How To Create Engaging Content And Grab Your Audience’s Attention
Content marketing is the perfect way to get people talking about your products while providing useful information, tips, tricks, and tutorials. Yet, for content to be truly effective, it needs to hit that sweet spot in between serving your audience’s needs as well as your business goals. In this article, we’ll explain how you can have your content cake – and eat it, too!
Content marketing isn’t new. In fact, brands produce, quite literally, millions of blogs, articles, videos, social posts and more every year. 60% of marketers are even producing at least one piece of content per day! Yet, as you can imagine, much of that content misses the mark with its intended audience. So, here is a little refresher on how to create engaging content to help you reconsider how you approach content marketing.
First off, content marketing really works; it costs 62% less than traditional marketing channels, yet generates up to three times as many leads. Yet, like any other marketing or advertising channel, your content needs to be driven by a higher purpose and a strategy. Without this, you are just creating content for content’s sake and, more often than not, your carefully crafted content will fall on deaf ears.
Our tips on how to create engaging content will have you ready to transform your content marketing strategy and level up your content game, stat!
1. Know your audience
In a vast sea of content, your audience will only sit up and pay attention if your output stands out from the crowd. When considering how to create engaging content, your strategy should always put the audience first. Content should be useful, engaging, and relevant to your audience, otherwise, they won’t be interested. But how do you know which content will appeal to your audience? Well, you’ll have to do some research to find out specifically what information they value.
Your key considerations when it comes to understanding your audience should be:
• Your key considerations when it comes to understanding your audience should be: Their demographic and personas.
• Your audience’s interests, wants, and needs. What are they actively talking about? What issues are they facing? Keep an eye out and monitor the type of content they’re sharing and engaging with. Social media listening tools like Talkwalker can help you to understand what they’re interested in.
• Think about the questions they’re asking your sales team and attempt to answer them with content.
• Do keyword research to see how often a topic is being searched in Google. Use Google Trends to track trending topics. This will help identify what your audience is searching for. Tools like BuzzSumo can also help you to identify trends and create engaging content ideas.
Remember, good content is never a sales pitch – it’s about answering the needs of your audience or giving them insights, tips, tools, and learnings that they will find useful!
2. Take time to plan
So, you’ve done your research and know what your audience would love to hear about – good for you! Yet, before you dive straight into brainstorming engaging content ideas, you need to know how to best execute them, and that means building a content strategy.
To create a foolproof content marketing strategy, some things you need to consider include:
• Which topics appeal to your audience, and which format works best to present that content. For example, if you’re producing “How-to” content, a short guide or an explainer video will probably work better than a white paper.
• If you know that some of your audience prefers a more visual layout, then you might look at using an infographic or a video. The great thing about content marketing is that you can combine different formats to provide a variety of ways to digest information.
• Think about where your content is going to live. Not all of your audience segments are present on the same channels, so you must publish your content in the right places to reach them, paying particular attention to the styles used for different platforms. For instance, if you’re creating a video, you might want to shoot and edit it in different ways, so it can be published on multiple channels, including your website, Social Stories and YouTube.
Remember, content strategy is a long-term game. You won’t necessarily see immediate results, so make sure you’re not getting disheartened. It’s a marathon, not a sprint!
3. Capture audience attention – and hold it!
Once you’ve nailed the planning and research phases of your strategy, it’s time to start creating! However, it’s crucial to make sure your content captures and holds your audience’s attention. The internet is saturated with content, so you have to ensure that you’re not getting lost in the noise. Think about how your content can stand out from the rest.
To make your content as compelling as it can be:
• Craft an unforgettable title to build curiosity and get people clicking
• One of the easiest ways to connect with your audience is to incorporate storytelling into your content. This is often what makes a story relatable – and if people can relate to your content, they are more likely to establish a connection with your brand. You can use storytelling to talk about a product, a service, or a case study
• Be creative with visual content or even illustrations – we’re all visual creatures, so use visual elements to break up text-heavy content pieces or complex ideas
Images and infographics are engaging visual formats you can use. But if you really want to know how to create engaging content, consider video. Video has grown into the #1 content marketing tool; in fact, 63% of marketers say that video gets them the best ROI on social media.
4. Dive into new and engaging formats
When most people hear ‘content’ they think of blog posts and articles, but content doesn’t always have to be written. Video has an undeniable immediacy – it can help get your point across effectively and in a far shorter time frame than written content.
Video is currently the #1 form of media used in content strategy, overtaking blogs and infographics. Studies show that viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch video, compared to only 10% when reading text. You can also boost your content’s engagement by incorporating in-video polls or asking your audience questions using interactive video. This can make your content even more dynamic and responsive.
Video allows for you to use different formats to meet different objectives, depending on what you’re looking for from a piece of content. Different types of videos include:
• Tutorial/explainer videos
• Video case studies/testimonials
• Product review videos
And many more!
Each type of video serves a different purpose, and mixing through different types is a great way to keep your audience engaged. If they’re not quite sure what they’re going to expect from you, they’ll continue to tune in. Mixing and matching the types of content you’re creating also helps to keep your engagement rates high, so your audience stays engaged with your brand’s messaging!
There are also different methods for creating video, such as VR, 360 videos and interactive videos. If you’re positioning yourself as an innovative/technology-focused brand, then using different methods of creating video content is an easy way to showcase this for your audience. It’s also a great way to bring your audience into your brand’s world in a way that static/traditional video methods might not allow for!
5. Measure your success
It goes without saying that monitoring your engagement levels will show you how effective your content is (or isn’t!).
There are several ways to evaluate your content marketing success, such as:
• Analysing social engagement such as comments, likes, and shares.
• Viewing page traffic and audience retention rates.
• Tracking any conversions, such as forms filled out or the number of new subscribers.
• With video, you can measure the number of viewers and check your video completion rates. If you’re looking for more detailed video analytics, consider interactive video. With interactive video, it’s far easier to measure ROI, as you can measure the number of interactions within a video, check conversion rates, bounce rates, your audience’s location, and you can even see the exact moment your audience clicks away from your video.
Using these metrics, you can easily discover if your audience simply isn’t resonating with your content, and piece together clues about why that might be. For instance, if you created a video, but it wasn’t successful, perhaps you didn’t amplify it enough, or it didn’t resonate with your chosen audience. It might be as simple as the thumbnail not being visually engaging, or the first five seconds of your video weren’t compelling enough.
From there, you can tweak and improve your content accordingly based on the insights you gather and come up with better, more engaging marketing content. Content marketing can be a complicated beast and takes time to perfect, so keep trying, and make each piece of content better than your last!
Ultimately, when it comes to understanding how to create engaging content, it’s not rocket science. You just need to understand your audience and serve them the content they’re craving. Always aim to be helpful, yet at the same time, create ways to link back to your brand, your products, or your services. Keep notes of topics that you want to cover in the future, so you’ve always got ideas handy.
Whenever you’re creating content, try to go further with it by telling unique stories or presenting it in new and exciting ways. There are endless opportunities to use content to fill a need in your audience’s lives, using innovative and engaging methods and mediums. That way, your audience will keep coming back for more, time and time again – which is what all marketers want!