By Jordan Lore published September 2, 2016

3 Tips to Create Ultra-Targeted Content for More Engagement

Tips-More-Engagement

A few weeks ago I was speaking with a friend and fellow content marketer who was having difficulty nailing down how to create content her audience wanted to engage with.

“Why do you want more engagement,” I asked out of curiosity.

She told me that one of the ways she judges whether her content strikes a chord with her audience is the level of engagement. Valid point, I agreed.

Engagement is the difference between a home-run piece of content and one doomed for a quick out.

Engagement: difference between a home-run piece of #content & 1 doomed for a quick out says @jordanlore6 Click To Tweet

That’s why I am sharing three tips for creating ultra-targeted content that can elicit more engagement.

Double down on past successes

Many content marketers, including myself, are guilty of focusing on what’s next — the next piece of content, the next pitch, etc. They don’t focus on what got them to where they are now.

Access to data can lead you in the right direction with your content. Tactics, topics, and formulas used in the past are key markers for where you could place your focus today. Double down on the things that worked and eliminate what didn’t.

One example that demonstrates the double-down mantra is an article from my company, 100 Growth Hacks Learned From 5 Years as a Startup.

Months ago, our content team set out to reach a new key performance indicator (KPI) — traffic. Before brainstorming what content would get us to our goal, we looked at our content history.

Our most successful content pieces had a few things in common:

  • They were long and thorough, and delivered 10-times (10x) value.
  • They were list and how-to posts.
  • They had strong storytelling
  • They encompassed two subjects — social media and growth hacking.

Our most well-received and highly engaged posts were what we needed to replicate and build on to reach our traffic goal.

Eventually we landed on the 100 Growth Hacks Learned From 5 Years as a Startup, an article that combined every commonality we wanted to hit — a 100-point list, a story of our journey, and the subject of growth hacking.

To date, this post has been shared 1,283 times from our blog alone. It has been recycled into an e-book, SlideShare presentation, and infographic. The SlideShare presentation was so popular it was featured on the front page of SlideShare.net, a feat we then detailed in a separate article.

How you can do it:

  • Recycle and update content. What types of content struck a chord with your audience? What created the most conversation or engagement? What content can you further elaborate on or recycle into new content?
  • Audit social media content. What created discussion? What content was interesting enough to be shared among your target audience? What well-received content on your social channels can be expanded into full articles?
  • Explore new avenues and formats for engagement-driven posts. Are there websites that will syndicate your content? Are there other formats that are well suited to the content you’re creating? Are there better arenas for your content that are more inclined to encourage engagement?

Reach out and amplify

Engagement can get a boost if your content simply has more eyes on it.

The most effective way to increase your content’s visibility is to have credible influencers engage with your content first. When your audience arrives on your content it already will be associated with a higher level of credibility.

How can you get your content noticed by an influencer? In our production process, we make sure to include influencer quotes, tactics, and mentions whenever we can. If there’s an opportunity to support your claims with influencer examples, jump on it.

Get your #content noticed by an influencer: include influencer quotes/tactics/mentions says @jordanlore6. Click To Tweet

Having more influencers included in your content will increase the likelihood of it being noticed and shared by the names in your content.

If you’re starting from scratch — meaning zero industry connections — develop your relationships with an influencer before you ask for help.

How you can do it:

  • Engage with their content. Leave authentic comments on their content, share or retweet them, ask them questions, do anything to begin a conversation. Help yourself by helping them first.
  • Create a general template for outreach. Know what you’re going to say and get to the point as quickly as possible. No one likes generic messages so be sure to include specific points in your messages.
  • Find the right influencers for your business. Determine which influencers can provide the most impact and focus your attention on providing value to them. If you can hit on all the right points there’s no reason for them not to return the favor.

Increase your transparency

Transparency is a real conversation starter. The web contains enough articles that detail generic tips and strategies, but there is always room for original thought-provoking content.

Transparency is a real conversation starter says @jordanlore6. #contentmarketing Click To Tweet

I’ve come to cherish the information from the good content folks at companies like Groove and Buffer. Their content focuses on telling original stories of their successes and failures in detailed yet actionable articles.

Buffer-News-Updates

By opening up and giving your audience a peek behind the metaphorical curtain, you include them in your journey. They’ll be invested in the actions you take, your successes and failures, and the invaluable lessons you learn along the way.

