Engaging content will always be king of the hill on the internet.
This stands to reason if you think about the way you use the web yourself. When looking for advice, solutions or guides, you need to be engaged if you’re to bother reading, watching or listening to the stuff you find.
This wasn’t always the case. In the ‘dark’ days of the internet, content could be manipulated to perform well on Google. This was achieved with tactics such as keyword stuffing and flooding pages with links.
The result? Great search performance but dreadful content.
Now, we live in a world (thankfully) where Google, YouTube and virtually every other search engine is far smarter.
They know how to look for engaging content, and today, we’d like to show you how to create content that draws in an audience – and keeps them there.
There’s a reason TikTok is so popular at the moment – it sticks.
By that, we mean that it sticks on people’s phones. If a TikTok video appears on their social media feed, they’ll probably watch it.
The same goes for YouTube and your own website. That play button is far too tempting not to press, and this means you’re already halfway there in terms of engagement.
Of course, the content itself still needs to be brilliant to keep them engaged, but if you’re yet to try video, now might be the time to do so.
Diversify the content you create
We’ve already suggested video, but there is so much more you can do with your content in order to make it more engaging.
For instance, if you’ve written a blog post, why not turn it into a video? From that you could even create a podcast with the audio.
Imagery can – and should – play a huge role in content marketing, too. Blogs and videos can relatively easily be turned into infographics or snippets for social media use, thus increasing engagement rates and giving your voice a tangible presence online.
Try animated videos
Alongside video, animation videos are strong performers in the world of content marketing.
The best news? You don’t have to be an animation wizard or even particularly creative with a pen to create your own simple animations.
There are a number of brilliant, intuitive tools out there that will help you create simple animations with pre-built templates, assets and the ability to create simple ‘white board’ style videos. If you want something bespoke and more professional you can use services of a video agency. Contact us for more details.
Try it. No matter which industry you’re in or which niche your content serves, animated videos are a great way to attract lots more eyes.
Make your blogs look good
It’s easy to forget that blogging is a form of design, too. The way your blogs look is just as important as the way they read.
So, make sure your blogs:
- are split up into headed sections;
- include bullet lists;
- only use short paragraphs; and
- include at least one engaging image.
If you approach your blogs like this, they’ll look great and be easily scannable. Few people will read the entire post, but they’ll know which part of it they want to read.
Make it easy for your audience to get what they want from your blog content and they’ll probably hang around far longer.
Be short, sweet and sharp
Brevity is incredibly important when it comes to creating content people want to engage with.
We nodded to this above when we noted the importance of short paragraphs in blogging.
This stuff really matters.
Too much waffle, preambling or needless information and you’ll drive people away immediately.
Your audience is smart – they know when they’re reading or watching something that is taking far too long to get to the point. And they won’t hang around to hear it.
Never overlook the importance of keywords
If you want to increase engagement rates for your blog or video content, you need to produce content for the right audience.
But, you also need to draw the right audience to it.
This is where keyword research and the very basics of search engine optimisation (SEO) come in. It’s important you spend plenty of time researching keywords and including the right number in your content.
Develop your voice
You probably don’t realise it, but every content creator you come across has developed a voice.
If they keep you engaged, they’ve developed a voice that works well for the audience – you.
It’s important that you do the same with your content, but it will take time. Brand voices develop as you create more content, which is a great incentive to create more content, more consistently.
Spend what feels like far too long on the titles
If you see a newspaper headline that grabs your attention immediately, you probably buy the paper.
The same rings true online; if you see a blog post or video that has a title which piques your interest quickly, you’ll engage with it.
You can bet your bottom dollar that, in these instances, the authors have spent ages coming up with their titles. It’s why the 80/20 rule applies with content titles.
Spend as long as you can creating yours. Integrate keywords into them and make sure they’re short and accurately descriptive of what’s contained within the content itself.
Humans love stories. It’s why we devour books, films and tv series.
Just because you’re a business it doesn’t mean you can’t tell a good story. In fact, you should tell a story within your content – every time.
Stories have defined beginnings, middles and ends. So, when you plan your next video or blog, make sure it has those three elements.
Creating engaging content takes time. Perfecting your own style, approach and process for publishing is something that only comes with practice.
We’ve scratched the surface above, and there are lots of other ways you can create engaging content, but this blog will give you the base skills you need.
If there’s one takeaway today, it’s the importance of diversifying your content.
If you’ve only written blogs up until now, it’s time to try video. If video is something you feel pretty proficient at, start repurposing your best performers into blogs. And don’t ignore podcasting – why not create your own channel in that realm, too?
Just remember to keep your content fresh, diverse and focused on telling the best stories possible.