9 Tips to Engage your Audience with your Content
Anyone can develop content.
But content without purpose does not make much sense. It is essential to consider the goals of your content marketing strategy. To get an engagement that serves your purpose, you need to pinpoint what you want your audience to do when they consume your content.
Irrespective of your intent, your content has to be engaging if you want to accomplish those goals.
Now how do you decide what is engaging content?
Well, it all depends on the person or group for whom it is being developed and how the engagement is measured. For most people, engaging content is all about getting results, such as:
wave of likes
All these are indicators which can be used to measure engagement.
Engaging content is anything that provides value to the lives of your prospects, customers or community members. It does not have to be elaborate, it simply needs to be valuable. Everyone is always talking about “relevancy” and interchanging that with “engagement” but really it’s about how much value are you genuinely adding to a person’s professional or personal life–and, I’m not talking about your product.
– Barbra Gago
This is how a contemporary Digital Marketer and Content Strategist evaluates engaging content.
While developing content, it is to be constantly remembered if your content doesn’t engage your readers, they simply won’t care to read it. That is an unnecessary waste of your time, money, and resources.
If you’re generating posts, images, and videos that are average at best, it’ll take some more effort on your part to see them yield results.
But the effort is worth taking. Because if you put in the extra effort to improve your content marketing strategy, that will ultimately help your business make more money in the long run.
If you are at a loss as to where to start, here are 9 actionable tips for developing content that engages your audience:
1. Maintain originality
It is not easy to develop 100% unique content.
There can always be someone who is speaking about the same thing, clicked a similar photo, or carried out similar research. That is beyond our control.
But we can always develop content that stands out. With such wide availability of content, engaging your audience with content is never easy.
Maintaining the originality of your voice can work for you.
You may need to blog about a topic that’s already available. You have to add your unique voice and spin to make it engaging.
Develop your content so that it’s distinctly your own. Add a touch of your personality into everything you develop. By doing so, you’ll gradually earn a loyal group of followers and readers.
Yes this will require more time and effort, but it’ll be easier for you to increase your engagement metrics this way.
2. Develop actionable content
I just mentioned about ensuring the objectives of your marketing campaigns.
What is your objective? If you are not clear about the purpose of the blog or your objective, it is impossible to orient the audience towards it.
You need to be definite about what you want someone to do after they consume a piece of your content.
For example, let’s say you’re promoting a new product on your website. You decide to blog about it. This is a great idea, but that alone won’t get people to buy the product.
Your post needs to highlight the features and benefits, how it can be used, how you have used it, and how it can improve the lives of your consumers.
This encourages the reader to make a purchase. For example, imagine a blog post about a reputed razor brand. The article can be largely divided in three parts with the first part displaying a sharp product image for a new model, the second part can be a comparative commentary on the various models of other reputed razor brands with the new model and finally the advantage and value of the new model with its distribution points. Don't forget to include links of the e-tailers from where your customers can directly purchase the model.
This is the most important part of the post as it empowers your audience to directly buy the product. This increases the chances of your reader buying the product in case they like it.
Similarly in case you wish to inform the reader about the new models that are coming to the market you can simply add a button for the readers to click if they wish to be updated about them.
3. Substantiate with accurate information
Including statistics and research within content makes it more acceptable.
But the information you publish needs to be accurate and authentic. Publishing on the Internet is easy today. It’s essential that you are confident of the quality and accuracy of the websites you’re sourcing.
You may find out a relevant statistic, but if it’s on some not-so-credible blog and doesn’t include a data source, you can’t be sure whether the information is accurate or not.
That’s why it’s safest to source your information from authority sites only. In addition to making sure the source is reputable, ensure it’s recent.
Information changes frequently.
A statistic or research from ten years ago may not be relevant today. But if your content provides up to date and accurate data, people will be more interested to engage with it.
There’s another useful tip to remember: don’t let your old content become outdated. Just because something is published in 2012 doesn’t mean you aren’t able to refresh it with latest information.
For example the blogs on the various marketing topics that were published before can remain contextual if they are updated from time to time.
4. Tell a story
It is always easier for people to relate to stories than to just raw facts and figures.
That’s why people read books, watch movies, binge-watch television shows, and keep up with reality and celebrity news. We are always curious to learn what comes next in the story.
