Keeping Your Digital Publishing Audience Engaged
Written by Matt Berringer
July 19, 2022
Engagement takes many forms — readers giving feedback or asking questions, users sharing content on social media, subscribers opening your latest email newsletter and clicking a link. Whatever type of engagement your publication is looking for, maintaining and improving it is an ongoing process.
Nxtbook Media offers three of our top tips to maximize your audience engagement.
1. Listen and Respond to Your Community
Your readers want to feel like you care about their thoughts and needs — and you do! Actively building and growing rapport is the best way to show them. Listen to what your community says, including praise and constructive feedback, and consider that information a valuable tool for long-term audience loyalty.
Start With Your Website
Many conversations will start on your website or through a contact submission from one of your web pages. Optimize your website for community-building by making it as easy as possible to reach out. Include simple feedback forms, an up-to-date list of contact information, links to all your other platforms and your publication’s subscription landing page.
Connect Through Comments
Once you start encouraging audience feedback, you’ll likely receive comments across multiple channels, including your social media accounts, website contact form, email or even phone. Now that you’ve started the conversation, make the most of it with timely, genuine responses that take each reader’s unique perspective into account.
Here are a few ways to optimize the comments you receive:
- Keep responses timely and helpful: Set up an automated response to let readers know when to expect an answer from your team. If you’re responding to a question, ask follow-up questions to clarify details.
- Encourage more conversation: End posts and newsletters with a prompt to facilitate more conversation. Open-ended questions are a great way to do so.
- Highlight important comments: Take advantage of social media platforms that let you highlight or pin specific comments. You’ll show the commenter you appreciate their feedback, and you can use it as a simple way to share answers to common questions.
- Implement moderation: Though you don’t want to limit constructive criticism, you still need some moderation on public forums to keep spam bots and other inappropriate comments away.
Find Them On Social Media
You probably know the power of a well-planned social media strategy, but there are several steps that digital publishers can do to leverage their platforms.
When sharing your publication’s content to a social feed, use attention-grabbing headlines and excerpts as your caption, followed by an invitation to share or comment. You can also repurpose existing visual media, like video clips or infographics, into easy-to-share content.
Pay attention to what your publication is being tagged in across the web — note any trends or complaints, and consider checking your competitor’s social profiles to see what they are doing differently. You’ll also want to stay up-to-date on each platform’s changing algorithms and any viral trends or topics your audience cares about.
2. Understand Your Data and Analytics
You can use data analytics from your website, social media platforms and search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to learn more about your audience’s wants, needs, habits, demographics, values and more. It’s a great way to monitor which outreach methods work and which aren’t worth the time or money invested.
Use this information to determine things like:
- Your subscription retention rate.
- Which content types, topics or creators are most popular with your audience.
- Where most of your traffic comes from, including the specific landing page.
- How your audience responds to different calls to action.
- Creating and understanding audience segments.
3. Reward Readers Through Discounts and Special Offers
Incentivize subscriptions, memberships and engagement with things like:
- Referral rewards programs.
- “First month free” or “freemium” subscription options.
- Discounted sign-up costs.
- Tiered membership options with loyalty discounts and rewards to encourage top-tier access.
- Exclusive content, interviews, behind-the-scenes media or other special interest pieces for engaged subscribers.
- Free downloadable content.
- Coupons or discounts to partner companies or organizations.
As long as you balance the cost of the reward with the value it brings your publication, incentivizing can be a valuable way to increase long-term engagement.
Consistent Engagement Starts With a Great Digital Platform
Consistent engagement starts with consistent content. For that, you need a reliable digital platform packed with features that optimize your content to grow and maintain your readership.
Schedule a demo with Nxtbook Media to see how our platforms can transform your publication’s processes with support for things like searchable content, in-depth audience analytics and responsive design for a better reader experience.