How to create engaging content
Create content that your target market not only sees but loves!
With a global user base of 3.8 billion people, social media is a must for the majority of businesses but turning audiences into a brand community is where the magic really lies. Spending time and effort to post again and again just to be met with low engagement metrics resulting in little return for your business revenue or brand awareness can be very frustrating and slightly soul-destroying. So why bother continuing, it's clear, social media is not for me, right? Well, not quite - your social media channels can be a place to build that thriving community you want and the ideal spot to direct your customers to that new product launch you've got coming up! The key is content that truly engages your audience!
Here's an outline of what we will be talking about, we hope you read on but just in case it's not for you - we wouldn't want to waste your time. Firstly, we will have a quick look at why content that engages is a big plus before diving into the "How to" part, this will help you solve those frustrating engagement metrics and boost customer actions from your social channels. Then we will sum it all up with some key takeaways, so hopefully, you're still with us...let's jump in.
Why engaging content is key
"Content is king" is the classic quote but if it isn't engaging then it's not king, it's pointless! We need to reframe how we look at content by pairing "engaging" with "useful" - content that is useful helps deliver value to people either by educating, entertaining or informing them whilst also pointing them to additional resources including products or services, which too is useful!
As a business owner, entrepreneur, creator or marketing professional the end goal is for your audience to take action - that could be downloading an e-book, making a purchase or clicking that "follow" button. Due to the abundance of choice and relative mystery that our digital world brings, potential customers need help choosing who to trust, this is where relationship building comes in to give brands that superpower of being trusted by their audience! Creating extremely useful (engaging) content helps businesses offer value into their target markets' lives consistently, this builds trust and authority so when that customer comes to take action their experience is more like one with someone they know and trust.
Creating useful content that adds huge value to users also lends itself to sharing, making your content have a more viral factor to it - a dream for any marketer!
Key takeaway - engaging content is the key to relationship building that will aid trust when customers are taking action.
How to guide
So, here's how to create content to engage your audience:
Create for your audience
The currency online is attention! To grab, hold and direct attention is the role our content plays towards hitting the overall goal therefore, keeping your audience at the core of what you create is pivotal - use language they use, visuals that will inspire their behaviour, solve problems they face. Your buyer persona comes in handy here as it will help keep your decisions audience focussed - if you're yet to create your persona then here's a tool to help.
Show, don't tell
Photos, infographics, videos are all perfect for grabbing human attention and generating emotion! Would you be more drawn to a post that is just an essay of text or would you prefer something with a visual? We know what we'd go for...
TikTok and Instagram Reels are the two trendiest social spaces right now, with huge amounts of engagement including good organic reach! Short-form video is most definitely in!!
Structure your content
Remember your contents' job is to grab and direct attention so thinking through how each piece will do just that is important. Start by identifying a piece of contents' purpose, what do you want your audience to get out of it and what do you want out of it? (This will shape your CTA). The next question is how will we grab attention? Will it be through the visuals (like we discussed in the previous tip) or through the words, this is why headlines are so important as they pique interest to read on, they act as a hook! Use headlines that will make audiences stop scrolling because they're interested, maybe they disagree or it is so relatable they need to know more!
Then content needs to direct people to their next step through a call-to-action! This could be as simple as "double-tap if you liked this post" on Instagram or "Share this article with a work colleague in the marketing team" but it could be more about driving revenue, these CTAs would sound more like, "New products tagged, click to shop" or "Get this look now through our Instagram store".
Structure really matters!
Research & Listen
These two work alongside your buyer persona. This type of research is about discovering the problems your target audience are currently facing, the questions they're asking and the solutions that they're finding most useful! A great tool to use here is Google, try typing in keywords into search and see what the autocomplete comes back with, this will show you what people are searching for most, these are the questions for you to answer with your content! Plus, the "People also ask" section on the search results page will also give you valuable insights!!
Social listening is a great way to shape your content creation! Hanging out in the comments section on competitors' posts will show any problems their audience have, including potential gaps for you to fill as well as what they absolutely love to engage with.
Bonus point - encourage feedback at every possible opportunity as the benefit is two-fold, users love being able to voice their opinion but that opinion can also give you valuable insights to shape your content strategy!
There is a lot of noise in the social media world, so creating content that makes people go 'wow' matters. You will create these moments by deploying a couple of the previous tips like really knowing your buyer persona and what makes them tick, researching to ensure you are solving real audience problems and structuring your content so that it is digestible aka user-friendly!
'Aha' pieces of content are relatable, original and highly useful, which makes them so easy for users to share - this spreads your awareness!
Other tips you've no doubt heard before but important to remember:
Be original and authentic
Tell a good story with your content (Hook, exploration, conflict, resolution)
Jump on trends to ride the wave
Post at the best time for your audience
Be on platforms where your target markets' attention is
Still with us? Awesome!
You can see the power of useful content as a key driver for hitting business objectives, whether they're growing brand awareness or generating more revenue! Content comes in all sizes and shapes but the 5 tips we've explored plus the 5 evergreen ones hold true whether you're creating a short-form video for socials or a long blog piece for your site.
They say we can only handle three things at once but we pushed the boat out with five (living on the edge, we know) but if only three could stick with you then remember these:
Attention is everything online - you're either getting it or giving
Place your audience at the core of what you do
"Don't make me think" - structure is key
Happy creating everyone, see you on socials if you're curious.