Content that Sinceriously Engages Your Audience: Lessons Learned from Actor Stephen Amell
Actor Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen on CW’s Arrow, runs his own social media pages and numerous charitable and business campaigns. He does content right, particularly in a social media setting. His ability to engage an audience of millions lets him coin the word sinceriously, raise millions for charity, and get a major league baseball player voted into the all-star game. It’s probably been good for his career as an actor, too.
So, how can you take content into your own hands, vigilante style, to drive traffic to your business or freelance writer website? Here are a few content optimization lessons gleaned from following Stephen Amell’s Facebook page.
Talk About What Matters to You
Sure, you have to incorporate keywords and meet other arbitrary requirements for strong performance on the search engines, but Google doesn’t dictate what you talk about. Find creative ways of putting passion to your prose. Amell talks a lot about his acting gig as a vigilante hero, and that obviously does matter to him. But he also talks about his family, his wine business, his Comic Con fans, and his charitable efforts.
What does Amell’s exuberant content bring to his page? Millions of fans – fans who take action. Amell recently asked fans to vote Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson into the Major League Baseball All Star game. They responded in droves, and voting numbers skewed to heroic proportions.
What can passion-filled content bring to your site? While you might not garner millions of fans, when your interest and experience shines through on a site or social media profile, people will take action. Action might come in the form of backlinks and shares, which are always good for optimization. It also might come in the form of conversions, which is good for the bottom line.
Involve Your Audience
Amell doesn’t just speak to an audience – he is a part of a community created around his brand. He involves the audience in his endeavors, enjoys inside jokes with them, and talks about “we” instead of “I.” He runs #FanArtFriday and #MemeMonday, when readers contribute images to his page that he later shares. He even asks his followers to opine on future business or charity endeavors.
Getting your audience involved helps optimize your pages and profiles in a number of ways.
- User-generated content fills your pages with relevant text and imagery while removing some of the burden from you or your staff. Just make sure you moderate content to protect your brand image.
- People are more likely to share or link to content in which they are involved.
- Engaging users drives organic traffic to your pages and sites. All you need to know about this is that search engines like organic content the same way soccer moms like organic juice packs. That’s a lot of like!
Awesomeness tends to optimize itself. Granted, awesomeness is subjective, and pleasing all the people all the time – you know where I’m going with that. But you don’t have to be awesome for everyone; you just need to be awesome for the majority of your audience. Even Stephen Amell has a disgruntled fan from time to time, but he regularly takes time to be awesome for everyone else.
What does being awesome look like? It looks like involvement, kindness, professionalism, courtesy, and thinking of others. Yes, you’re running a business. Yes, you have to make a profit. But content that is all “me, me, me” doesn’t engage, doesn’t create healthy links, and doesn’t keep people coming back for more. Being awesome is easy:
- Share helpful, entertaining, or uplifting information
- Promote products, services, or people relevant to your niche – even when they don’t belong to your company (you don’t have to promote direct competitors to do this)
- Definitely promote your customers when possible
- Develop partnerships with your audience: give customers a platform for sharing how much they love your product
- Support local and other charities in whatever way you can, even if it’s just through exposure
By following some lessons learned from Stephen Amell, you can optimize your content through organic links and other methods that go beyond keyword placement. Next time you write or order up a blog post or article, ask yourself: “How can I be awesome for my audience?”
Writer Bio: Sarah S is a content vigilante. That doesn’t require fighting crime at night or learning to shoot arrows that explode, though she secretly wishes it did.