If you create it, they will consume it, right?
Unfortunately, no. As much as we might want our content to be inherently interesting and engaging to our audience, we’ve got to do more than that to make people care.
Yes, the SEO value of content marketing can make it worthwhile even without engagement. But our business goals are better served when the content we produce gets noticed, gets consumed, and gets a response.
So how do you get more people to engage with your content?
- Get their attention
People can’t engage with something they don’t notice. So, the first step is to get attention for your content. Ensure your subject lines, video titles, thumbnails, or summaries are interesting. Make sure they make your point quickly and clearly, and give your audience the information they need to decide whether to consume it.
Does it speak to a need? Does it answer a question? Is it phrased in a striking way, or does it make a bold claim? You want to make every word and image count. Take a moment and think about the last piece of content you created. Did you construct it to get attention? What could you do to adjust it next time?
2. Make your point
Once you’ve gotten their attention, you need to bring them along and get them to read, watch, or listen to the content you’ve created.
If your goal is engagement, you’ll want to make sure your content is constructed with that in mind. Does it ask questions and encourage replies? Does it intentionally give them something to think about?
Content has to be more than interesting to get a response. It needs to be new and novel, challenging and surprising, or introspective and thoughtful to get your audience to do more than skim and skip to the next item in their feed. Think about the content you regularly produce for your brand. Is it new, surprising, or intentionally thoughtful? Or is it facts, figures, and traditional brand messages?
3. Give them a reason
Finally, people need a reason to do something they’re not used to. And most people aren’t used to engaging with content marketing. They don’t see it, don’t consume it, and don’t respond to it. So, if you want your audience to engage with your content, you need to give them a reason to break out of their comfort zone and take action.
That could be a real incentive, such as a reward for survey responses. Or it could be a subtler push, such as a humble request for questions in your blog or video comments. Or it could simply be the fun of getting to do or try something new, or participating in an active conversation with like-minded people.
In any of these cases, the request for engagement should be explicit — ask people to do what you’d like them to do. And include a reason or a benefit to inspire them to take action right away.
Think again about the content you’ve recently produced. Did it give your audience a reason to respond or engage? How could you adjust your content in the future to provide incentives for interaction?
What do you think? Are these really the only ways to get engagement on content marketing? Or is there something we missed? Let us know in the comments below, or simply share your favourite piece of content marketing that got a response out of you.
If you need support with the content marketing strategy of your business, contact us and we can help.
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