Emotion-Increases-Engagement

It’s difficult for audiences to develop an emotional connection with the faceless brands they follow from behind a screen. Creating emotion in your content will increase the engagement your audience wants to have with your content. It all stems from transparency.

Creating emotion in your #content will increase the engagement your audience wants to have says @jordanlore6. Click To Tweet

How you can do it:

  • Use a story-like format in every piece of content. Explain why you’re giving your audience this content and the reasoning behind your actions
  • Use original data or research that only you are privy to. It gives your audience special access to information that might surprise or shock them — content they can’t see or interact with elsewhere.
  • Detail success, experiments, and failures to humanize your brand and make it more relatable.
  • Take a stand on a divisive subject. Weigh in on something you and your business believe strongly and explain why. Polarizing opinions are guaranteed to create discussion with your audience. It may even win you more fans.

Tie it all together

There is no one single solution for creating content that your audience is dying to engage with. It requires consistent effort and experimentation to see what garners the most response.

Experiment with these three approaches for creating ultra-targeted content:

  • Doubling down on past successes
  • Influencer outreach and amplification
  • Increasing the transparency of your content

Engagement itself is a strong indicator of whether the content you’re producing is resonating with your target audience.

Are you trying to increase the engagement your content receives? What has worked and what hasn’t? Leave a comment.

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Cover image by Viktor Hanacek, picjumbo, via pixabay.com

Author: Jordan Lore

Jordan Lore is a content and PPC marketer at Wishpond, a lead generation platform in Vancouver, Canada. He focuses on coming up with creative ways to help companies grow their audience. Jordan's a regular content contributor to marketing blogs like SocialMediaToday, CrazyEgg, and JeffBullas. Connect with him on Twitter @jordanlore6.

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  • http://shewritescontent.com Jennee Rasavong

    Hi Jordan,

    Wonderful post. As someone who is just starting to build their platform and know their audience, do you think the first tip of doubling down on past successes is applicable?

    How can it be tweaked for someone brand new coming onto the scene? (I’m just getting into freelance content writing)

    I think transparency is key! So glad that you mention Buffer and Groove, those are two of my favorite blogs to read. When I weave my own personal experiences into my blog content, I find it easier to write and more authentic! It’s inevitable that people will have similar experiences but each individual has their POV.

    Enjoyed reading! Off to share now. 🙂

    -Jennee

    • Jordan

      Hey Jennee,

      Thanks for the kind words 🙂 Buffer and Groove are my favs as well!

      For someone just starting out, there wouldn’t be much data to double down on I agree. As things slowly pick up you can take small cues from mini-wins like engagement on social media (likes, shares), comments, or by Google analytics data like time on page or bounce rate.

      These are micro indicators of how well your content is resonating with your target audience.

      Since you are just starting out though, I’d really advise you to experiment as much as possible and see what sticks, I’m sure you’ll get a hit that you won’t see coming! Hope this helps – Jordan

  • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/author/roger-c-parker/ Roger C. Parker

    Dear Jordan:
    I’m as much impressed by your first-person storytelling ability as I am by the quality of the information you share. A lot of information, concisely communicated in an easy to read, engaging style. A lot of lessons here. I’m off to download and read the 100 Hacks. Roger

    • Jordan

      Hey Roger,
      Thank you so much, I’m humbled. I hope you found some useable information from the article and 100 growth hacks. All the best! – Jordan

  • Siddharth Nookala

    This is a good read, Jordon
    I would like to know where you would fit personalizaiton in the scheme of things. You can engage your customers only if you provide them with content they’d like to see.

    The recently launched Adobe Target, which promises better than the best personalization is one game changer I feel. Adobe Target customers have an access to something called Automated Personalization which would help marketers personalize their content in key locations across their sites and applications.

    For marketers, such tools would be a relief since they have an option of implementing them depending on their budget and requirement.

  • lynn.wendy

    I usually gain something like $6,000-$8,000 every month working from home on the internet. For those of you who are eager to finish simple freelance tasks for some hours every day from your sofa at home and make solid salary for doing it… This is a work for you… KORTA.NU/NDe

  • https://www.researchsnipers.com Yasir Zeb

    Great post Thanks for sharing Jordan, List posts and How to Posts are still the need of reader it really helps in organic traffic…