Rules For Engaging Content
Its all the rage….That’s right it doesn’t matter who you talk to or were you go, the hot topic at the moment is content, content, content! Everybody wants it and everybody needs it, the one item that can guarantee hits to your website or social media channel, good engaging content! So why are people still so bad at it? I mean we all read, listen or watch content on a daily basis, surely we would all understand now why we chose to do so? Well that’s not true and many people are missing the basic rules in ensuring your content stand out above the rest.
Follow our rules for great engaging content to maximise the success of your content!
1. Calls To Action (CTA)
I know what your thinking, sign up forms, email subscriptions or the dreaded buy now! But a call to action does not have to be used as a hard sell, in fact as long as your prompting the user to do more than just read, your using a call to action. The more you look out for them the more you notice them and believe me, the are everywhere!
When used properly a call to action can actually increase excitement amongst the readers as well as creating an enjoyable reading experience. By asking your readers to do something you are prompting them which increases engagement. You could give them another source to research “look at what they had to say” or even set them task “email us your examples”. The more elobrate the better as your doing something different from the norm. I the past people have developed their own unique CTA’s with their own unique rewards!
Using a CTA also helps create a piece journey. As you work your way down the article you begin to feel like reading is leading somewhere, then you finally hit the reveal, “watch what happened” and you can’t wait to find out because your journey has come to an end, and it ends with the big reveal! Although you don’t always have to have your call to action at the bottom of the page, many fit perfectly in the middle or start of an article.
2. Be Human
If you are offering your opinion to a subject, relaying some new information, writing about a technical subject or whatever your content might be about always remember to be conversational. Writing in an easy to digest manor makes your content easier to absorb for the average reader. Try to stay away from big confusing or dull sounding words, instead try to use everyday language no matter what the subject is. Always keep professional but never be afraid to let your personality shine, it’s what makes a good journalist or a good author, the expression in their words and the language they use. A good tip is to pretend you are talking to a friend, if you write comfortably and like a human, readers will engage and connect with the piece. Ask open ended questions and challenge your readers, try get them thinking outside the box and hope they leave with much more to think about.
Pretend you are the audience, read your piece back and ask yourself, Does it connect with me? Does I understand it? Do I enjoy reading it? If the answers aren’t yes then you definitely shouldn’t be posting it!
3. A Picture Says A Thousand Words
Not just pictures! That’s right the more visuals you use the more visually pleasing your piece is, the more interesting it is, the easier it is to read. It’s not just about using pictures either, in 2016 we have a wealth of technology at the click of our fingers, most of it for free.
Next time your trying to sum up a boring subject full of data why not turn it into an interactive infographic and really grab your readers? If your trying to relay a lot of information in a short and sharp way, why not reach for the motion graphics video? Even throwing in a couple of reference images to go alongside your writing helps your audience submerge themselves in the subject.
40% of online users respond to posts with visuals instead of just text and videos are around three times the amount. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and visuals are processed 60,000 x faster in the brain than text. If that’s not enough to get you reaching for camera than nothing ever will be!
Ensure your posts always have at least one high quality image at the start. Its just like with newspapers, it’s the cover photo and headline that sells the papers. Always ensure you have the correct permission to use the images or you could find yourself in a very hairy situation.
4. A Strong Title For A Strong Start
Just like with newspaper or tabloid its the headline that pulls you in, the approach is no different when writing content. Try creating a shocking or compelling title to start you piece and put the effort in that’s required to create a title that your audience will want to share.
A strong title can make all the different between which piece you click on, you are setting the tone for the rest of article, you are managing expectations and trying to build them up! A clever exciting title can have your audience excited as they click the link. We’ve all been there, scrolling through a blog feed and suddenly something catches your eye, you sit up, click and wait!
Just be warned, no one likes click bait (posting false or misleading headlines that attract hundreds of viewers but then does not deliver the goods),
in fact it can have a huge negative effect and damage the trust between you and your audience.