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19 Ways To Increase Your Content Engagement

Like almost all aspects of life, content marketing is about working smarter, not harder. If you want to supercharge your content and drive high engagement rates, these are the 19 things you should consider doing.

#1 Avoid the infamous Wall of Text

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Nothing makes your reader bounce faster than the infamous Wall of Text. We all find it a chore to read. That is why it’s a good idea to optimize the text and make sure your user has a pleasant experience.

More and more users are browsing from their mobile devices, which makes the matter of readability even more pressing than before. The easiest way to solve this issue and make sure your users find your content engaging is to break it up into easy to scan chunks.

How? Section your text into short paragraphs and give them creative, enticing headers and subheaders. Our users are rapidly turning into skimmers and they need encouragement to stop and actually process the content.  Make sure you leave some space between them too.

Break the monotony by adding some relevant visuals (like images and graphs), bold and italic text (in moderation) blockquotes and lists. Not only will this cut up your text into easy-to-digest pieces and make it easy on the eyes of your readers, but Google will also love you for it.

So, my best advice is to be considerate of your user and use these elements to significantly prolong their stay.

Contributors: Marina Dolcic from Morningscore

    #2 Brutal honesty and candor

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    I use brutal honesty and candor to increase engagement with my content. As an entrepreneur, I've had lots of successes (2 successful creative agencies, a world-famous music event, and a book). But people don't just want the positive stuff. They want to know that even successful people have the same down times and pessimism that everyone else has. We're just able to turn it into some good, and maybe help others do the same. This LinkedIn post about Generating authenticity by being honest about your failures received almost 7K views, 100+ likes, and 46 comments. That's at least 2.25% engagement. In it, I identify ways I've failed throughout the years and I think it's this honesty that keeps people engaged and coming back for more.

    Contributors: Ryan Gill from Communo

    #3 Summaries

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    If you're doing any kind of content marketing make sure you have concise summaries of what the page is about above the fold. A lot of website visitors are skimmers and not readers. If you want to get their attention for long enough to read, you have to include a hook at the beginning of the content that will capture their interest to want to learn more and engage with the content the way you meant them to.

    Contributors: Sean Dudayev from Frootful Marketing 

    #4 Analytics, Questions and Commitment

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    To increase engagement with content, you first need to know WHO you're appealing to. By making use of data analytics, you can not only find out who your audience is - but also what they're interested in. Once you've gathered this information, you'll have a better idea of what your audience is expecting from you - and what really appeals to them. This will allow you to create content that is specifically designed to interest them.

    It's also a great idea to ask questions - get your visitors involved by speaking directly to them, asking how they feel or what they think. Once you do this, it's really important that you take the time to answer any comments - you can't just 'like' them (although you should make sure to do that as well), and it needs to be done as quickly as possible - once you're getting conversations started, you'll lose the enthusiasm and impetus if you leave answering for too long. If you want your customers to engage with you, you need to engage with them.

    Contributors: Lynne Pratt from Virtual Solutions 

    #6 Leave The First Comment

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    One content engagement trick that a lot of bloggers overlook is to leave the first comment in the comments section. By leaving a comment that prompts discussion, like a question, you give readers a straightforward reason to stop and leave a comment. This works best with content that allows nested comments since the discussion can get a little confusing with unnested comments.

    Contributors: Joe Goldstein from Contractor Calls 

    #7 Post videos

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    With so much content on everyone's feed, it is important today do you to differentiate yourself from others & create your own blue ocean! Posting your content in the form of videos, be it short or medium length will create a cult personal brand of yours that people will follow & associate to.

    Post Comedy videos, memes, motivational videos, DIY videos, how-tos, daily life hacks, new innovative product videos, etc.  Content like these gets a lot of shares no matter at which corner of the world you reside at. There is a very high chance of your post going viral through posting these kinds of content. You can create a mix of it by posting 1 of each type in a month.

    Contributors: Tusshar Aggarwal from Digi Elephant 

    #10 It starts with storytelling

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    Over the last few months, HGC has seen a marked increase in engagement, shares, and comments on our content, specifically noticeable with Facebook. A key difference that we have begun to employ is focusing on narrative storytelling. We run a gaming company that has a rich backstory and lore and we try and translate that in our posts. Even if your product or service does not have a story backdrop, I think the idea behind storytelling and your brand is vital for engagement. When you post it shouldn't just be informative or informational. Get people excited about something unique. Evoke emotion. If you do this, you will see higher content engagement.

    Contributors: Casey Hill from Hill Gaming Company

    #11 Deliver Personalized Content

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    Companies such as Netflix and Amazon increasingly raise the bar for customer experience. As a result, millions of people have become accustomed to relevant and even personalized content that is easy to find and consume.

    For example, my favorite spinning class studio, called Burn, models the potential for content in a digital business. I go to the Burn website to buy a package of classes or subscribe. Also using the website, I register for a class and select the exact seat I want. When I arrive at the studio, I check in using a kiosk. During the class, my bike collects all of my performance data, such as revolutions per minute, estimated calories burned, power output, and more. If I give permission, I can have that data display on a digital sign at the front of the classroom to see how I compare to the rest of the class.

