You can find all sorts of marketing content online. There is bad content and high-quality content. You can run into funny GIFs or 3000-word long blog post analysis.
You can find it all online because marketers are constantly trying to come up with things that resonate with the needs of their target audiences.
But even if you design an outstanding piece of content following state-of-the-art marketing principles, you won’t inspire huge interest unless you keep in mind one element: audience engagement. This is by far the most important aspect of digital marketing because it stimulates comments, shares, leads, and conversions.
If you want to make sure that your marketing efforts remain productive in the long run, you have to pay special attention to engaging members or users. In this article, we will show you 5 laws for everyone who wants to build engagement with their audience.
1. Ask a Question
The first audience engagement strategy is also the easiest – ask a question and wait for them to answer. It’s basically the most direct method to seek for their response, asking questions is a great technique to both build engagement and generate leads. But it’s not all that simple.
First of all, you have to understand target audience before posting a question. It doesn’t involve only the basic traits like gender, age, and location. It is crucial to find out more about users’ ideas and feelings so as to match the question with their needs.
For instance, you certainly don’t want to ask a bunch of 50-something housewives about their favorite Batman movie. It is all about knowing your target group and posting questions they would really consider important and appealing.
If you need inspiration for social media inquiries, here are a few ideas:
- Emotional Qs: What’s your favorite high school memory?
- Know How Qs: How do you make a tasty apple pie?
- Choice Qs: Who is a better football player, Ronaldo or Messi?
- Controversial Qs: Do you think Donald Trump is out of his mind and why?
- Event Qs: Who’s coming to the Heineken party tonight?
Besides posting questions, you need to answer back to your followers as well. Social media engagement is all about interactions, so you need to stay alert and respond to user comments.
This way, you don’t only show appreciation for their answers but also extend the conversation, making it even more popular and interesting.
2. Timing Is Essential
Marketers who think that randomly published content can perform just as well as carefully planned posts are not real professionals. You must understand daily habits of your followers to release posts right at the time when they have the biggest chance of reaching potential customers.
For example, serious business people don’t have time to scroll down social media newsfeeds throughout the day, so they check emails and profiles first thing in the morning. Therefore, this is the right timing for your posts if you are selling premium products or deal with B2B marketing.
A 2016 study entitled “Best Time To Post On Social Media” revealed the habits of social network users in the US. According to this research, different channels of communication attract different audiences and you can’t draw a generic conclusion altogether.
Each network has its own peculiarities, so we will show you the most important features of 4 social media titans separately:
- Facebook: The highest audience engagement rate on Facebook happens during weekends (32%). Best times to post are 9 AM and 3 PM. It’s not a surprise to discover that funny content generates the most likes, shares, and comments on Friday afternoon.
- Twitter: Wednesday is by far the most productive day for marketers on this social media. Tweets perform well during work breaks (around noon and 5 PM), while the number of user-generated posts increases by 181% when commuting to work.
- LinkedIn: This network gathers business professionals who read posts early in the morning instead of newspapers. The best time to publish content on LinkedIn is between 7 AM and 8 AM and also during work breaks.
- Instagram: A lot of youngsters use Instagram, so the high-performing hour for this social media is around 2 AM. A study showed that video posts increase audience engagement by 34%.
3. Add Images to Your Posts
Humans are visual beings, so the Internet is getting more visual in the last few years as well. In that regard, adding images to your posts will definitely boost user engagement.
The most important thing is to follow the marketing principles when posting photos. Each image must fulfill certain requirements if you don’t want it to produce a counter effect. Let’s see some of the basic rules here:
- Quality: Remember that you have to publish high-quality images on all occasions.
- Unique: Don’t use boring stock photos because they are too generic and reveal you were too lazy to shoot some on your own.
- Colorful: Black & White combinations are only good if you have a very special event or campaign to support. In other situations, your job is to publish colorful and cheerful photos because they evoke emotions and inspire users to engage.
Sometimes you’ll need to improve the image or design it by yourself. It doesn’t take a professional experience to do it but only a convenient online tool. We recommend you Canva because it’s easy to learn and super-intuitive.
However, keep in mind to make the right kind of balance between textual and visual content. Instagram has the caption limit of 2,200 characters and you should use at least some space to make your statement even more impressive. People love to hear a good story, so why wouldn’t you give them one besides the photo?
4. Boost Old Posts
Not a single marketer out there is able to find good and engaging content ideas day after day. We all have occasional downtimes and lack of inspiration. But there are ways to overcome the obstacle.
Boosting old posts is a great engagement strategy because you don’t need a huge marketing budget. It’s enough to invest $15 to $30 into one of your evergreen posts to present it to the target audience once again. Your goal should be to reach current followers and their friends so that you can expand the fan base.
Finding the most successful posts is not difficult – all you have to do is use Google Analytics to detect content that once earned you a lot of traffic. When you launch Google Analytics, go to Behavior – Site Content – All Pages.
You will see all metrics for each one of these pages. Just find the ones with the biggest number of user shares or comments and boost it through social media advertising. If you don’t want to spend money boosting old posts, you could simply repurpose them.
For instance, let’s say that you published an amazing blog post about smartphone technologies several months ago. You could use it as the outline for another post in the form of podcast, eBook, or case study. Add some extra stats to refresh this topic and you’ll get yourself a brand new piece of content ready to inspire some serious user engagement.
5. Create Video Content
If images can stimulate people to interact with your posts, video content can do it even more efficiently. As the matter of fact, Internet video traffic will be over 80% of all consumer internet traffic in less than four years. It’s a very convenient way to show the human side of your brand or organization, allowing followers to meet your team and see how they operate in real life environment.
Going live, you can show the atmosphere ‘behind the curtain’ and make the relationship with your fans even closer. The most important detail here is to come up with a decent screenplay and avoid publishing meaningless content just because you are technically equipped to do it.
Once you find a nice story to share with users, you can expect tons of questions and comments.
There are essentially two sorts of video content:
- Professional video: It’s a high-cost solution that you choose only if you have a special occasion such as product launch or company anniversary. It usually requires professional actors or at least a team of skilled video experts who will teach you how to behave in front of the camera.
- Amateur video: This option comes free of charge as all you need is a relatively new smartphone to shoot the video. However, be careful not to overuse self-made videos. Make them only when you have a really good idea and rest assured it will encourage people to interact with your content.
Content creation is the essential element of contemporary marketing. Every brand and company is producing digital content in order to approach target audiences, strengthen bonds with these people, and turn them into loyal consumers.
However, some marketers forget that the only way to achieve all that is through audience engagement. Your efforts will be useless if you don’t inspire followers to interact with your content, share it, and leave comments.
In this article, we showed you 5 laws for everyone who wants to build engagement with their audience. Feel free to put our tips into practice and leave us a comment if you have other interesting suggestions to share with our readers.