Our world is increasingly online. The number of internet users has doubled globally in the past decade and now reaches 56% of the world’s population, with the average user staying online more than six and a half hours per day.
Stateside, where 81% of American adults use the internet daily, 53% of adults describe the service as “essential.” Social media, streaming content, and e-commerce all continue to rise in popularity, and we can expect these trends to continue. For marketers, this means that people’s attention is up for grabs.
We’ve seen this current landscape cause inbound marketing efforts to skyrocket. Our own website traffic has increased substantially as more and more visitors look for information to meet their needs. In fact, we’re not investing in outbound at all right now because our inbound efforts are doing so well.
There’s never been a better time to capture and captivate audiences. If you’re creating content, think about how you can maximize your efforts and tap into what your viewers or readers want to see. When you can meet people where they are, you’ll make the most of your inbound investment.
Below are four ways to capture audience attention and make your content applicable and engaging.
Revisit Your Cookie Practices
If you’re like most people, you can easily recall a time when you viewed a product in one browsing session and saw ads for that very item the next time you hopped online.
These days, it’s hard to remember a time before retargeting became commonplace.
Marketers have wholeheartedly embraced this technique because it works. The average click-through rate for a retargeted ad is between 0.8 and 1% — a seemingly small number that’s actually 8.8 times higher than the CTR of normal display ads, according to AppNexus.
As internet usage increases, browsing sessions are becoming longer and users are spending more time on individual websites. With the increase in website traffic, marketers are enjoying an all-you-can-eat buffet of cookies, which can be an incredibly valuable source for retargeting if they’re used in the right way.
If you want to know how to implement cookies strategically, segment your audiences by URL to group them according to which areas of your site they visited. You can then display relevant sequential ads for a short time after, but be careful not to overdo it. A frequency cap will help restrict how many times the user sees your ad over the next month. You want to periodically remind them about an exciting product, not drown them in a deluge of annoying ads.
Focus On Strategies that Promote Responsiveness
If your business revolves around in-person interactions, it can be especially difficult to engage with a remote audience, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
The Getty Museum in California engaged patrons and potential visitors in a new way through a social media challenge that encouraged people to recreate their favorite artwork using only three household items. Tens of thousands of users took up the challenge, and the results were both creative and hysterical.
With increased internet use, there are more methods than ever for measuring engagement.
You can reach out to your followers on social media and prompt their feedback. Think about ways you can invite engagement. For example, your brand could participate in a viral video challenge (like the ones on TikTok), or you could spend time writing longer, more personal posts that encourage conversation.
You can also conduct marketing research surveys or add pop-ups on your website for users who are about to leave.
Surveys not only reveal audience insights that can help shape your content strategy (which we’ll explore in the next takeaway), but they also foster engagement as people directly impact your brand.
And pop-ups offer one last chance for website visitors to continue their sessions.
No matter what approach to engagement you take, find out where your audience spends time online and plan to meet them there. With the right data and information, you’ll be able to turn every content touchpoint into a useful experience for your audience.
Segment Your Funnels and Drip Campaigns
More people consume digital content, but that doesn’t mean a single type of content will appeal to everyone. Instead, it’s vital to segment audiences and create a drip campaign for each persona based on the content that originally ignited their interest.
There are several ways to determine what kind of content they’ll be interested in, but the easiest and most reliable way is to just ask. This is where marketing research surveys come in handy. You can gather information about audience preferences, validate their responses with trials, and then direct your time and money toward the mediums and subjects they’re most interested in. Creating exactly what your audience wants can churn out an impressive ROI.
When working on a campaign for a prominent TV channel with original programming, we surveyed hardcore-loyal fans of a specific series (“Show X”) to find out what kind of content they were looking for. We identified them by asking, “Do you consider yourself a hardcore fan of ‘Show X’?” Once we had them screened in, we asked specific questions to narrow down the content they were looking for, such as:
- “What do you most commonly search for on Google regarding ‘Show X’?”
- “What are the biggest questions about ‘Show X’ that you have?”
- “What are you most excited to see in the next season of ‘Show X’?”
Our results to these questions told us what characters the fans cared about the most, what storylines they wanted to see play out, what content they enjoyed reading, and some of their biggest questions. If you conduct a similar survey, you can pinpoint what will resonate with your remote audience.
Optimize the Content Format
After we got the results of the survey on “Show X,” it was time to optimize. We conducted keyword research to ensure their blogs would drive maximum website traffic, and we optimized page titles, meta descriptions, heading text, page copy, and interlinking. These efforts resulted in a 122% year-over-year increase in organic visitors. Webpages also landed Google featured snippets — a major win, considering that 43% of people won’t scroll down the first page of search results.
While the ideal type of content varies based on industry and audience segments, it’s hard to go wrong with video. Cisco projects that online videos will constitute 82% of all online traffic by 2022, and 85% of businesses say they already use video for their marketing efforts. You should look into creating videos that will garner your audience’s attention.
Webpages featuring video content can be optimized for both search engines and engagement in a few easy steps:
- Make text formatting updates.
- Include CTAs like “Watch now” and “View now.”
- Create information sections with actors, genres, runtimes, and other pertinent details.
Our similar efforts on “Show X” webpages led to a 1,057% year-over-year increase in total video plays.
People are spending more time online than ever before.
That’s why now is the perfect time to implement content strategies that capture your remote audience’s attention and move them through a segmented sales funnel.
The business world has been hit hard, so well-designed content initiatives can result in a clear return.
Use these four ways to capture audience attention as you increase your inbound marketing efforts this year.