According to the Shareaholic blog, if you want to increase audience engagement, then you have to care more about your audience. That seems pretty basic, but it is not as simple as it sounds. As many online publishers are finding out, understanding a digital audience is a complicated and difficult task. More people are switching from print newspapers to digital, and that is creating a serious problem for newspaper publishers.
The opportunities for advertising on a digital platform are not nearly as abundant as they are with print, which means that digital content has to engage more people if it wants to be successful. There are several questions you have to ask yourself about your website if you want to learn the secrets to increasing audience engagement.
When Am I Attracting Traffic?
If your website sees the most significant amount of traffic at 2:00 a.m. EST every day, then it makes sense to release new content at that time to get maximum engagement. When is your audience engaging your website? How different is your weekend traffic from your weekday users? Are your peak times different during the weekend? You must understand the timing of your audience if you want to get your own timing right.
What Devices Are My Readers Using To Access My Site?
According to ComputerWorld.com, eight out of every 10 smartphone owners are accessing information through their smartphones. Does that ratio hold true for your audience? Is your content optimized to make the most of the screen space your website is given? Is your advertising designed to accommodate your user's most popular devices? You cannot develop effective content if you have no idea how that content is being used.
What Sites Are Doing The Most Referrals To My Site?
Is social media the most prominent way that people find your site? Is Google bringing you the bulk of your traffic? Don't be surprised to find out that Google is getting a little apprehensive about how much people use social media and not search engines to find websites. With the dominant nature of news on social media, it may be that more of your traffic is coming from Facebook than Google. Maybe you should be investing more of your time and effort in creating content that is appealing to Facebook and not optimizing it to show up on Google.
As more users make the transition from print to digital, audience engagement is going to be an issue for online publishers. Luckily, digital users leave a path that publishers can follow to determine how to develop more effective content. But as the advertising real estate shrinks with the shrinking screens of mobile computing devices, the numbers of users who are engaged with a media site must increase dramatically. Without the numbers being on their side, publishers are going to have a very hard time replacing lost print advertising revenue with digital revenue.
What are some opportunities in the digital sphere Publishers can take advantage of to stimulate an increase in advertising revenues?