Four Ways to Retain Blog Readers
There’s no question that blogs are an effective marketing tool. Hubspot’s 2011 State of Inbound Marketing Report emphasized this fact saying 57 percent of companies using blogs as marketing tools have gained customers from blog-generated leads.
If you’re an action oriented individual, then you’re probably wondering how to bring readers back to your blog to increase site traffic. Here are four ways to capture readers’ attention, and increase page views in the process.
1. Call Readers to Action
After satisfying website visitors’ desire for relevant, informative, unique content, it’s your turn to have a piece of the pie. So why not call people to an action that will benefit your company? Ask them to subscribe to an e-newsletter, add your blog to their RSS reader, or fill out a contact form. Remember that it’s a two way street… Producing quality content is only one step in the sales process, you must also hear from your readers. Calls to action are an excellent way to establish where your readers are in the buying process.
2. Optimize Content for Social Sharing
Here at echogravity, we make it easy for our readers to share content through various social networks. How do we do it? At the conclusion of each blog post, we provide a simple call to action “If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it!” Following this call to action are three simple social sharing icons for Twitter, Facebook and Delicious. This gives readers an opportunity to share our content with their friends, family, and co-workers. We like to think of social sharing as web 2.0’s WOM (word of mouth) recommendation.
3. Experiment with Different Content Types
If you’re a marketer, or small business owner, you know it’s difficult to keep people’s attention for more than a few minutes. And even that can be a stretch at times. In today’s cluttered media landscape, it’s important that your blog excites readers. Think of each blog post like a major motion picture. Imagine watching a movie with static dialogue, no music, no sound effects, and no video. Sounds pretty lame right? Similarly, it’s important to think of each blog post as an entertainment package. Brainstorm ways to entertain site visitors with unique content. Here a few examples:
- Design infographics that educate, or entertain viewers. Newspapers like the Wall Street Journal have differentiated themselves by producing unique infographics.
- Create topical YouTube videos discussing industry developments. Keep videos short and sweet, ranging from one to four minutes in length.
- Interview your company’s CEO, or CMO about hot button marketing issues, and turn them into brief podcasts.
Simple, varied pieces of content like this are consumed easily by your target audience. That’s exactly what you want. Also, creating YouTube videos, producing podcasts and designing infographics doesn’t have to be expensive. Just remember to keep it simple, and have realistic expectations.
4. Listen to Your Readers
Most importantly, listen to your readers. Ask them on Twitter and Facebook what they’d like to see in your next blog post. Allow them to comment on articles, videos and podcasts. Keep in mind that fielding comments can hinder readers from commenting in the future. Be transparent. If your company received customer service complaints for years, and is taking steps to change its approach, then let your readers know. It’s refreshing when a company takes responsibility for its actions. If customers are your most valuable asset, then treat their words like precious nuggets of gold. But don’t just tuck them away in a closet somewhere. Respond through the appropriate mediums, and take necessary actions!
If you plan on expanding your blog’s readership, but aren’t quite sure where to start, then give us a call and let’s discuss your goals.
Image Credit: Antonio Mantero via Flickr