If you don’t care about the content you’re writing, your readers won’t either.
Have a think about that idea for a minute. It makes sense, right? If you’ve ever pretended to be excited about that awful jumper you got from your parents last Christmas, or that time when your friend got engaged right after you got dumped, it’s pretty much the same kind of thing. We’re guessing that on those occasions it was hard to keep pretending.
So, when it comes to content, don’t underestimate your readers. Give them some credit – they aren’t dumb. They’ll be able to tell when you don’t genuinely care about the product, brand or topic you’re plugging. Be your own reader and ask yourself, “Would I want to read this?” If the answer’s “No”, you might want to give everything a rethink.
Writing can be time-consuming and we’ve probably all been guilty of rushing an article just to get it live. But competition is fierce in digital marketing: whoever you are and whatever you deal in, you’ll be competing with other companies who also want to get their brand, services and products known. Ultimately, exciting content will help to drive views, engagement and social shares, because, in the same way that we’re hard-wired to yawn when we see someone else yawn, authentic enthusiasm from the creator (that’s you) rubs off on the reader. So it’s more than worth the extra effort.
Here’s how you can really get behind what you’re writing about and engage your audience.
If you’re feeling bored or uninterested when you’re working on a piece of content, it’s likely that the result will fall flat when it’s published. The best content evokes emotion in your readers, whether this is surprise, joy, anger, apprehension, and so on.
Evoking strong emotions has been proved to drive engagement. You’ll want to pique the interest of your readers so that they can be just as excited or curious about the topic as you are. Creating that spark will make a reader far more likely to act. This might be by...
- sharing the excitement with their friends and followers through social platforms
- talking to their friends and family in person
- heading straight over to product pages to make an impulse purchase
- following your brand’s social channels, signing up to a newsletter, or otherwise engaging with your channels
Inject Your Personality
Often, the best kind of writing features little glimpses of the writer’s personality. We’re not suggesting you go all out, but honing your own writing style and injecting your personality into a piece can work wonders.
You’ll want to keep in mind your audience and the brand itself of course, but there are always simple ways to charm your readers with a bit of lightheartedness.
In the words of psychologist Edward de Bono:
“Humour is by far the most significant activity of the human brain.”
If that’s not an incentive enough to get the odd joke into your articles, we’re not sure what is. Humour is a tricky thing though, so it’ll need to come naturally and be relevant to the content you are writing. A joke here and there or a funny reference that helps to illuminate your point can help to keep your reader engaged.
Embedding images and other visual elements into your content is a pretty sure-fire way to make it more exciting for your readers. Visuals can help draw your readers in and keep them browsing through your content, and maybe even wider across the rest of your website.
Buzzsumo found that articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the number of social shares than articles with fewer images. And Buffer suggests that visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. Wow.
Including visual elements is an easy-peasy way to help get your point across. You might be able to express something through an image without having to directly spell it out. The internet is your oyster for stock images, funny memes and GIFs galore – or you could make your own with tools like Buffer’s Pablo tool.
And video content is, of course, another gem to add to your visuals treasure chest.
Tell a Story
By storytelling, we don’t mean the ‘once upon a time’ set-up. When you want to create exciting content, storytelling is a powerful tool, because let’s face it, everyone loves stories. It’s the oldest trick in the book.
Storytelling goes two ways – you can frame your content in the form of a story narrative, or allude to a personal story. Adding relatable and personal touches to your content can make it more memorable and influential, helping to build the trust of your readers.
If you’re trying to explain a tricky or technical topic, weaving a narrative through your content can make it far easier for your reader to digest. The step-by-step guide is just one example of this storytelling method.
On the flipside, you can use the storytelling technique in the form of anecdotes: share an experience or introduce a reference to something that your readers will know, in order to clarify your point. (I did this right at the start of this article, in the first paragraph.)
Ready to Get Excited About Your Content?
So, before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), it’s essential to have the purpose of your content nailed down and to be totally sure about what you’re writing. Invoking genuine interest in your subject matter will really help to engage your audience. Because excitement rubs off, doesn’t it?