When people positively interact and share your content, they are essentially endorsing and promoting your brand because they generally think their own network will benefit from it in one way or another.
For people to want to engage with and share your content, it needs to be easy for them to find, easy to digest, compelling, and visually appealing. Most of all; it has to be share- and reaction-worthy.
This type of social proof can help to increase the reach of your content to a wider audience, and may even impact the level of traffic it earns, and the number of links it gains. So what if your content isn’t getting as much engagement as you’d hoped?
Let’s look at the main barriers that could be resulting in the lack of love. And what can be done to help bridge up the gaps.
Audience targeting issues
Do you know your audience? And more importantly, do you know what content they want to see and engage with? If not, how can you expect them to interact with it and share it?
- The right users – It’s going to be a struggle to attract eyeballs and shares on your content if you’re writing too generally, without a specific demographic in mind. What niches are yet to be tapped into? Who’s going to actually be interested in what you’ve got to say? How can you add value to their lives?
- The right topics – Your content topics need to be unique and timely – if the rest of the world has already heavily covered a particular topic across a number of channels, then people aren’t going to be that bothered about responding to your version of the story. Secondly, the topic needs to be powerful – thought-provoking and worthy of a reaction. Do your research to make sure you’re on the right lines with your audience.
- The right language – You’ve chosen an exciting topic and you know exactly who it is aimed at. Now, your choice of words and the way that you structure those words on the page is your opportunity to delight your audience through proving that you totally know and understand them and their needs. If you use too much jargon or write in a vocabulary that doesn’t resonate with your audience, they’ll be put off, and they definitely won’t be up for sharing it either.
- The right channels – Audience targeting doesn’t end once you’ve wrapped up writing your content. To maximise the reach and visibility of your works, you’ll need to ensure it’s distributed via the right channels, publishers, and social media platforms. Where does your audience hang out? Where will the style and topic of the content sit and perform best?
There’s also a possibility that the actual content itself is turning people away. Is the work you’re producing really that share-worthy?
- Add value – You’ve chosen a unique and powerful topic – great but, does it add something to the reader’s life in a practical sense? What knowledge and insight have they gained from reading your article? Have you entertained them and left them wanting to hear more? Avoid being too promotional in your wording as it can come across as pushy or fake.
- Avoid clickbaiting – A catchy title may encourage a good click through rate, but if your copy is not delivering what you implied it would, then it’s irrelevant and will put people off coming back for more.
- Include a takeaway – A lot of people will simply skim through online content to find what they need, rather than fully digest every word; so add in some sort of actionable and measurable takeaway(s) to capture their attention and entice engagement.
- Think about formatting – As always is the case, it’s not just what you say that matters, but also how you say it. Perhaps people are reading your content but not sharing it because you have too many annoying pop-ups, disorganised CTAs, bad grammar, or weird stylistic detailing. Take the time to really polish your blog and other content as no one is going to share a page that is too busy or difficult to digest. Sometimes it will also be beneficial to break the content up into subsections, add lists, bullets, and visual elements so it can be quickly understood at first glance.
Last but definitely not least, check there are no logistical problems preventing your article from being found and shared:
- Entice interaction and shares – If you’re looking for more shares on your content, make the process super easy for your readers through share buttons. If you’re looking for opinions or feedback on your content, make it possible for readers to comment with their thoughts.
- Optimise your content – Make sure your content can be found by following a few on-page SEO best practices such as optimising your title tags, headers, meta descriptions, alt tags, and body content, and keep your audience engaged with the implementation of a good internal linking structure to your other pages.
- Do your own legwork – Don’t solely rely on your audience to shout about your content. Start building momentum as soon as it’s published through distributing it on your relevant social media profiles, pitch it to publishers and partners, and continue to re-share it later down the line.
- Dig deep for content trends – You might think you know your audience and what sorts of content they’re after but what does the data actually reveal? Don’t forget to dip into your keyword data, page analytics, and social media insights regularly to see exactly how people are reacting to existing content and let this drive your strategy moving forward.
There’s obviously a lot to get through here, and it’s not going to be possible (or wise) to implement a tonne of tweaks all at once. But, carefully and consistently measuring your content’s performance – both before and after addressing any of these issues – should encourage an upward growth in engagement.