What does engaging content actually mean?

like engaging contentThe phrase engaging content is thrown around a lot, especially by those in the marketing industry, but how are you meant to know what’s ‘engaging’ and what isn’t?

Don’t worry. We’re on hand to help you identify what sort of content your customers will love and what will send them running for the hills. All you need to do is create a variety of high quality content across your blog, email channels and social networks that grabs people’s attention and makes them want to come back for more. Easy right?

Well … not quite … but if you follow our six-step plan you’ll be off to a great start.

Six tips for engaging content

1.      Identify your audience

Knowing what your audience want will help you during the content planning stage. Read Facebook comments, Twitter feeds and other social media platforms to get a quick idea of what your target demographic is talking about. Set up Google alerts and hashtag/keyword monitoring in Hootsuite to really hone in on subjects and get inspiration from other sources.

2.      Develop a tone

Talk like a real person. That’s really important. A generic news-reporting style won’t help you make a relationship with your audience, but talking in a friendly and approachable manner will. Use every online interaction as a chance to change their perception of your business. There are a couple of little tricks you can use to remind them that you’re a human being too:

  • If you’re emailing them, use their name
  • Sign off ‘brand’ tweets with your initials
  • Lose the formal language and plump for plain English instead

3.      If you don’t ask, you don’t get

Ask questions to start conversations with your audience. Make sure they’re meaningful and thought provoking conversations, and that the answers will help your business in the future. There’s no point asking for their favourite flavour of crisps, ask about the important issues surrounding your industry and create content that provides genuinely helpful solutions to their problems.

4.      Answer your audience

If they answer questions, reply to them. If they ask questions, reply to them too. In fact, if your audience talks to you in any form, reply to them!

Be ready for a bit of criticism; not everyone is going to like your product/company, and often people will go to social media to complain. Address these complaints quickly and professionally as it shows the person you’re talking to (and those who can see the post) that you have resolved the issue because your company is just that good!

5.      Promote other people’s engaging content

Share posts from other people in your industry (steer clear from your competitors though!). Whether it’s a tweet, blog post or a news article, it will make you seem less insular and more approachable. Commenting on these posts as you share them will turn you into a thought leader in a new community that you created. That’s never a bad position to be in.

6.      Make up a challenge or contest

Don’t underestimate the desire to compete! People love a good competition and a good prize, so use an app like Challenged or the contest generator on Facebook to add a social component to your competition.

Once you know how to create engaging content it’s pretty easy to keep making it. Get into good habits by following our tips and you’ll do no wrong. If you think about your audience, think about current topics and trends and how they’ll affect your industry and use a variety of different content types, the engagement will follow.

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