Creating content that reaches a large number of people is great. But reach without engagement or conversion is only good for brand building, not for revenue. It is quite challenging to create a compelling content: one that will push people to act or interact with your brand. One that will not only convey your brand message, but actually invite people in. So what are some key aspects to consider when aiming for engaging content?
Know your audience.
It might sound basic, maybe too basic to you, but it’s a key overlooked by way too many people. Knowing the target you are trying to communicate with is the first step to engaging. Who are they? What do they like? What’s their lifestyle? Do they have time to read your stuff? If yes, how long would they spend? And what time of the day would they most likely be exposed to your content? And another hundred questions you can ask yourself to further define your target exposure. Knowing your audience’s lifestyle and preferences will get you closer to curating a content that will really speak to them.
Add visuals. Lots of it.
Adobe conducted a study on social media back in 2014 and found out that Facebook posts that included images produced 650% higher engagement than regular text posts. If that’s not enough to convince you, go ahead and tell us that you don’t like pretty images. Because that’s not true. You do. We all do. Infographics and well-designed visuals are eye-catchy and trigger engagement. If you give people the choice between reading a bloc of text or getting the same information through an infographic, the choice is quick and simple. So there it is – engage through visuals.
If you can, add motion.
Visuals are great, and they are better if they move. Reading is good, images are great, but studies have shown that videos generate much better engagement numbers. Remember that visuals help you retain someone’s attention. Motion further helps that process, by keeping the user interested for hopefully long enough – until you’ve passed on your message. But that depends on the quality of your visual.
There are alternatives to video production, as it can be costly. GIFs are another option increasingly exploited by many brands, the main objective being to retain attention and trigger engagement. Another alternative, one that we like at Sprkle, is called cinemagraph and a good example for it is Flixel. It’s really the perfect marriage between photo and video, where only a portion of a photograph would have motion. It is said to increase engagement by an average of 100%.
Make engagement easy.
Don’t make your content painful to read/view. Always keep in mind the user experience and how they feel when interacting with your brand. Because you will know your audience in and out (you will, now that you’ve read the first item in this article), you will know what they expect and how long they will spend reading your stuff. Unless your audience is an institutional investor who will spend hours reading research studies and analyzing performance reports, then you don’t want to overwhelm people with useless data. Stay clean, fresh and content smart.
While posting about what type of soil is best to grow pink roses in Arizona might get your engagement, it will do so because you are in the landscaping business. But it sure is not a “hot topic”. Following trends is in our nature. Studies have shown that we follow trends for peer acceptance. We want to know what’s going on so that we can be interesting to others. Kind of an egotistic thing, but understandable.
When applicable and if it makes business sense, follow popular trends and set up new conversations, new ways to engage with your audience and generate a dialogue. Create new paths to drive discussions, even if it is between users. Bring fresh content to your audience, and help them stay ahead of the game. They will love it, they will engage and they will speak highly of you.
Creating engaging content is no easy thing. It requires time and effort, both understanding the audience you are curating content for as well as producing relevant and useful format that will help you increase interaction. But at the end of the day, it really all is common sense. Know your interlocutor, aim for high-quality production, think smart and be trendy.