featured photo via the lovely Ocean Spirit USA
There’s a TON of articles out there on boosting your Instagram engagment.
If I had $1 for every time I saw a blog post on increasing Insta engagement, I could retire at the ripe old age of 24.
This is not that article.
I think that doubling down your time on building your Insta engagement can be slightly short-sighted.
What you can focus on instead is building your overall brand engagement.
As a PR pro, when I’m looking at a blogger or influencer for some kind of campaign, I notice how many comments are on the blog posts, how many of the comment actually really address what she talked about in the post, how many replies does she get on Twitter?
As a brand, if you’re paying attention, you can see exactly what bloggers are getting tons of real, genuine engagement with every facet of their brand.
That brand engagement is always way more valuable to me than saying, “Oh, Laura has a 30% engagement rate on Instagram! Great!”
How to Boost Your Brand Engagement and Why Bother: PR Edition
The PR version of thinking about brand engagement is a little bit more strategic and more all-encompassing.
Here’s my thoughts on “brand engagement” versus focusing on your engagement on Instagram.
Every blogger wants to talk + pitch their Instagram engagement.
And that’s great. It’s important to know that number and be comfortable with it.
But one level deeper?
Think about the engagement that your overall brand receives from your readers.
- How many replies do you get on Twitter? How many retweets?
- How many DMs in response to your Insta Stories?
- How many readers respond when you send out your weekly newsletter?
- How many comments do you get on new blog posts?
- Do you see people recommending your blog + content on Facebook groups?
And if you’re in comment pods of any kind, don’t count those obly.
That brand engagement is the kind of engagement that is much harder to fake.
1. Focus on time on site
Time on site is one of my favorite things to look at when looking at a blogger’s stats.
Don’t know that word? It’s literally just how long one reader spends on your site.
To me, it really separates the good from the great.
Focus on building a path through your site, keeping your readers engaged, downloading, reading, signing up.
Take this example.
I am newly obsessed with Ashlyn Carter from Ashlyn Writes. Like her content and her tips is one of the reasons I”m keeping my head above water balancing my blog, clients, brands, and life.
So, I found Ashlyn from my friend, Sheila from In Search of Sheila on Twitter. Sheila tweeted that she was obsessed with Ashlyn, and I was like “Well, I have to at least check this out.”
I arrive on a blog post
she offers a sample of a welcome packet for clients – checkmate – I sign up for that –> now I’m on her email list
she interlinks to a blog post on “day batching” – I need to make my days more efficient, so I click
I spy more content I like in her side bar – I click (duh)
now she’s offering me another free checklist – I sign up
You guys get the point.
By this time, I’ve spent AT LEAST 5 minutes on her website, downloaded two freebies, and read 3-4 articles.
♡ some tips?
- interlink, interlink – make sure you interlink your blog content – it’s one of the easiest ways, especially on mobile, to bring your readers from post to post
- remember that the sidebar won’t show on mobile – don’t bet too heavily on including something critical in your sidebar. It won’t show up on your readers’ phones.
- make sure in your WordPress links, you’re NOT clicking “open link in new tab” – when a new tab opens, your reader’s time on site starts over
Related Reading: How to Use Google Analytics to Guide Your Content Strategy -> here
2. Growth hacking your platforms
This term is a little bit too “Internet marketing-y” for me but what can you do.
Kind of similar to increasing your time on site, growth hacking is using ALL your platforms to grow each other and bounce your readers between them.
It’s like time on site but for your entire brand.
Lauryn Evarts from The Skinny Confidential is a FAB example of this.
Again, let’s break it down.
on her Insta Story, she sends you to her podcast
on her Insta Stories again, she sends you to her blog
on the blog, she drives you again to her podcast
♡ benefits to growth hacking
- increase your followers – duh. By driving your readers from blog to Instagram to Twitter back to the blog, you’re going to pick up some follow numbers along the way.
- increase overall engagement with your brand – again, you’ve now driven a reader to look at your Instagram, read a blog post, find you on Twitter and maybe retweet you, read a blog post again, sign up for your email list.
- it’s organic – it’s not paying for a facebook ad to tell your readers where to go. You’re using your own content and knowledge about your readers’ interests to send them back and forth where they need/want to go.
Related Reading: 5 Do’s + Don’ts To Up Your Instagram Stories Game –> here
How to Boost Your Brand Engagement: Focusing on time on site and growth hacking
So, the 2 ways to boost your brand engagement?
Focus on your time on site and growth hack on your own platforms.
When you boost your overall brand engagement, it really helps you stand out in terms of legitimacy and authority to sponsored post opportunities.
And most importantly, you’re keeping your readers engaged and spending time on YOUR content.