7 Ways To Make More Engaging Content
Content creation is an integral part of marketing or running a business in general now. However, a lot of companies struggle with creating content that generates engagement. Part of the value of content creation is that engagement and the conversation between brand and consumer. What can you do to create engaging content for your brand?
Here’s 7 things we have found to be essential in making quality content!
Know Your Audience
The content you create for one audience can be very different from another. Understanding the WHO is helpful first step.
It can also be helpful if you think of your audience as a single composite person. Instead of trying to talk to all of them, you are instead making content for one person. A lot of companies do this by making a buyer persona. That way you can think, “Would my buyer persona like this?” vs. “Would all my followers enjoy this content?”
Make a Plan
There is nothing more overwhelming than trying to maintain consistent content posting across multiple channels without a plan. It can feel like juggling snakes. 🐍 Making a plan can be as simple as figuring out what types of content you want to post and when it would be best to time to post it. The more specific your plan is the more you time you take out of the equation.
Part of making a plan is planning out your message and/or your angle. Now that you know who your audience is, think about what type of content would work best for them. Knowing what you want to talk about can make it easier to figure out what types of content would be best. Would your audience benefit from long form blog articles or would a TikTok series be more helpful? Both of those types of content take a lot of effort, so planning it out ahead of time is valuable!
Find Shared Passions
The sheer amount of product, companies, and information available is staggering. It is not enough anymore to have a good product available anymore, your brand ideals and personality need to match with the personality of your consumers. 56% of Gen Z consumers say that having shared passions and perspectives is a major factor when it comes to their engagement with a brand. However, most consumers are fantastic at sniffing out inauthenticity. Your brand personality and ideals need to actually be what you say they are. Actions speak louder than words!
What are the advantages of having a well-defined brand personality and ideals? Giving your company a personality makes things like content creation a lot easier. Knowing who you are also can help you make decisions about the direction you want to go in the future.
And 49% of young consumers say they will evangelize a brand they feel represents their values, likes, and personality.
Don’t be afraid of incorporating causes you care about into your brands personality! 72% of consumers want the brands they care about to be positive contributors to society. We’ve seen in recent years that many brands (especially smaller companies) connect their core brand to a charity or cause they care about. Younger consumers are 69% more likely to buy from a brand that contributes to a cause.
Keep It Simple
Don’t make it harder than it needs to be. No matter who your audience is, needlessly complicated language or content structure isn’t appreciated. Simple and honest is always good. Remember, why you are making the content. Is it to promote you or your brand? Then tone of the content should match your voice. People can see right through any inauthenticity if you are trying to make something that isn’t you.
It’s easier to connect with a brand online if you feel like you are talking to a real person. Does the content you are making sound personal?
Remember the Big Picture
Why do you want to make this content? Keep the big picture of your content in mind as well as each individual piece. Are you trying to promote a specific product or service? Don’t be afraid to include a call to action in your content! A call to action is how to accomplish the goal of your content. It’s the follow through.
A good call to action is simple and concise. It uses strong verbiage. Give your audience a good reason to take the desired action. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
Take a Step Back
When it comes to content, it’s often valuable to take a step back and from your project and let it rest for a bit. The longer you work on a piece of content the easier it is to be become blind to mistakes, errors, and typos. You may be surprised by the power of fresh eyes!
An old copy writer trick is to proofread backwards. Instead of starting at the beginning of your content: start at the end. Because your brain is following a different path through the information, it sees things in a different way. Starting at the end allows you to look at it sentence by sentence instead of word by word or thought by thought. Knowing your content is edited well will help you feel more confident in posting it.
Another aspect of taking a step back from your content is revisiting old content. Repurposing or adapting finished content is an excellent way to stay inspired and make more content. There are always new things that can be added. Adding information keeps your messages up to date. Up-to-date content is more accurate and provides for value to your followers. Another reason to recycle content is that it gives more people an opportunity to see it. And even if someone has been following you for a long time there’s a good chance that they didn’t see the content the first time around.
Keep Consuming Content
This is my favorite part. 😜 One of the best ways to keep your own content sharp is to consume other content. It can inspire you, help you stay up to date with current trends, and keep your skill sharp. Most ideas don’t start in our heads, the spark is external. All of the creative juices it takes to create content can easily be burnt out if you don’t feed it with creative thing that you care about. Change your scenery, have conversations, read books or articles, watch a movie or show. Diversity of other creative inputs will refill your own creativity!
What type of Content have you found to be the most engaging with your audience?
Are these Channels “DEAD?”
It seems like soooooo many articles/emails/ebooks/Facebook videos are titled something along the lines of: “blank” is dead. Or “Why the new ios update is going to kill email marketing.” Or “3 stats that prove print and mail is dead.” But it is? For the most part those titles are just clickbait, and the content just proves how it is very much not dead.
So, let’s take the three most common “dead” or “dying” marketing channels and see how effective they really are.
I probably get an email once a week proclaiming the end of email marketing. How can email marketing be “dead?” Statista estimates that close to 320 BILLON emails will be sent every day in 2021. On average, office workers receive 127 every day. And a Forbes article from last year suggested that “every person needs at least four email accounts” for security reasons. However, quantity of emails is one reason some say that email marketing is losing its effectiveness as a marketing channel. Is that true?
Email is often one of the main touch points a brand has with a consumer and many younger consumers prefer to communicate with brands with email. Even email that’s clearly from a mailing list still feels like a direct conversation. Which contributes to email’s engagement rates. Across industry’s email average click-through-rate is 3.71 and the average open rate is 22.9. Although that may not seem like a lot, Facebook, Instagram, and twitters combined average engagement is only 0.58.
Part of the reason email gets better engagement rates is because with email, the message is directly reaching who it’s intended for.
Print and Mail
The death of print and mail has been predicted since the beginning of email. Probably even before then. One of the very first articles in our Weekly Vibe newsletter was called “Print’s Not Dead, Right?” It wasn’t in March 2020, and it defiantly isn’t now.
Direct mail average open rate is somewhere between 68 and 90%, which is double, triple, or quadruple the average open rates of other marketing channels. Do people who open direct mail actually purchase? Yes! On average people who receive direct mail purchase 28% more items and spend 28% more money!
Why is direct mail so effective? It comes down to fact that we (humans) like getting mail. 41% of Americans of all ages look forward to getting their mail every day. We still want very real things in our hands, which is something totally lost in email inboxes or on social media. That tactile connection translates into 💰.
Cold calling is another one of those things that’s been “on its way out” for years! Why is sticking around? At this point, an actual person to person conversation is a novelty and stands out against digital interactions. And sales, more than anything, based on connections and communications. It’s a lot easier to ignore an email than a ringing phone. It can also be harder to say no to a real person who you can actually hear.
If you add cold calling as part of your omnichannel marketing, work on your pitch, and be prepared to fail, you may be surprised at how effective it is!