How do you create engagement in a virtual environment?

Our world is becoming more and more virtual – even more so in today’s business climate. We’re increasingly running and participating in online events, sharing more content and generally spending longer online. 

This means businesses have an opportunity to get their brands in front of new audiences, but it also brings new challenges. Getting your content to engage and have a meaningful, lasting impact, is increasingly difficult.

From blogs, to social media, to virtual events, engagement is key, but how can you best achieve that?

 

Website content and blogs

Your website blogs showcase your expertise. 

Your blogs should be informative, helpful and – most of all – engaging. But, when the current situation is leading to more people and businesses finding the time to blog, how can you cut through the noise?

 

What does your audience want to know?

Analyse your target audience groups – what do they believe.  What are they struggling with? How can you help them? 

Blogs and articles which generate the most engagement focus on what their audience wants to know. Tools – eg social media, Answer the Public etc – help you research and ensure your content is valued by your audience, Aim to find a common ‘pain point’ or problem which really resonates with readers, prompting them to share the content with others.

Also remember, people will only lend their attention to a piece of content which has something in it for them. Before you publish a piece of content, put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer and ask the question, ‘so what?’ – why is it helpful to them and why should they care? Is that clear from your content?

 

Social media

Social media is all about engagement – it’s about pushing past the ‘broadcast barrier’

Don’t spend all of your time and efforts posting updates – people don’t go on social media to read content by one brand, that’s what your website is for. Instead, focus on spending time reading others’ posts, interacting with them, resharing them and commenting on them. This will generate a much higher level of engagement.  It will also put your brand in front of other audiences in a more discreet way.

 

 

Webinars and other virtual events

Another rising trend, propelled by the UK’s lockdown measures, is webinars – the alternative of a face to face seminar. However, it can be difficult to prompt people to sign up, or indeed, to show up.  

There’s a lot to think about to run a successful webinar::

  • Have a clear and relevant purpose
    Much like blogs and articles, people need to see the value in something before they dedicate their time to it. Think about what your audience wants or needs to know and design your webinar content around this.
  • Start with those you know
    If this is your first ever webinar, start by personally inviting people you know, who would benefit from the content. That could be existing or previous customers, or recent prospects you’ve interacted with. Encourage those people to pass the link on to others they know.
  • Allow yourself enough time to market it properly
    Don’t rush it. Allow yourself a few weeks to get the word out there – through social media, emailers or other platforms. Give people enough notice so they’ve space in their diary.
  • Don’t let them forget about it
    When people register their interest, capture their email addresses/contact details. This will allow you to send out event reminders, prompting higher attendance on the day.


Ultimately, every business is different. As a result, the ways we go about creating engagement will differ. 

For more specific advice on boosting engagement with your target audience, please get in touch with a member of the Kinetic team.

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