Comment, Like, and Share: 4 Tips to Boost Engagement from your Content Marketing Efforts
The science behind viral contents is probably one of the most sought-after formulas among marketers and businesses alike. I never understood what is exactly interesting about ‘the dress’ for example or that hubbub around the ‘Laurel or Yanni’ audio clip that went so big that eventually, the actual White House eventually made a video around it that features several senior staffs of the current administration, including the president, jokingly weighing in on the debate. I might not see the appeal of these two viral contents but there’s no arguing that they struck a chord with the majority of the public.
It’s easier to at least distill the similarity between the two contents; they both ask something of the audience whose answer is specific to how each member of the audience perceives things. It’s a bit like the old optical illusion of the duck-rabbit where an image of both a duck and a rabbit can be seen within a single image. These examples might seem like another silly fad to the majority of the public, soon to be forgotten in a month’s time, but they actually represent one way of boosting engagement from your content marketing strategy, something that no business should overlook.
Driving engagement from your content
At any given week, there are at least a dozen new songs coming out that I try to listen to. Not all of them will be good and even less are songs that I would heartily recommend to the people around me but as a content creator, the last thing is exactly the kind of respond they’d hope to elicit with their contents. That active response, where someone is pushed far enough to act in response to the content instead of merely consuming or liking them, is what we’re called engagement.
In regards to music, the response could come in the form of me waxing poetic about the song on the comment section of a music blog I frequent, posting that song on my Instagram story just to show how much I’m loving the show or as mentioned before, sharing that song with some of my close friends nudging them to listen to the song. In terms of marketing, engagement is a pretty powerful metric as it can lead to your content being shared without your active participation or it could help increase a customer’s affinity with a company, directly translating them into conversions.
When we look at engagement this way, it is easy why they’re taken as the Holy Grail of marketing and why brands stumble upon each other in the hope of capturing that engagement. The thing is, engagement as a metric involves a lot more than just quality; it is possible for a content to be objectively good without being engaging. To me, a good content is like a song I don’t mind listening to while an engaging content would be a song that I actively want to keep listening to. It’s a subtle, yet crucial difference and the 4 following tips should help you in capturing that ever-elusive engagement.
Don’t be afraid to dive into controversial topic
One of the phenomenons that can easily be seen in our current discourse is the rampant tribalism where you have to belong in one of the two camps. Are you for X or are you for Y? There’s a lack of nuance in the majority of the discussion we’re having right now and instead of isolating yourself from the discussion entirely, it’s actually better to pick a side depending on what you actually believe in, even if it’s considered somewhat unpopular. However, don’t start a fire for the sake of fire and try to bolster your opinions with supporting facts and solid arguments. This could help garner support from those already on your side and open up a conversation with those from the other side, both of which would definitely help engagement.
Share data from your own research
Last year, a survey released by music streaming service Deezer concluded that on average, people stop listening to new music past the age of 30. This was deeply interesting to me because at the age of 28, I’m very close to that cut-off point and I was mortified that there would be a point in my life that I would stop listening to new music. The survey also prompted a heated discussion on the music blog I frequent and I was happy to learn that a lot of the members there are considerably older than me and they’re still regularly listening to new music, which brought a semblance of peace from my mind.
Now, the survey didn’t exactly turned me into a Deezer convert but for a certain period of time, the name was parroted a lot in my certain circle, which is the kind of engagement most businesses should strive for. The survey was also covered by dozens of major publications, including Billboard, which definitely help raise Deezer’s profile, long considered an also-ran in the streaming competition compared to the likes of Apple Music and Spotify.
Dive into current events
When I say current events, I don’t necessarily mean heavy-handed socio-political issues like the current trade war between China and the United States or the 2019 Australian Federal election. Current events simply mean whatever news that is currently trending, such as this ongoing feud between beauty vloggers James Charles and Tati Westbrook that has been occupying my news feed for the past few days or the recent Game of Thrones episode that’s been quite harshly received. Dive into what’s happening around your industry or perhaps try to find a connection with what’s happening in pop culture to your industry, even if it’s somewhat tangential.
It’s simple but this is probably the hardest thing a business could try to pull off with their content. People are rarely as funny as they think they are but since everyone values humor, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. In fact, cringe humor is actually one of the most reliable sources for unintentional comedy so there’s always opportunity for you there. What you shouldn’t do however is try to be funny all the time by relying on lowbrow humor as this veers heavily into shitposting territory and that’s rarely appreciated.