7 Universal Content Strategies to Increase Audience Engagement
Content is a contest. Whether you’re writing blog posts or cutting videos, there’s always someone else out there who wants to win over your audience as bad as you do. These content strategies can help increase audience engagement across a variety of mediums to help get your message out there.
1. Gauge the Competition
Who’s winning the race for your important keywords?
Finding ways to outrank those competitors will help bolster your share of the audience.
One important step in increasing engagement is finding (and fixing) gaps in your current keyword strategy.
You could be falling behind in areas where your competitors already have plenty of content. There could also be high-volume keywords the competition hasn’t covered yet, leaving an opportunity for your site to fill in the gap.
Conducting a keyword gap analysis requires a strong grasp of your site’s current standing and where you want to improve: how people are finding your site now, which keywords are most valuable to you now, and what your competitors are doing better.
2. Optimize Metadata
To most people, metadata is an afterthought.
For anyone with a website, it shouldn’t be.
Metadata refers to two types of information: basic descriptions of digital files (file author, date crated, file size, etc.) and descriptions of webpage content. Both types of metadata play a role in your content’s search engine visibility.
Search algorithms use metadata to help determine what a webpage is about. When metadata contains relevant keywords, it gives the page a better shot of ranking for those search queries.
Optimized metadata may not increase audience engagement alone, but it can help give well-crafted content the boost it needs.
3. Increase Page Speed
Slow loading speed is one of the biggest barriers to audience engagement.
Nearly half of all internet users will not wait longer than three seconds for a page to load. It doesn’t matter how great a blog or video is if it’s dragged down by a slow-loading site.
If you’re not sure of your site’s speed (or can’t figure out why it’s slow), Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool can give answers. Beyond that, there are lots of big and small fixes to increase page speed.
4. Boost Presentation
Looks matter, at least when it comes to boosting audience engagement.
The nicer the page presentation, the more likely people are to view the content, share it with others, and link back to it — all important ingredients of attracting and engaging an audience
Overall site design plays a big part in this (which is one reason to redesign your site periodically). But there are also many smaller steps you can take to make your content easier and more enjoyable to consume.
- Break blog posts into short paragraphs with a logical flow, adding bullet points and lists where applicable.
- Add relevant images. Blog posts with images get an average of 94% more views than those without.
- Embed a video. Video increases the average time people spend on a site by 105%.
If you do add supplementary videos and images, be sure to optimize them with keyword-rich metadata.
Speaking of different mediums…
5. Use a Variety of Content Mediums
Radio didn’t bring an end to libraries. Film wasn’t the death knell for radio. And the Internet hasn’t dampened the popularity of video (only changed how we see it).
Why? Because different people like to consume information in different ways.
Some of your audience will always prefer a long-form blog post or whitepaper to a video; others won’t give text the time of day when there’s a visual alternative.
Using a variety of content broadens the appeal of your site to a wider audience. Blogs, eBooks, videos, case studies, infographics, and podcasts can all help to build different segment of an engaged following.
6. Be an Authority
Authority is one of the biggest factors in how search engine algorithms choose which sites make the front page. To increase audience engagement, you’ll have to show that you’re an authority in your industry.
Being an authority doesn’t mean you’re the be-all and end-all for your industry. Rather, it means you have a take on the topic that is more in-depth, more authentic, and more current than the competition.
For future content, focus on quality and relevance over quantity. As for older content that still performs well? Keep it current!
7. Send the Right Content to the Right Audience
Instead of blasting all your content to everyone at once, take a precision approach. Aim for where you know it’ll connect.
There are lots of ways to make sure your content reaches the right people and get them to engage with it:
- Starting an email list is a great initiative for anyone looking to build an army of loyal followers.
- A/B testing provides guidance when it comes to making the best possible first impression on visitors.
- Retargeting visitors with content you know matches their interests brings wayward audiences back into your sights.
The point is, different content will resonate best at different points in the marketing funnel. Once you’ve figured out your funnel, you can begin to weave it into your content strategy.
Getting Audiences to Engage with Your Content
No content creator can produce a viral masterpiece every time, but these steps will help put it on the screens of audiences that matter.
It all starts with strategy. We’d love to help you find yours.