Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule to give an answer to the question posed in the blog title – although that doesn’t mean you should stop reading, there’s good stuff, I promise.
There are a myriad of entirely unique and circumstantial reasons behind what drives engagement and what doesn’t, and its different for each business. All we can do as marketers, content teams, community managers, and whatever other title you've got, is give ourselves the best possible chance to capture a user’s attention. This post will help to give you some ideas on some of the best ways to increase your user engagement and the benefits it can have for your business.
First, let’s clarify what engagement actually means:
User engagement represents the number of users who remain actively engaged with your app or website over a given period. This effectively measures whether your users are finding value in your product or not. It is an incredibly useful metric and a great indicator of overall business health and can lead to truly wonderful things *cough* revenue *cough*.
Engagement rate is also a useful counterpoint to churn rate, and as one rises the other one is sure to fall. Therefore, it is vital for any business worth their salt to keep their mind on engagement metrics as an important KPI.
When considering how to increase user engagement, bear in mind that no two users are the same, and no two user journeys are the same either, therefore any attempt at improving engagement requires flexibility, creativity, and a deep understanding of what your users require.
And Stories from Storyteller, naturally.
One of the hardest things to do is establishing a habit, and using an app or website frequently is no exception to this. When thinking about how to increase user engagement you need to think how to treat that first user interaction. If its difficult or awkward to get started, chances are someone won’t even bother. Onboarding is an incredibly powerful part of the user journey and vital to starting a relationship off on the right path.
Stories can play a vital role in this as they are highly engaging and can walk a user through each step of onboarding, show them around your app or website, and point out useful things that you can do. As you add new features, you can introduce them with Stories directly in front of the user as well. The sooner you can get your user to their “a-ha!” moment, the sooner they can take you on as part of their content consumption cycle.
2. Have a conversation:
It might be simple advice that would sound more at home on a dating blog, but it is no less important for user engagement. Try to think of a time you really paid attention to someone who was just talking at you, droning on and on non-stop, just saying things at you and not letting you get a word in edgewise – kind of like this post actually... If you’re polite you probably let them talk for a bit and then slowly start to ignore them until they become blissful background noise. The same is true for businesses who don’t let their users have their say. Their updates become background noise that is easier to ignore than engage with.
However, if you’re able to strike up a two-way conversation you can start to build a real relationship with your user base. Using Storyteller’s engagement units such as polls and quizzes, you can drive a conversation with your users and get them actively engaging with you on your app and website. It also gives you invaluable market research opportunities as you can see what your engaged users actually want to see making.
3. Create Content Regularly:
Which leads us on to the next rule of increasing user engagement, keep it fresh - and we’re not talking about vegetables here. I you don’t have anything new to show, people won’t bother looking. Therefore, having regular new bits of content to show you users will keep them coming back for more. Stories can be a great way to showcase the latest content you create with the ‘New’ tag indicating Stories they’ve not seen yet. As a highly visual and engaging piece of content Stories are instantly watchable and easy to consume when strapped for time. They can help make your app or website a go-to for updates.
It also helps to make sure the content is engaging and interactive so your users value what they’re seeing and check back to see if you’ve created anything new. A regular content schedule will keep users coming back for more, time and time again.
4. Create content relevant to your users:
However, regular content alone isn’t enough to keep a user coming back. The content you create needs to be relevant to each user. As much as you might want to create a Story detailing an incredible expose on the latest season of Baking With The Bachelor it might not fit be a relevant fit for your user base - although we can't think why. The content you make needs to resonate with your user base by providing them value.
However, as each user is different and what they want to see is different, you need to make varied content as well. With Storyteller you can use categories to make sure you’re displaying relevant content across multiple Story. There are numerous different scenarios that categorised Stories work in, one such example would be a Sports app with different sections of the app for different sports, or even different teams within the same sport. If you’re a Lakers fan and kept on seeing Celtics content you’d be pretty angry. With categories you can keep these storied rivals separate and keep both users happy creating a great customer experience.
5. Use Video:
You’d be hard pressed to find anyone to argue against the strength of video for capturing our attention and keeping it. Just look at Tik-Tok. Just look at it. Look. Now suddenly you’ve lost half an hour of your day to video, without even meaning to!
Using video effectively is a cornerstone of user engagement, although over-use can dull the effect and fatigue your users. Stories are a brilliant format that pair seamlessly with video content as they enable you to tell a quick story and to tell it on your own terms. Video storytelling is a not an easy practice to master and we’ll be sure to write a blog post on it in future; in the meantime, Storyteller’s analytics let you see in real time the engagement rate of each Story. By seeing what’s working and what’s not you’re able to tailor your content towards the content your users engage with the most.
6. Stay True To Your Brand:
With that in mind, be sure to remember to stay true to who you brand is. Authenticity is something easy to lose when chasing engagement as trends rise and fall. And while in the short term it can be useful to ride a fickle content wave, if you surrender yourself to chasing pure engagement, your users will lose faith in your brand.
86% of consumers say that authenticity is key to deciding what brands they like. When creating your Stories, you need to know yourself as well as you know your users. By staying true to your brand, you can build authentic, meaningful connections with your users and make them more willing to engage with you. By letting a user into your world with Stories you can be more personal and share things ‘in your house’ so to speak. Social media seem performative, whereas a Story in your app and website isn’t asking to be seen, it’s something to be shared.
7. Give It A Go Yourself With Storyteller:
There are no rules for how to increase user engagement and what works for one business won’t for another. There are more ways than ever to engage your users and keep their attention. To boost engagement brands, need to be proactive and connect and interact with their users at every opportunity. By giving users a consistent and exceptional stream of Story content, you can show them what they want to see, and help them navigate your business, highlight updates and keep them coming back for more. Creating and posting stories with Storyteller puts you in the best possible position to increase your user engagement.
Start telling your user’s your Story today with Storyteller by signing up for a free trial.