Engagement
Have you ever tried to catch someone’s attention in a noisy crowd? Creating online content can feel just like that. You’re competing with a virtually unlimited sea of information. Trying to attract your audience’s attention can be a challenge, but the right content marketing strategy can act as a bullhorn, elevating your voice above the mob and allowing you to increase content engagement.
How To Increase Content Engagement
Getting readers and potential customers to engage in your content is a tricky thing. First, you have to define what “engagement” looks like in your marketing goals. Is just getting someone to your landing page enough? Once they’ve found your website, are you tracking the amount of time they stay on the page? Are you tracking the bounce rate? Conversions?
While each of these things count as a form of user engagement, it’s important to focus on one step at at time when implementing a content marketing campaign. For instance, you can’t increase your sales without having great copywriting; you can’t help people see your copywriting without great site navigation, and you can’t show off your nifty site nav without first getting people to the website!
No matter where you are in the content marketing funnel, here is a list of some of the top ways to increase content engagement on your site.
1. Know Who You’re Looking For
Before you can create engaging content, you need to know who your audience is. Where are they from? What are they looking for? How can you solve their problems or make their life better?
Think of your audience as a single person. Odds are there’s not a single trait that fits them all. However, it’s likely that most of your readers share a few key things in common.
Create an avatar, or fictional profile, that captures the basic demographics of a key segment of your audience, then create engaging posts that are targeted at your avatar. Ask yourself questions such as:
- How old is my avatar?
- What is its educational level?
- What kind of work does it do?
- What are its most important roles and responsibilities?
- What does my avatar find most frustrating or difficult about its job or life?
- What pain points could my content address?
- Who does it trust to answer questions or solve problems?
- What does it need most right now?
Software such as Clicky or Google Analytics can help you to identify who is currently reading your blog. The more you know about your audience, the easier it will be to create engaging content that they will read, share and act on.
2. Create a Layout That Is Easy to Look At and Easy to Navigate
What’s the first thing your reader sees when they click to your page? If they have to contend with too many competing elements, they probably won’t stick around long enough to be drawn in by even the most finely crafted content. In order to increase content engagement, be sure your site is visually appealing and easy to navigate. Stay away from:
- Irrelevant or distracting ads
- Too-small or hard-to-read fonts
- Large blocks of unbroken text
- Layouts that don’t work on mobile devices (more than half of all users are mobile)
Before you post your content, be sure to check it on several different devices and see how it pulls up. If it looks great on desktop, but is a nightmare on mobile, you’re losing a large chunk of your audience. Remember, first impressions are everything. If you can show polish and intuitive UI right off the bat, your chances of having users engage with your content increase.
3. Use Images for Instant Appeal
Graphics, pictures and videos can add to the aesthetic appeal of your blog while giving your reader important information at a glance. In fact, 90 percent of the information processed by the brain is visual. Consider incorporating one or more of the following elements to help you create engaging content:
- An image that illustrates the main idea of the post.
- Pictures that highlight important people, places and events.
- Graphs and charts that illustrate key information.
- Videos that share personal experiences, extend knowledge or add humor.
If your article is data-heavy, you might also consider creating an infographic to go along with it. It’s typically a more appealing way to digest lots of data and is a sharable item that can help engagement across your social media channels.
4. Craft a Headline That Hooks
How long did it take you to read the headline for this article? That’s how long you have to convince visitors that your post is worth reading. Unfortunately, only one in five visitors makes it past the headline to the first sentence. The marketing experts at Quicksprout say that the best headlines address the Four U’s. They are:
Your headline should let your reader know exactly what to expect from your content, as well as why they desperately need this information now. Just getting from the headline to the main post is a huge win when it comes to improving content engagement.
5. Pique Their Interest In the Introduction
If 20 percent of your readers make it past your headline, you’re doing well. Keep the momentum going with an intro that piques their interest and pulls them deeper into your post. You might:
- Start with a surprising conclusion, then work backward.
- Share a fascinating fact, a startling statistic or obscure but amazing bit of history.
- Tell an engaging anecdote that illustrates your main idea.
- Make a controversial claim.
- Ask a question that gets your reader thinking
Even just using a listicle format (think “Top X Ways…”) to give readers structure is a great tip when trying to create engaging content.
6. Evergreen or Up-to-Date?
While evergreen posts remain relevant over a long period of time, some of the most engaging content is more cutting-edge. Stay abreast of emerging trends and create content that responds to current events, and your readers will always come to you for the most up-to-date information and opinions. To find out what topics are trending right now, try these online resources:
- Google Trends: See how often a particular term is searched and analyze the data for trends and related searches.
- Buzzsumo: Search any topic and learn what kind of content performs best.
- Quora: See what kind of questions people are asking today, and find experts to answer them.
A content marketing service can help you to determine which search terms are most likely to bring eyes to your page. They can also help you to create the kind of high-quality content that will push you to the top of the search engine.
7. Be Original
You probably already know that duplicating content is a big no-no and that Google penalizes websites for plagiarism. But it’s not enough to simply use new words to say the same old thing. When you’re writing about a hot topic, chances are everyone else is, too. Increase content engagement by putting a new spin on the information or including elements that others haven’t. To make content more original:
- Find a new angle. Instead of simply reviewing the latest Marvel movie, explore the symbolism of color in the film or how its title character has evolved over time.
- Spark a debate. Is there anything controversial about your topic? Don’t be afraid to ruffle a few feathers and get people talking.
- Add an infographic. Give viewers a cheat sheet of the most salient points and they’ll be more likely to share it with friends.
- Encourage readers to take action. Don’t just give readers the facts; tell them how they can use the information to create change in the world and in their own lives.
8. Be An Expert (Or Cite One)
Are you an expert in your field? When readers go looking for information, they want to know that the source is credible. If you’re already acknowledged in your field, it’ll be much easier to leverage your reputation into a strong online following. But what if you’re still building a name for yourself or you want to create engaging content around an unfamiliar topic? You can still tap into the power of experts to give legitimacy to your work. Here’s how:
- Mention them and their recent accomplishments, activities or interests.
- Quote them (and link back to the original).
- Include them in a curated list.
- Ask them to write a guest blog.
- Invite them to do an interview.
- Ask for testimonials.
- Mention their Twitter handle, website or Instagram.
Citing experts helps your content in two ways. First, you’ll build trust with your readers. Second, if the expert decides that what you’ve written is worth a re-tweet, you’ll gain access to their followers and their networks.
9. Use the Comments Section
Want your readers to be more engaged with your content? Ask for their input! Start a conversation in the comments section by inviting readers to:
- Ask questions.
- Respond to a controversial question.
- Share tips.
- Suggest topics for upcoming posts, interviews and videos.
- Share a picture of a completed project or recipe.
Be sure to respond to their comments so they know you’re listening. You can also boost your audience by commenting on content created by other influencers in your field.
10. Publish, Publish, Publish
A great piece of content will leave your readers hungering for more. Don’t deny them! Increase content engagement by publishing consistently on a predictable schedule.
Having trouble generating posts quickly enough to keep your readers interested? Consider hiring a content writing service to supplement your own writing and keep your feed fresh and engaging.
Increase Content Engagement to Improve Your Brand
Try one (or all!) of these tips to start increasing your content engagement and moving potential customers through your content marketing funnel. If you have any other tips on how to create engaging content, leave them in the comments below!