Did that headline get your attention? You clicked on it, so we guess it did. But now we have to make sure we deliver what you are expecting. Otherwise, it would just be what’s called “clickbait” – a quick grab for your attention, but not your engagement. And when it comes to content, it’s all about engagement.
So here’s how to get realengagement: by making actionable and impactful content that delivers on your headline.
#1. Deliver what you say you will
Headlines or titles should clearly define the content that follows after the click. That doesn’t mean it can’t be clever and catchy, but most importantly it should be correct. This is also important as sites like Facebook tweak their algorithms to reduce clickbait, or as Facebook describes: headlines that “withhold information” and “create misleading expectations.”
To avoid this, write a headline that reflects the content of your article, whether it’s a listicle, interview, video or other form of content, and include a short excerpt that elaborates on your headline and tells readers more of what they can expect.
#2. Engage a long-term relationship
If clickbait is about hitting quantity targets, then content is about scoring quality engagement. It’s a fling versus a long-term relationship. And since relationships are about loyalty and respect, your content should treat readers with loyalty and respect because you want them to open your messages, spend time on your site, share your content, download your app, buy your product and come back time and time again.
#3. Map your customers’ journey
A customer journey map can help you produce targeted and relevant content that engages customers at every point of their experience with your brand – potential and actual. Your customer map should specifically pinpoint all the near-universal stages of your customers’ experience: how they feel, what they want, what they think they need, where they get stuck, how they get unstuck, and even the triggers that cause them to look to their devices to research, do or buy.
By producing content that addresses these highly specific problems and provides a solution you can expect to gain meaningful reads and shares.
#4. Write like your customers talk
Your customers will typically use similar language and phrases to discuss certain topics or search for content. By determining how you customers talk and the terms they use to search, you can tweak your headlines and phrase your content in their language. This will help optimise search results and boost email opens, clickthroughs and blog visits from readers who have greater potential to engage with your brand.
#5. Focus on engagement metrics
A content program should foster engagement and build brand respect and loyalty. By instituting KPIs related to engagement, rather than superficial opens, clicks and traffic growth, you can create more insightful, relevant and targeted content. These purpose-driven KPIs might include:
- Shares: Your audience can help you drive reach and growth on social media and through word of mouth. Both are free and can be powerful.
- Repeat to unique visit ratio: Focus on creating content that becomes a regular part of your customers’ consumption habits.
- Time on your site: Determine how long visitors are on your website, what they’re looking for and where they’re jumping off.
- Unsubscribes: Keep this number as low as possible, otherwise it’s a good indicator your content is not creating value.
- Reviews and comments: User-generated content reflects their engagement with your brand and can be positive and negative. Use negative feedback to help you improve your brand, product or service.
Leave clickbait to the fish. Instead, take the time to understand your customers’ journey and experience and deliver targeted headlines and relevant content that will prove to be valuable to your customers and to your brand.