Content is king, as the saying goes. So if you’re running an online business, producing a steady stream of valuable content should be at the forefront of your plans.
The problem is, it can be challenging to know where to start at times. The term “valuable” can be subjective. How can you tap into your audience’s needs and grow your business then?
This article will give you tips on how to produce valuable content engagement. With a bit of help, you’ll be pulling in new customers who are entirely on board with your business.
Let’s get started.
7 Proven Content Engagement Strategies
1. Know your target audience
If you want your content to be relevant to your readership, you need to identify your target audience. Create audience personas. These are fictional representations of your audience that contain relevant data, such as their demographics and preferences. You can get the data from different sources, for instance, via social media or by asking your audience themselves.
Refer to your audience personas when creating content so you can create content they’ll consume.
Your target audience depends on the nature of your business. If you’re in sales, identify the customer who is likely to buy your products. For example, The Body Shop is a company that sells beauty products made from natural ingredients. They also champion vegan products and items made without inflicting harm on animals.
The Body Shop’s website includes content that promotes its stance. Since customers value this stance, it’s content that can get customers to take action.
Do the same with your content. First, identify your target audience and generate written content that feeds into the audience’s interests and delivers value. Once your audience is engaged, you can lead them through a journey to ultimately generate sales.
2. Capture attention with engaging headlines
The headline is the very first thing your readers will see, so make sure it’s engaging! There’s a general rule called 80/20. It’s based on statistics that suggest, on average, eight out of ten people read headline copy, but only two out of ten read the entire piece of content.
Ash Genete of Spiralytics suggests sticking to eight key principles when crafting content headlines. The chief points are to be specific, unique, relevant to the audience, keep to your brand voice, remember keywords, and follow a headline formula. This formula is generally ‘trigger word/number + adjective + keyword + promise.
This blog headline hits all the points.
The trigger (8 Blogger Tools), adjective (Promote), and keyword (Content) are all accounted for. So is the overall promise of the blog that provides value to the reader. The blog promises to help readers promote their content, specifically via useful blogger tools.
Try to stick to this general principle for your headlines. Make sure you don’t use buzzwords, too. Be clear and concise with what you offer, and you should see an uptick in your content engagement.
3. Encourage social sharing of your content
Social media is the place to be for content engagement nowadays. According to Oberlo, there are 3.78 billion social media users worldwide.
Of those users, 54% use social media to research products. That opens up a vast platform for the social sharing of content relevant to your business. The big four channels to be aware of are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Whichever of these platforms contains your highest following, stick to it for your content engagement.
If your levels of followers are relatively consistent across multiple platforms, Facebook is a safe bet to choose. With 2.7 billion active users, it gives you access to the most significant proportion of your target audience.
Encourage your followers to share content on your social media pages by offering an incentive. That will lead to the organic spread of your brand, giving you access to lots of new followers. All those likes, shares, retweets, and replies generate a buzz about your brand.
One way to incentivize is via a competition. For example, Where Saints Go, an online furniture company, encourages customers to take photographs of their products and share them on Instagram with #makemeasaint or #wsg. That automatically qualifies them to enter a photography competition where the winner gets a gift card.
This incentive alone is enough to tempt customers to share their purchases on the platform, instantly creating engaging content with the potential to spread brand awareness.
Consider offering something similar. Creative content on social media could even result in your brand going viral if it’s popular enough.
4. Stick to your publishing frequency
Generating good content is one thing. Regularly generating good content is another. For your business to stay relevant, you need to be publishing quality content on at least a weekly basis. Followers expect a regular output of helpful content, not tidbits here and there.
For example, if your website has a blog section, publish a new post at least every two weeks. Use an editorial calendar to keep track of what you post and when. An editorial calendar helps keep your content marketing team all on the same page, lets you all know what is due next (and when) and any gaps in your publishing frequency.
Once you’ve established a publishing frequency, stick to it.
Think about this from the reader’s perspective. Reading valuable blog posts that drop every two weeks for a few months that suddenly fall away to one post every six weeks is enough to put you off a company altogether. Readers expect consistency from a reputable business but also consistent quality.
If sticking to such a regular schedule seems too much of a stretch right now, consider hiring more content writers to ease the pressure on your existing team. Such a move can also bring fresh ideas to the table, resulting in more insightful content.
5. Leverage the comments section
If you’re afraid of getting criticism for your content, it can be tempting to disable your blog and social media comment sections, but this will do more long-term damage than good.
Engagement with your audience is vital to the growth of your business and your overall content engagement. You’re doing your brand a favor when you respond even to negative reviews or less than ideal comments.
It shows that you care about your customers and any issues they may have with your service. Further, it shows that you’re taking the time to resolve matters, no matter how small they may seem to your business as a whole.
See how EE, a UK mobile phone network provider, deals with this challenging customer comment below on Instagram. Notice how courteous EE is at first before diving into the issue at hand.
As well as responding to customers’ concerns, good quality content on social media can result in positive discussions, opening the door to excellent customer feedback in the comments.
6. Use email newsletters
Email newsletters can keep your readers up to date with regular content and news about your products. According to Hubspot, email marketing generates on average $42 for every $1 that marketers spend. These figures demonstrate the value of email newsletters.
Offer a free trial, content upgrade, or lead magnet of some sort in exchange for an email address on your website. After that, you can send out your newsletter to your captured addresses.
An effective newsletter is a bit like a snapshot of your best content – exclusive deals, special offers, and even chances to enter lucrative competitions or similar.
7. Include real examples and data
Statistics and real-life examples are vital ingredients to any good blog post. So, unless you back up what you preach, it lacks substance, conviction, and credibility.
Include actionable advice backed up by evidence and data.
Take Michelle Schroder-Gardner’s blog post on ‘How to Create a Budget That Works’, for example. Readers don’t just want to hear the words ‘prepare a budget’. They want to understand why budgeting is essential.
So, Michelle uses stats to back up her claims, such as “According to Gallup, 68% of households in the U.S. do not prepare a budget”.
This statistic makes the problem of not budgeting appear much more relatable and identifies how widespread an issue it can be.
Follow Michelle’s strategy, and you’ll improve your overall levels of content engagement.
Creating content is easy. Creating engaging content to grow your business isn’t. But with plenty of advice from this article, along with a sound marketing plan, you can grow your brand successfully.
As long as you understand your audience, use punchy headlines, pay attention to social media and publish engaging content frequently, you’ll be well on track towards considerable business growth.