How to write engaging content is more critical to your business than you may realize. You have only eight seconds to capture your audience’s attention and keep them engaged. (You read that correctly.) Are you feeling the pressure?
Not to worry! Some simple questions can help you begin. As you’re scrolling through the internet, ask yourself 1) what attracts your attention and 2) what makes you most likely click on a link?
With so much short-form content available nowadays (such as tweets, Tik Toks, Instagram stories, and on and on…), it’s natural for people to have a shorter attention span or tolerance of content they don’t immediately find interesting or engaging.
While your content may be good, it is more important that you engage with your audience. Because let’s be honest, no matter how good your content is, you’ve wasted your time if people are not going to click on it!
Keep reading to find four distinct elements and strategies that will keep your audience engaged, no matter the content you put out.
Grab Their Attention with the Catchiest Headline
“3 Parenting Hacks That You’ll Need for Life” vs “How to be a better parent?”
Which one would you choose? The first one is obvious in what the reader will get along with actionable steps, while the second one is just plain generic.
As mentioned above, you only have eight seconds to grab your audience’s attention, so make the most out of it!
A good headline serves as a quick and easy way for the reader to know what the content may be about and if it’s worth clicking on. The question that a good headline must answer is: “Would I want to click on this article?” Whether it’s a yes or no, the next question should be “Why?” Being able to answer yes to the first question and then having a clear answer to the second is a great way to ensure your headline works.
What determines a good headline is not as straightforward as simply summarizing the content itself. An easy way to practice writing an engaging headline is to research some yourself. Look at popular sites or media outlets and see which stand out to you. Break down each headline word, and consider why the writer used those words in that particular order.
Find a Way to Relate to Your Audience
So, your content was chosen out of so many others. What now? The next major step is to keep your audience engaged for the first minute or so as they read your content. If they can commit a full minute, they will more likely stay the rest of the way!
According to brain science, we need to hit the emotional center of our brain in order for us to care about and remember what we’re reading. An effective way to do that is to provide some sort of relatable story or anecdote that will hit home with your audience. Being relatable with them allows an emotional connection to form, and it’s this emotional connection that will keep them invested, not only for this one form of content, but hopefully for your brand in general.
Be Original and Distinguish Your Voice
Write your content like how you would speak! And most importantly, share what’s important to you, things that align with your values, and from your unique perspective. There are plenty of other people out there likely discussing similar things to what you’re sharing, but your audience is drawn to you for a reason — capitalize on it! Hearing a topic from your perspective may help them understand and digest the information more easily.
Our brain groups similar information together to process things more quickly and efficiently. If your audience is already bought into you, your perspective, and your values, they will more likely be interested in what you say about the topics you’re discussing.
Remember, there’s only one of you out there in the world, so your voice is unique and authentic!
Use Engaging Visuals
Though you may have commanded the attention of your intended audience by this point, it is still essential to maintain interest throughout your article.
Most of us are visual learners or respond to visual stimuli more than simply reading words, which means the right visuals may keep someone interested and drive your message home. This could be a visual example of what you’re describing or a graph or chart that backs your claim.
Videos are popular as well, but can be a double-edged sword, since using a video site like YouTube could pull your audience away from your content and towards something else. In any case, what you say is important, but a good visual can keep your audience engaged.
No matter the strategy you use or the content you produce, the best way to keep your audience engaged is to know your audience and understand your brand’s message.
Need help with your brand’s message? Check out our market strategy plan, where we will help you create messaging directed to your target audience!