One of the most undeniable facts about content marketing is that you simply cannot succeed without proper engagement with your audience. You see, without engagement, you’ll have no one to share all of your great ideas, products and services with, which will make all that work you put into branding a total waste.
Being a successful content marketer these days is all about engaging with your audience because, at the end of the day, that’s where your customers, both prospects and existing, are at. So, if you’re struggling to figure out how to engage with your audience, then you’ve come to the right place. Below we’ve got some really great tips on audience engagement, based on lessons learnt from some of the best and most successful blogs on the Internet.
1. Set Engagement Objectives
On the face of it, setting engagement objectives seems like a simple and straightforward task, and yet many content creators struggle with it because they approach it all wrong. You see, most people focus too much on the strategy that they forget to ask themselves; what am I doing all this for? What’s my end goal?
It’s important to get clear on what engagement means to you before you try to make it happen, or start aiming for key performance indicators and business goals. So, let’s say you’ve been getting a fair amount of criticism from your customers due to having a bad experience on one of your platforms, whether it’s on your website or social media channels.
Now, whether this happened as a result of neglect or because you simply haven’t had enough time to handle all the aspects of your business, fixing this problem needs to be a top priority for you. So, your idea of “successful engagement” in this case would be to see improved customer service across all the different channels where your brand has a presence. From here, it’ll be easier for you to map out what your engagement objectives are, as well as the KPIs that match them so that you can include them in your content marketing strategy.
In a nutshell, it’s very important to have engagement goals which will then be supported by the right content goals and topics.
2. Target Personas
When most content creators think about their audience, they usually think in terms of demographics, which is more of a blanket approach when compared to recognizing your audience as individuals. Now, you have to keep in mind that demographic groups are made of individuals, so if you really want to make an impact with your content, you need to learn how to speak to those individuals.
A good example of a brand that has achieved to communicate with and appeal to individuals is the digital marketing blog Marketing Land.
How do they do it?
Well, instead of targeting digital marketers with their content, they specifically aim for the individual niches within the digital marketing space, which include SEO marketers, social media managers etc.
That way, each segment and individual within their target audience feels as though the content is speaking to them specifically, thus establishing the website as a reliable authority. A nice side effect of this approach is that it makes it easier for you to organize your content so that each individual who visits feels like you can speak their language and that they have a place within the space you’ve created.
The takeaway? Find out who the various individuals are that make up your audience demographic and create a content strategy that caters for each of them. Then, as you create the content to fill out your editorial calendar, make sure that it speaks the language of each individual.
3. Tell A Story
No matter what topic you cover, chances are that someone has written on the same subject before. So how do you differentiate your voice from the noise and establish yourself as an authority?
One of the best ways to do this is to tell stories. Yep! The only thing that can set you apart from the competition is your ability to connect with your audience through a story.
If you look at successful brands, you’ll find that the key to their success is relatability. Customers are always willing to support a brand that they can relate to and what better way to do this than by being you?
For example, I know of a brand that sells copywriting courses like hotcakes because the owners behind it communicate with customers by telling their stories. Their emails always start with a story which not only illustrates the point of why you need their copywriting course but will also lead you to the selling point more seamlessly and without sounding “salesy.”
This approach makes it easier to retain the customer’s attention and will most likely lead to more engagement (and sales) than a clear-cut sales pitch. Basically, you’ll start to see a difference in engagement the moment you start becoming authentic, and the best way to do this is by telling stories.
4. Ask Readers to Engage
Nothing attracts engagement more than a call-to-action, so make sure you include a CTA at the end of each post you make on your site’s blog or on social media accounts. You can even ask your audience to share their views on a particular subject that relates to the post.
Say, for example, you’re a writer that’s promoting a book on one of your social media platforms. After sharing a story of how you were able to stay disciplined throughout the process, you can then ask your audience to share their discipline hacks or the activities that they perform in order to stay focused.
This marketing tactic works because people are more likely to engage when you ask them to.
So, in conclusion…
If you’re reading this, then chances are that you’re subscribed to certain digital marketing blogs that you find helpful. The next time you visit one of these sites, focus your attention on more than just the content. Look at how the site is organized; check out their visuals, the types of images that they used, their writing style (formal or conversational), as well as how they’ve placed things like share buttons.
All of these different aspects provide clues to the site’s success and say a lot about the target audience, including you. They’re a huge part of how they interact and engage with customers.