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Great Content Isn’t Enough: You Need To Incentivize Your Readers To Engage

Digital content has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past several years. As mobile devices have assumed increasingly higher places in daily lifestyles, publishers have had to answer to these shifting consumer behaviors and deliver content that supports audience’s rapid media consumption and demand for rich media story formats across all digital platforms. But creating more content and across more media still isn’t enough, because publishers’ content is still, by and large, a one-way street.

Publishers produce and distribute content for audiences to passively consume. Giving audiences a place to participate and rest assured that their contributions are heard and driving further conversation is paramount if publishers want to remain relevant in the lives of their target audiences. The Internet, and social media, have given individuals a voice; and if publishers want to remain relevant, they, too, have to encourage and amplify individual engagements.

The problem is that the commenting sections of these sites have never been prioritized. Many readers don’t participate simply because they think that content creators are not actually listening. It’s time for publishers to announce to audiences that, not only are their voices valued, they are imperative to publishing’s decentralized and democratized future. It’s not just the overall attitude toward site comments that needs an adjustment; publishers also have to integrate systems that make it easier for them ignite and respond to impactful user comments.

More publishers are trying to find ways to better optimize their online presence to encourage readers to actively participate in the stories they share, and one of the ways they are doing this is through the implementation of a on-site technology designed to drive useful commentary.  

SolidOpinion’s commenting platform was constructed with these objectives in mind. It is not just making it easier for publishers to distribute their stories and engage with their readers’ commentary; it is actually incentivizing readers to participate. SolidOpinion’s unique commenting technology is fueled by a proprietary token system, which encourage audiences to interact with the content they’re consuming.

These Engagement Tokens rewards user-generated and native content, making it possible to keep audiences engaged and on site. Readers who participate in discussions on publishing sites receive tokens for their engagement via SolidOpinion’s platform, gamifying the comments section and incentivizing the generation of high-quality, interesting and engaging content and returning audience control to the creator of the content. What’s more, the platform helps advertisers identify articles with higher levels of engagement and buy marketing space based on popularity and potential reach for their target markets, further incentivizing the generation of high-quality, engagement-driven content. Through this system, articles that garner more interaction are more highly rewarded by publishers, commenters, and marketers alike.

The innovative technology also helps to account for trolls — the bane of message board existence. As a moderation solution, the SolidOpinion platform ensures that positive, productive comments are pushed to the top of the section to encourage a community that is not just participatory, but also respectful. Toxic commenters are more easily managed, so there is no disruption to the audience experience.

NextBigFuture, a publisher focused on disruptive science and technology, recently made the switch from WordPress to SolidOpinion as their CMS of choice because WordPress did not allow them to successfully mine the comments for crucial audience data and spark more active participation within their comments section. As of December 2016, over 25% of websites across the globe were run on WordPress. While this content management system is intuitive and makes it easy for publishers to display content, WordPress is designed for blogging, not conversing. With technology specifically focused on reader engagement and interaction, SolidOpinion is offering what other platforms are promising in the future — the chance for publishers to facilitate a more participatory platform.

If you’re not already thinking about sparking greater audience interaction, you’re missing out. Igniting conversation on social media platforms is one thing, but fueling it on your actual publishing site can lead to even more insightful audience data and interaction. Furthermore the more you encourage readers to stay on-site and participate in your content, the more your site will offer engagement value to advertisers. But before you can entice advertisers to pay for contextually relevant placements on your site, you have to prioritize comment mining. Making site optimization changes that automate moderation and incentivize audience members to take the time to offer their responses is the first step to creating a content destination that actually serves audience interests and advertiser demands.

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