3 Forms of Digital Audience Engagement for Publishers


Especially in the age of social media, consuming media content almost runs on autopilot. Posts and stories are viewed and scrolled past just as a new post catches our attention. So what's the secret to creating longer retention rates on your content and encouraging brand loyalty? Our answer: engagement. 
By responding to and interacting with content, readers gain a sense of connection to the stories you're sharing and, in turn, your brand. Especially younger generations follow this trend as they are used to interacting with their media through likes and comments. In this post, we present three types of interactive media behavior and describes how media providers can leverage these engagement forms to better connect with their audiences.
3 young people laughing while doing something on their phones and talking to each other

#1 Click Engagement: Interaction via Surveys

Interaction in the form of click engagement is primarily anonymous participation. This form of engagement includes multiple-choice questions, quizzes, or surveys in which respondents interact by clicking on an answer without having to provide personal data. This forms of engagement can be added within articles, liveblogs, or at the end of videos. A prerequisite for this type of engagement is a large number of participants for representative results to learn more about your audience. This interactive strategy aims to learn about the general attitude of an audience and not gain information about an individual potential customer.

liveblog engaging audiences


Click engagement is simple, fast, and effective. Entertainment and curiosity are in the foreground, as many people want to know how their answer compares to others, especially when answering multiple-choice questions. In addition, respondents often answer on impulse and listen to their gut feeling, which contributes to an unbiased result. According to statistics from  Apester , engagement rates can be increased by up to 20 percent through this type of interactive content. Publishers can use this form of engagement to gauge what formats or topics their readers are most interested in, for example. 


Since the users reveal little about themselves, only a broad consensus can be gathered.

#2 Long-Form Participation: Personal Information

Whether it's a rousing anecdote or an opinion on a sensitive topic, when users reveal personal information by typing a response, it's long-form participation. This is most commonly seen in comment sections of articles and within live chats in liveblogs. While this form of interaction can also be anonymous, depending on the publishers' preferences, it also requires more initiative on the reader's part. This additional initiative often leads to more detailed information. Long-form participation informs companies about what makes individual consumers tick and offers opportunities to generate conversions and leads.


Media providers gain deeper insights into their target groups through their audience's detailed responses. These responses allow the media teams to analyze and draw conclusions about their readers and let them improve their working methods and procedures to fit their desires and needs.


This form of engagement requires more initiative on the part of the reader. Since a personal response is required, leaving a detailed reply takes more time and effort. To increase respondents' motivation and effort, provide incentives like highlighting thoughtful comments with unique titles or "awards."

#3 Shared Engagement: Gain Reach via Social Sharing

Shared engagement is when people share liveblog content on their own media channels (i.e., blogs or social platforms), and their followers respond to this post. These kinds of posts gain reach and spread awareness about your brand. Followers of these channels then react to the liveblog content with comments, likes, or reposts. A more targeted version of this type of engagement often used by B2C companies is the use of influencers.


If the goal is to gain reach, shared engagement can be quite helpful. This makes social media users aware of media providers and their content and often helps increase subscriptions on the respective channel.


The disadvantage of this form of engagement is that it does not take place on the publisher's website but the platform of the user(s). This means that readers' engagement with the publisher's content cannot be monetized via ad revenue.


When deciding what form of engagement to use, publishers should consider their audiences' needs and preferences, age, and communication style. Different audiences prefer different forms of engagement. Consistent monitoring can help identify which forms work best for which topics and formats.
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