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User Engagement Attracts and Keeps Customers

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User engagement is an important marketing tactic for online publishers who want to attract and keep customers of all types. It also builds brand.

Engagement opportunities exist in two forms: content and communications. Engagement environments exist in six or more online publishings platforms including websites, blogging, social media accounts, video accounts, advertising and email marketing.

High quality content on a website or blog encourages engagement by appealing to site visitors to stay on a page and read more of an article. This is the simplest form of engagement. Search engines recognize it as a signal about the quality of the content.

If visitors are staying on the page longer than other sites with the same topic, this particular page also sends important quality signals to search engines. So often gets ranked higher in search results.

High quality content may trigger another form of engagement. If interactive features are available, visitors may vote in a poll, comment on the article or send the author or publisher an email. These actions increase the “time on page”, another important quality signal.

Video and Social Media

Social media

© 2022 Scott Bateman

The same is true of video and social media accounts.

Video accounts signal engagement with retention, which is the amount of time that a viewer stays with the video. Comments about the video also help.

My small Caribbean travel channel on YouTube gets questions and comments on a regular basis. The response rate doesn’t compare to a social media account. But it’s a steady stream.

Of course, highly active social media accounts have all kinds of user engagement in the form of likes, follows, shares and comments. The level of engagement depends on the type of content as well as the quantity and quality of postings from the account owner.

Local news often has high user engagement, while retail often has low engagement. But whether the content is news or retail is only part of the formula.

Successful owners of social media news accounts post as much as five to 10 times a day. Some retailers may struggle to post five to 10 times a week or even that often in a month.

The quality and interest of the post matter as much to engagement as the quantity. For example, a posting about a local murder will usually have much higher interaction than one about a city council meeting.

Response Rate Matters

In the above situations, a publisher has one more important step to take in addition to the quality and quantity of the content and the posts. Responding to users who interact with the material and doing so quickly will encourage more responses. It also potentiallys build long-term relationships with loyal visitors.

Finally, even advertising and email marketing present opportunities for engagement and brand building. A person who clicks on an ad comes to a website in search of an answer. They recognize the brand on the ad or because the ad has the right call to action.

The website that clearly offers that person a chance to email or call with a question is making user engagement and brand awareness a much more satisfying experience.

The same is true of email marketing. Email newsletters that also have phone numbers and links to email addresses or contact forms will surely increase the potential for user engagement and a stronger brand. Good branding reinforces return visits.

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