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The 7 critical factors of content that generates engagement and 1 that rules them all

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I think  you’ll agree with me when I say:

Creating content that generates engagement is hard!

In fact:

Creating engaging content has been one of the top challenges for marketers.

 

top challenges.png

Well, there are seven factors you can use to create content that generates engagement.

In this post, you are going to learn how to easily incorporate these seven factors into your content.

One out of the seven factors is indispensable. It makes your content engaging, fascinating and enticing all the time.

But before we get to that, let's take a look at what engaging content is.

CB Whittemore of Simple Marketing LLC defined engaging content as “a content that grabs a reader’s interest and attention, drawing him/her into reading more – because the content is incredibly relevant, informative even entertaining – and causing him/her to accord value to the content – ideally, enough value to take an action."

Below are the 7 factors of an engaging content:

1. A click-worthy headline

Do you know that headline accounts for up to 50% of your blog post's effectiveness?

It is the first thing that attracts visitors to your content. It is the entry into your reader and potential customer's world. Thus, if you create weak headlines, all other marketing strategies will be a waste of time and resources.

In fact, to show how important headlines are, Copyblogger's study revealed that 80% of your visitors will read your headline - but only 20% will go on to finish the article.

This is where you need to put in your best to create effective headlines for your content.

Two companies that do this well online are Buzzfeed and Upworthy. They use great headlines to generate millions of visitors monthly.

So, how do you create a headline that generates clicks?

The first thing you need to know about creating headlines that grab readers attention is that, it must be interesting.

So, for a reader to click on your headline, they must find it interesting.

Let's use Gary Bencivenga's headline formula here.

It reads:

Interest = Benefit + curiosity


The two most important ingredients you need in your headline are
benefit and curiosity.

Your headline must tell your audience what they will gain by reading the content.

For instance, "Run for 2 days to lose 10 pounds". You are telling the audience that if they run for 2 days, they will gain by losing 10 pounds out of their weights.

Adding curiosity to the benefit makes your content unpredictable. The readers are unable to predict what you are going to say in your content.


Adding these two ingredients to your headline makes it attention-grabbing, inviting and interesting.

For example, look at the headline of this article:

“The 7 critical factors of content that generates engagement and 1 that rules them all”

The benefit is, you will know the seven factors of content that generates engagement.

The curiosity part is the "1 that rules them all". If you did not open the article because of the other 6 factors, you would want to know that "1 that rules them all".

This will not only help your audience to click the title but also wait to see the 1 factor that rules them all on the page.

More examples of these type of headlines are:

Surprising marketing strategies to grab consumers attention instantly

The Little-Known Secret of Creating content that Will Have Customers Raving About Your business For Life

The drop dead simple secret to creating content your audience will absolutely love

Once your readers click to read your content, they will meet a captivating Introduction.

 

2. A Captivating Introduction

A captivating introduction convinces your readers to stay on your website.

Here, we will use Brian Dean of Backlinko's APP formula of content introduction.

The App formula means Agree, Promise and Preview.

The first thing you will do is to get the readers to agree with you on their pain points. For example in one of the articles he wrote, he started off by agreeing to his audience pain point, thus:

app formula.png


It tells your audience that you empathize with their problem or pain points. You understand what they are going through.

Now that they are in agreement with you, take them to the next level - the promise

This is the point where you tell your readers what they can achieve as shown below:

app formular 2.png

Then the last part is the preview. Give them a preview of what you are going to discuss in your post.


app formula 3.png


You can see that I followed the app formula in my introduction.

preview.png

Apart from the app formula, you can also use the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action) copywriting formula for your introduction.

Now you have an introduction that will keep readers on your website. It is time to talk like friends.

 

3. Write for a single person

It is easy to communicate with your readers by writing as if you are talking to them one-on-one.

personal writing.jpg

That way, you are writing to them directly. It makes it easy to define your voice and also enhances engagement on your content.

Neil's quote.png

Your audience will have a personal connection with your content.

There are words you can use that shows you are speaking directly to a person in your content.

Such words include "You" and "because".

These two are very powerful in the world of content marketing because it is all about your readers.

It personalizes your content to them. They don't care about you or your business, they are after what you have to offer, i.e. what they can benefit from you.

Your content is written by you but not for you. It is for your audience.

When they start interacting with your content and getting hordes of value from it, they start trusting you. Then, you see them sharing your content on social media networks and linking to it. They start recommending your product or service to their connections.

For example, look at this post on Mobile SEO on RankWatch Blog below :

4 Essential Hacks to Boost Your Mobile SEO in 2017   RankWatch Blog.png

4. Use images to increase your content perceived value

An English Idiom says "A picture is worth a thousand words". Images convey many words.

Do you know the reason why Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat are trending?

It is because they focus on pictures. People respond mostly to visual information than texts. The fact is the human brain process visual information 60,000x faster than plain text.


Also, according to a research by Zabisco,
40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text.

Now, you see that you need visuals to make your content engaging.

How do you go about incorporating visuals into your content to make it engaging?

You can add infographics, videos, Slideshare presentations, surveys, images etc. to your content to make it more engaging.

For example, Copyblogger published an infographic in 2012 titled "15 Grammar Goofs".

copy blogger infograp.png

 

As at today, the infographic generated 6,500k tweets, 2,000+ shares in LinkedIn, 60,700 likes on Facebook, 1,700 Google + shares and 193,700 Pinterest pins.

5. Use storytelling

An old Native American proverb reads: “Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.”

Storytelling in content creation is very important. It helps your audience to connect with you one-on-one, hence creating engagement.

Stories trigger your reader's emotions, helping them to do what you want on your website.

Anthony De Mello said, " the shortest distance between a human brain and the truth is a story".

story1.jpg

How can you incorporate storytelling into your content?

There are three strategic storytelling methods you can use in your content: You can use your own story (of success and failures), your personality (experiences) and you can leverage on other people’s success or failure stories.

i. Use your own story

Every one of us has stories to tell, from your failures to your successes in life and business.

You can use your past experiences, case studies, fails and wins to tell stories. A great example is this one by Nick of Seonick:

story3.png

The article generated 794 comments, 554 likes on Facebook, 343 G+ shares, 23 Pinterest pins, 371 LinkedIn shares, 350 Stumbles.

ii. Use your personality

As human beings, we are created to share and listen to stories. It is interesting, educating and inspiring!

This makes storytelling a natural tool to help grow your audience and generate engagement effortlessly.

A good example of a blogger that used this technique and generated massive engagement is Jon Morrow of Smart Blogger.

He wrote a post titled "How to quit your job, move to paradise and get paid to change the world" for Problogger.