(by AJ Agrawal – Alumnify, CEO & Startup Grind contributor)
Readership engagement is the crucial metric for any great blog, and to be improved, it must be measured. In a recent survey, all top executives agreed that data-driven marketing, known as engagement marketing, is becoming a leading force in marketing. Without engagement, you can’t expect a relationship with your readers, and in the modern era of marketing, without a relationship, those readers are unlikely to do what you ask or buy what you’re selling. But it’s not always your blog that’s at fault, but rather your strategy.
This guide is going to show you some of the ways you can strengthen engagement without spending a lot of time and effort on the pursuit.
Start a Dialogue
To begin with, you need to start a dialogue with that person – it’s not their job, but yours. At the end of your blog, think about your call to action. Are you simply cutting off at the bottom?
If this is you, consider leaving a question. Ask them for their thoughts and ask them to comment below. Ask them to recommend your work, or give it a Like. Propose they sign up to your newsletter to stay informed. You’ll be surprised at the huge difference this can make.
Make sure to answer quickly. Leaving comments to fester can hurt your online reputation.
Make Social Media Sharing Easy
The best platform to engage customers is where they already spend much of their time: on social media. But don’t expect them to copy and paste the link, or select the text to Tweet it out. Most people are using mobile devices and this method of social media sharing is too much of a hassle. Place a social media sharing bar on every page of your website.
With one click, they can share your content. Once that content has been shared there’s a good chance their friends and associates will begin a dialogue. At the very least, it will increase your reach.
Talk About What People Want to Talk About
Not every blog warrants a response. If you are posting on a topic that’s been addressed many times before, there’s not much that can be said. And customers know this. It’s not a discussion that encourages them to join in. Getting those first few people to engage is the hardest part.
Think about the subject matter you are publishing and whether it’s likely to convince them to jump in. For example, discussing how business leaders view philanthropy is always an interesting topic. It’s current and it’s divisive. When not everyone agrees on something, you are going to get people from both sides engaging.
So what does this actually mean?
Looking at the stories of the most successful entrepreneurs, it’s clear to see that having the right friends as an entrepreneur plays a big role in your success. One of the most sure-fire way of making friends, then, is to be of consistent value, by writing about what they want to hear about in the first place. For a start, you should be monitoring your target niche on social media and seeing what’s trending now.
It’s easy to think that talking about what people want to talk about involves aiming for the most controversial topic possible. But this can actually antagonize your readership and make it less likely that they will want to engage with you at all. By all means, talk edgy, but don’t make this your priority.
Back Up What You’re Saying
People are more likely to share content that they trust. Until you become famous, the only options you have is to cite stats from elsewhere or defer to those who already have credibility. Look at the most popular blogs and you will see that most of their featured pieces is crammed full of sources, stats, and links directly to various studies.
It gives readers a sense of confidence that they can really believe in what the writer is saying because it doesn’t come directly from them. Whenever you make a broad, sweeping statement make sure you are backing it up with real data.
For example, if you say that X is the most popular analytics tool on the web make sure that you have the numbers to really prove it.
Deliver On Your Promises
Building engagement goes hand-in-hand with building customer trust. If your users don’t trust you, they are not going to engagement. The easiest way to lose trust is by coming up with a clickbait title and then not delivering on your promises. If you say that your blog is going to talk about something, don’t launch into something else.
Over time, these tips will help you increase readership and engagement on your blog. You have to persevere with this process, though. It’s not going to happen overnight.