5 Tips to Grow Reader Engagement & Boost Your Bottom Line

What can you do to increase reader engagement? Plenty. Think beyond the standard content tactics with these five tips.

Engagement is key to creating a strong community of readers and prospective customers.  According to Gallup and their Customer Engagement Score, drivers who genuinely feel they are valued customers will purchase 22 percent more insurance products than those who are emotionally detached from a company’s products or services. Similar CES results were found in the hospitality industry, where fully engaged hotel guests spend 46 percent more a year than those who are indifferent to or disengaged from the companies they deal with.

What’s the takeaway here? Creating content that better engages your readers is crucial, because it can boost your bottom line. These five tips will help.

Take advantage of related posts

Many publications use links to related posts on their websites to drive up page views and increase reader engagement. If your company uses WordPress, you can automate this by adding any one of the top 5 related post plugins that search for articles containing similar topics and display them for the reader at the end of the page they’re on.

If you don’t want to go the automation route or if you’re not using WordPress, you can always personally select a few related articles yourself and add them to the bottom of your pages. Although this is more time-consuming, creating the links manually ensures that you are in full control over what appears to your readers as relevant content to explore.

Offer unlimited scrolling

The use of mobile devices has steered people toward scrolling navigation. This method is similar to social media news feeds (think Facebook), which loads content that is practically endless. With unlimited scrolling, people don’t have to click all over the place to navigate your website. It’s more user-friendly and requires less effort to continue consuming content.

Go video

Reader EngagementPeople want videos. A survey by the e-commerce services company Invodo found that 57 percent of consumers rely on product videos to make a purchase, saying that they help them feel more confident in their purchases and less likely to return an item. Then there are these mind-blowing stats from YouTube: The platform generates more than 1 billion views and 70 million hours of watch time every month.

Yes, people want videos — but what if your business doesn’t have much of a budget to produce them? If you’re a creative type who likes a good DIY solution, try the cloud-based video creation service animoto.com. If you’d rather leave it to the professionals, Fiverr has its own “video and animation” category.

Use responsive design & flexible content

This tip is simple: Use responsive design. Smartphones and tablets have been outperforming the desktop as the more popular choice for a few years now. Surprisingly though, at the beginning of 2015, Akamai’s chief product architect Guy Podjarny estimated that only 11.8 percent of websites use responsive design.

In addition, make use of content consumption charts that indicate which devices people use during certain times throughout the day and what type of content is most suitable for each device. Publish your content with this information in mind.

Pay attention to typography

Typography matters. Errol Morris conducted a typography experiment in the New York Times in 2012, in which he quoted a passage from David Deutsch’s “The Beginning of Infinity” about the probability of an asteroid striking Earth. He then asked readers to rate their credulity and confidence in Deutsch’s claims.

Here’s the rub — he ran the story in six different fonts (Baskerville, Computer Modern, Georgia, Helvetica, Comic Sans and Trebuchet) in an effort to find out if people’s minds could be changed simply by the typeface they read the story in.

The results, as reported in Kriesi.at:

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 10.07.05 AM copy

Make the most of your content by following a few typography guidelines:

  • Serif fonts should be kept in the title, and sans serif fonts should be used for the body
  • Make certain the line spacing is 120 percent of the font size
  • To check your site for readability and a good user experience, ask a handful of associates, colleagues and friends to review the site and give their honest opinion
  • Or, if you really want to get a true idea of what a real user’s experience is like, give a service like UserTesting a try

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Page views are great, but an engaged reader is more valuable to your marketing efforts. By using these simple techniques, you will be able to captivate your readers and draw them into your content.

Tags: content marketing, , responsive design, typography, video

Category: Strategy

About Adam

Adam Toren is a creator, advisor, investor, writer and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com and iSmallBusiness.com. He is co-author, with his brother Matthew, of the award winning book and program Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right.
  • Jorden Roper

    Interesting data, especially the bit about how fonts affect trustworthiness. Thanks for sharing!

    • I thought so too Jorden!! I have found that design and typography can elicit an emotional response to a target audience. However, I wasn’t aware that Baskerville was the highest trust. I’m going to have to try that.