Overall, social media engagement is down. In spite of this fact, content and social media marketing are still extremely valuable pursuits. These efforts lead to increased brand recognition, strong customer relationships, and thought leadership.
The problem is that the field is absolutely saturated. People are overwhelmed with content from sources that interest them and those that don’t. So, they don’t engage. When they don’t engage, they don’t convert. Brands that want to change this, have to take a different approach. Simply being present and active is no longer enough. That’s just the bare minimum.
So, what can brands do to increase engagement and conversion rates? They can start by applying these six tips to their content marketing efforts.
Get Actionable Insights from Social Listening
You work hard on your content marketing strategy. So hard, in fact, that it’s easy to get tunnel vision. You become convinced that your approach is right, that you don’t pay enough attention to your target audience. This is why social listening is so important. It peels away your perceptions and forces you to see your brand from the perspective of others.
Social listening is simply monitoring what is being said about your brand on social media. That’s pretty empowering when it comes to creating a digital marketing strategy. By social listening you can:
- Learn what is causing your audience to become frustrated.
- Get insights into sentiments about your products and services
- Gather details about your target audience’s interests and preferences
- Identify new audiences
- Identify brand ambassadors
- Gain information on desired product features or service offerings
There are several effective social media listening tools. Many go beyond the standard social platforms when it comes to collecting information for you.
There’s so much you can do with this information once you have it. You can adjust your approach to creating and sharing content, modify your engagement strategy, even target new audiences with your content and paid advertising.
Give Your Audience More Than One Way to Connect
Sometimes, brands take an entirely too linear approach when it comes to getting audience members to connect. The formula is always, entice user with engaging content, get them to a landing page, give them a button to click and convert. The problem is that you lose anyone who isn’t willing to take that step.
While you don’t want to overwhelm people by opening up every possible micro conversion path, you should consider adding one these options whenever it’s possible. Potential customers who aren’t ready to make a purchase may still be ready to take their relationship further. Give them a path to:
- Download a trial
- Subscribe to your newsletter
- Access an article or white paper
- Follow one of your social channels officially
Make The Experience Mutually Beneficial
Like this post. Share this article. Follow us on Twitter. Retweet this with a hashtag. Brands give audience members plenty of directives to engage. Unfortunately, those aren’t always accompanied by any real reason to do so. Remember that engagement is a conversation, not a lecture. Both parties should get something out of the exchange.
The best starting point is to serve up content that meets a need. Your content should help your audience solve problems, give them information, or entertain them. Next, focus on production values. Your content should be easy to consume, visually pleasing, and accurate.
The last step is giving your audience incentive to engage. That is, making it worthwhile for them to comment, like, share, and link. Start by participating in the conversations that your content creates. But, do this in a way that adds value. Answer their questions. Link to additional resources. Elicit their feedback as well.
Create Content That is Relevant and Local
Before you move forward with any piece of content, you should consider two questions. Is it good? Is it relevant? Good content is accurate, attractive, and attention-grabbing. It should also be thought-provoking, and consuming it should be pleasurable.
Relevant content is current. It’s actionable. Readers can take that content and apply it now. For many users, relevant content is synonymous with local content.
It’s no secret that mobile device usage is on the rise, and has been for quite some time. This means that engaging with brands isn’t just something that people do at home. Now, it’s a dynamic activity, and people want and need content that is relevant to where they are at any moment. This is why any content strategy intended to boost engagement and conversions should have at least some focus on local content.
By producing locally optimized content you:
- Increase your chance of landing in Google’s coveted local 3 ranking
- Optimize for local search keywords
- Improve your chances of connecting with people who will engage and convert
For brands that do business on an international scale, relevance and localization combine to create an additional need. Not only is it important for content to be locally relevant in terms of the information it contains, but it must also be localized so that it resonates with the intended audience.
This is why brands often seek out localization services from agencies like The Word Point, whether or not they need translation services.
Use Original Visuals
Content that has visuals tends to draw attention better. It keeps people on the page longer and is more likely result in comments, likes, and shares. That’s widely accepted. The problem is that now, visual content is the norm. Everybody is sharing infographics, videos, collages, etc. Platforms like Instagram are entirely built around visual content.
Content creators can no longer grab a few royalty free images to add to their posts, or borrow a nifty infographic, and call it a day. Expectations are much higher now. To earn engagement, it’s important to bring high-quality, original, visual content that adds something of value. This is why so many brands are combining data science with marketing and using that data to create interesting brand stories.
Let Your Audience do the Talking
Sometimes, it’s best to take a step back and allow your audience to do the talking. Not just to you, but to one another as well. User-generated content can be a significant driving force behind engagement and conversions. In fact, engagement increases by 28% when users experience a combination of brand and user-generated content. Campaigns that use UGC also see 29% more conversions.
You can encourage user-generated content by:
- Holding contests and giveaways
- Encouraging users to share pictures and videos
- Providing a platform for user feedback
- Asking users for reviews and testimonials
- Creating polls and surveys
Some brands, like Modcloth, have opted to use UGC as a cornerstone of their entire online marketing presence.
In spite of a slight slowdown in engagement overall, content marketing is still the most budget-friendly and effective way for brands to build great relationships with their customers. Done right, social media marketing can help companies drive traffic, create high-quality engagement, and ultimately drive conversions.
If your efforts aren’t getting the results you need, try implementing the six tips listed here. They will help you to reinvent your digital marketing strategy, and create better outcomes overall.