Not sure how to create great and engaging content that grips your readers? This article will show you ways to engage your audience with content.
The same way some writers and bloggers hold your attention from the first word of their articles to the last word. We are many times first readers before content creators. And as readers, we have all read that article that held our attention from the first word to the last one.
The fact that you found your way to this article means you aren’t only satisfied with reading great stuff like that, but you also want to create great and engaging content that grips your readers too. Here are 15 ways to engage your audience with content, no matter your audience:
1. Understand Your Audience Deeply
No. I do not mean to have a clue what your audience is. Many times, a clue is just not enough. An understanding is what I am asking you to have, Understand your target audience.
Let us imagine this: Kevin Hart walks into a hall full of native Spanish speakers to perform minutes of comedy. None of them understands English.
What do you think is going to happen when he begins to talk?
Well, I will tell you what. He is going to say the first joke. And there is going to be no response. The same thing is going to happen when he says the second joke. And the third. And the fourth.
The jokes may be very funny. But the audience isn’t going to appreciate it because a hall of native Spanish speakers is not the target audience for English-speaking Kevin Hart.
The same thing is going to happen when you write content for an audience that does not understand you, an audience you do not understand. Understanding your target audience is basically having a clear idea of what kind of stuff they like to read and view.
To get this idea, you will have to study the engagements on your respective posts and pages:
- Which page has the most visits?
- What did you write on that page?
- Which page has the lowest visits and engagements?
- What did you write or publish on that page?
Map your future content around your findings. If playful writing got you the most page views, try writing playful stuff again. Watch how this goes. Does it get you more or fewer views?
You are seated on your own by a pool. Someone comes to you and tells you a story about a man who cannot swim. Two minutes after, he leaves. And just then, another person comes to you and tells you the very story. He tells it the same way the first man told it to you. When this one leaves, another person comes. He tells the story the exact same way.
I am guessing you will soon start to roll your eyes.
Now, imagine that as soon as the third man leaves, a lady walks up to you with a guitar and starts to sing. In her song, she tells you the very story the three other men told you, only she uses music instead of speech.
Of the four people, which of them is going to interest you the most? The first one, and the last one—no doubt.
The first one is going to impress you because he brought a new story to your ears. And the last will impress you because, even though she told the same story as her other counterparts, she retained her originality.
This is what you should aim to do when you write content. Be original, and be unique.
If you are telling a story or writing an article about what has already been explored before—you are going to do this a lot of times—you should try as much as possible to be original.
Do not try to sound like someone else. Do not settle for plagiarism. Just do you. Do you in the most way possible, such that your readers may even begin to attribute a particular style to you.
Stories are an important part of human communication and they help to engage our audience. We all tell stories. We tell our spouses about how our days went. We tell coworkers about an annoying boss. Also, we tell our children our experience when we used to be kids, etc.
As a content writer, your readers are a huge part of your life, and you should try as much as you can to tell them stories where necessary. Your stories should be very relatable and should appeal to the emotions of your readers.
Take a look at the picture below:
We all want to feel something; it makes us feel something. Make us roll our eyes. Make us laugh. Grip us in suspense. One of the ways to hold your readers in suspense is to give them bits of information from time to time. Do not tell too much, and do not tell too much too early.
Use stories to simplify a point. Storytelling forge connections between people and ideas, and they are easy to remember.
4. Your First Paragraph
Your first paragraph is what appeals to your readers first. If it is great, your readers will most likely read through and will end up reading the rest of the content. If it is not so great, then you will have fewer reads.
A few ideas to make your first paragraph strike hard are:
- A short first sentence: do not begin writing your post or article with a pretty long and boring sentence. First sentences are often called hooks. Because that’s what they do; hook the reader.
- A story: you can begin your first paragraph with a story. Stories pique your reader’s interest. They want to read on and on.
- A question: think about a question that can engage your reader. Ask it.
5. Let Your Audience Think
Do not spoon-feed your readers. Make them think. Layer your points so that they do the work of unraveling them. Readers like to think for themselves. Make them think. Ask them questions. Make them think of alternate scenarios.
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To engage your audience with content, use visuals. Many people prefer videos and pictures to text. Use them, and use them a lot. Do not think that the presence of videos means the absence of texts. No. It does not.
Texts can support videos and pictures, just the way videos and pictures can support texts. Use visuals to support your content.
The pictures should be high quality but not large enough to make your site laggy and slow. A laggy site is a big no to readers. Low-quality pictures do not look good.
Make sure not to use copyrighted pictures. You do not want to have a lawsuit on your hands.
Your videos should be engaging too. Try to stick to shorter videos, except there is a necessary need to post longer ones. “How to” Videos are great.
7. Credible Content Only
No matter how great your content is, if it is not credible, the purpose of creating the content is defeated. Do not be that creator that is known for putting up erroneous works. This is going to make fewer people, if anyone, take you seriously.
How can you engage an audience that doesn’t take you seriously Well, the same way an elephant can fly ten thousand feet above the ground.
Your content has to be fact-based. Facts stand out. Facts are the deal. Your readers want facts.
New information keeps popping up in the world to displace old ones. If you have published content in the past that no longer stands out as true, do well to go back to it and edit.
8. Plagiarism Is a No
Do not copy someone else’s works. People who are in the habit of plagiarizing other people’s works first do a disservice to themselves before doing a disservice to others. Use your own words, and use them well.
After writing, use a plagiarism tool checker like Grammarly or Duplichecker to check if your content is 100% original like in the picture below.
Write like you are both the reader and the writer. If you were reading that article you are currently working on, would you love it?
As a writer, putting out content to the rest of the world, you should be reader-motivated. Try to enter into your reader’s mind. That way, you can make your content more engaging.
The title of your work is very important. It is the first thing your audience sees. Structure it in a way that your title engages your audience and compels them to take action.
If you love books, you would admit that you have at some point or the other bought a book just because of the title. Title your works in a way that draws on the reader. Short, unconventional titles. Avoid clichés. They are bad for business.
Even the most well-written content begins to bore when a certain length is crossed. End your writing before it begins to bore.
Arrange it well too. Do not use too many long paragraphs. Short paragraphs are great. White spaces too. Let your readers see a lot of those.
Also, many people are impatient. They want to get to the point quickly as possible. When they find out that the article takes too much of their time without covering relevant factors, they may close their minds.
To engage your audience with your content, show them that the article provides solutions for the problems that concern them and do so in as few words as possible. Try to get to the point quickly while arousing the reader’s interest.
Featured Photo by Alysha Rosly on Unsplash