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Tips to Use to Create Engaging Content

When it comes to a content marketing strategy, every business owner will have to create and execute one at some point to market its products and services successfully. This can be fairly simple for business-to-consumer companies with particularly interesting offerings, but it can be challenging for other industries—such as law or plumbing. Some of these industries may even seem downright boring to the average consumer—so how can you make your business seem more exciting through content creation?

Three aspects can help any business create engaging content that appeals to its target audience: Storytelling, Inspiration, and Practicality (S.I.P.). Let’s look at each of these aspects in detail so you can learn how to easily create great content that drives engagement—no matter what industry you do business in.

1. Storytelling

You may be tired of hearing the benefits of storytelling, but the truth is that there is a scientific basis behind the heavy promotion of storytelling when creating engaging content. Storytelling creates an emotional experience for the listener or reader, meaning that your message will engage your audience if it contains a story.

A study published in NeuroImage—a Journal of Brain Function—used an MRI scan to monitor participants’ brain activity as they listened to a story. The study discovered that the participants’ heart rates fluctuated when they listened to the emotionally intense parts of the story (Wallentin et al., 2011). What was even more interesting? There were responses in the participants’ amygdala. This is the part of the brain that experiences emotions and is responsible for detecting fear (Wallentin et al., 2011).

To explain this neuroscience discovery in simpler terms, a deeply moving story—or one that connects its audience to its themes—is easily remembered by the listener or reader.

How can you tell a story? You can use images, videos, or words in your content to incorporate storytelling as part of your content engagement strategy.

The most important part of your story is that it must allow people to empathize with its character. They have to be able to project themselves into the action and put themselves in the character’s shoes. If they can do that, they may even be able to experience the emotions that are present in the story.

Let’s say you need to write content for an LED billboard company. Rather than writing purely factual details about the bulbs’ specifications, you could write content that explains how excited a school was when the football team’s LED billboard lit up, displaying the team’s winning score. This will likely increase engagement, as it allows your potential customers to see the emotional impact the product or service—in this case, an LED billboard—can have on the end consumer—in this example, the football team and the entire school.

You can use stories from past customers or clients as part of your content creation. These individuals might talk about how they have used your products or services. These stories can be similar to testimonials, but they should include more in-depth details and focus on feelings for better content engagement.

2. Inspiration

Nothing cramps creativity like having to think of a topic at the last minute. It will be easier for you to create engaging content if you take some time to brainstorm content topics before you are on a tight deadline. You will prevent your team and yourself from dealing with frustration and save time in the long run.

If you aren’t sure where to look for inspiration, start by paying attention to some of the thousands of marketing messages and headlines we are exposed to daily. If you find a message that can be repurposed in a way that applies to your business and audience, ask yourself how you can translate the message in a useful way for your target customers.

For example, Warby Parker was inspired to create a fun series of blog posts after being influenced by magazines that showed what celebrities had in their bags. These blogs showed what might be in the bags of historical and fictional characters, such as Cleopatra and Huckleberry Finn. The company took a common theme and turned it into something unique and creative. Think of this example when trying to figure out how to create engaging content as part of your marketing campaigns.

If you need more help with the inspiration part of your content creation, look to tools such as Google Trends and BuzzSumo. You can also use tools like Pocket to save articles and pages that strike you as inspirational so you can review them later.

You can also use Google Scholar to find inspirational topics that can help you create quality content. Check this source regularly to search for information, such as new research or an intriguing case study that relates to your business. These information-rich resources could help you create a blog post, social media posts, or infographics. Depending on what information you find, you may have to pay to access some articles, which could be a good investment.

3. Practicality

Practicality is actually one of the most important aspects of what makes content engaging. You need to show your audience how they can apply the information provided in your content. There is so much content online that you have to ensure that your content engages your audience. You can do that by making it both practical and personal to your target customers or clients.

Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference illustrates the power of practicality in a way that is easy to understand. One example he shares is a real-life story about a college that encouraged its students to get their tetanus shots.

The college first distributed flyers that used fear to appeal to students, which didn’t work. Next, it included the location and time that students could get vaccinated. Now that the information was practical and easy to understand, students were more willing to get their tetanus shots.

Remember, your content must be practical and personal to help you grow your business. How can you make your content reach your audience on a personal level?

Start by asking yourself what questions your target customers have and what concerns you need to address to speak directly to them. There are a few things that people tend to look for when searching online if they arrive at your website:

  • Can you be trusted?
  • What problem can you solve?
  • Why should I care?

Start by addressing these common questions to improve your content engagement. Answering these questions shows your audience members that you have empathy for their questions and concerns.

If you want to learn about more specific questions your target customers are asking, several tools can help you. Answer The Public and BloomBerry are two great examples. If you want deeper insight into what people are talking about so your topics will be more practical and personal, try out BoardReader.

Conclusion

Try not to get frustrated if you find yourself in charge of writing content for an industry that doesn’t quite excite you. Whether you write yourself or manage a team of writers, you can find ways to write engaging content as long as you remember that people can be interested in just about any topic as long as they need to learn about it.

If your target audience can find your content when they need it and it is engaging, you will have done your job well. If you incorporate the S.I.P. aspects above, you will likely notice a difference in your content’s engagement metrics.

Once you learn to keep an eye out for inspiring messages—online or elsewhere in the world—you will see that it isn’t so hard to create content that drives engagement. In fact, it can be very simple.

If you need help creating content—or need guidance on other aspects of your digital marketing strategies—the team at Market MindShift is here to help. Our experienced marketing professionals know how to assist you in various aspects of your marketing, whether you need a brand-new plan or are just tweaking your current efforts. We can even help you develop an SEO content strategy. Reach out to us by phone at (480) 750-2252 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch. We look forward to learning about your business’s digital marketing needs.

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