According to Hosting Facts, approximately 2.7 million blog posts are published every day. But how many of them actually get any engagement? Engagement involves conversations, interactions, multiple likes, comments and shares, and getting your audience to do those things is no cakewalk.
So, what does it take to boost blog engagement? To be honest, it takes time and patience to build active readership. Though churning out high-quality content is a good start, it takes a lot more than that to get there.
The following tips will help you promote social sharing and conversations around your blog.
1. Create data-driven content
Most blog posts fail to drive engagement because they lack the credibility to make your audience feel confident that the advice in your post is sound. In other words, your blog post fails to back your personal opinions or experiences with scientific research and data. According to the folks at Curata, data-driven posts receive nine times more leads. However, the data or statistics must satisfy the following criteria:
The data must come from a reliable source.
It must be verifiable and obtained through a well-defined procedure.
Whenever possible, it should be acknowledged by experts.
It must pass the statistical conclusion validity.
It must be acquired using modern and reliable tools in case the research is conducted by a business.
OkCupid is an example of how data-driven posts can drive tons of traffic to your blog. The popular online dating site uses data and statistics to create blog posts that are extremely popular on social media. A recent OkCupid post, “Understanding Deal Breakers: The Psychology of Music and Romance,” reported that “a majority of OkCupid users prefer their ideal match to be interested in music” and used a variety of statistics to show “why breakups happen over music — literally and figuratively.”
Just like OkCupid, you can also increase engagement on your blog through data-driven posts.
2. Use engagement-friendly plug-ins
Irrespective of the amount of work you put into SEO, social media marketing and data highlighting, those efforts can’t boost blog engagement without the use of engagement-friendly plug-ins. One factor most marketers usually tend to neglect is the importance of a hassle-free and seamless user experience.
Most readers won’t like, comment or share your content, particularly if you make it difficult for them to do so. Your target audience is more likely to leave without sharing your content if they encounter persistent pop-ups, sneaky email signup tactics, and complicated comment forms, among other things. Here’s what you can do to avoid that problem:
Use a non-obtrusive email address collection plug-in to avoid forcing your target audience to uncheck several boxes during an email signup.
Instead of using a captcha, use an anti-spam plug-in to delete abusive comments on your blog. These simple plug-ins can block spam in comments automatically and invisibly.
At the bottom of the text, use a plug-in such as Shareaholic that allows readers to share your post directly on their favorite social media platforms. Shareaholic is a free WordPress plug-in that features sharing buttons for top social media sites, making it easier for readers to share your posts across multiple social media channels instantly.
Make sure to put in extra efforts when using engagement-friendly plug-ins to avoid throwing cold water on your meticulously crafted blog posts.
3. Encourage your executives to share their expertise
People want content from credible sources. One of the best ways to accomplish that is to encourage your executives to share their knowledge, opinions and thoughts on the latest developments in your industry by becoming regular contributors to high-quality publications. This tactic alone is enough to establish them as thought leaders in your niche eventually.
Alternatively, you can invite fellow thought leaders to contribute to your blog. This will not only add credibility to your blog, but also entice their loyal readers to visit it. Those influencers can indirectly help drive more traffic to your blog, thereby increasing engagement.
If you are a newbie, you can start by asking industry experts for their opinions on a given topic and then include their thoughts in your posts. Incorporating the voices of industry experts into your posts adds credibility and authenticity to your writing.
You can also encourage your team members and employees to promote your blog on various social media channels. They can be the potential brand advocates who can expand your blog engagement exponentially.
However, it’s necessary to create content that benefits your target audience. This means writing about a wide range of topics related to your industry, such as tips on best practices, providing solutions to common problems or offering special deals on products or services.
Increasing blog engagement goes well beyond writing good content. It means raising the profile of your blog by creating data-driven posts, using engagement-friendly plug-ins and encouraging your executives to share their expertise. Implementing those three strategies will certainly boost visitors’ engagement on your blog.
Dipti Parmar is an experienced marketing and technology consultant, helping startups, ecommerce brands, and B2B SaaS companies establish thought leadership in their industry with innovative strategies through her agency 99stairs. She is a columnist for leading business and tech publications such as Entrepreneur Mag, Adobe's CMO.com, and Inc. Dipti has also been listed as a top startup marketer by TechCrunch.
When she's not drinking her team's blood (figuratively), she is busy telling vampire stories to little girls who like Disney princesses. Follow @dipTparmar on Twitter for her best insights.