Reader loyalty is a big deal. Without it, you may have short spikes of incoming traffic and brief periods of increased readership, but your traffic will be inconsistent and you won’t see overall progress over time. On the other hand, if you manage to increase reader loyalty, each new reader you acquire will be likely to stay with you, reading more of your work, seeing more of your brand, and ultimately buying more of your product.
There are a variety of strategies you can use to increase reader loyalty, each with its own applications and varying degrees of potential success. But if you’re interested in increasing reader loyalty as quickly as possible with only a handful of simple content changes, these strategies are ideal for you.
Visual elements can make your piece much more appealing and much more engaging, and it doesn’t take much to add them. This is especially useful for instructional or how-to articles; you can take pictures of the process happening in real time, and use the images to illustrate what you’re describing in text. But in-text images aren’t limited to only tutorial use. You can also use memes or reaction images as an amusing way to illustrate your sentiments and points throughout the article—as long as your brand voice allows that degree of casualness. Doing this makes you more approachable and makes your content more memorable, which will keep your readers coming back for more.
If you write all your pieces in the tone of a Wikipedia article, people aren’t going to remember you. They might remember the information they read, and they might be genuinely pleased with how you answered their questions, but you won’t have left a lasting impression, and because of that, they’re unlikely to revisit you. If you want to engage your audience more directly, adopt a more conversational tone throughout your piece. Use sentences of varying length, use colloquialisms, and talk to your readers as if they are your friends. Doing so will create a sense of welcoming, and will invite your readers to return to your site in the future.
There’s nothing wrong with borrowing from the authority of others. In fact, if you never cite external sources, it might look like you’re inventing everything off the top of your head or that you don’t read any other material. If you demonstrate your own authority by showing that you’ve read other works, your readers will be more likely to consult with you in the future. In fact, citing other works gives you a slight suggestion of superiority, indicating that you’re adding to an existing conversation and building on existing value rather than simply regurgitating it.
When you write an article, be on the lookout for opportunities to link to other articles you’ve written. This process is known as interlinking, and it’s incredibly useful in building reader loyalty—plus it has the added benefit of increasing your domain authority. You can introduce another article using a phrase like “I talk about this in more detail in a previous post titled…” or simply add an embedded hyperlink to text relevant to whichever article you’re showcasing. However you choose to do it, do it regularly and help your readers venture deeper into your brand presence.
This is a simple addition you can include at the end of your article, but it goes a long way in building your readers’ loyalty. For example, if you ask your readers, “do you believe this is true?” you’ll spark a conversation, which will keep your users on your page longer and give them more exposure to your brand. Plus, when readers engage directly with the material, they’ll be more likely to feel a sense of camaraderie, and they’ll be more likely to return to your site in the future.
You could qualify asking your readers’ opinions as an interactive element, but there are many other options to be had. Getting your users to directly engage with your material is a pivotal step in getting them to bond with your brand. It can take whatever form you like, as long as it gets users to take an action—for example, you could include a reader survey or a quiz that readers can take.
If you have an original idea or a lot to say about a given topic, make an ongoing series out of it. Create a multi-part miniseries or simply make it a weekly institution for your blog—whatever you do, make sure your readers know there is always more to the story. Use compelling headlines with “part 1,” “part 2,” and so on, and allude to the other posts in the body of each article. Knowing there’s an ongoing series will keep your readers hungry for new material—your material, specifically.
These strategies are neither intensive nor complicated, so don’t waste any time in applying them to your existing content strategy. The sooner you can start building customer loyalty, the more time you’ll have to reap the benefits, and the more those benefits will compound. Be sure to revisit your content strategy on a recurring basis to evaluate it in terms of its impact as well as its adherence to your brand standards—you will have to make occasional adjustments to keep things fresh
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.