Content marketing is one of the best ways to set your business up for growth.
Knowing how effective a well-made piece of content can be at reaching, intriguing, and converting audiences, it’s no wonder that 64% of businesses spent more than 10% of their total marketing budgets on producing and distributing content in 2021. Nor is it a surprise that 26% of marketers planned on increasing their content marketing budgets in 2022.
However, with record-breaking amounts of content published daily, you need to guarantee the success of all your hard work. And the best way to do that is to maximize your content marketing’s engagement potential.
Now, when talking about content — be it in the form of blog posts, social media posts, e-books, videos, downloadable resources, infographics, etc. — engagement refers to the ability of your content to encourage audiences to interact with it. On social media, it equates to views, likes, comments, story replies, and shares. On your website, a high engagement rate means a long average time on page times, low bounce rates, high click-through rates, a solid scroll depth (at least between 50% and 75%), and a satisfactory conversion rate for gated resources.
You can gauge your content’s ability to grip your audience by tracking these KPIs. And, if you’re looking to improve its performance (which you definitely should), the following are the best tactics to boost your content’s engagement potential.
One of the most effective ways to boost your content marketing’s engagement potential is to publish interactive posts. Not entirely convinced that interactive is the way to go? Just check out these findings.
In a report published in February 2022, Mediafly revealed that interactive content yielded 28% more views and 52.6% more engagement than its non-interactive counterparts. And the best part is that you can choose several ways to make your content interactive and, consequently, more engaging.
For example, one of the best ways to invest in interactive content is to create calculators, which require your audience’s input to present prospects with valuable and unique information that’s highly relevant to their position in the sales funnel.
For example, the dividend calculator on MarketBeat allows visitors to learn how much their dividend portfolio can earn over time. Note how the data entry points encourage users to enter multiple factors that impact their returns. This interactive experience allows web visitors to view predicted returns based on how many years they’ve invested in a particular share.
Quizzes and surveys are another excellent interactive format to add to your website or social media feeds. Thanks to integrated functionalities on social networks and online tools like Survey Monkey, you can easily create entertaining (or informational) quizzes that will encourage your audience to engage with your brand.
For instance, while most of Buzzfeed’s quizzes are entertaining, shareable, and often go viral, a better way to utilize this interactive format in your content marketing strategy is to use it to move your prospects down the sales funnel.
A glance at the Juiced Bikes Electric Bike Quiz shows how effectively brands can engage their audience with interactive content, which serves two purposes. On the one hand, it presents prospects with viable product options that solve their pain points, encouraging them to move from the awareness to the decision stage of the buyer’s journey within a single web session. On the other hand, it gives the brand access to valuable information regarding its audience’s needs and an opportunity to finetune its offer based on those findings.
Finally, if you’re looking for ways to make your content interactive but feel like something other than calculators, surveys, or quizzes would fit your needs, explore additional ways to add a dose of action to the content you publish with filters and overlays.
For example, you could do what RayBan does on its product pages. This brand lets potential buyers “try out lenses,” giving them a fun way to explore different lens colors and an excellent preview of what they can expect to receive if they go through with their purchase.
Select Topics Intelligently
The second best method to maximize your content marketing’s engagement potential is to select topics intelligently.
By getting to know your target audience, you’ll effectively:
- define their pain points
- learn about their content consumption preferences
- identify topics that appeal to them
- ensure that every piece you publish matches your prospects’ search intent
Once you’ve done the necessary prep, create valuable content around your audience’s topics of interest, target the correct keywords to maximize SEO potential, and ensure that the value is clear to your prospects from a single glance at the post title.
Check out this blog post from January to see a great example of a brand publishing content guaranteed to engage the right audience.
You’ll immediately notice how effectively the post grabs user attention. For starters, that results from a specific choice of topic, which mirrors the exact search term the brand’s audience would enter into their preferred search engine. They further achieve their goal through formatting, with headings guiding readers through every aspect of evaluating blood-sugar readings and highlighting the precise value offered by every one of the blog post sections.
You could also take things a step further and explore alternative formats that allow you to cover niche topics in user-oriented ways.
For instance, if you check out this infographic comparing the impact of free vs. fast shipping on consumers’ purchase intent, you’ll notice how effectively it answers a highly-specific user question while providing valuable information in an easy-to-consume format.
