Search Engine Optimization | Anurag Gupta | Last Updated: 2018-01-22
In this age of the customer, the only sustainable competitive advantage is knowledge of and engagement with customers.
True indeed! Leads, sales, and conversions are the outcome achieved in later stages of sales funnel, which is primarily nurtured with the user engagement. A company that is successful in engaging its audience with its content and marketing tactic undoubtedly enjoys a competitive advantage in the digital ecosystem. However, with multifaceted needs and interest audiences keep throwing the challenge how to engage better? and digital marketers keep burning mid night oil to crack the puzzle. But, like anything else this challenge is also conquerable and for that, apart from a well-executed strategy, these 5 simple ways will help you to increase user-engagement and snatch better returns for your efforts.
The biggest mistake any business owner can make is to put in countless efforts in trying to engage the audience without actually knowing them. The first step in boosting audience engagement is to know the audience in and out. The preferences of the target audience, their interests, demands, needs, and online behavior are the key parameters to analyze the target audience. Creating a buyer persona is a great way to understand the audience for your business. Use different factors like the age, gender, time, psychological trait etc., to know what type of audience would be interested in your business. Once you've created a buyer persona, offer content accordingly. Don't forget to measure the results and tweak the content strategy accordingly.
Technology has taken an upward swing in the past few years and, if used smartly, it can help in increasing the engagement of the audience. There are various technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning etc., that can instantly interact with the user regarding their query. This would prevent the audience from leaving the site because of unsolved query or delayed reply. Use automated chatbots to instantly cater to the needs of the audience and compel them to stay longer on the site. Another example of technology that can be used in engaging the audience is location-based targeting. Offering content and sending notifications according to the geographical location of the customers can also help in engaging them instantly.
It is a no-brainer that social media has become a leading platform to engage the audience on a large scale. Websites that post regular content on social media experience more audience engagement than those who don't. Be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or SlideShare, posting content on social media sites can increase the audience interaction and their engagement. Apart from taking SEO services for higher SERP ranking, also make sure that your social media optimization is on point. According to reports by Smart Insight & Clutch, Written articles (27%), videos (26%), and images (24%) are the three most engaging content on social media. So use these content forms accordingly on social media to engage with the target audience. Make sure to offer quality more than quantity on social media to keep the user coming back to your social media pages for more. Be consistent and quick to respond. Initiate conversation and reply instantly to any comments. Connect with the followers and share content with which they can relate. Keep them engaged and reward the loyal audience with coupons, vouchers etc.
One of the easiest ways to engage the audience is by posting valuable and information-rich content. Relevancy is the key to good content. Create content that serves a relevant purpose to the audience. Understanding and analyzing the audience is a must to offer value to the audience through content. Study their content consumption and analyze the type of channel they are most likely to use. Accordingly create videos, infographics, blogs, articles, testimonials, slides etc., for various channels. Make sure that the content you create is long-form (at least 1,500 words), rich in information, includes data & research, and flows smoothly with any grammatical or language-related hitches. A content that is relevant to your platform and informs that audience about something they didn't already know would keep them engaged until the end.
Giveaway contests are one of the greatest ways to boost the interaction between the brand and the audience. Everyone likes free stuff and when you are offering giveaways to the audience, they would like to participate in the contest held. Contest centered on user-generated content (content submitted by the audience) is one of the best forms of content attracting highest engagement. Holding contest not only attracts the attention of the user but it also engages them with the platform for seeking rewards for participation. Contests can increase the conversation, boosts visibility and exposure, and helps you build a stronger fan base. Ideas like photo contests, tagging the business in different pictures, asking users to comment and share to find the winner can be great ways to increase the engagement exponentially.
Whether you want to keep the mobile user engaged for the long haul or want to target the desktop users, the ways discussed above have proved beneficial in both. Know your audience and offer valuable content on social media to increase audience engagement. You can also make use of the technology that is trending in digital marketing sphere and hold contests on different platforms to boost engagement.
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