Too Few Shares and Comments? Check Out 5 Steps and Tools to Engage Your Readers!
What is the goal of a content creation strategy? Most people would fall back on the most obvious line: to increase traffic. But is that really the end goal? Anything can cause a spike in traffic to a website, and it doesn’t immediately indicate a result once it has. One could have 10,000 monthly unique views to a blog, but it doesn’t mean anything if those visitors are just peeking at the pages to then scamper off.
They need to leave a footprint, create some kind of impact to ensure site growth. They need to share the pages with their friends, to collect their footprints.
They need to engage.
Engagement brings in more conversions, repeat users, awareness, trust, community building benefits, etc.
Content creation should be about integrating both outreach and relationship tactics. When you keep that goal in mind during the creation process, you end up with a much more efficient piece that generates long-lasting results.
But how to do that? … by knowing the final goal, and taking steps to achieve it.
1. Ask Questions
Research which questions people ask in your niche and ask / answer them in your content.
Structure your content as a Q&A thread (where questions are subheadings and answers follow each one). Questions engage readers because human beings have a strong instinct of trying to find an answer any time they see a question. In an attempt to find answers, visitors delve into content more attentively and feel much more willing to share, comment, or subscribe to an email list.
Try using a free tool called AnswerThePublic to research popular questions in your niche.
2. Create Seasonal and Trending Content
Most bloggers think they deserve a break during the holiday season, and they do have a point! After all, most people are likely away from computers enjoying those holiday activities, so there will be no one to read blogs on Christmas, right?
Wrong! As some of the most prolific bloggers report, posting before or on a holiday day can bring an unprecedented traffic spike, simply because there is little content being posted during that time, so bloggers who do publish articles have less competition. Holiday content has proven to be highly engaging too because people love talking to other people during the holidays.
Now, if you want to get ready for this holiday season, you’d better get your content marketing organized right now. Use Google Trends to better understand how trends work in your industry:
[Start publishing your Christmas-related content where you start seeing the interest rising]
3. Engage with Your Readers on Social Media
Social media marketing is one of the best ways to reach customers and actually talk to them. Here are a few tips to improve content engagement using social media:
- Install social media buttons encouraging readers to share your content on their feeds and then thank everyone who did. People love feeling appreciated. Here are a few great plugins with a few social media icons to link to your profiles
- Consider adding social media login options to enable people to post comments on your blog
- Share content often on social media, each time asking a different question or using a different image
- Use visuals from your blog posts when promoting them on social media. Visual social media updates are much more engaging!
- Embed tweets or shares in your content for people to see live discussions right within your articles.
4. Start Influencer Outreach
In most cases, to get people to engage with your content, pro-actively reach out to them and ask.
Never forget one very important thing about outreach through content creation: you are creating something of value, to reach people of value, to build relationships of value. In each step of the equation, you have that one description: value. It has to mean something, from the first content created, to the way it engages the people reading it.
It takes time, effort, and careful cultivation. You will have more misses than hits. But reaching your target and building a real connection with your viewer makes all the misses well worth it.
So don’t get discouraged if you aren’t producing viral levels of outreach all the time. Some of the most influential content creators go years without managing that. Just keep your quality high, your end goal based on relationships, and never forget the necessity of true value. The rest will follow naturally.
Use tools to make your influencer onboarding more productive. Salesmate makes it easy to track which influencers your team contacted, what was their feedback and what your team should do next. It stores all the contact info, message history and notes. It’s really a time saver that brings all different pieces of influencer outreach (identifying, emailing, following-up, etc.) in one place:
5. Take Care of the Basics
Finally, don’t forget the basics:
- Make sure your content is of high value: provide useful tips, list tools, unique research, etc.
- Research your keywords: knowing what phrases people type into the search box will help steer your topics to what people really want to read
- Make sure your content is original: don’t let anyone steal your hard work to build engagement for their own sites. Easy tools like PlagiarismCheck can help you check and monitor your content originality:
Are there any other tips to better engage readers with your content? Let us know in the comments!