Lead generation is something that every business seeks to perfect. Drawing interested website visitors through ads and awareness building is only the beginning. Once you have a lead's attention, the goal is to keep them engaged as you guide them down the conversion path or funnel.
If you lose engagement, then your leads are likely to lose interest and leave the conversion process before they actually become customers. No matter how promising the lead might have been.
One of the best ways to get your leads engaged and keep them that way is through great content. Engaging content is the key to lead conversion because it applies to every single step of the conversion funnel and lead-to-customer experience.
What is Engaging Content?
Engaging content is any type of text, image, or video that keeps your leads interested. It can be serious or fluff, instructional or narrative, the only requirement is that it capture the hearts and minds of those who visit your site and make them want to stay longer. Engagement is a matter of connection, mental participation, and a desire to see more.
Benefits of Engaging Content
The benefits of engaging content are undeniable. From the very start, engaging content captures a lead's attention and draws them into an experience on your website. The most common form of engaging content is the blog article, a collection of text about a specific topic. Blog articles are critical for both inbound marketing awareness-building (as they are hot on Google search results) and for catching and keeping the attention of leads who are already on your site.
Google Featured Snippets
Engaging content is also your window into Google Featured Snippets. If you want to get onto Google Featured Snippets, then think like a customer. Pose questions in your article that people would ask and then provide highly concise and data-packed answers immediately below.
What Does Engagement Look Like?
Engagement is about being wrapped up in the content. A lead who is engaged isn't just skimming the article, they are reading it in-depth. They aren't just glancing at the images, they are examining your infographics and thinking about how they relate to the content. Engagement is involvement. If there are activities, leads participate. If there are responsive tools, leads want to explore them.
Entertainment and Engagement, Are they Different?
One of the biggest questions when creating engaging content is the difference between entertaining your leads or engaging them. Should you throw them a content-carnival of lighthearted click-tempting articles and videos, or should you focus on wrapping them up in the details of your products and services?
The answer is to meld the two ideas. Of course you want your leads to be entertained as they read and watch. After all, entertainment is engaging. But the most engaging content isn't fluff, it's real hard-hitting content that is presented in a way that feels entertaining while creating understanding. Interesting analogies, infographics, and humour make detail-rich content more engaging. But those entertaining elements alone will quickly lose their interest value, like cotton candy versus a rich layered chocolate dessert.
Engagement Impacts Lead Generation and Sales
A website visitor doesn't become a lead until they are engaged. If they click an ad or follow a search engine link to an article only to be bored by the content, they will 'bounce' too fast to be considered more than a blip. Without that first spark of engagement, a visitor never becomes a lead. And without engaged leads who are eager to see and to learn more there cannot be sales. Engagement ultimately leads to sales because it is what keeps leads on the conversion funnel from start to finish.
Research Creates Content that Generates Leads
Of course, to engage your audience, you need to understand them. This goes beyond understanding your own industry and the value of your products or services. Research into the search terms and responses of your audience can reveal what they are most interested in. Look into the most-visited and referenced articles relating to your industry, and the most visited pages on your current site and blog. Research new developments in your field and what your audience is researching, reading, and watching in relation to it.
Research is key to helping you guide your content focus in the right direction and can help you create new, valuable content about your industry without rehashing the same ideas in your content many times over.
Evaluate Old Content to Check for Engagement
Believe it or not, you don't have to create 100% new content in order to boost your website's engagement. Chances are, you've written some valuable content that might be just a little lacking in the engagement department. You can renovate this older content into pages that will engage by identifying the signs of non-engagement and making improvements.
Content that is Outdated
Review your pages and blog articles for any content that is no longer relevant or up to date. Site pages should be updated, while articles can be re-written with updated information under the same title, while the old title is updated to reflect it's past date.
- Check the oldest pages first.
- Scan for dates and numbers that could have changed.
- Look at any graphs, charts, or infographics that might have outdated information.
- Check links to make sure they still work and are still relevant.
Content Not Being Accessed
Look at how often pages on your site and blog are being accessed. Are there any that are collecting cobwebs while other pages remain active? Any with a much higher bounce-rate than others? These are pages that need to be either deleted or reinvented for both accessibility and engagement.
Features that Aren't Getting Attention
If you have online tools, videos, or an entire category of pages that are not getting the attention they deserve, engagement may be the problem. The opening paragraph may be dry or the graphic design might be uninspiring. Or you may have forgotten to keep linking to these features in newer blog articles. Time for a few updates.
Dive into website analytics to find out more about how your content is engaging users. In addition to raw page data like clicks and bounce-rate, heat maps are one of the best possible ways to discover exactly which section of each page leads are looking at the longest. This represents, roughly, which sections of your content are most engaging, and which pages are more deeply engaging than others to use as a guide.
Pages Missing Content Elements
You may also find that you have many pages with only one type of content, usually raw text. Adding images, graphs, and videos can significantly enhance engagement both by visually breaking up a page and by providing more stimulating context for each page's focus-topic. Infographics and corresponding videos are particularly powerful in adding engagement to an otherwise well-written but text-only page.
Multiple Content Formats Drive More Engagement
Speaking of content elements, it's well known that multiple forms of content are more likely to create engagement and keep the momentum of engagement flowing. You want your leads to constantly feel guided from one interesting element to the next. An article, for example, might start with a punchy intro, lead to an image, dive into a detail-rich paragraph, then demonstrate with an animated infographic. This kind of content format variation keeps your leads on their toes, preventing boredom and increasing their ability to feel interactive with the content.
Content Types for Interactions
In fact, you can create interactions with your variety of content types. If you want leads to mentally plan their project along with the content, give them visuals and infographics on project planning steps along with the text-content. If you want them to sign up for a webinar, provide short videos of what your webinars have in store. Each type of content, used correctly, can inspire interaction. Not just passive engagement.
Content Types for Platforms
Marketing on different platforms also involves a variety of content types. Instagram users, naturally, are most engaged by vivid photos, and photo collections that create a story are even better than one-offs. While the Twitter platform is crazy about short viral-style videos that are often teasers for more in-depth content
Videographics cross into multiple platforms because, as animated infographics, they provide data-rich demonstrations with all the catchy elements of a short video.
Building Compelling Content Packages
A single page or campaign isn't made of just one kind of content. A blog article that is pure text looks boring, even if the writing is great. A Twitter post that is just an image without context might catch a few eyes, but it won't generate leads. To pack a punch, you need multiple types of content grouped together in an engaging "content package". This is how you create that magic, synergistic effect of an article that is enhanced by images and video, and video or images that are enhanced by great writing.
Content packages can include text, video, graphics, infographics, slide shows, and more.
Elements of Published Content
- Visual Elements
- Audio Elements
- Sound-Over Slideshows
Upgrade Your Content Engagement and Lead Generation Strategy
If you know that it's time to up your game and start actively engaging leads, you don't have to start from scratch. With the right approach, you can upgrade and refresh your older content. Fill in the blanks left by missing info or content types. Change up the formula so that your leads are always looking at something new. Add a variety of multimedia features to draw attention and spice up your web pages.
You can absolutely increase the overall engagement of your site both with new content and by touching up content you have created in the past. Want to know more? Want expert insights on how to add those new content types to pack a punch? Contact us or continue exploring our site for more tips!