9 Pointers for Writing Engaging Content

9 Pointers for Writing Engaging Content

Brought to you by guest blogger Patrick Hayes (@PatrickMHayes).

They say change is another word for opportunity. With more social media tools and platforms, the ability to engage your audience can strengthen your presence online. Consumers are becoming ambassadors for businesses online! Creating engaging content can be challenging no doubt, but if done correctly provides your business with great opportunity to reach and interact with vast numbers.  Your audience is already there. What do they want to read?

 

1.  It Doesn’t Have to Be All About You

Actually, it’s really not about you. There, I said it. It’s not about you. It’s about your audience, the reader. Dunkin’ Donuts engages with their audience by retweeting pictures of their customers and a Dunkin’ Donuts product. They also do a good job of engaging with their audience and responding to their comments so they feel appreciated and important.

Dunkin Donuts

 

2.  Quality Content

Write useful content. Write entertaining content. Write informative content. Content is crucial in social media.

 

3.   Offer a New Perspective on the Topic

This may be challenging, but if you can find an angle in which your writing offers compelling information, people will recognize what separates you from the others that are sharing similar topics. Know your readers.

 

4.  Would You Read It?

Put yourself in their shoes. What is it that you would want to read? By placing yourself in the readers’ perspective you can therefore think of exciting ways to draw them in to your writing. Also, think about information that you would be inclined to share with others and then apply that to your writing.

 

5.   Effective & Creative Titles

Catching the readers’ attention with effective and creative titles makes them want to continue reading and sets up the scene for what is to come in the content portion. Most of the time people just scan; they don’t necessarily take the time to read the content. Utilizing captivating titles and headlines is critical for capturing interest so that the rest of your information will get read.

ESPN is an example of a brand that engages their readers fast, both on Twitter and their website, through the use of great headlines.

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 9.55.26 AM

 

 

6.   Usefulness

How will someone benefit from what they read? What will readers get out of your writing? This can seem obvious and basic, but creating useful content will drive people to keep coming back for more. Once you gain their attention with useful writing, you can engage with them long term.  Usefulness ties back to having quality content. I can read a lot of information on a daily basis. It’s in my inbox, my Twitter feed and blogs I follow. Why should I read yours?

 

7.  Engage Your Audience

Ask questions.  Make this their experience. Chris Brogan, CEO of Human Business Work, states, “If you let people own the experience here, instead of having ‘readers’ or ‘fans’ or whatever term you want to make people feel lesser, then there’s a great success that can happen.”

 

8.  Keep it Short

Keep your message short and to the point. This is easier for the audience to read. We now have an 8-second attention span. Yes, 8 seconds!

 

9.  Graphics

Since our attention span is so short, the use of graphics can provide a lot of simple detail to get your message and point across. GoPro does a great job of engaging with their audience through not just any picture and video, but that of their customer’s pictures and videos. Pretty cool, huh?

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These are just a few pointers to help grab the attention of your audience, and keep it there for the future.

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