What is the digital marketing strategy for keeping your online marketing audience engaged?

Keeping your audience engaged online

Is your audience engaged?

What is the meaning of engagement, to hold one’s attention? How do you hold one’s attention? BY BEING UNIQUE! Okay, we have to make this longer than that.  What we are asking is do you have an engaged audience of your brand, essentially your funnel of potential buyers?
First, you might be wondering where do you need to build a marketing audience. There is an audience when you are in social media channels and there is another audience that is going to your website and reading the content you have there.  Knowing whether your audience is engaged is an important factor in the success of your overall marketing strategy for a couple of reasons. Let’s start with the reasons why you should care about this.

Marketing is all about vying for attention and going after engagement that gets your attention.

So it should come as no surprise that platforms what you to spend time on their platforms and therefore you need to pay attention to their engagement metrics. The platforms want to service up content that keeps their audience the user engaged and staying on their platforms.

Talk to them not at them, words matter.

This is common in a copy that does not use jargon and if jargon is necessary explain it to them in “tip graphics” of what it means. Conversational writing canKeeping your audience engaged  make the reader feel more like they are part of the conversation. This chart gives you some feel for how to do that. Essentially the words you use keep the content “social” or social media. It’s social, they will join in on the post.

Look at your competitors

There is a lot of content out there, so paying attention to what our competitors are doing can sometimes tell you what you should do and what you should not do.  They might have started a concept but did not finish the thought. Capture the opportunity to get the concept to the next level and think about your client first.

Stay on topic

When vying for attention stay on topic and niche.  For instance, you don’t need to do holiday posts or comments about current events in your blog post that are not related to your brand voice product or services. 

You confuse search engines and social media channels on what your content is all about.  It’s okay as we said above to step a little outside of what you do to pull in that audience as well.

Tell the story

Remember how much you enjoy hearing the story and it gets you involved.  Your product or service can be associated with the most common types of story plots. Take aspects of what you do and tie them to the plot with consistent content that tells the story. This can be done in a singular post or with a series of content.  But don’t keep doing the series tooling or you face the sea of sameness in content and content fatigue. You also need to look at this in terms of case studies, and telling the story of how you have helped others.  This all falls into the EEAT principles in ranking in Google and early studies show that ChatGPT and SGE results are looking for those same factors.  They want engagement, which we will show more below but for now here are story plots you can follow in the post and blog post.

  • Overcoming the monster.
  • Rags to riches.
  • The quest.
  • Voyage and return.
  • Comedy.
  • Tragedy.
  • Rebirth.

Use brand colors

When you created your brand you created colors that had a psychology to the emotion you are trying to pull out. It’s very subconscious, but using certain colors helps keep your audience engaged. We have talked about the color psychology of marketing before.

This also keeps those involved who already follow your brand.  Be careful to also ensure you through in some “off” colors or styles to bring a new audience in and not have creative fatigue.

Partner with key opinion leaders

There are likely people already in your industry who are talking the same content you are to your target client.  How can you collaborate with them to create content that helps both users?  There is a whole creator world out there trying to earn money by niching to certain audiences.  Find these influencers and see how to collaborate with them to reach their audience and get them to your audience.

Building an audience in organic social media is the obvious place.

This is the place you are used to seeing the building of an audience. You are used to building likes and followers but do those metrics matter as much anymore? We are building audiences differently with engagement.  More and more with social media you are no longer seeing who you are following or have liked but rather content that you are engaging with. We are being drawn to what we care about based on what we engage with.  As brands, engagement is more important than ever.

social media is now a search engine Social media is also becoming a search engine so posting on social media is becoming more important.  Platforms like TikTok are leading this wave and we talked about this. We will discuss below how ChatGPT and SGE results tie into this as a search engine in themselves but for now, let’s discuss how engagement in social media search engines intertwine.  The movement to organic social media and searching is high with 41% of GenZers prefer to use social media for searching. You need to put your content of what you offer and produce engaging content.  No one wants to be sold all the time so it’s a delicate balance.

Why engaging content?

So now let us go into how algorithms work with the engagement of your social media content.  The more engaged someone is with your content the more they are going to see your content.  The better the engaged the more you will get in front of more people (reach) of your target audience because of how your feeds now look.

So, it’s important in your social media to think of ways to keep your target audience engaged regardless if it’s what service that you offer.  It needs to be very close though.  You need to entertain on social media, you need to keep “social” well “social”. It also needs to be in the realm to get them closer.

