Connecting with people is ultimately what drives sales in today's market. SEO content may have been the king in the past, but it has been replaced with online audience engagement. Although high-quality, interesting content is the best tool for engagement and can be used as a conversation starter on social media platforms, it cannot stand alone.
Engagement is a powerful tool for letting readers into the mind of the author, but also gives great feedback that can be used by everyone involved with the publication. Working as a team to interpret the data and learn how readers respond to particular pieces is one way to create targeted content into the future, which can in turn drive sales.
Reasons Why Online Audience Engagement Goes Beyond the Writer
1. More Subscribers.
Engaged readers are at the heart of subscribers, according to an article by the Inland Press Association & Foundation. Making the content relatable to the reader helps newspapers stand out from their competitors. The more people comment on the article, the more attention it will get. All of the shares, like, and followers that each article gets helps promote the publication and spreads it to a wider audience. Growing subscriptions is ultimately the responsibility of the sales team, though, not the journalist. By giving the sales team access to the data on audience engagement, they can see what works as far as engaging readers to encourage subscriptions.
2. Targeted Marketing.
A journalist can write killer copy, but if it is never read, the newspaper won't continue to succeed. That's where the marketing team comes in. They make sure the article is shared and spread across a number of platforms for maximum exposure. Giving marketers the power to engage with readers can boost sales. They can then target articles to a specific audience for a higher subscription conversion rate.
3. Brand Development.
The writer is not solely responsible for establishing the brand either. Everyone on staff at the publication plays a role in developing the brand and maintaining the image online. Having access to the data from online engagement allows them to fine tune the message that the brand is delivering.
4. Create Brand Insiders.
Readers want to have a vested interest and get the inside scoop on your business. This can take place across the board, from a variety of staff. AJ Nichols, Senior Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Rent the Runway told Mashable, "We interact with our followers individually to breed a close community of brand 'insiders' who feel comfortable regularly engaging with us."
5. Brand Reputation.
Social media is a 24/7 job. It isn't a one-man job. Online engagement requires a team of people to run promotions, provide customer service, monitor comments and protect the brand reputation by replying appropriately to both positive and negative feedback.
Analyzing the data from online audience engagement can offer answers for all staff members to move forward in a way that better reaches readers. Knowing what interests them, what gets them talking, and what stirs up their emotions. Readers are more likely to become subscribers when they feel well-connected, moved, or informed from a publication.