So, yeah, content is king. Without good content, you don’t have a message to give. But who are you giving that message to? And what do they have to say about it?
If content is king, then conversation is queen
It’s all well and good generating great content, but if people aren’t talking about it, is it still useful? We need people to talk about our content, engage with it, comment on it, endorse it, share it and LOVE it.
There’s a couple of great ways, techniques and tools we use to encourage conversation around our content. To understand a bit more though, we must first ask “Why is it so important to get engagement with our content?”.
I mean, who cares who reads what we write, right?
Your website is almost certainly brimming with gems of knowledge, great deals or all sorts of valuable content, but websites are very much a reactive media, meaning that visitors have to make the conscious decision to visit your website or at least click a link etc. It’s probably a reasonable assumption that you want people to read what you spend hours crafting.
You may just be a narcissist, but it’s probably more likely that you’re writing content in order to provide a service, or to generate leads. Both of which rely exclusively on great content and a method of distribution.
If a blog falls in the woods, can it still go viral?
There are 34 million Britons on Facebook and Twitter (that’s more than half the population)
So here we are, you have a beautiful looking website, it’s bursting at the seams with nuggets of information. We need to get it in front of people and we need to get them to engage with it. This is where social media platforms can again become our friend. If you can build a community of followers, you can distribute your content to them, but also ask them to distribute it further.
Having people share your content falls mainly into two possibilities (though the two are certainly not mutually exclusive).
I was in a workshop a couple of days ago and asked the audience if they would shout “Yes!” when I counted to three. I counted, and what do you know, a sea of beaming faces screamed “YES!” back at me. “Why did you all just shout at me?” I asked the audience, “Because you asked us to” replied most (the rest weren’t really sure why they had done it).
Isn’t it amazing? We ask people to do something and yeah…they do it.
I’ve talked about this before around how to improve EdgeRank scoring, don’t get me wrong, sometimes we can come up with really creative ways of encouraging engagement, but a lot of the time, we simply must ask.
Tweets that include “Please ReTweet” get 4 times more ReTweets
But distributing the content is really only a part of the solution, we still need to have conversation, engagement, discussion. So we’re really looking for that perfect combination. Writing great content that doesn’t go anywhere is arguably as much use and distributing nonsense really well. I’m not advocating either one (content versus conversation) over the other, you need to be able to generate meaningful, valuable and exciting content and you need to get people talking about it.
The first step is absolutely to find your niche, figure out what you can write about and get cracking. But, look at how you can encourage debate, conversation, argument, opinion, agreement, disagreement and anything else that gets people interacting, engaging and talking about you.
Consider answering questions your potential visitors may be asking, some will be things you get asked all the time, but also try and answer the questions they don’t know they have yet. Think about product reviews, polls they may want to interact with and competitions. It takes time and it’s hard.
Well hell, if it was easy, everyone would do it.
Engage, interact and converse!