Content marketing is one of the best ways to attract an audience and generate sales. But it won’t instantly start delivering business results just because you publish content. You need to take steps to create content people want to read and optimize it to encourage the audience to engage with it.
There are many content marketing channels, but the best one for driving traffic and generating more leads is blogging. It is a popular medium that people like to consume, and at the same time, maintaining a blog is relatively easy to execute. It can drastically improve your onsite engagement rate, too. So, here are some top tips to increase audience engagement with blog posts…
Find out what your audience wants to read
Your audience is only going to read your posts and engage with them if you create content that they want to read. So, the first thing you should do is ask them what they want. You can start with a survey and maybe a few interviews to try and figure out their biggest pain points.
Of course, you might want to supplement this research with some keyword and social media research. You can use a keyword research tool to see what relevant topics people are searching for online. You can then search these keywords on public social networks like Twitter to check what questions people are asking on the network and what topics are getting the most retweets.
Another tactic that can help in this regard is looking at your competitors to see what kinds of articles they’re publishing and how much engagement they’re seeing in terms of web traffic, social shares, and interactions with these brands’ social profiles around this content. This type of research can help identify content gaps that your brand can fill, as well as topics that you might want to talk about differently from your competitors as part of your differentiation positioning.
Write the best long-form content
The investment into content marketing is at an all-time high right now, and it’s getting even higher. There are a lot of businesses that are constantly pumping out quality posts. Why should people read yours instead of your competitors?
You need to give them a reason to choose your content over your competitors. The easiest way to do this is to write the best content.
Start by researching as much as you can on the topic. You can read what other people wrote on it and even interview subject matter experts. If you’re going to outperform them, you want to read the top-ranking posts on the topic at hand.
Next, brainstorm ways in which you can create better content than your competitors. You also need to look for ways to differentiate your post from the competitors.
Make sure you write an outline based on this research. After this, you can write it. For best results, write long posts that are over 2,000 words long, as these posts tend to rank higher on search engines and generate more social media shares. Also, when your posts are longer, people spend more time on your blog. This gives you more opportunities to engage them.
Make sure that you add a lot of visuals to your posts, as this will make the pages more engaging and readable. When you finish writing, work with an editor to tighten up the text and get rid of grammatical flaws.
Optimize for conversion
Tracking conversions is an easy way to measure how engaging your content is. You need to optimize your blog posts for two types of conversions.
One is to place embedded promotions for relevant products in the blog posts. This will convert people who are ready to buy your products immediately.
Unfortunately, only a small percentage of people will want to buy instantly. This is why you should also place opt-in forms on your blog that will help convert readers to email subscribers. Make sure you place different types of opt-in forms such as content upgrades, popups, and welcome mats. Also, offer a free lead magnet to everyone who signs up as this will entice more to sign up.
Nurture subscribers with the blog posts
Getting people to sign up for your list is just one form of engagement. It will help you build a good list of subscribers to whom you can promote your products, but you shouldn’t promote products to them immediately.
Before you promote any products, you should nurture them with more content. Every time you publish a new blog post you can share it with your email subscribers. This will help you drive traffic to your blog and engage the audience you are building. You could also implement additional techniques such as blog giveaways and contests to boost engagement.
You can also track the clicks in your emails to understand the interests of your subscribers and further segment them.
Email isn’t the only way to engage blog readers. You can also use content amplification. This is where you run ads that promote blog posts. You can retarget people who visited a certain post on your website and re-engage them. There are some networks like Outbrain that are perfect for content amplification.
You might also do well to retarget people who are on your email list with ads. This is a nice way to repeatedly promote your blog posts to them instead of frequently emailing them and risking unsubscription.
Just make sure that when you use this technique you keep ad fatigue in mind and constantly change the visuals and copy in your ads.
Regularly engaging your audience is a good way to interact with them and get them to trust you. There are so many ways to do this, but blog posts are probably the best way as people love free content. Also, constantly publishing fresh content on your blog can help you perform well in other areas such as SEO, as Google loves fresh content.
So, follow the step-by-step process listed above and boost audience engagement with blog posts.
About the Author
Stefan Lopez is an outreach manager and digital marketer for a company that provides digital marketing for startups and online businesses. He loves to share his ideas and has a passion for blogging about his experience in web marketing.