This approach makes the resource a high-value piece of content that doesn’t just grab user attention. More importantly, it allows anyone to realize the significance offered in the infographic and encourages engagement, which automatically accumulates increased website visits via shares and backlinks.
Publish on Suitable Social Media Platforms
To boost your content’s engagement potential, you must identify the best distribution channels to reach your audience.
Sure, Facebook may have 2.9 billion monthly active users. However, if you’re trying to engage professional prospects or fellow businesses, you’re more likely to have success through LinkedIn. After all, this particular social media platform, despite its smaller number of users, is still the preferred way for businesses and professionals to communicate with partners and service providers.
Similarly, your target audience’s location, age, gender, income, and interests should further impact your choice of distribution channels. Remember that many social networks attract people from distinct demographic groups or those with highly-specific interests.
For instance, Pinterest is a popular destination for people looking for fashion, design, and cooking inspiration. This is why brands like MannequinMall focus their social media activity on Pinterest, where they can reach the right audience. Even more importantly, the fact that the business has 8.4k followers on this network (vs. the 45 followers on Twitter or 181 on LinkedIn) shows that MannequinMall made the right choice of focusing its social media content publishing efforts on visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.
Does this mean you should only publish content on a couple of social media platforms when aiming to boost engagement rates?
If your business caters to a diverse audience, you should still aim to cover the most popular networks in your industry. However, adapt your content to each platform’s unique user base. That way, it will have the highest chance of standing out and getting your target audience to interact with your posts.
Supplement Written Content with Video
One fascinating piece of information for marketers looking to improve engagement rates is that video is doing exceptionally well in grabbing and retaining user attention. Wyzowl’s Video Marketing Statistics report for 2022 discovered that:
- 82% of marketers say video helped them increase dwell time.
- 86% of brands boosted lead generation thanks to video. And;
- 87% of marketers managed to increase traffic thanks to using video.
Supplement written content with video if you’re looking for ways to maximize your content marketing’s engagement potential.
For example, in their guide to Rhomboid Exercises for Beastly Back Development from ATH, you can see how the brand uses video to provide helpful instructions on how to do each exercise. Would describing the movements have worked on its own? Possibly. However, by including video in the mix, the brand maximizes comprehension, aids information retention, positions itself as a credible business via a dedication to next-level user experience, and boosts the chances of readers sharing the resource and returning to the ATH website for more workout tips.
Alternatively, you could also use video to make your social media posts more attention-grabbing. After all, research data shows that video content gets the most engagement on Instagram, which is why so many brands use it on the platform.
Check out how Heatle employs the format, enriching a recipe post with a video of the preparation process. Admittedly, images (especially in the carousel format) would have worked similarly well. However, the video approach still does a better job of demonstrating the ease with which customers can complete the preparation process. Plus, it gives the brand an advantage over its competitors, as the Instagram algorithm favors video content over images.
Make Your Long-form Posts Highly Readable
The fact that producing long-form content comes with many benefits is well-known.
Backlinko, in particular, conducted several analyses that proved the benefits of publishing long blog posts. One revealed that long-form content gets 77.2% more shares than short-form articles. And in another, Backlinko’s team found that the average Google first-page result contains 1,447 words, proving the importance of long-form content for SEO.
However, if you’re looking to get more out of your content production and publishing efforts — especially if you’re aiming for next-level engagement rates — it’s not a bad idea to explore ways to upgrade your long-form content. One exceptional (and easy) way to do this is to improve readability and visual appeal.
For one, 59% of internet users prioritize aesthetic appeal when choosing what content to interact with. So, the first thing you should do is ensure your long-form content looks fantastic.
You can achieve this by:
- Supplementing it with images (which break up long chunks of text).
Choosing an aesthetically pleasing font that doesn’t harm readability.
- Ensuring the letters are large enough to be readable (even on small screens). And;
- Ensuring sufficient contrast between the background and the text.
But, if you want to take things to the next level in guaranteeing that your long-form content is highly readable and user-friendly, take further steps:
- Employ headings and subheadings to separate different topics within the article and attract user attention to information relevant to their intent.
- Avoid long sentences and paragraphs and choose to word ideas in an approachable manner that doesn’t include industry-specific jargon.