This also plays over into your social media ads strategy in that the more engagement you have with your ads, the better cost you get and the better reach you get at no additional cost.  Your money goes further.

Even if the model of monthly payment models avoids ads that are currently being tested to abide by European models of privacy you still need engagement. You will still be trying to get your content in front of now-paying clients and engagement will still be king in social media platforms keeping you on their platforms.

More tips to keep your audience engaged on social

  • Create themes of content that are interesting and in the realm of the same type of audience that would potentially want your product or service.  For instance, think of a  fencing company that talked about the safety of your yard in terms of kids ith pools or otherwise, plants away from deer and other critters, regulations with homeowners associations, and privacy within their backyard.  Each of these talks about the types of people who would want a fence for these reasons but talk about the “WHY” not the “WHAT” of the fence and they will find you.  You will need to create a series of this type of content and organize it.
  • Create content in short form video which is obvious but takes more effort from everyone involved to bring someone into your world and make it interesting. This includes your team and the who, and what that is producing the product or service.
  • To get all our tips and tricks visit Writing Social Media Copy That Gets Engagement

Building an engaged audience on your website matters

Just like we have seen in social media platforms needing engagement to increase their reach, search has gone down the same path.

With the release of G4 a new metric came out of “engagement” and “engagement rates”.  Google has made it harder to find metrics of bounce rate. If you stay on those platforms then they can sell their products like Google ads and more.

This is a heads-up to the SEO specialists and marketing agencies that this is a ranking factor in content in search engines and perhaps in SGE results (Search generative results with AI).  We will talk about SGE results below and engagement.

The inside tip here is that you can produce content with AI now and Google is looking for ways to know that not only are you building content for knowledge but that your consumers are engaged.  Important metrics will tell you if your audience is engaged with your audience.

Within G4 alone if someone spends longer than 10 seconds, looks at multiple pages, or completes a conversion (that you determine) is considered an engaged audience to them and their G4 Metrics.

If you didn’t just see that clue, setting up what matters most to you in conversions is very important for you and for Google to know if your content is good. Choose wisely and get an expert to set this up!

How to create engaging content for your website.

We talked about the invention of why AI cannot be 100% relied upon for content creation in this blog post and it also gives you clues into what you need to have engaging content.

First, you need to be able to scroll and scan your content without having to read it all or be pulled into reading more.  This is usually the first layer ofEngagement is keeping your content scrollable getting someone to read your content.  This means you need to use proper SEO techniques for content with Title tags, H1, and H2 tags, and visuals.  You should be creating custom visuals for each blog post that are teasers of what is inside the blog post.  These will also help in organic social media and creating content to place there and build and draw an audience back to your website.

You should also take content topics and have them in multiple types of content such as written, video, audio, and images that we have already mentioned.  The topics are the same that you need to talk about but every user has a different way of absorbing information.  Again you need these multiple types anyway for social media audiences. You can read our blog about determining what the strategy is between choosing different types of marketing to understand where you should start.

Quick and down and dirty ways to make your content stick out:

  • Is it creative and innovative?
    • This will become important as anyone can create content but does it hit on a topic that is not being discussed in your industry? You will need to rely on the boots on the ground and your content team to ensure topics are being covered that are new.
  • Does your content have emotional intelligence and empathy?
    • Your content should hit on the emotion that your brand portrays as the most important to get some to the next step of feeling good after buying your product and service.  This is part of your brand voice.
  • Answer common questions people have about your products and services.  If you help enough people get what they want you get what you want, brand loyalty in your knowledge.  Be helpful!
  • To get all our tips and tricks visit Is content marketing still valuable in today’s world of AI?

SGE results and tools like ChatGPT also care about engagement.

Recent studies have shown that SGE and AI tools care about social media engagement in ranking results in their results.  They are looking for social engagement on other social media platforms as indications of authority.  If you go back up to what gets you more reach in social media it’s going to be engagement.
What is more eye-opening now though is that existing social media channels have AI tools using open AI and language models are being built directly into the platforms.  This goes back to social media channels acting like a search engine for consumers to find what they want but only if the social media platforms keep you there by good engagement.  No matter how you slice this, engagement in your brand and what you put out in the form of content, is the long-term game.  Just remember you own your website and not social media channels, so what you put out there should be in both places as a matter of stability.
This channel of GPT might not last long as tools and platforms we are already using integrate AI within the tool and platform so there will be less of people going to ChatGPT if they can get the same output as with the current places they are going.
But SGE is built into Google search results so understanding how 57% of these searches are different than regular search results is very different.
The same elements we have described as helping with engagement with content also play into how to show SGE results.

