This is a guest post by Melanie Musson. Melanie is a marketing expert and insurance writer for AutoInsuranceEZ.com.

This article will guide you through the most effective ways to engage your audience and show you how to get started employing these techniques.

A customer-first approach is a win-win for both parties. When customers get what they want, they’re satisfied. When you offer what your audience wants and needs, you gain a customer.

Audiences change the way everything is done. Take insurance for example. For decades, car insurance was a cut and dry business. Then consumers began to think they should be rewarded for good driving.

When the industry caught onto that desire, they started offering usage-based-insurance policies. Customers got what they wanted, and the companies that offered those programs grew!

Whatever it is that your business provides, you need to think of your audience first. You will be able to meet their needs and gain customers when you understand them and offer them what they need.

There’s an important step you need to take in order to effectively meet your audience’s needs and gain customers. It’s the step that’s going to funnel your audience into your customer base. That step is audience engagement. It’s crucial! 

We’ll cover the most important steps to increase your audience engagement so that you can grow your business.

Create Engaging Content to Catch Attention

If you write boring content, you’ll lose your audience. Obviously. So, don’t be boring! Be engaging.

It’s one thing to say it, but it’s another thing to create it! How in the world do you go about creating engaging content? 

The key here is to know your audience.

  • Know their age. If your audience is Baby Boomers, you’ll want to create vastly different content than if they’re Millennials. 
  • Know what they’re looking for. When you know what your audience is searching for, you can become the solution. 

Even if you nail what your audience is looking for and you provide it for them, they will never find you if you don’t optimize for search engines. Yes, SEO is critical. Your audience must be able to find you. 

Once they’ve found you, keep them on your page with content that moves. Try including the following elements:

  • A catchy title
  • Headings
  • Bullet points
  • Infographics
  • Pictures
  • Videos (more on that in a bit)

WordPress plugins can help keep your page performing at top potential, so look into everything from Color Picker Enhancement to Custom Sidebars.

We briefly mentioned the importance of SEO, but there’s another way to tap into an unreached audience, and we’ll look at that tool, now.

Utilize Social Media to Reach a New Audience

Start by allowing your content to be shared. And then, going back to content here, make your title something that your audience will want to share. Employing both of these tactics allows for other people to do the advertising for you.

Different social media platforms need different promotion techniques. Start with the social media channel you’re most comfortable with, and pay attention to trending topics. Make a post with that topic and hashtag, and share your gripping and appropriate content on that post.

Don’t devote yourself solely to one social media platform, but when you’re just starting out, start with what you know. Once you’ve confidently posted several times, branch out into other platforms.

Remember, if you make a good post, people will share it. Once again, they’ll do your advertising for you for free!

Another way to engage your audience on social media is to build a community. When people feel that they belong in your group, trust builds, and they will turn to you to meet their needs.

Make Videos that People Want to Share

Videos are the hottest engagement tool around. Here are just a few stats about video marketing compiled by Forbes:

  • 55 percent of people watch videos online every day 
  • 92 percent of mobile video consumers share videos with others
  • Social video generates 12 times the shares than text and images combined
  • Including a video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80 percent 
  • After watching a video, 64 percent of users are more likely to buy a product online

And if you’re wondering what kind of videos are the most effective, Forbes offers insight into that as well:

  • Customer testimonials 
  • Tutorial videos
  • Demonstration videos 

Videos get watched, and videos get shared! Videos engage more senses than written text, thereby helping your audience understand more fully what you’re offering.

Getting started isn’t as painfully difficult as you may feel. You’ve already written great content, so use that content as the subject of your video. 

Explain the content vocally as if you were explaining it to a friend. Fill in with charts and data to illustrate your points, and you’ll be well on your way to growing your video repertoire. 

If you make your videos available on YouTube, you’ll gain another channel to reach customers. 

Optimize for Mobile to Minimize Frustration

This is huge! Have you ever checked something out on your phone, and the writing was too small to read, you had to scroll across to read a whole line of text, or even worse, only half the text showed up? 

Maybe the page took more than a couple of seconds to load. Or maybe the paragraphs dragged on for centuries.

How long did you stay engaged?

Probably not more than a few seconds. Don’t do this to your audience!

Optimize every post! Keep your paragraphs short and make sure your graphics appear as intended to your mobile audience. Fix loading issues. 

Ensure that your audience can engage with your content with no frustration.

Contests, Surveys, and Polls Encourage Interaction

Interaction equals engagement. Competitions and contents get your audience involved. There are several types of competitions you could employ depending on your goal.

  • Random – a random winner is selected based on the participant’s following the competition steps, such as commenting on a post, or sharing a post on social media.
  • Highest Votes – ask viewers to share a story, picture, hashtag, etc., and then allow voting. The one with the most votes wins.
  • All Participants Win – offer a prize to anyone who completes the task. For example, everyone who subscribes gets an ebook. 

Surveys not only engage your audience, but they can also offer you valuable insight into who your target audience really is. You’ll be able to better serve them if you know them.

Engaged Audiences Become Customers

Following these steps will help you to reach potential customers on a personal level. When you’ve developed a relationship in which you understand and meet their needs, both you and your customers will be satisfied.

Satisfied and valued customers share with others. Get to know your audience, and make sure to remove any barriers in letting them get to know you.