- The most important rule for creating engaging content is to create things that you’d want to read, watch, or listen to yourself.
- Don’t make SEO concerns the sole focus of your content development process; it has its place, but the focus should be on the reader.
- Visually interesting content is always more engaging, especially on social media, so make sure your content includes high-quality images.
- The secret to successful content is making it as authentic and relatable as possible.
Content is a big investment. Whether it’s a blog post, a video, an infographic, or something else, every new piece of content takes time and money to create. The more you put into it, the more you need to get out of it, and engagement—measured in views, clicks, shares, and likes—is the name of the game.
But no matter how much market research you’ve done, you can never know in advance how well a piece of content is going to perform. Will it go viral, or will it disappear into your social media history without a trace? Ultimately, it’s up to your audience to decide.
While there may be no such thing as a sure thing, you can maximize your content’s chances of success by following these simple engagement-building strategies.
Think like your audience
The single most important rule for creating engaging content is to create things that you’d want to read (or watch, or listen to) yourself. You want your content to speak to your customers about the things that matter to them, and that only happens when you put the audience first.
Some marketers seem to think content creation should focus solely on data—what the competition is doing, what the latest Google algorithm looks for, and so on—but in our experience, that path leads to a frustrating development process and unsatisfactory results. There’s a place for data in content marketing, of course, but it should come into play after you’ve thought about your customers’ real-life questions, problems, and interests.
In other words, don’t make SEO concerns the sole focus of your content development process. If you think something will be interesting to your audience, chances are that Google will agree with you.
Add visual interest
Videos and images might take longer to create than a few paragraphs of text, but the effort is worth it. Visually interesting content is always more engaging, especially on social media. A well-known BuzzSumo study found that Twitter posts with images average 150% more engagement than text-only posts, while Facebook posts generate 230% more engagement when they include an image or video. (Speaking of which, a recent Buffer study indicated that images, not videos, are the most engaging form of visual content.)
The impact isn’t limited to social media, though. Blog posts and other types of web content can all benefit from the inclusion of well-placed photos and graphics. Images not only convey more information than text, they also break up text into manageable chunks, making it more likely that readers will keep reading all the way to the end.
Make it personal
What you’re really trying to do with your content is create a personal connection with the audience. The most effective way to do that is to include real-life details and opinions along with the facts, advice, predictions, or other information you’re offering up. Authenticity, rather than perfect style, should be the top priority when you’re writing and editing your content. It’s great to be grammatically correct, but if you have to break a few rules to tell your story in your own voice, go for it.
The same goes for images. Whenever possible (and especially in your most important content), use original photos and graphics rather than stock images. Original work might cost more, and it will certainly take longer to create than downloading a file, but it also allows you to tailor your images precisely to your message and will have a more authentic feel. It also means you don’t have to worry about one of your competitors using the same stock image in their own content (it happens more often than you might think).
Personally, we here at Redefine Marketing Group get our biggest thrills by helping our clients create engaging, effective content, so get in contact and let’s start the conversation today!