If you’re struggling to get engagement on your content, you may be discouraged. It’s a little disheartening to spend hours crafting content that you poured your heart and soul into, only to find it’s not resonating with your audience. But, it’s not the end of the world. If you know you’re creating quality content, here are some tips that can help you increase the shares, comments, and mentions of your content across the web.
In today’s climate, it’s easy to create controversy, but it’s risky if you don’t do it just the right way. When I say you should make your posts more debatable to encourage conversation, I’m not telling you to discuss things that are intentionally offensive, or taking a stance on something you don’t believe in. Instead, it’s best to find topics and angles where there are two sides, and take one side. This will encourage people to respond, and hopefully get them talking to one another about the issue.
Ask People to Share Thoughts and Opinions
If you want your readers to talk to you and with one another, one of the easiest ways to do that is to start the conversation yourself. Ask them a question, like you often see me do at the end of my blog posts. This will naturally prompt people to respond. But, it’s not always effective. You can expect to see more results if you combine it with controversy, by asking a question you know to be debatable. If you can’t ask something you think people will debate, do your best to ask questions your audience is passionate about. The stronger your audience feels about the topic, the better the chances of sparking engagement.
Surprise the Audience
Everyone enjoys a surprise. Immediately, your post will stand out from the others, ensuring it gets more attention and visibility. Some of your audience will feel the need to reward you for the surprise. When this happens, they are likely to leave a comment or share the article on their social media platforms, increasing engagement either way.
Create Interactive Content
Encourage active participation when and where possible within your content strategy. Interactive content makes it easier to boost engagement. Though you are fairly limited in what you can work with you, you can develop quizzes, surveys, pools, and interactive infographics based on what your readers need, or how your readers feel about a certain topic. While these are not your only options, of course, they are some of the most effective.
People who don’t feel appreciated won’t do anything for you. That’s why it’s important to let your readers to know you appreciate them and the time they take to engage with you and other readers. It’s up to you to determine how you reward them – you can make it as simple as a thank you in reply to their comment or share, or as complex as rewarding them with a discount code of some sort to use in your shop for a limited time… or a random act of kindness gift. The efforts you make, especially if you take the time to get actively involved in the conversations with your readers, will go noticed.
Using video will definitely increase your engagement. One study shows people spend 100% more time on pages with video than they will on pages with other media. Why? They are a kind of content that’s easy for people to digest, and generally people will watch the entire video. When it comes to an article, people generally only read the headline, and scan the content if they even decide to read it.
Adding a video to a text piece can improve engagement, and are especially helpful for concepts that require demonstration or some other kind of visual aid. Though they can be difficult to produce, they are often worth the investment since they can attract 300% more inbound links than plain text blog posts.
How can you make video work for you?
- Keep the videos short. One study revealed that going an extra 10 seconds can impact engagement.
- Put any important material at the beginning of the video because attention span will decline as the video progresses.
- Include a call to action. Users need to know what you want them to do next, especially when it comes to video. Do you want them to share the video with their friends? Do you want them to go check out a certain page on your website? Whatever the case may be, tell them at the end of the video.
Mention People in Social Shares
If there’s someone you’ve mentioned or quoted in your content, make sure to find their social handle and tag them in the content when you post it on your social media platforms. They’ll appreciate the mention and more than likely share it with their audience to demonstrate they’re credible enough to get press from other publications.
Create a quote graphic with Canva or a similar tool. Tag the person you quote or the business they work for in your social message. Search for their Twitter handle and Facebook business page so you can tag them appropriately.
If you’re sharing curated content, tag the writer or creator so they know you’re sharing their work. They’ll appreciate it and likely return the favor for you when they get the chance.
Remember to adjust your content sharing for each platform and medium. The commentary you include on a Facebook share likely won’t fit in Twitter.
Pay Attention to Timing
Every social media platform has their own “best time” of the day to post content to increase the post reach. That doesn’t mean your audience follows that timing, however. Start with these general guidelines to help you get a frame of reference if you don’t have data on your audience yet.
If you do have audience data, take a look at the times of day your audience seems to be the most active, and then post content at those times. Many social media scheduling tools allow you to customize the posting schedule, not only in terms of daily frequency but also in the exact times the content is posted. You can use a set schedule every day, or you can set it up to be random.
The more data you have, the better you’ll be able to adjust your timing to improve engagement.
Engagement Doesn’t Happen Overnight
None of these strategies will skyrocket your engagement overnight, but if you consistently practice these, you should see an increase in your engagement over time. You’ll start to see more shares, comments, and participation with your content over time. Use the engagement metrics to determine how effective your content is, and use the feedback to keep improving your content for your audience.
What keeps you engaged with content? Tell me in the comments below.