5 Top Tips for Writing Engaging Content
This post was inspired by daughter. Tip 4 is actually her very own recommendation for you!
I know how difficult it is to write content regularly and then you have the added pressure that it needs to be appear fresh and engaging too. So, as it is January and Blue Monday approaches (!), I thought I would try to fill your heads with happy and inspiring thoughts to help you come up with engaging content that will lead to more comments, more reactions and more sales!
1) Offer something new
Good content has to be interesting and, therefore, it has to offer something that people will want to engage in. The best way to do this is to offer something new. I am all for ‘COPE’ (create once; promote everywhere) but you can’t rely on using the same few blogs, same image or same style social media posts too many times and too regularly.
Tell your clients, customers and followers something they don’t know. You need to educate them or inform them. This can be vary from tips and advice or simply letting your customers know about a new product or service…even better if you can tell them about something different that you don’t usually do…like some place new you have been or something you have just learnt yourself.
2) Encourage reaction and interaction
If you don’t ask for engagement you won’t get it. I know that sounds harsh, but it is also simple logic. The easiest way is to ask a question. It is one of the best calls to action on social media.
We know people are short on time, so think of ways to make reacting, engaging or interacting as easy possible, for example, run a poll. On Facebook you can ask for a specific reaction to answer a question or a different reactions for different answers. It is so much better than simply asking for a ‘Like’.
You really want people to interact with you. It will boost all elements of content in terms of algorithms and SEO etc, so ask people to comment; ask people to let you know what they think; ask people to give you feedback.
3) Make it eye-catching and memorable
Memorable doesn’t necessarily mean short and sweet. However, content needs a hook to get noticed amongst the huge amount of content that is produced and published every hour.
There are lots of tools of rhetoric (or language tricks) that you can use. Things like acronyms or initialisation. I know seems self-indulgent considering the title of this very blog post… but ‘Top tips’ or ‘Quick Wins’ work well, as a title it catches people’s attention. It is easy for people to retain too.
Use of tricolon works well too. This simply means the use of three words (or even three sets of something; sentences, phrases, etc.). For example:
Perfection. Performance. Persistence.
Using this as part of a blog title, on a website home page or at the start of a social media post is going to get noticed. It’s like a tag line.
The use of emojis on social media is also very acceptable now.
4) Interesting adjectives
As mentioned above this tip is direct advice from my daughter! In her class, her teacher has banned the adjective ‘sad’; not because she wants the class to be happy all of the time (although I am sure she does) but because she wants them to choose more interesting adjectives, like ‘upset’, ‘disappointed’ or ‘dejected’ ! I am sure ‘nice’ will be next on the list!!!
It is easy to always revert back to the words we know well and come naturally, and I am all for plain English, but we can make our content instantly a little different if we play about with some adjectives and find the word which truly captures what we are trying to convey.
In the corporate world, it is words like ‘interesting’ or even ‘passionate’ (take a look at a few LinkedIn profiles and you’ll see what I mean!What are the most over-used ones that really annoy you?) … but there are so many more words out there…better words:
…extraordinary; vital; enthralling; gripping; absorbing; captivating; refreshing; stimulating; appealing; intriguing; impressive…to name a few!
Across all digital content, people scan read nearly everything first, so in order to catch their eye the headings, the opening lines, a title needs to have words which will intoxicate and appeal! Obviously, use words which are appropriate for the context and have the correct meaning (and even nuance) but there are so many more words out there to choose from than you might imagine and giving a little bit of thought to this can make a huge difference to turning good content to engaging content…even if you only do it once in a while.
5) Educate and inform
It feels amazing when someone ‘shares’ a piece of my content – whether this a straight ‘share’ on social media, whether it is someone telling someone else about my blog post or whether is is someone tagging someone else in a comment…even better when it says something like, “I think you’ll be interested in this.”
The content from business accounts that gets people sharing is often content that informs the reader, that educates them. So make sure your content is accurate and helpful – not misleading. Converting sales is often about trust. It’s about showing people not only what a good company you run, but that you know what you are talking about, that you have something to tell people. Your customers can’t always buy from you every day of the week – although we would love it if they would – so being able to educate and inform also gives them a good reason to be a follower of your content output – and hopefully a loyal one at that – engaging, responding and reacting to your content and posts, because you are offering them something which is useful to them, not just your products and services, but advice, information, support and help.
Love the content you produce
I know I have written about ‘loving content creation’ before, but I think it is so incredibly important that you find writing the content for your digital marketing fun and inspiring. If you enjoy it, if it is created when you are full of enthusiasm and passion then it will shine through in what you write. It’s not like video – you can’t smile and show how happy you are to be conversing with your clients by the tone of your voice. With written content you have to work that bit harder to convey the same passion. So think about what you are writing and the impression it will give…and get out that thesaurus, once in a while!
Let me know what you think and if you want any help with making your content more engaging – email firstname.lastname@example.org