Audience engagement has always been essential to growing a brand’s audience. However, the digital age has reimagined audience engagement strategies and growth across the board. Content creators have never been more engaged with their audiences than they are now. Platforms like YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Reddit and Facebook have allowed creators to grow their fan base at rates that weren’t possible even a few years ago.
Today, audience engagement is crucial to growing your brand. Alas, this isn’t something you’ll achieve overnight. It’s going to take a lot of planning, research and time on your part to grow an engaged audience. With a keen understanding of how to engage your audience and track your progress, you’ll be on your way to building a thriving community.
What is audience engagement?
Audience engagement is how creators and brands measure how much their audience is interacting with the content they’re creating. Metrics like likes, shares, and comments are all indicators of engagement and help creators develop the best strategies to grow their communities. Many creators and companies use their audience engagement to land partnerships and determine how much their audience interacts with their content. If audience engagement is high, it means your content is catching your viewer’s attention and could potentially draw in new people due to the content’s success.
Why is it important?
There’s a lot of reasons why audience engagement is important. First, it builds trust between you and your audience. People who feel engaged are more likely to trust your brand because they feel socially connected to it. They’re more likely to pay for subscriptions to your channel and help share your content. Because of that, your content will be exposed to their friends and family and potentially get them to subscribe to you as well. Additionally, content or channels with high amounts of interaction will appear on the top of searches more consistently on platforms like YouTube and Twitch.
Sponsors also consider audience engagement when deciding to work with you or not. Brands want to work with creators that have a high engagement level because their audience is more likely to try the products their favorite creators advertise.
Strategies to increase audience engagement
Be active on all social media platforms
Social media is a powerful tool for growing engagement. First, be sure to share all of your uploads and streams to your social media. This ensures your audience knows you’ve posted or you’re going live. It’s also a way for you to interact with your audience directly. For instance, you can reply to the comments on your post. Or, you can ask a direct question to our audience and receive feedback. Be sure to respond to at least a few comments that stand out to you. By replying — or even simply liking a comment — you’re showing to your audience you’re listening to them. People invest more of their time into something when their thoughts and opinions are valued.
Another way to bolster your engagement strategies is to make the content people want to see. The best way to find out what people are looking for is to do some keyword research. Finding keywords with excellent SEO scores will help your rank higher in Google’s algorithm. It’s best to use keywords with a high search rate and a low ranking difficultly. A high search rate indicates a lot of people are looking for content about this subject. A low ranking difficulty means there isn’t much content out there on the subject, so it’ll be easier for your content to rank at the top of searches.
Also, you can ask your audience in the comments of your video, in a live poll or in a social media post what kind of content they want to see from you. Asking will help you generate ideas and give you a general idea of where to start with SEO research.
There are many SEO research tools out there, with options like Ahrefs and Semrush standing out in particular. They provide an in-depth report on SEO terms and can help find related terms that’ll help you rank better. However, they’re both quite expensive ($100+ per month). For creators just starting, you can use Google Trends to track popular keywords and topics. You can also find related key terms as well.
Keep consistent with your posting schedule
Your audience wants to have a healthy amount of content to watch. Try to create a posting schedule and stick to it. Many creators try to post daily. This is proven strategy to keep engagement up, but it doesn’t work for many creators. The grind can be grueling, especially if content creating isn’t your full-time job. You don’t necessarily have to post every day to keep your engagement up. However, you do want to have a clear posting schedule so your audience can expect when they’ll see your content. Also, be sure to post often enough, so it becomes a daily or weekly event for them to watch your videos. Posting one video every three months isn’t likely to generate the same engagement as someone posting every day.
Use call to actions whenever possible
It might seem like a no-brainer, but not enough creators do this. If you want your audience to get involved, call on them to get involved with your community. Start by reminding your views to like, subscribe and share your content. If you’re a streamer, ask them to follow you on your social media and to subscribe. Twitch offers one free Amazon Prime subscription for viewers who pay for Amazon Prime and have linked their Amazon accounts to Twitch. Each time you call on your audience to do something, a good number of them will do it.
Talk to your audience in your content
Include your audience in your content. For recorded videos, try speaking directly to your audience. This will require you to know who your audience is if you’re talking to them directly. Make your videos feel like you’re addressing them directly. It’ll make them feel like you’re speaking directly to them. If you’re streaming, read what your chat says and respond throughout the stream. Utilize the streaming features you have access to as well. For instance, Twitch has live polls and channel point betting. These all will make your audience feel like they’re a part of the conversation and stream because they are a part of it.
Strategies to track audience engagement
Most social media platforms allow creators to track analytics for their posts. For instance, with the YouTube analytics tool, you can track your number of unique viewers, the average time your viewers stay on a video and the number of likes a video gets. Be sure to use the analytics tools available to you. YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have their own tools to help you track engagement metrics.
Here are a few general metrics you want to pay attention to when tracking audience engagement.
- Subscriber/followers gain overtime
- Bound rate (how long a viewer is watching your content)
Besides keeping track of all these metrics, you can calculate your engagement rate. You calculate your engagement rate by taking your total engagement and dividing it by your total number of followers. You then times the number by 100. Your total engagement varies depending on the platform you’re using. For instance, Facebook calculates its total engagement using the total number of shares, likes, reactions and comments.
Calculating your engagement rate will give you an accurate estimate of your audience’s engagement level with your content. While keeping track of your total likes, shares and subscribers is important, your engagement rate is a better indicator of how you’re doing. Some creators have over a million subscribers but have a low engagement rate. Often, it’s harder for creators with a low engagement rate to grow their communities and convince brands to work with them.
Keep everyone’s engagement up
Engagement takes time to grow and it’s a delicate thing. It’s also something you have to actively engage with yourself to keep your audience engaged with you. Your relationship with your audience is what’s going to keep them engaged. You want to form a positive, healthy relationship that’ll create excitement and engagement whenever new content comes out or whenever you interact with them.