You can learn how to drive sales by mastering the art of storytelling.
Narrating a story helps you connect with your audience. It can also improve your acceptance of a subject.
For example, let’s assume you’re writing a fitness blog. If you unfold a story that happened during your personal certification training, your audience will understand you’re qualified and knowledgeable on the topic.
They will take more interest in reading what you have to say as compared to reading content developed by someone who has never worked out in their life.
Stories that stimulate an emotional response from the audience make lasting impression.
Write in a manner that’s relatable to your audience. Attempt to evoke powerful emotions such as joy, fear, or sadness.
Ensure your story advances your goal and motivates the reader to complete the action you want them to take.
5. Give your audience some food for thought
Being original is something. But being thought-provoking is something else. It’s an art worth mastering.
Thought-provoking content are those with which the reader can relate to what you’re saying. You need not always talk about a concept in black and white terms.
Let the readers’ imaginations run wild between what is told and what is left untold.
Ask questions with no straight forward answers. Paint a picture with some abstract scenarios.
But keep it relevant to current events, pop culture, and our daily lives. This will keep your audience hooked and assist them engage with your content.
This approach can also help stimulate discussions in the comments section of your content. As a result, people will keep coming back to your website to check in on the discussion.
Ultimately, this is great news for you in terms of your traffic and engagement metrics. Each visit raises the chances of a conversion.
6. Use visuals
We have mostly discussed about textual content so far.
But your overall content marketing strategy is likely to be more elaborate. Pictures and videos are essential to be incorporated into this strategy.
Select original photos. It’s easy to take and edit photos without hiring a professional.
Find out how visual elements are being used for blog posts over the past four years:
This is because marketers have realized the impact of visual elements on their successes.
You can also enhance your content by creating infographics. If you conduct your own research, you will have original content.
Infographics transport this concept to the next level. As people are able to remember images more than text, they will be more likely to retain information if it’s in the form of a picture or graph.
Produce videos. The scope with video content is nearly endless. Here are some suggestions:
Add videos to your website, posts, email newsletters, and social media channels to increase your chances for engaging more audience.
7. Develop interesting headlines
For your content to be consumed, it needs to be clicked on.
Which is why your content headline needs to arrest the attention of the people. Wherever they are browsing through, be it your own website, social media channels, or organic search result pages, your headline is the first thing everybody sees.
Boring headlines never arouse curiosity.
Never give it all away with your headline. For example, if your headline says something like “Men sleep more than women,” nobody will have a reason to read the article.
But if it intrigues them with a question, it will pique the readers’ interest, and you’ll likely get more clicks.
Here’s a look at top B2B performing headlines shared on LinkedIn in 2017:
(Image courtesy: e-Strategy Trends)
See if you can apply this as a reference when you’re crafting your own headlines.
8. Connect readers with your introduction
Just clicking on your headline does not ensure your blog will be read.
Research shows that 55% of your audience spends only up to 15 seconds reading your articles.
Which implies they’re just skimming through your blog.
Which is why it is imperative to learn how to write a blog post introduction that keeps them glued to the rest of your post.
If you are able to captivate the readers with your opening lines, they will be more likely to remain drawn throughout the post.
This works in association with your headline and CTA. All these elements should be working together toward your goal of engagement.
9. Mix up your content
Posts shouldn’t be predictable. That’s boring.
Nobody likes to go through a case study every day. Keep your audience guessing to make sure they get excited with your content.
If one day you tell a story, the next day you can inform about a research. Your following post could be planned with a video.
Next time, you can promote a product. Discuss about recent events. Add a humorous or compelling spin to it.
Whatever you create, keep an air of freshness in it.
Developing engaging content isn’t easy. Which makes businesses agree that it’s the most challenging aspect of their marketing campaigns.
But with time and effort, it is possible to figure out ways to create engaging content.
It’s all about being genuine and separating from the clutter. Develop content that’s actionable.
All information needs to be accurate and up to date.
Share stories to capture the attention of your readers. Make them think outside the box. Use visual elements to enhance your content.
Focus on earning clicks with your headlines and then keep your readers interested with the opening lines and introduction.
Don’t rely on only one of these strategies. Mix up your content to keep things interesting.
If you follow these tips listed above, hopefully you’ll find a road map to create highly engaging content.