Four Tips to Make Sure Your Content is Engaging

Jun 27, 2019

Article ImageIf a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound? It’s an age-old question that philosophers have debated for centuries. For those who say it doesn’t make a sound, the primary argument is that sound only exists when there are ears to receive the vibrations that make up the sound. Thus, when nobody is around, a falling tree makes no sound.

It’s helpful for marketers to think about content in this same context. If you publish quality content and nobody engages with it, does it provide any value to the brand? Leaving aside SEO-specific arguments, the answer is no.

Therefore, you should be asking yourself the following question: Is my content engaging enough? The answer may surprise you.

Measuring Your Content Engagement

Content engagement looks different to different brands but is ultimately a measure of how well readers interact with the content you write and publish. It’s a measure of the actions these individuals take when consuming the content, as well as the actions they take in response to the content.

There isn’t a simple content engagement metric that perfectly articulates how audiences engage with content. Instead, you’ll have to do some digging around to identify the various key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter most within your context. Here are a few to evaluate:

  • Average time on page—With a couple clicks of your trusty mouse, you can find out how much time people are spending with your content. If you’ve published a 3,000-word blog post and people are spending an average of 17 seconds on the page, this isn’t a good sign. But if they’re spending an average of 9 minutes on the page, this is an indicator that they’re engaging with your content to a significant degree.
  • Comments—Using the example of a blog post again, the activity in the comment section of the page will tell you something about engagement. Lots of comments—positive or negative—shows that people are paying attention.
  • Shares and backlinks—If a piece of content is being shared on social media and linked back to by other bloggers and publishers, these are typically indicators of high-level engagement.
  • Conversion rate—Depending on the objective and whether or not there’s a call-to-action, a conversion rate for a specific goal could help you better understand the overall level of engagement for an individual piece of content. For example, a bunch of successful email opt-ins at the end of a blog post would be a sign that your content is moving people to action.

4 Ways to Increase Content Engagement

After doing some basic research into content performance, most marketers come to the conclusion that they need to do a better job of emphasizing engagement. Here are some specific ways you can make this happen:

  1. Speed Up Your Website—Have a slow website? You’re killing your chances of securing meaningful engagement. Data suggests that slow page loading speeds lead to increased bounce rates and lower conversions. By addressing site speed, you can simultaneously improve your engagement metrics.
  2. Improve Content Relevancy—The best way to increase engagement is to create content that people want to read. It sounds like a simple piece of advice, but most brands aren’t doing it. If you’re honest with yourself, you’re probably creating content that you want. In other words, you’re publishing self-serving content and masking it as reader-centric content – and it isn’t doing your brand any favors. Improve content relevancy by studying your audience and addressing their needs and pain points. Not sure where to start? Social media is a fantastic tool for exploring timely and relevant trends. You can even run a poll or survey to find out what they want.
  3. Incorporate Interactive Elements—Today’s internet users are over-stimulated. If you’re only publishing textual content with words and a few images, you’re missing out. Try incorporating interactive elements like polls, surveys, games, calculators, and quizzes. As you get people to interact with your content, engagement will naturally follow. Here are a few examples to sink your teeth into.
  4. Try Infinite Scroll—Instead of displaying each piece of content on its own individual page, use infinite scrolling navigation. Similar to how social media newsfeeds work, the infinite scroll approach keeps people immersed in your content and reduces the chances of someone leaving your website after finishing an article. It’s highly effective.

Maximize Your Content’s ROI

You aren’t brainstorming ideas, crafting content, publishing it online, and sharing it on social media just to keep yourself busy. At the end of the day, you’re trying to move people to action and drive revenue for your business. By putting an increased emphasis on content engagement, you can enjoy superior results.

What are you waiting for? Start reshaping your content strategy today.

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