We all look for content that turns readers into customers, is shared, creates backlinks, and ranks well in search results. These are goals worth pursuing, but there is a problem: if you focus on the goals, you can neglect the means.
The truth is, you can’t get any of these results unless your content knows how to engage your target audience. Engagement is the first milestone on the path to more sales, backlinks, or promotions. Nothing compares to the satisfaction of receiving tons of responses to your post.
Don’t correct until they read a word
What good is a website if it just “mixes” with everything else that exists?
For just one second of delay, the bounce rate increases by 56%. That’s more than half of your visitors. So, before learning the art of writing compelling content, get your site in order.
- Speed: When a visitor arrives at your site, the first 2-3 seconds are essential. You can have the highest quality content, but it won’t work if the page takes too long to load. Even if visitors resist delays, waiting will leave a bad impression and reduce the chance of a conversion.
- Responsiveness: The ease of use of the phone (or lack thereof) is another factor influencing bounce rate. More than 56% of visits to the website come from mobile devices. If your site isn’t suitable for the mobile experience, your content won’t be involved.
- Advertising: Many blogs fill ads above the fold, which is a surefire way to annoy your visitors. With the recent algorithm update, Google has started targeting sites with lots of ads, so avoid using large ads. Mobile sites must ensure that they follow the guidelines and do not use interrupted ads or pop-ups.
All of this is in the package
Science suggests that you should “see” the taste of foods before you “taste” them.
The same goes for content. Let’s review the quality of the content before actually reading it.
Protect it from the start
I often put novels aside or stopped watching a movie because I didn’t care about the beginning.
Means and conclusions are important, but it is the beginning that sets the tone. Both the title and the introduction should be difficult to read.
Use visual ads
According to historical research by the Content Marketing Institute, creating compelling content (73%) and creating visual content (55%) were two of the top priorities for B2C companies.
Fortunately, these two are intertwined.
Your content will automatically attract more people if you use visual elements such as images, illustrations, screenshots, and graphics.
When it moves, it lives
A picture says a thousand words. How much is the video worth?
Answer: 1.8 million.
No wonder video pages are 88% more engaging than text and image pages. If you just create a video on the whiteboard and add it, your content can be much more reliable.
GIFs or movie points are even better. Unlike videos that users have to click to play, GIFs are when viewers arrive, making them hard to ignore.
Make it more attractive with data
There is a long list of citations and references at the end of all scientific studies. That’s what makes them trustworthy and they can do the same with your content.
Stay up-to-date with the latest news, research, and developments in your industry and see them throughout your content. Backing up your points with evidence will make you look credible. And authority demands respect.
Which of these two sentences has the most involvement?
- I think women don’t find the six-packs as attractive as they seem.
- A study found that “Dad Bods” are more attractive to women than six-packs.
As you can see, the second one seems a lot more reliable. People are more likely to get involved and share your post because it’s trustworthy.
“The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” —Muriel Rukeyser
Research suggests that stories can make our brains work, increasing the likelihood of participation in content.
Finding and telling stories is not as difficult as you think. According to Christopher Booker, seven basic intrigues help you build a story:
- Pass the monster
- Wealth Patch
- Travel and return
Now think about your personal experiences, read newspapers or magazines, watch movies, observe the people around you and you will find many stories that fit any of these descriptions.
The easiest way to get someone’s attention is to provide a solution to one of their problems.
That’s why “how-to” positions work so well. They can get up to 55% more views than any other type of content.
Research the issues or issues that affect your target audience. You can find these questions by browsing Q&A sites like Quora or a relevant forum.
Provide a solution with a detailed “how-to” post. Show them how to do this with illustrations and screenshots. Better yet, guide them through the entire process with a video.
The right tone
Winning friends and influencing people is one of the best-selling self-help books of all time and for good reason.
Dale Carnegie has listed six ways to get people to like you, and these tips apply to writers as well:
- Really interested in other people.
- You laugh.
- Remember that a person’s name is the sweetest and most important sound to them in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Speak in terms of the other person’s interests.
- Make the other person feel important.
So…smile at your words. Keep a positive tone and show that you care. You are really interested in your target audience’s readers.
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I hope this post has given you some ideas to improve engagement. The art of creating compelling content takes a little practice, but follow these tips and you’ll see improvements in no time.