Let’s face it – your audience is suffering from too many distractions and too much noise. It’s up to community managers to cut through the fog and make an impact in their communities, whether it be brand communities, media audiences, or professional and enthusiast groups.. Think about it for a second – how much content that you’ve seen have you actually engaged with? I’m guessing it’s very far and few between. Your audience members are bored. Bored with generic forms asking for your information, and bored with what’s out there.
After 10 years spent helping community developers solve this problem, here’s CredSpark’s take on how to increase community engagement and inspire your audience.
Use Audience Data to Inform Your Engagement Strategy
Most community managers recognize static content like old whitepapers and brand messages as easy to control, promote and change. But it’s also boring. As soon as a community member accessed it or saw it, the chances they’ll ever have a reason to come back are slim to none. When you boil it down, static content is a way for communities to talk at your people, instead of talking with them.
You can use interactive content to solve this problem, in the following ways:
Make use of engaging and ever-changing interactions – community managers can attract and retain their audiences. Put efforts into your engagement strategy that will help you grow and retain your community, while allowing you to gain data and audience insights that sponsors or your organization’s management want.
Create interactive content that leads to more engagement, improves metrics, and delivers a better brand experience for your community.
Use these interactions to identify which types of content your community members resonate with the most. Figure out where your people are, and follow suit! Remember to talk to your audience in a way that provides value to both your community members and your organization. Gain audience data and audience engagement in exchange for something, whether it be knowledge or value.
Different ways Content Gamification can help Increase Community Engagement
Content gamification is a remarkable way to converse with your audience while generating first-party audience data, but most importantly, it lets your community have fun! Humans are naturally cooperative, but also competitive–we like to know how we’re doing in comparison to others.
Content gamification is a fun and engaging way to motivate and educate your audience at the same time. This is where interactive content really blooms.. In terms of the number of data points and insights generated, gamified content leaves static content in the dust. The next time you are wondering how to expand your content efforts, consider these gamification methods:
A timed quiz – Timed quizzes foster engagement. Questions typically will get more and more difficult to answer as time passes on, and forces the user to stop and think for a moment.
Quizzes with badges – Quizzes with badges are great for visual engagement and gratification. When introduced with a point-scoring system and timer, users get competitive!
Scenario-based quizzes – Combine a scenario with game elements and generate a realistic learning environment that creates a real-life sense of competition and urgency. Make your audience feel the call to action and act accordingly.
Leaderboards – Who doesn’t love a competition? Give your content a competitive edge; incentivizing action, helping you identify experts in your community, and uncovering key statistics about your user base. Besides – who doesn’t want more audience data?
When you leverage gamification principles in your content strategy, the results will speak for themselves. Gamified content is already being used by many companies, as its e-learning experience capabilities have been proved to be extremely effective and efficient.
Turn Flat, Evergreen Content into Engaging Interactive Experiences
Generating interest is the cornerstone of building an engaged community, and is only doable with audience data. Offer innovative interactive content that sparks conversation and interest, and organically encourages users to share. Remember – valuable content isn’t just something you create for your audience – your audience can create content for you too!
Highlighting user generated content within your community not only adds to your brand voice, but allows for your community to see their peers in the spotlight, and be a hero. This will bring in more content and new ideas, but most importantly, more data.
Audience data will benefit communities and be a key player when informing what content or topics to create. Based on what data you have, you will be able to converse with your audience in a more compelling way, instead of the boring and straight-forward monologue communities are used to. When you listen to your audience, and follow through, your content will speak for itself.
And another idea: – find out what’s not being talked about by your audience. If you can be the first to talk about a unique topic, you not only generate traffic and attention, but establish your community as an expert in the subject matter, and gain respect. Your audience will respond and add their own knowledge which helps you understand your audience more deeply.
Community engagement can be difficult, and it may feel impossible to capture and keep your audience’s attention and retain their interest. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Interactive content offers a new and exciting way to stoke community engagement and generate more data from your audience. When you think about it like that – maybe it’s time community managers play a few games and get into the mindset of a gamer.