- Employ numbers and bullet points where you can, allowing readers to scan through information and quickly find the data they need.
- Find alternative ways to present data, for example, via images, tables, diagrams, etc.
- Use bold and italics to emphasize information that your audience may be scanning for.
To see how you can implement all these tactics on a single page — even one made with informational intent — check out Zoma’s Mattress Sizes and Dimensions Guide.
This 3,000-word post covers everything there is to know about choosing the right mattress size. However, knowing that most people won’t want to read through that much text, Zoma ensures to use a few readability-boosting hacks. These make it easier for prospects to zoom in on the relevant info and scan the page until they’ve landed on a section that relates to them. By doing this, the brand achieves longer dwell time, lower bounce rates, and boosts click-through rates, encouraging web visitors to check out its products and even convert.
Create Curated Lists
For a moment, let’s go back to Semrush’s State of Content Marketing Report quoted at the beginning of this article. Looking closely, you’ll discover one fascinating fact: list posts were consistently among the top 5 highest-performing article types for all industries examined.
So, if you’re looking for ways to take your content marketing strategy to the next level and maximize engagement potential, creating curated lists is not a bad idea.
The great news is that there are numerous ways to make list posts entertaining, engaging, and successful at keeping visitors around on your website.
To see an excellent example of an engaging list post, check out Thankbox. You’ll see how the brand uses its company blog to bring together the 15 best retirement GIFs. The resource makes it easy for people to choose the best GIF to send to their retiring coworker. Plus, it also provides readers with a bit of fun in the process.
Of course, you can expand beyond list-format blog posts if you want to leverage this content format.
A recent Twitter thread from creator and entrepreneur Sahil Bloom shows that presenting your audience with informational lists effectively grabs attention on almost any platform. (And, in his particular case, it leads to exceptional engagement results with more than 24k retweets and 70k likes.)
Ensure Your Infographics Contain Useful Information
According to a 2019 survey, 40% of marketers said infographics were the most successful visual format in helping them reach their goals. And, in case you need proof that infographics drive engagement, check out this study. It discovered that a combination of text and images (like that found in infographics) helps people follow instructions 323% better than when they only rely on text.
However, before investing in this content format, ensure that you’ve chosen the right topic and collected valuable data. After all, the only way to keep your audience engaged is to present it with new, well-presented, relevant information. No one will waste precious time reading resources with nothing new or helpful.
The good news is that you can create an engaging infographic out of almost anything.
Recently, the CEO of Late Checkout (a business with a super-engaging interactive website) tweeted an infographic showing the effect of various activities on sleep quality. While it showed information that sleep scientists already shared through multiple mediums, what this resource did differently was present widely-accepted findings through a new point of view. As it measured the impact of activities on the sleep quality of a specific couple, it quickly picked up traction and grabbed the attention of several thousand Twitter users.
Embrace Video’s Capacity to Entertain
Finally, as you explore ways to maximize your content’s engagement potential, remember that there’s nothing as effective at getting your audience to interact with your posts than ensuring that you’re presenting them with entertaining content.
Businesses like the Dollar Shave Club have proven this time and again. By publishing dozens of funny video commercials, this brand received 39k subscribers and 29 million views on YouTube, secured a substantial market share, and landed a billion-dollar acquisition deal in 2016.
Aviation Gin adopts a similar approach to content marketing, regularly publishing engaging videos that hit close to home through parenting humor, making them relatable, authentic, and guaranteed to catch the eye of the brand’s target audience.
If you rely on comedy to engage your audience, ensure you don’t miss the mark. Stay away from offensive humor, treat your viewers with respect (even if you make fun of them), and pay special attention to timing, as even a funny joke can miss the mark if delivered at the wrong time.
Maximizing your content marketing’s engagement potential can be simpler than rocket science. Yes, it might require experimentation until you’ve successfully landed on what your audience reacts to positively. But rest assured that the effort will be worth it in the end, as a highly-engaged audience makes for the basis of any business’s success.
Whether you follow all of the tips from this article or choose one or two is up to you. What you definitely should do, however, is keep an eye on those KPIs we’ve talked about at the very beginning of this article. That’s how you’ll be sure you’re moving in the right direction and generating the results you seek.
Featured Image by pch.vector on Freepik.
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