Jump to Content

Why is audience engagement important?

illustration of coins

What you’ll learn

  1. Types of online engagement and how to measure engagement
  2. High engagement numbers are more important than having a lot of subscribers or followers
  3. Reader feedback can help you create better content
  4. Audience engagement helps your bottom line

Whether you’re just dipping your toes into the waters of content creation or you’re a long-time influencer, you know there’s a lot of work to...well, making it work. Understanding audience engagement can help.

While the number of followers you have matters to a certain extent, it’s how engaged they are with your content that’s a more valuable metric. A large number of followers doesn’t mean much if they aren’t reading or commenting on your posts or sharing or clicking on your website’s affiliate links. High audience engagement helps you stand out, and it creates a positive feedback loop that makes your content more meaningful to your community—and it can also lead to brand partnerships and other monetization opportunities in the future.

So what is audience engagement?

Fans can engage with your content in three main ways: they can react, amplify, and/or respond. This can take different forms, with likes, comments, replies, shares, or clicks on affiliate links or CTAs (Calls to Action) being most common.

To measure engagement, look at your chosen metric (link clicks or number of shares, for example), and divide it by your number of readers or followers. The percentage you get is your engagement rate, with one to five percent being average. Anything over 10 or 15 percent means you’re killing it!

Artist and creator Rigel Gemini shares, “I can tell if my content is resonating if it reaches a lot of people, gets shared, or attracts new people. The most exciting moments are when I can tell a piece of content reached new people that I had never reached before. That's a signal that I am on to something! And usually it means that I am connecting with people on a deeper level whether it's related to humor or excitement or interests.”

Quick tip

Make it easy for your readers to know how to engage. Do you want them to share? Click on a link? Guide them to the most important option.

Action items
  • Declutter your blog posts! Before posting, make sure there aren’t too many different calls to action or links that take readers off your site.

Rigel Gemini realizes that he’s onto something big when his content gets in front of new readers.

Engagement can make you be a better content creator

Engaged readers keep you on your toes. They’ll let you know which posts are interesting and relatable—and which aren’t. You’ll also get instant feedback on which platforms work best for which types of content, what time of day garners the most response for different posts, and if you’re publishing at the right intervals.

Comments and replies from your followers can also be a great source of ideas and inspiration. They tell you what your community is thinking, what’s important to them, and what they want to learn from you. It’s the perfect way to better tailor your content to reach and connect with them. But keep it authentic—you’ll gain (and retain!) a more dedicated audience when the true you shines through.

Nikki Apostolou, the beauty and fashion blogger behind The Cosmeholic explains,“Through watching, questioning, and interacting with my audience I grew to learn about them as much as they learned about me. I allowed them to tell me what they were interested in and what they weren't. Once I realized that certain products, stories, or certain reviews did better than others, that's what I stuck to.”

Quick tip

Use follower feedback to guide your content, but don’t get hijacked by it. You’re the creator, so stick to your areas of passion and expertise!

Nikki Apostolou lets her readers inspire her content.

Does engagement help your readers?

By publishing content for individuals with a shared interest—be it style, gardening, or retro gadgets—you’re doing more than imparting your wisdom. You’re creating a community, and giving your readers a chance to connect and communicate. Offer options to interact with you, whether it’s in the comments section on your website or latest YouTube video, or in replies on a post. Then respond as much as possible. It lets your followers know you’re listening and care about what they think. Sharing tips and advice AND making someone feel valued? That’s a win-win.

Nikki Apostolou shares, “Your audience wants to feel appreciated. Take the time to personally reach out to them. See what they are up to. Go to their page. Show as much interest in them as they show in you. You may not be able to reach everyone, but taking the time every day to reach even a few won't go unnoticed. The appreciation will create a more loyal and connected audience.”

Quick tip

Loyal followers depend on you to post at regular intervals. Use a scheduling app and have a reserve of content ready so you won’t be caught short.

Helping your bottom line

Meaningful interaction with your community is a reward in and of itself—but it doesn’t pay the bills. Fortunately, a good engagement rate reaps concrete benefits, too. Highly engaged readers are more likely to share your content, increasing your exposure and driving more traffic to your website. And they’re more likely to trust your recommendations for products, raising your sales or affiliate link revenue.

Robust engagement also shows potential sponsors that you can relate and connect to your followers through fresh, relevant content and great storytelling. It tells them that your fans aren’t passive—they’re reading and listening to what you say, they’re responding, they’re taking action. It tells them you’d be a great influencer to represent their brand.

Action items
  • Check your analytics or Google Search Console Insights to see which types of content get the most engagement, and which affiliate links are performing best.