‘Audience’ is sort of a funny word, right?
It kinda makes it sound like your content is just some show meant to be consumed passively from the other side of the screen….and when the episode is over, you and your show get turned off until another episode goes live next week.
But not you, friend!
You know that if you’re going to make this whole content marketing thing work the way you’re hoping it will, it can’t be so one-sided.
Your content needs to invite your audience into actual conversation with you so your brand doesn’t get forgotten the minute they close their browser.
So in today’s post, I’ll be sharing my favorite ways to build engagement into each bit of content I’m creating!
So say our fictional friend Alexis has made it her goal to lose a few pounds…
There are exactly 97,852,346 articles online teaching you how to ditch the extra weight…so what makes Alexis want to learn from you, instead of ‘Generic Jenny’ two virtual doors down?
You could literally be teaching the e-x-a-c-t same 10 steps…
Is it possible to learn from someone you don’t vibe with? 100%!
People who aren’t exactly my ‘ideal client’ show up and make use of my free content all the time. And I’m genuinely stoked it can help them!
But I generally don’t hear much from these people, if at all. They just sort of quietly take their notes and then peace out. ✌️
But that’s actually good news! Why?
Because if they found it hard to sit through the ‘hey gals’ and ‘you go girlfriends’ in my free content, they probably aren’t going to enjoy hanging with me for hours on end in my paid programs. ♀️
So, first step to hyping people up to engage with your content is to engage yourself while you create it.
So sticking with our weight-loss guru example from above… ☝️
Say I visit your site and you tell me that in order to lose weight I need to walk 5 miles a day.
I mean, yeah. I’m guessing that works…my family doctor has probably already been telling me that for years.
A good story.
Maybe the reason you’ve arrived at this bit of advice is that you’ve lived it yourself.
Maybe you’ve got a current or past client who’s down to participate in a bit of a case study where you share what life looked like before, during, and after they did this thing you’re telling your audience to do.
Maybe you don’t have a specific story at all, just a super #relatable analogy that paints the clearest picture that person has yet to see.
So when it comes to engaging your audience, it’s better to use storytelling to hammer home just one tip, than to list 1,000 tips they’ll never take action on.
And just as important as feeling like they know YOU (see: tip #1 on sharing your personality) your ideal clients also want to feel like you know THEM.
☝️CTA being Call-To-Action, in case you missed the memo!
Ok, so your ideal person just wrapped up reading your list of top 10 tips (which they thoroughly enjoyed, btw)…
So how do you keep the conversation going?
That’s basically the equivalent of giving someone you genuinely like and want to see again an awkward high five after a date and then walking away before they have a chance to make their next move. ♀️
It’s best to have one engagement goal in mind for every single piece of content you prepare.
So maybe you’re hoping people will sign up for your email list…
Need help creating a freebie worth signing up for? Check out:
Once that person is on your list, you are no longer just a show they watch once in a blue moon!
You are now keeping them constantly engaged through your incredibly warm welcome series, which you’ll use to show them around your business, encourage them to hit reply, and help them continue to experience exciting wins ‘on the house’ while they wait to make a purchasing decision.
A freebie opt-in gift is usually my top priority when asking readers to engage, so that if for some reason that person never turns up on my site again, we can still keep in touch, and they can continue to benefit from what I’m sharing for free…
But there are few other types of engagement CTA’s worth tossing in from time to time!
You know what people love? Sharing what THEY think.
(Many times before even being asked. Spending just 2 minutes on Facebook these days would be enough to convince you of that, amiright?)
So why not use this trend to your advantage and ask your audience to comment on something specific about your post.
If you are posting a review or comparison-type content piece, ask your audience to share their experience or opinion on that thing!
Or if you’re giving a list of tips, ask what their biggest struggle has been around that topic.
Every single comment is a gold mine of future topic ideas.
You can even dedicate that future bit of content to the person who originally asked the question by saying something in the intro like: “Jessica from Philly asked…” (Though, pro-tip: be sure to get permission first!)
It gives you the opportunity to personally recommend further resources of yours that can them with that thing they’re feeling stuck on
The words your audience type in a comment can count towards your SEO, depending on the platform.
So any keywords they mention could grab the attention of the Google gods, and make your post that much more recommendable in future search results!
Don’t just wait until the end of your piece of content to ask for engagement! The truth is, few people are going to make it that far!
Half the time, people are skimming your posts, checking to see if one of your sub-title holds some secret piece of the puzzle they didn’t know about. They take those one or two most relevant-to-them ideas and go on their merry way.
Don’t take it personally! It’s just the way our brains have been rewired with all this free information constantly at our fingertips!
Internal backlinks (A.K.A. links to your own related content scattered throughout your post/video/podcast) can keep even those with the shortest attention spans sticking around and engaging on your site long enough to become obsessed with your advice or what you do.
People love to collect solutions to their problems!
So be the one who always has the answers to the next question on your audience’s mind!
And because I practice what I preach, here’s a little freebie to help you levelup your content as my little way of saying “thank you” for reading along!