Customer engagement is the interaction between a customer and your business. More specifically, it’s the customer’s interactions with a brand, ideally yours, across different channels. Customer engagement can include customer service, social media, email marketing, and more. Customer engagement is the overall experience a customer has when interacting with your business. So, how do you increase customer engagement with content?
1. Make your content fast to load
No one likes waiting around for a slow website to load, and every second causes more people to leave, so make sure yours is as fast as possible.
There are a number of free tools available that you can use to identify areas of improvement, like GTMetrix, Pingdom Tools, and Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to test your website speed and get recommendations on how to improve it.
According to research by Pingdom, the bounce rate of visitors increases from only 5% at the 2 second mark to a huge 37% by the 3 second mark and the news only gets worse from there, so wherever your content is being hosted, make sure it is fast to load.
This might mean optimising and speeding up your website loading times, or it might mean choosing to use specialised services to host certain content, like Youtube, Vimeo, or Facebook to host video content. Some of these services can provide the dual benefit of providing an additional channel for people to find and engage with your content. Win-win.
2. Put together quality content
Written content is the best for SEO, but regardless of the medium you choose, make sure you are producing quality content that provides focused, useful information. Your website’s content plays a big role in engaging your customer and persuading them to take action, whether that is signing up for your email list, downloading a white paper or making a purchase. Make sure your content is a decent length (that may mean short and concise or long and detailed depending on the purpose), well written, informative and relevant to your customer. If you are producing podcasts or videos, the same thing applies.
Quality content attracts links, it attracts leads, and it ultimately helps to attract sales.
Studies have found that articles of 1,000-2,500 words will get better user engagement if they are relevant and provide value. Don’t fill your articles with pointless text, provide value and customers will read it. Once they’ve committed that time to read, they are more likely to engage. Funnily enough, this is also the length recommended for SEO.
A blog, vlog or podcast is a great way to show off your company’s personality, build trust with potential customers and drive traffic to your site with content. Regardless of your medium, make sure to post fresh, valuable content regularly. If you don’t have a blog, now might be the time to start one!
3. Mix up your content
Don’t just write 1,000 words and call it a day. Mix it up to keep it interesting. Use headings, bullet points, bold text, images, videos and infographics. These are all great ways to break up text-heavy content and make it more interesting.
Plenty of people will read your whole article if it provides value to them, but even more people will skim it until they reach a segment that is of most interest to them. Varied text formatting and visual content helps those skimmers and makes it easier to read in general.
The same goes for video content. A talking head gets boring fast, throw in graphs, charts, demonstrations, animations and anything else that fits with your target market and will help to convey your message in a way that makes it more interesting.
4. Make your content accessible
If you are doing podcasts or vlogs, you might want to consider publishing transcripts as blog posts for people who can’t or don’t want to watch/listen, and to boost your SEO. This is also a quick and easy way to create more content using content you already have.
Similarly, you will definitely want to add subtitles to your video content.
If you are writing blog posts, you can also use them as the basis of scripts for video content. If you already have photos, charts, graphs and the like, then you can convert them into video as well. This is a great way to make your content more accessible with minimal extra effort.
Similarly, make sure your content can be accessed and read by screen readers and other accessibility devices.
Using the content you already have in multiple ways can increase accessibility which can in turn increase your reach and your customer engagement. People appreciate it when you go the extra mile to make your content available in the way they want or need to consume it.
5. Be clear about what you want your visitors to do
Use clearly worded buttons and forms to call people to action, both on your website and on other platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. On video platforms like Youtube, make your verbal calls to action relevant, clear, and easy to follow. The same goes for any card overlays. Never assume potential leads will just get it. Make it easy and give people simple instructions.
Use landing pages, where appropriate, that serve a single purpose to avoid customer confusion and reduce any distractions (these can also be re-used between multiple platforms and promotions to accelerate your CTA creation). This is why checkout pages on e-commerce websites are often simplified with minimal navigation options. You’ve got them to the part where they hand over their money to you, and you don’t want to give them any reason to leave.
Navigating away from the checkout, or lead form, even just to look at another product or service can be enough of a distraction that the customer doesn’t complete the purchase or enquiry.
If you do need to include links to another page or site, like we’ve got some links in this article, you might want to consider having links open in a new tab so that your potential customers don’t lose the page they are on before clicking the link.
6. Create content that is relevant to your target customers
This one is last, but also the most important. As you plan out and produce content, keep your target customers in mind. Use your buyer personas to inform what content you should be creating, how it should look or read, the best platforms to publish it on and even the best times to publish.
If you don’t already have buyer personas for your business, check out our article on how to create your own buyer personas, and download our free template to help you get started!
If you create your content with your perfect customer in mind, that buyer persona, your content will be better placed to engage that person. Why? Because it was written, filmed or recorded to speak specifically to them. The more it resonates with them and the problem that they need to solve, the more likely they are to engage.
Looking for more ideas to increase customer engagement?
Download our free PDF guide “14 ways to increase customer engagement” and jumpstart your content marketing!