The world of content creation can seem like a never-ending task, particularly for the SME who finds that time and resources can often fall short. Yet companies that effectively incorporate a business blog into their content marketing plan may find that their efforts are repaid in full. A carefully tended blog helps establish your organisation as an authority in your particular industry, improves your search engine ranking and, perhaps most importantly, drives traffic to your company website – traffic that will hopefully be converted into leads.
At least, that’s the idea.
However, there is one magic word that matters above all else when it comes to your blog: engagement. Engagement can be measured in comments, likes, clicks, retweets and shares, or in having a low bounce rate i.e. the percentage of readers who glance at a page and then bounce right off your site. Crafting content that doesn’t compel readers to engage is like yelling your head off to an empty room. Nobody is listening. And those that might vaguely hear you from down the hall, simply don’t care enough to respond.
So, just what can you do to promote engagement on your company blog and spur your snoozers to action? We’ve compiled a few top tips:
1. Write digestible posts
Keep posts easy to read or people will turn on and tune out in a heartbeat. Instead of dense paragraphs of text, break up your writing into short, digestible chunks. Keep your sentences short, succinct and to the point – all killer, no filler.
2. Watch your page load speed
A Microsoft study earlier this year found that the age of the ever-scrolling smartphone has left us with an attention span shorter than that of a goldfish. A few years back, research by Kissmetrics found that 47% of consumers expect a page to load in two seconds or less, and 40% abandon websites that take more than three seconds to load. Put simply, if you don’t take necessary steps to ensure your site loads fast, your readers are likely to jump ship in exasperation and your stellar content will go to waste.
3. Comment on current trends
Half the battle with engagement is capturing a reader’s attention and giving your audience what they want. First of all you need to understand your audience – the questions they might ask and their interests. Secondly, you need to do what you do best, share your understanding of your industry. Stay up to date with common trends and newsworthy topics, then publish your blog posts in response.
4. Throw out a question
If you have a wide readership already but they are stubbornly keeping schtum, why not give them a nudge into action with a poignant question? Often a blog post with a thoughtful question tagged onto the end can open a debate or encourage more people to contribute to your ideas. Or perhaps you could finish with a specific call-to-action to help readers act on the ideas in your post.
6. Comment and respond
This might be one of the top tips to boosting engagement. Conversing with readers who comment on your blog can help you not only develop a connection and demonstrate appreciation but also secure valuable feedback and inspiration on which to base future posts. Additionally, commenting on other blogs in a similar vein to your own can help increase brand awareness and build connections.
7. Pitch a guest post
Look up the successful blogs relevant to your industry and pitch a guest post for their site. Contributing to other company websites is an excellent way to target your posts to the right audience, generate more traffic to your site and hopefully build our network. Remember to personalise your pitches for the best chance of success.
8. Build a presence
To generate interest in your company name and blog, building a presence amongst the online community is essential. As well as utilising social media to push your posts, join relevant groups on sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook. Also, search out forums and other online communities where you can contribute to discussions and get yourself noticed for being the helpful, knowledgeable and altogether pleasant-to-do-business-with organisation that you are.Ben Hollom
November 12, 2015