Written by Erin Smith
A study by Microsoft determined that we now have an attention span of only eight seconds — less than a goldfish! What does this mean for your readers? Your marketing has to catch them quickly! The key to engaging readers of your blog is to make it extra easy for them to connect with your content.
A call-to-action or simple question makes it a breeze for readers to engage because you’re literally telling them what to do! Questions that ask for personal recommendations (Have you ever been to Maui? What are the best Valentine’s Day gifts you’ve received?) or poll the audience (Try making these hot chocolate twists tonight! Which hot chocolate type was your favorite?) are highly engaging. People love to put in their two cents!
When Tweeting, Instagramming, or posting your content to Facebook, hashtags can make sure your content shows up in more feeds. Try to incorporate appropriate hashtags within your Tweets: “Is the cold starting to get to you this #winter? Try this #hotchocolate #recipe to warm you up!” For Instagram, use a small description (perhaps with an easy question for your audience!) and then create a comment with popular hashtags — up to 30! Look up current popular hashtags for your niche, and use them when you post related content. When users are searching for a #hotchocolaterecipe, yours will pop right up on their feed!
The most popular pins on Pinterest are vertical, so stick with that winning formula for your “hero” shot. If you only have horizontal images, create one vertical collage image using an editor like PicMonkey. Add a text overlay with the title, which helps pinners easily notice your amazing content — and re-pin it! When posting content on Facebook, you can even add a link to a pin, with a caption like “Pin It for Later: [insert pin URL]”. Make it as easy as possible to re-pin your image, and more people will follow through!
Without getting too vague (which can easily wander into “click bait” territory), leave out just enough of the important information to make your readers want to click and find out more. Use a message that keeps them guessing: “We just got back from Hawaii! Check out my very favorite activity from our trip in this new post! [link to post about hiking in Maui] Want to know what keeps me warm on winter nights? [link to hot chocolate recipe].” We’re curious by nature, and tapping into that curiosity builds interaction.
Keep readers coming back for more by writing a series of posts. Break up a large topic or the content from the week-long trip into a several shorter and more focused pieces. Throughout each post, create clickable links to the other related content, and provide a list of clickable links at the bottom of the post. Readers who stumbled on your awesome post about hiking in Maui will want to click on the link about Maui’s Best Restaurants too!
Of course, the best way to encourage interaction with your content marketing is have great content! Think about what’s in it for your readers, and create with your audience in mind. By using these tips, you’ll see your following continue to grow, bringing your amazing content to more delighted readers.
About the Author: Erin is a teacher, blogger, wife, and doggie-momma living in SW Florida. You can find her at www.SouthtoSouthwest.com, a travel and lifestyle blog about life, love, and living out of a suitcase. Erin writes about holding down the fort at home and helping her business-travelin’ husband use up those sky miles. Stop by for easy recipes, crafts and printables, and travel tales from all over the world!