    Cool, right? But what really caught my attention was this. After my first class, I received an amazing email within two minutes. The email congratulated me and summarized my performance, including rank, calories, power output, and more. I literally said, “Wow!” This single-location spinning studio delivers a stellar content-rich digital experience that many large companies cannot. In fact, small businesses can use content as a big advantage in the digital business age.

    Contributors: Colleen Jones from Content Science Review

    #12 Treat just likeFace to Face for Maximum Effectiveness

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    Instead of JUST pushing content out to the masses, take the time for you or a staff member that knows you well to engage and communicate BACK with those who are engaging. Thank them, ask questions to further the discussion and people will be EXCITED that you actually did. 

    Contributors: Ray Higdon from Higdon Group

    #13 Increase content engagement with basic on-page UX improvements

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    I recently optimized a blog post for The Content Factory that we published last November. It was driving little traffic and engagement, so I took a critical look at the content and what I could do to improve it. The changes I made boosted organic search traffic to the post 88% and time on page 113%. Meanwhile, the bounce rate dropped 12%, and the post grabbed 1-3 positions in the SERPs for valuable keywords for the first time.

    To get those results, I added some UX features that help readers navigate the 5,000-word behemoth of a post without getting overwhelmed. This includes more subheadings to break up the content into digestible chunks, bullet points, tables, and more visuals. These optimizations not only made the content more valuable to the reader but also provided more opportunities to target keywords for SEO.

    Contributors: Nat Hornyak from The Content Factory 

    #14 Take advantage of social media

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    You can create a discussion about your content by using your social media networks. Your content could get a large number of views simply if you start posting about your content and encouraging discussion threads. Like site comments, the more people see that you are actively posting on social media about your content, the more likely they will be to join the discussion and, if you are lucky, they might even follow you. 

    Contributors: Alayna Pehrson from BestCompany

    #15 Encourage and respond to comments

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    If your website has a comment section, make sure to encourage your readers to leave comments. When they do, you should be actively responding to those comments and create a discussion through them. When people see that you actually respond to comments left on your site or blog post, then they will be more likely to leave comments. Eventually, you will be able to have more content engagement simply by maintaining and creating conversation in your comments section. 

    Contributors: Alayna Pehrson from BestCompany

    #16 Make sure there are lots of different ways to engage with conten

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    In addition to sharing your content in places where readers are most likely to engage with it, make sure your site has sharing buttons so that readers can share it with their friends and followers. For example, while we get a lot of our engagement on Facebook by sharing it there ourselves, we also get a ton of organic engagement on Pinterest. Our readers love Pinning our content, and we make it easy for them by having the share options right on the site.

    Contributors: John Sousa from 301 Digital Media

    #17 Bucket Brigades

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    Bucket brigades are a method I've begun messing around with recently to increase the content engagement on my site. They are essentially short words or phrases designed to keep people on your site and engaged with your content for longer. They basically break your content into smaller, easier-to-read chunks. Here are some examples:

    • Look... 
    • The thing is... 
    • I haven't even told you the best part yet...

    Obviously, these are pretty generic answers but you can tailor them to your own niche and content topic.

    Contributors: Jamie Campbell from Gaijin Crew

    #18 Experiment: There is no one size fits all engagement strategy

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    Engagement is often dependent on the industry, channel, and audience. The first thing to consider is how your numbers stack up against competitors in your industry. Trying to compare the engagement rate of a lifestyle brand to a SaaS company is like comparing apples to oranges. Whether textually or visually based, the first thing you can do is consider the quality of your content. If people aren't engaging, try mixing up content by experimenting with new environments, or If you've been posting the same or similar aesthetic, try giving your content a facelift.

    Equally as important, give ample time to track, measure, and compare results. If you still find your numbers are plateauing, tweak your content strategy. A great way to increase engagement is by collaborating with influencers who have hyper-niche audiences. Test different verticals, test different topics, test different cobranding opportunities, and test different CTA's!

    Contributors: Jake Mastrandrea from Checkbook 

    #19 Strumming up Engagement

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    Readers are what makes or breaks a great website. You need them to promote, participate, and share your articles. How do you keep them coming back for more (And bringing their friends with them)? Follow these tips to increase your website’s content engagement rates:

    • Start some controversy - Sounds insane I know but strumming up a debate is an excellent way to get people commenting and sharing their own opinions. 
    • Reward your readers for engaging - Shouting out readers on your social media as a reward for participating is an excellent way to encourage engagement. 
    • Request readers thoughts - Asking your readers for their thoughts and opinions encourages them to share the article on their platforms along with their opinions, thus increasing exposure. 
    • Use Interactive Content - Creating puzzles, tools, surveys, or questionnaires is a great way to draw readers in and increase engagement.

    Contributors: Rob Webber from MoneySavingPro

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    Written by Zak Parker

    Journalist, writer, musician, professional procrastinator. I'll add more here later.

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