Are you an online publisher wondering why your content isn’t being shared, and is receiving very few clicks in the first place?
Well, as you already know, content is based on the goal of bringing in traffic, making the public more aware of your company’s product or service. However, there is an entire process involved behind creating quality content.
You might be wondering what constitutes “quality” content. Quality content is measured by how engaging the information you are presenting is. I’m telling you- if a post isn’t engaging, not only will you lose views, but you might even be given false hope and misleading analytical data due to many clicks, and fewer percentages of clicks on the next page, or shares.
Here are 5 tips you can use to ensure that your content is not only viewed, but also engaging enough to make your readers want to share your content.
Use Language That Sounds Friendly and Personal
The surest way to drive away your readers is through formal language for two reasons:
1) It can come off as pretentious
2) No one wants to read an article word for word if it’s not written in a way that’s inviting and addressed to them (yawn).
You’re not writing the state of the union address here, so there’s no need to make it sound like you are. Also, the more formal you try to make your writing, the more unnatural the actual process of writing becomes. Know who your target audience is, so that if necessary, you can include lingo and an overall vibe in your writing that will best grab your audience’s attention.
In order to avoid this issue, I like to think of a way that I would convey the same message, but to a friend or acquaintance. Inclusion of “I” and “you” is also crucial in creating engaging content, as it automatically establishes a connection between you and your reader, directing your message to them personally, rather than generally, thus causing them to be more attentive to whatever you’re writing about. Then again- don’t get so relaxed with the language that you lose sight of your main points. Simply express your main points in the friendliest and most natural way possible.
Providing food for thought often puts humans in a state of perpetual wonder, whether it be conscious or subconscious. By beginning a post with some sort of question posed, the reader automatically becomes engaged. I find that the easiest way to go about asking a question in the form of writing is to make a very vague statement or description in the beginning of your post. After the reader reads the post, he should feel intrigued in not quite having enough information to fully grasp whatever it was that you posted.
For example, if you’re writing about a problem in society, you can start the post out by describing the problem- without mentioning what that issue is explicitly. Furthermore, when you go on about how deep the issue is, and how it could affect the reader in a more direct way, engagement shouldn’t be a problem, as the reader will already be tuned in, because it tapped into something more personal for him that he has the moral or intellectual obligation to address. By bringing questions into your post, your reader will continue to read the post with interest, with hopes of being able to answer the questions.
There is no better way to make your way into the human psyche than by using emotion. We, as humans, ultimately make decisions based on how we feel about something. It is the most fundamental method of any creative or business/marketing-oriented in engaging users/clients. Because we humans thrive on emotion, you’ll want to make your posts as emotionally appealing as possible (without going overboard, of course). No matter how amazingly written your content is, it won’t matter if your readers aren’t emotionally engaged in your message.
I have listed an emotional pathway to refer to when trying to incorporate emotions into your writing:
- Trust– The use of statistics, numbers, personal stories, and case studies can evoke trust from your reader, so that he can trust that the information you provide is valid and correct.
- Scarcity– This emotion triggers fear, or an urgency in the matter that you’re writing about.
- Objections– When you share pros and cons about your message, or reasons why/why not, you provide objections, showing your reader all possible views on the matter.
- Curiosity– If you post something that evokes desire or imagination, it will keep your readers engaged by simply wondering.
- Neutral– Neutrality is the lack of emotion, with more facts, analysis, and logic. Sometimes, however, this can ground your reader, and lack of emotions leaves room for developing a plethora of them.
- Positive– Positive emotions that are derived from reading your post would include feelings of relief, a vision of a better outcome/future, and benefits.
- Negative– Negative emotions that are derived from reading your post would include feelings of fear, pain, and problems.
- Call To Action- The final emotion that should always be included at the end of every post is the call to action, which reassures, restates, and initiates some sort of action as a result of having read the post.
Humanize Your Company
Part of keeping your readers engaged in your writing, is by keeping your message clear, grounded, but most of all, human. Companies of all kinds feel incredible pressure to sell and aggressively market themselves and their product, but the truth is that consumers tend to shy away from aggressive marketing and selling. For example, don’t use language that implies that you are clearly trying to sell to the reader. I’ve learned the hard way that sales tactics aren’t appropriate in writing, and should never leave the context of actually negotiating on a product. Instead, show your reader that your company doesn’t function robotically, and make them feel connected and comfortable, as opposed to creating distance with selling tactics and aggressive marketing language. You can also humanize your company by using your name to show who contributed what content, like Hamish & Andy do on their Facebook page below:
Revealing only technical and business-oriented aspects of your company are a sure way to disengage your readers. Therefore, if your content is as mellow and human as possible, your chances of keeping readers engaged, consequently bringing in more traffic, are increased significantly.
Provide Visual Aid…But With Videos
While interestingly written content on its own is able to engage readers 9/10 times, you can really make your views and clicks number explode with the use of visual aid, best done in the form of videos. It has been estimated that content with videos attract 3x more links and shares than text posts without videos. According to Cisco, video is predicted to account for 84% of internet traffic by 2018.
When I began brainstorming for my next post, I like to think of relevant videos I could embed to increase engagement. If I’m explaining a product or abstract idea, I have found it to be helpful to attach an explainer video to offer more insight into whatever it is that I’m describing. Sometimes, videos can be beneficial in clarifying the purpose of the topic you are writing about.
You don’t need to create the videos you embed or anything, although it’s always a great option if you’re up for it. 3 great tools I highly suggest if you’re willing to create your own video(s) are:
- Animoto– An app that allows you to choose which footage, music, and text to use in your video. Then, just produce and share it.
- Camtasia– A plug-in that allows you to record and edit your video, as well as add sound effects into your production at the end.
- GoAnimate– A platform in which you can create an animated video with all of the relevant tools and details, just choose!
An example of implementing videos, would be writing about fashion, and attaching a specific video about a certain brand or aspect of fashion that you wrote about (like Victoria’s Secret or fashion hacks).
In essence, there are a number of things you can do to create the most engaging content possible. The most crucial aspect of any content creation is connecting with the reader, so really make the effort of understanding your audience. You don’t stop at just these five methods, quite the contrary. Continue to experiment with various ideas, old and new, and see how your view/share count skyrocket, just by making a few adjustments to your posts.
See the difference?