So, why is creating engaging content SO important?
Your content is essentially the draw card that reels your audience into your site, service or store. It’s the beginning of the relationship – the first impression. By grabbing your audiences attention from the get-go, you’ve instigated a two-way relationship with them. You’re providing them with something they’re enjoying, and therefore creating the ideal environment for them to invest in you further. Engaging content can open the doorway to more leads.
When it comes to creating engaging content there are a number of factors that come in to play, some of which are crucial. We’ve narrowed this down to four categories to illustrate (what we believe to be) the secret behind engineering readable, sharable, and enjoyable content.
Firstly, be relevant. The biggest news story of the day might have zero to do with your business. So however tempting, always stay relevant to your brand and what you do. If there are any newsworthy topics, innovations, or trends happening in your field, by all means jump on the bandwagon and have your say. Being current will show your audience that you are on the ball.
Be relatable. Ask yourself, who is my audience? What tone will they relate to? Professional and authorative? Or friendly and personable? There’s no wrong answer here. Tailor your tone and general subject matter to the majority of your audience. Go for pleasing the masses, rather than attempting to please everyone and playing it safe. Personality is key to creating engaging content and this can still be achieved with a professional tone – don’t be misguided!
The idea of “take-aways” is giving your audience something for nothing. Something they can literally take-away from your article, e-newsletter, or social post. When creating your content it’s easy to forget WHY you are writing the piece. By always bringing it back to the reader, and assessing the content for helpful, new information, you can be sure you’re staying on track. Along the way, ask yourself: what are they getting out of this, and will they share it with their peers? Am I providing my audience with information that will a) be repeated to someone verbally or b) be deemed worthy to share on social media?
TIP: Provide factual information backed by examples (where possible) to develop trust with your audience.
The Visual Effect
Considering the pace that people view articles these days, it helps to have some visuals for those who want to speed-read your content. If they can get the gist of what your saying by just skimming your article, provided that they like what they see, it’s likely that they’ll then commit to reading more, or all of your written content. If not now, then later.
Beautiful, instructional, or inspirational, adding life to your pieces really is essential. While some may argue that you can’t tell a story without copy, others (i.e the entire graphics department) will tell you that the conversation is initiated with the visuals. Bring your story full circle with visuals that speak to your copy – whichever comes first. Allow your copy to influence your image choices, and allow your image choices to mould your copy.
Bring in a third party, for example, share a link to a resource that you have no affiliation with. Ultimately it will benefit your audience, not yourself. By throwing a third party a bone, it shows your audience that you care enough to share something with them – something that helps them, not you!
Another element of third party incorporation is including quotes from reputable sources – including testimonials from happy clients. This adds an element of professionalism and trust between you and your audience. Plus it’s always good to back up your statements with facts and stats, so throw some numbers in (be sure to reference your resource) to add weight to your argument.