Let's define "engagement" broadly as all the ways people can interact with your blog posts and social media. It can be leaving a comment, sharing a post, or mentioning you in a newsletter. It's also engagement if they return to your blog to read the next post or if they subscribe to your newsletter.
Let's start with some general tips to increase engagement:
- Make your content so informative, funny, or relevant so that readers want to share it with everybody.
- Post consistently so your audience knows what to expect.
- Share your knowledge and make your story original so readers find it worthwhile.
- To provoke readers into sharing their point of view on a particular issue or to start an interesting discussion, be a bit controversial.
- Specifically invite readers to comment. They are more likely to respond if you ask them to. Ask them to share their reactions and comments at the end of the post or to like or share your post on social media.
- Respond to comments or questions, regardless if the engagement is positive or not so positive. You want your audience to see that you pay attention to them. This will make them more inclined to return to your blog/website.
- Make yourself visible on other blogs. Comment on posts that are relevant to what you’ve been posting. Seeing you engage on other blogs makes people more curious to see what you've written on similar subject matter.
Content Types with High Engagement
Every industry and niche market will have its own unique set of best performing content types. You will have to measure and track your results as you use different kinds of content to see what works best for you and your audience. Here is a brief overview of some content types that generally perform well across various industries/market niches.
A case study is a type of original research that is its own unique content type in that it conveys specific information about a brand's successes/failures. In a case study, you are providing step-by-step data about how you improved specific results over time. In the context of content marketing, this typically refers to engagement, traffic, leads, and sales, through the use of content marketing techniques and processes. These are valuable because they show how you achieved tangible results and/or learned from mistakes. And you're sharing all this so others can benefit from your experience.
This is the presentation of information/data in a visual way. This way of conveying content consistently rates as being shared and viewed more than most other content types. Infographics provide a powerful way to convey your information in an easy to absorb visual format. They can communicate any idea or concept. Data, research, statistics, and results of analytical studies work particularly well.
These are perfect for social media outlets and don't require any graphic design skills. They may seem rather informal as content for your blog, but they will get noticed. When a funny idea strikes you or the mood hits, just meme it. They can be adapted for any niche. Your niche can't be too narrow or esoteric that it doesn't warrant its own meme. Don't overuse memes because they can devalue your brand or dilute your message.
These help position you as a thought leader. Simply discuss a book and give your take on it. Recommend good ones and critique the not as good ones. Share the value you got from reading a particular book. They can be simple or complicated; it's your choice. A suggested format would include an introduction of the book and author, a summary of major points, sharing what you liked and/or what you didn't like, recommending the particular book to your readers, and providing a call to action with a link to the book.
A good video communicates your message in a succinct and memorable way. It's not only the moving picture, but it's also the words that you say or display. You can create a video of an office tour, a music video, a how-to video, or anything else that suggests itself to you that's informative and would interest your audience. Keep it 2-3 minutes long to encourage folks to watch the whole thing and comment on it.
These can be thought of as epic blog posts that go beyond the length, style, and approach of your usual post. You need a good writer, a good designer, and a good idea. The idea has to be something your audience wants, the content has to be well-written, and the design attractive to your audience. Guides are helpful for collecting email addresses if you offer them in exchange for contact info. Remember readability depends on layout and presentation as much as it depends on an excellent writing style.
These could also be called rants. These pieces of content have a decidedly different tone than your typical post. This is not a careful and researched discussion of a topic. It is stronger and more expressive. The more vociferous your presentation, the more likely it is to be read and shared. This is a first-person take on a hot topic or big issue relevant to your industry and niche. You get stronger search ranking and shareability when you address popular topics. This is not suggested as a daily thing, use with caution. Be civil, don't degenerate into attacking. Be clear this is your take, your position, your opinion; and be humble.
Your content has to stand out if you want to succeed in content marketing and engage your audience. There are a lot of possibilities. Varying your content type can also have a strong impact on your audience, and if you're tracking metrics, you'll soon see what lands best. Regardless of the form you use, your content speaks to an audience, and the audience listens, shares, learns, and converts.
All the most engaging content shares at least one common quality. It is based on originality of thought. Be daring, unique, and original, so you stand out in what has become a sea of the same old content.