A Smart Strategy for Engaging Readers

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As a digital publisher your main goal is always to get as many people reading your content as possible, but how do you do that? The answer: Make a point of engaging readers.

Readers that interact and engage with your content whether by clicking, commenting, or sharing, are far more likely to come back to your website in the future and even bring their friends with them. With increased engagement, publishers find more and higher quality site traffic. That means one thing: increased revenues.

As a result, many publishers have focused their efforts in recent years on engaging users, often through social media. However, in order to maximize user engagement, it’s important for publishers to take a step back and ask themselves whether social media is truly working. Is it the best approach? Or are there better ways to engage readers?

Social media is a necessity

There is no question that social media is a great way to engage readers and will be for many years to come. Having a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is an important tool for nurturing your relationships with readers.

Not only is social media another channel for getting clicks to your content, but there are revenue opportunities in it such as native advertising and content promotion. Social media must remain part of publishers’ engagement efforts in the coming years.

Engaging readers

However, social media has its limits

Facebook organic reach has plummeted steeply in the last six months and publishers are finding it harder and harder to drive traffic to their sites without paying for it. The days of free content exposure on social media are nearing their end.

Not only are social media sites making it more difficult for content to be seen, but their algorithms are designed to prevent users from leaving the sites altogether. This means less opportunities for publishers to monetize with advertisements on their own sites.

Focus on engaging readers on your site

Social media can provide an extra channel for content exposure , but a winning monetization strategy will focus on engaging users on your site. Your site is where you have the most control and the best opportunities to take advantage of smart monetization tools. An engaging website will mean higher quality traffic, and ultimately higher CPMs.

So, how do you make your site more engaging?

Three of the most effective ways to engage users on your site:

  1. Smart monetization tools such as in-image and native advertising. These tools guarantee high ad viewability, while remaining non-intrusive. In addition, by using Big Data and contextual analysis, these tools guarantee ads that are engaging and appealing to readers.
  2. Engaging content is key to ensuring that readers are interested in your site and want to spend time there. Some quick tips: use captivating titles, pose questions, utilize compelling images, and style your writing to be reader-focused.
  3. A great comments section can go a long way in creating an interactive site that keeps readers engaged. Use conversation threading, allow readers to sign in through a social networking profile, and give readers the ability to “like” or “dislike” comments.

Find a balance

A top-notch engagement strategy will focus on engaging readers both on social media and on publishers’ sites. Social media is an important tool to leverage in order to get new readers to your site. However, social media has its limits and it’s important for publishers to strike a balance by putting a renewed focus on creating engaging websites. Publishers that strike the proper balance will find higher site traffic and increased revenues in the years to come.

Zev Newman

Zev manages Imonomy's content strategy, social media marketing, and SEO. He loves the Detroit Lions, learning just about anything, and writing about the world of online publishing, marketing, and advertising. If you are interested in collaborating, Zev can be reached at zev.newman@imonomy.com

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