Making the next viral video isn’t the only way to drive engagement with your content. It’s time to put down your cell phone and stop trying to catch your dog playing soccer (unless that’s how you enjoy spending your time…) because today we’re talking about how to boost customer engagement with content marketing.
This is a big topic, so this article breaks it down into three key categories:
You must fully understanding your target audience in order to engage them. That means answering all the basics, like who, what, why, how and so on.
How to understand your target audience
This will happen in two steps. First, we will figure out who our audience members are and what they want. Then we’ll put together a persona guide to etch it in stone.
First, answer these questions:
Now turn all of this information into persona documents. We recommend you read our user personas guide to get started on this process.
Customers engage with content when it’s valuable, easy to find and easy to read. This won’t require a whole new way of writing, but an attention to detail in areas you may not have thought so much about. These core tenets apply across the board, from blogs and whitepapers to infographics, videos, and even email marketing campaigns.
Your overall quality will bring value, a stellar headline will push up your click-through rate, and promotion will get your content to the right people.
1. Quality over quantity
Quality trumps quantity every time when it comes to engaging your audience. Content has to be worth the time you’re asking people to spend on it. So how do we create quality?
Use professional writers: If you’re trying to present yourself as an expert, thought leader, trusted adviser or any of the above, you’re only undermining your own message by allowing basic grammatical errors and other content mistakes to slip through. A content creation specialist will help you avoid these embarrassing gaffs.
— Castleford (@castlefordmedia) June 5, 2018
2. Use a great headline A famous Princeton University paper found it takes humans a tenth of a second to form a first impression. You can see, then, how important it is that your headline grabs the attention of your audience and conveys the right message. But beware – sensationalised, click-baity headlines can get a lot of negative flack on social media. There’s a middle ground between sensational and sensationalised that you’ll need to walk. These are six quick headline rules to live by:
3. Promote your content
Finally, promoting content is a fast way to get it in front of audience members and boost overall brand awareness. Think social media sharing, Ads, paid social ads, and whatever else you can leverage to show your content in the right places at the right times.
Paid ads work. Here’s proof: Google’s research showed that 89 per cent of traffic generated by Ads ads is not replaced by organic traffic when those same ads are paused.
So, promote your key content pieces to the right audience members and watch your traffic rise.
Nearly eight in 10 people are on social media in Australia, according to the 2017 Sensis Social Media Report. This is a huge market, and should be one of your go-to places for building engagement.
But there are ways to do social media and ways not to. Let’s avoid the latter, shall we?
1. Don’t just sell – converse
There is room on social media for advertising and sales, but it can’t be your only content. Social media is a fantastic platform for starting a discussion, and discussion is a quick way to rope audience members into engaging with your posts – whether by liking them, or commenting with their thoughts.
It doesn’t take long to improve your business’ social media presence, but it pays to go in with a strategy. Use our checklist to clean up your social pages. https://t.co/4hvGQqgL0I pic.twitter.com/wjUol7ptlK
— Castleford (@castlefordmedia) March 2, 2018
2. Monitor conversations and respond Social media is a two-way channel. You aren’t just talking to customers, they’re talking back – asking questions, leaving reviews, voicing opinions.
Respond quickly to private messages, and keep an eye on comments to monitor the conversation and reply when relevant. If you need to, you could also deploy a social media bot to help vet messages so your customer service agents don’t get bogged down with quick fixes.
3. Share content and use influencers
Sharing other users’ content and interacting with influencers are both good ways to engage an audience and build social traction.
For instance, other people may already have answered a question that is important to your audience, but you haven’t had a chance to do the same yet. You can re-share this person’s answer (provided it is high quality, too) so your customers still benefit from your guidance even though it’s not from you personally.
As for influencers, these folks are like the internet’s best salespeople. They typically have a large number of followers and – importantly – people trust their opinion. So reach out to the influencers in your market to see if they can share your content. You can tag them or ask them questions, and some even accept payment for promoting brands.
Being an influencer can be lucrative. So today we’re discussing how to tell if you’re influential, and if you aren’t, how to build your presence online. https://t.co/HDanFvqRTd pic.twitter.com/sXcY2Qfhqi — Castleford (@castlefordmedia) June 6, 2018
The question of ‘how to build engagement with content marketing’ can be summed up quite easily:
Figure out who your users are and what they want, then provide those wants to those people. If you can do that, you’ll be creating valuable content that meets their needs – and that increases their chance of reading it, liking it and sharing it.