Any business with a strong digital presence knows the value of high level content marketing and how it could potentially affect their digital presence. One area where many businesses struggle is in encouraging engagement from their readers and audience at large. There are thousands of businesses in your industry posting blogs, interacting on social media and sharing content.
It can be hard to stand out. However, there are some simple steps that any company take to ensure that they are reaching a wider audience and developing deeper connections with the audience that they already have.
Take these simple tips into consideration as you evaluate your content marketing efforts and look for ways to improve engagement with your audience:
Ask Your Audience a Question and Tell Them How to Respond
Want people to respond to your content and interact with you? The fastest way from one location to another is a straight line. Ask them.
Each piece of content that you create should, in some ways, entice your audience to give their input on the subject that you discuss. By asking your audience a question at the end of the article, or even posting a question in the title of the content, you are setting the expectation and calling them to action.
If you know anything about copywriting or marketing, you know how important the call to action is to the overall effectiveness of your marketing. The same can be said for content that doesn’t have a direct sales purpose. If the goal is to get your audience responding to your content, you should ask them to do so to increase engagement rates.
Make Sharing of All Content Simple
Posting a blog on your website is great, but it doesn’t do you much good if it never reaches beyond your own audience. You want to make sure that each piece of content is given a chance to reach a larger audience.
Every article, picture, and video should have sharing buttons that are easy to find and access directly accompanying the content. You can’t expect your audience to copy and paste their URL into their Twitter status. You have to make the sharing of your content as straight-forward as you can to increase engagement rates and help that content to reach new audiences.
Cut Back on Automation, Focus on Interaction
If you want engagement you should also expect to engage with your audience on a personal basis. No one wants to have a conversation with an automated social media account or send their opinions off into a void, never to hear back.
You set the standard for engagement with your own actions. Start by reaching out to those that share your content and thanking them. When someone has something negative to say, don’t be afraid to respond. Be personable and reasonable with your audience.
Although there are always circumstances where content marketing automation and social media automation are a smart choice, you need to make sure that you are not relying too heavily on it. People love interacting with real people, and you need to make it apparent that there are real, live representatives for your company.
Increase Usage of Pictures, Video and Rich Media
It is estimated that 50% of people are what would be called “visual learners.” That means that they soak in information at a higher level when it is presented to them visually through pictures, rather than through text.
Don’t just settle for stock photos when you post a new blog. Work with designers to ensure that each piece of content you create also comes with relevant and interesting images and infographics that not only drive home the main points made in your article, but supplement the article with additional visual information to connect with those visual learners.
Allow Your Team to Interact and Share on Behalf of Your Company
As was touched on earlier, your audience is going to be much more likely to interact with your content on social media and on your blog when they feel there is a good chance that a real person responds to them. They want to get to know the people behind your company and develop those personal connections with them, whether or not they ever engage in a one-on-one conversation.
Measure and Re-Focus on Specific Platforms
In every industry, certain platforms are going to attract your audience more than others. Although you should be able to tell from research where your audience is located, you shouldn’t be afraid to scale back on certain platforms when your engagement is very low. Make sure that you are using analytics platform to analyze your content and social media marketing, and re-focusing your efforts on the platforms that provide the most engagement.
Go Against the Grain
Want to convince people to interact with your content? Say something that they haven’t heard before. Go against the grain. Try to approach a subject in a way that your audience hasn’t seen before. By approaching subjects in a new way, you separate yourself from the competition. Too many companies waste their effort copying what has worked for others, without finding their own ways to differentiate themselves within their industry, which is actually what they need to maximize their return from content marketing.