Content creation is essential to your digital strategy, with engagement being the most pertinent part.
But what is engaging content, why do you need it and how do you go about creating it?
Firstly let’s address the why because if you do not understand the reasoning behind doing something for your business, you will not see the true value in doing so. This could risk a drop in content production, thus a dip in an effective social media strategy.
Engaging content can directly boost sales, attract leads, increase website traffic, and grow your organic reach, putting you in front of hundreds, even thousands, of potential new customers.
The power of social media has skyrocketed businesses’ growth potential. We no longer need to rely on print and radio advertising alone. Brands can now cleverly put themselves in front of consumers in a more interactive and fun environment that can produce true fans, followers, and purchasing customers.
Engaging content is content that encourages an action whether it be a like, a follow, a website visit, or an immediate purchase.
This type of content stands apart from the ‘noise’. It grabs attention and evokes some sort of emotion, like curiosity, excitement, or happiness. These emotions then trigger an action such as those examples listed above.
Okay – this sounds great! But, now what?
How can you go about putting together something engaging? And how do you know if it will work?
Well, there are a lot of ways to measure success. Outcomes can include tracking website traffic or measuring the percentage of post likes versus page follows.
However you decide to measure success will depend on the goal of your content, which brings us to the top 5 ways to create engaging social media content!
1: Define your intention
Simply posting content for content’s sake is just adding to the noise on social media – your content will drown with the rest of it.
By clarifying what you want to achieve with your post, you can better visualise how to go about hitting your target.
If you want to entertain, you know you’ll need to put something up that’s funny or visually appealing. If you want to educate, then you’ll want to put together something that’s intellectually interesting, factually correct, and new or relatively unknown.
Are you wanting to encourage comments? Likes? Website traffic? That will bring us to the second tip…
2: Provide a call-to-action
You’ve put in the time and energy to piece together the perfect content for social media – great. Now you need to give some direction!
Tell your audience to like the post, or to tag a friend, or to comment on their personal opinion. Ask them to visit your website for more information. Or invite them to share the post with their friends.
This is where you’ll want to consider your goal and the type of content you’ve provided. But remember not to make it too cheesy or desperate.
Involve your audience.
For example, you’re seeking more comments and you’ve posted a nice photo of a donut you’re selling, ask your followers to tag a friend they would share it with. Or ask them to comment on their favourite flavour.
3: Mix it up
Never get lazy with your content. Try new things – experiment.
What seems to work and what doesn’t? If it was working for a while and it’s not anymore, maybe it’s been overdone or it’s grown boring.
You can continue with the same messaging, but change how you’re presenting it.
Do you always post undynamic videos every week and seem to get a dismal response? Maybe you should repurpose the message and turn it into a cool infographic.
Maybe your photos need a bit more pizazz? Or maybe you need to cut back on how many articles you’re sharing..
A great idea for all brands, no matter how developed, is to check out inspiration and competition. See what others are posting and how people engage with it. Now mimic this approach and make it your own!
4: Tell a story
Social media is not the place to lay on your sales pitch thick. Please, stop doing it. You will turn people away, in fact.
Sure sale announcements here and there are great! Especially when they’re done well.
But social media is social. Get involved. Be personable. Connect.
Share behind-the-scenes photos, videos and stories. Highlight staff, achievements, and exciting changes.
Give your audience the opportunity to feel like they are a part of what you’re doing and you will make them feel like they can trust you – like they know you, and are connected to your brand.
5: Hook them in
The length of copy will vary with posts. Some call for punchy one-liners with an emoji while others will allow for a few short paragraphs. You’ll need a healthy mixture, but what you’ll always need is a way to instantly capture attention.
Social media users are more often than not quickly scrolling through loads of content. If your image or video does not immediately grab them, your words should.
Think about what makes you stop to read something. Was there a bright red exclamation point or bold lettering? Was it a certain word? Was it a question or a claim?
A good way to master your written language is to look at what others are doing. It doesn’t need to be a competitor, or even someone in your field. Pay attention to users you yourself follow on social media and try to pick up on why you’re drawn to certain content.
Once you hook someone into reading your content, you are infinitely more likely to get them to further engage.
The algorithm for social media platforms is always changing, but the ways in which you engage an audience largely remain the same. Create valuable content and you will be a success.
Take the time to game plan and analyse, and always be ready and willing to adapt and change. If you listen to your audience, you will know how to speak to them.