How many times do you ask yourself, “Is my content valuable and enjoyable enough to capture the attention of my audience, and will it keep them engaged?”
Audience engagement is all about motivating and encouraging your users to interact and share your content so they become attached to your business or brand. In simple terms, more audience engagement leads to more growth and loyalty for your business.
However, in today’s technology-dominated world, marketers tend to forget the most important variable in their marketing strategies: the people! It's all about how your content adds value to them so they take the next step of interacting and sharing it. Engage people, entertain them, and delight them with your content if you want your business to grow. Provide real value to them with your content and they will love your business.
As marketers, we make a good number of mistakes, but the key is to learn from them and make our content and product incrementally better for audience. Here are some of the awful mistakes that marketers make when they create content to engage their audience:
- No emotional connection: One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is that their content does not emotionally connect with their users. It is important to know what your customers really need, what will attract them the most, and how you can deeply connect with them on an emotional level. In the recent years, Coca-Cola has done an incredible job in connecting with their users through understanding user motivations and creating nostalgic feelings in their campaigns. Take a look at the following campaign by Coca-Cola to see how they make an emotional connection with their audience.
- Your content is not visual: Lets be frank, nowadays users do not have enough time to read every long-form post and article that's being produced, and thus marketers need to find new ways to attract their attention. That is why your content needs to be more visual. In recent times, this has led to higher user engagement and the ability to drive conversions, and consequentially the huge popularity of platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. Even if you are creating content on other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or your own web page, make sure it is visually engaging for your users and share it out in all networks.
- No incentives or benefits: There has to be some incentive or benefit for your users to engage with your content. This is a great way to motivate and encourage them to take part in your experience. Pearl Jam created a bracket voting contest called Pearl Jam Madness for their users where they could vote for their favorite Pearl Jam songs and had a chance to win prizes along the way. This campaign had an emotional benefit to the users (songs they love) and a tangible benefit of winning a prize (the incentive). This led to high social sharing and commenting by users and nearly a million votes.
- Failing to build relationships: Many marketers simply fail to build relationships with their users. Your content should be focused on building a strong bond with them. Make it fun, valuable and allow users to communicate with you about the content. When writing, think about your community. The best campaign I can think of is Toms Shoes' One Day Without Shoes Instagram campaign, where users could upload pictures of their bare feet and use the #withoutshoes hashtag. The company would then give away a pair of shoes to someone in need. As a result, the company was able to give away a million pairs of shoes and generate high user engagement.
- Not capturing feedback: Feedback not only helps you make necessary changes to your content, but also helps in building credibility and loyalty towards your brand. Make your users feel important and know that you value their input and they will in turn have more positive connections with your brand. Some of the ways marketers can get feedback is through surveys, a comment/feedback box on their website, through in-app messaging, or by reaching out directly to their users.
- Your content is cluttered: This is a major mistake that marketers overlook when they are trying to create engaging content. Either there is too much text, information is hard to find, or there is a cluster of social icons and calls to action and users don’t know what to click on. Make your content easy to understand and actionable and you'll see better results. Take a look at the website below. Do you think your users will easily find information or take action on something? I bet not.
- Not being transparent: The last mistake is not being transparent with your users. In this digital age where consumers have access to so much information, they have become highly sensitive to the feeling of being exploited. Being transparent with your content - the goals you have behind it, what actions you are looking for, etc. - is the key to achieve their trust and loyalty. If you are not being transparent in your content, user engagement and brand loyalty will surely drop.
Content marketing ROI is based on successfully reaching your audience and generating high audience engagement to fulfill your goals. Keep your content simple, actionable and be transparent. Look to not just satisfy your users, but to delight them with your content. And avoid these 7 horrible mistakes at any cost!