Recently, we published a series to increasing reader engagement for publishers. Over the course of six chapters, we walked you step-by-step through proven tactics for sparking reader engagement. This journey started with listening to your readers as the foundation for building a strong relationship with your audience. We learned strategies for leveraging comments to craft more engaging content, developed ideas for hosting events to foster a sense of community, and identified common barriers to increased engagement and how to overcome them.
If you want readers to start commenting on your site, it's not enough to just add comments and expect them to figure it out on their own. In this final chapter, we’ll share five solutions to improve your readers’ commenting experience by addressing common barriers to increased engagement. Let’s get started.
A highly engaged audience can be a your most valuable asset. In this chapter, we’ll explore strategies for fostering loyalty from new readers and retaining your most valuable audience members through incentives and recognition.
Today’s readers engage with your content across several channels. More than ever, readers find, read, and interact with content on social media, email, and in mobile apps. The most successful publishers employ a multi-channel strategy to foster engagement and connect to their audiences. Here are some best practices to increase reader engagement when leveraging channels outside your website:
Events bring people together around a shared experience, creating a powerful sense of community. An event could be anything from a Q&A forum, a live video stream, or simply a place to hang out. As long as it involves a group of people gathered together by a common purpose, you have an event.
In 2015, New York Times Community Editor Bassey Etim was speaking on a panel about community building and moderation when he said: “We have to treat comments as content.”
Listening is the essential first step and establishes a framework for building strong relationships with your audience. Reciprocity is critical. A strong community includes both you and your readers. By listening to your audience from day one, you align the goals and expectations of both parties and ensure that you remain an embedded part of your community.
Your comments section provides a space for readers to participate in the conversation, learn from different viewpoints, and engage directly with you, the publisher. Whether you’re an aspiring movie critic or a growing local news destination, your publication’s success is driven directly by the relationship you have with your readers.