How to get engagement for your app, marketing, and sales? This is the biggest question that every business owner, app developer, and influencer asks themselves. Understanding the types of content people engagement will guide you on what content you need to make for the types of engagement you want.
If you break down all the content, tools, and software you engage with every day, they can usually be categorized as one of these 3 or a combination of them; Disagreement, Entertainment, and Help or Helping. Each category has a different type of expected engagement and metrics. Understanding this will allow you to create a better user loop with your marketing, product, or business.
Disagreement is the strongest form of engagement because it evokes a negative based emotional response while feeding into people’s need to correct what they perceive as being wrong. The types of actions or engagement that disagreement content causes are usually interaction between and with viewers through comments or replies to comments. This content does get shared and liked, but usually only by those that are on the side that supports it.
Take a look at any political post to see a great example of this, take note of how many comments, and comment replies these posts get. Compare this to the number of replies to comments on content that is one of the other two. Social media platforms understand this, and their algorithms tune for this content to be presented to you to boost their user engagement metrics. If you aren’t running a social media or news platform, using Disagreement-type content can be challenging as it requires taking a side through your product and creating a user engagement loop around it. If successful this could cause you to lose customers who are on the opposite side of you. So it is a bit of a double-edged sword.
Entertainment is the second strongest form of engagement as it relies on positive emotions, which have less impact than negative emotions like pain and anger. Granted, positive emotions are still powerful and if a product or service is tuned correctly, they can become addictive (reference below). This type of content will typically cause more passive engagements like a “like” or a “view”, and is more likely to be shared than other content. Commenting on entertainment is not done at a rate as high as Disagreement content, and is typically done to share to others by tagging and sometimes to relate to the content.
Social media feeds are also a great example of this, specifically TikTok which tends to target what you will find entertaining. Another great example is games. All games have some sort of winning or milestone-type system in place. These systems allow the game to create challenges and if a user completes the challenge they are rewarded. Pairing the entertainment while playing followed by the reward of winning, creates a very effective user engagement loop. This is why a lot of apps use some form of gamification (additional reading below) during onboarding, as this is when users typically have the highest rate of churn after getting access to a product.
Help or Helping
Providing or getting help is the third highest engagement type of content due to help or info content being niche and usually a “by request” type of content. In other words, either the audience/user you are targeting has to have interest in the topic or they must be actively looking for help in the topic. Typically this content will get likes, and comments thanking or asking for further help.
Blogs and industry-specific help platforms are how Help content is generally created and shared. Think of a marketing platform creating marketing-specific content, or a platform like StackOverflow for developers to ask questions or find answers to similar questions. Interestingly though, most software created today is of the helping type. Every Software as a Service company is helping its users do something. As is the nature of helping content, these software services can either be needed every day or every couple of months. Figuring out the type of help you are providing is extremely important for understanding your user engagement loop.
Understanding the type of app, product, or content you are making will let you see how to approach your users, and help you set your engagement metrics and expectations. In addition, this should give you a better insight into what types of content you are not using enough to promote your product.
Article on dopamine addiction from digital media
Article explaining gamification