The sea of sameness is possibly coming to with organic social media and written content

The invention of AI is making it easier to create content, which right now is an advantage to get ahead of others and create good content fast, however, it needscreativity is the secret sauce to your marketing oversight to ensure you have the creative edge. As content is massively produced you are going to see a lot of levelness of those with the same content.  You will need to search for ways to be unique to stand out.

This same uniqueness is what got your engagement in the first place. If you start to look like everyone else you will lose your edge and start to experience content blindness where your audience is no longer intrigued by what you are producing because everyone can do it.  It will be tricky to stay ahead while not being too far ahead and too trendy.

Being unique and different creates engagement. AI will wear off its uniqueness and only now are you able to seize the uniqueness you must always ride the waves of being unique and reinvent your brand while holding to your core values. Do you have your core values written out and what you stand for?

Some newer technologies are coming out that will be able to detect if an image was made with AI, the interesting thing these tools are being made by AI giants like Open AI. One has to wonder if this will make consumers attracted by the wonder of what AI can create or against and want custom unique art.  There will be a separation of audiences with engagement. Written content despite any tool out there is virtually impossible to detect.

Engaging content with Zero Click Marketing; This is where it gets tricky.

Zero Click MarketingWe have to bring up the plethora of zero-click marketing that is now out there and will continue to increasingly grow. If you are not paying attention to this wave happening then you are going to get lost on how important engagement is and tying it to results.

You have an audience where there is no click and you need to see how engaged that audience is with those resources that you’re putting out. These can be things like podcasts, webinars, search generative results, online events, short-form videos, and more.

One of these sticks out more than others and that is SGE or Google results that are AI-generated.

Leading experts including us, conclude that if you haven’t already seen it, you are going to see a decline of up to 25%.

There is a shift to the top parts where podcasts and short-form videos are more engaging than Google results. We get what we want quicker.  So how will google respond?

They want your content to be engaging.  They are looking at your G4 metrics for engagement on pages. This is why you now see engagement results for the search console (if you set it up right in G4) pages. You make your content available for zero-click marketing and SGE results by answering questions.

Research is showing that up to 57% of what you see in SGE results are not what you see in regular Google searches.

What is being discovered in SGE (or ChatGPT results) are back to EEAT principles which in a lot of ways tie back to your content engaging. Google says in its latest updates that they are adding a”E”, which is:

“Now to better assess our results, E-A-T is gaining an E: experience. Does content also demonstrate that it was produced with some degree of experience, such as with actual use of a product, having actually visited a place, or communicating what a person experienced? Save There are some situations where really what you value most is content produced by someone who has first-hand, life experience on the topic at hand.”

This is telling the story, ( go back to the top), and getting better engagement. It’s all tied together.

With SGE and many other types of content now day they do not have a click at the end of them so there is no longer a direct tie to your website.  Completion of the desired action can now happen in these resources with sometimes no measurable outcomes.  You see this with social media channels like Facebook now promoting direct messaging within social media posts, CTA’s in Webinars, Podcasts, and short-form videos. You will see more branded searches as they google later to get contact info and perhaps maybe go to your Google my Business page (no click).

But it’s still based on getting engagement to get seen.

In conclusion, cultivating an engaged audience is a multifaceted endeavor that blends creativity with strategic insight. It demands a keen awareness of your audience’s behaviors, especially in the evolving landscape of zero-click marketing and social media-driven search trends. Your content must be innovative and emotionally intelligent, woven into narratives that echo the diverse stories your audience connects with—from triumphs to transformative journeys. Employing rich, branded visuals and a conversational tone will make your content more relatable and shareable. Moreover, aligning with thought leaders and influencers can amplify your reach and authenticity.

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Why “engagement” is the main AI indicator of success online – #105

Listen to “EP #105 – Why “engagement” is the main AI indicator of success online” on Spreaker.

Follow along with us this week as we explore engagement.

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About the Author

Jennifer Denney

Jennifer Denney has been in digital marketing since 2006 and has seen a wealth of changing landscape in digital marketing. She has seen the rise and fall of many marketing tactics.  She is deeply rooted in understanding the metrics that showcase the value of certain types of digital marketing. She produces weekly live shows with Lorraine Ball, solocast with Elevated Marketing Chats, and conducts a weekly podcast called Elevated Marketing Dot Podcast.