Today, when the average reader attention span is measured in milliseconds, it has become a challenge to focus on the exact metric that truly matters for your business. You could be focused on monthly traffic, bounce rate and the likes. These are worthy goals deserving of your attention, no doubt. But, what really drives your advertising revenue is the average session duration per user. It is the amount of time an average user spends on your website. Pay attention to this, increase user engagement and everything else will fall in place.
Tactics vs Strategies to Increase User Engagement
Like in a game of chess, there could be numerous strategies to increase user engagement for your content. You could choose to go for the offensive or defend wisely. Or any of the infinite variations on a semi-open strategy. We will have a lot more to say on strategies in a later post. Today, we will focus on the short-term weapons, effective nevertheless, called tactics. When you have to make do with whatever means you have today, you use tactics. A tactician is a hustler.
Stirring Up A Controversy
People just love controversies and conspiracy theories! In a mundane world, your unconventional ways will stand out from the crowd. A quick tactic is to make your posts more debatable via stirring up some controversy. This doesn’t imply that you have to write about something that’s going to outright offend your readers. Just take a difficult stand on something and defend it. Some will agree, some will not, everybody will talk. For example, you could say Trump will Make America Great Again (good luck, with this one)!
Ask your Reader’s Opinion
You will be surprised to learn how often people actually do something when you ask them to. Duh! If you want your readers to interact in a conversation, why not simply ask them a sincere question? And, not a rhetorical question please. So, what has been your experience on keeping your readers engaged? What challenges are you facing? Leave us a comment below and we could help you figure out something that works for you.
Get your Readers Involved
Encouraging active participation is a great idea. It is easy to produce interactive forms of content. You could start a quiz or create a survey or poll to learn more about your readers. Google Forms, Survey Monkey and Wufoo and good places to create forms and surveys without writing any code.
Reward your Users for Engaging
Rewards make people happy. Getting rewarded (even the most trivial ones) releases dopamine and activates the pleasure center in your brain. This is powerful stuff. So, if you are reading this, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject “I want my reward” and we will give you a free 30 page E-book titled “How to Increase User Engagement by 300% in 7 days”. That is your reward!
Create a Contest or Giveaway
Give something valuable as a contest prize or for free to your readers. It need not be an iPhone 7 (though that would be awesome), just a well-written E-book or early access to your next product release could seal the deal.
Mention others in your niche
One of the time-tested methods to really delight your readers is by sharing relevant and awesome content from others in your niche.
Please Don’t Silence your Readers
This may sound like a repetition but it is worth repeating. The online world has, of late, shown some short-lived skepticism towards allowing user comments. Don’t make this mistake. If you must fight the trolls and spammers, then fight but don’t use them as an excuse to silence dialogue with your readers. This is like the 1.e4 opening move in chess. Best by test. And while you are at it, do take out time to respond to all your comments. This is what user engagement is all about to begin with.
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