Creating engaging content: Master story-telling and deliver an “experience”
On the second day of the recently-held Social Media Week in Mumbai, I attended a very useful session on the topic of creating great content. Titled “Social Content 101 – How To Create Your Own Engaging Content” and hosted by The Word Jockey Creative Content Studio, the session highlighted the importance of content in social media and digital marketing. It provided insights into how we can win and keep our online audience with the right content. Speakers also revealed valuable tips to create engaging and sustainable content, which are the hallmarks of effective content strategy and management.
Content: beyond information and readability
Payal Shah, Content Director and Founder at The Word Jockey Creative Content Studio, conducted the session on Social Content 101. She kick-started the session with a simple question, “What is CONTENT?”.
While the attendees responded with different definitions such as information posted for the target audience, written text to help people make buying decisions, so on and so forth, the one word definition according to Payal is, CONTENT = EXPERIENCE.
Content is a sum total of what you see, hear and feel about a piece of information. Content is what people feel after they read it. It is not just text, but something that can stir emotions, which could compel a person to share it with the world and create some sort of engagement. It’s a feeling that a reader takes back.
“Create engaging content” is often the one-liner brief that most content marketing agencies get from their clients these days. So, how do we fulfill such a mandate? Content is engaging when it propels a person to take an action. Ask yourself, does your content have an emotional appeal?
Three secrets to creating engaging content
Payal then went to share her secrets to creating engaging content along with good examples. She rightly pointed out that there is no one strategy that can guarantee your success with the content you create. “Viral content” happens; it is not something that you can plan and guarantee.
Payal listed her three tips that help create engaging content.
# 1- Focus on the consumer and not on the brand: For successful content marketing, the first step is for brands to stop being selfish and think about the consumer.
The key takeaways are:
• Never to present your brand as a HERO, largely because nobody cares.
• Don’t force your brands on the consumers; instead, be an emotional storyteller and engage through your content.
• Content is not about words; you can make use of simple infographics with two liners to share your story.
# 2- Create Curiosity : What drives people to take action? Curiosity.
I think this requires all content creators to think strategically about the kind of content that will stimulate the appetite for more. It forces content marketers to question how much should be revealed to the target audience and how much withheld. This is a fine balancing act that good content marketers have to master to succeed.
# 3- Master Emotional Storytelling / Hire the “Write” Social Storyteller
Tell a story that stirs emotions and propels a reader to take an action. Don’t be driven or bound by content targets to create ‘n’ number of articles/blogs in a month. Brainstorm and see how you can create content that is simple yet effective. Whatever you are writing, ask yourself ‘why’ – is it going to help in reaching and connecting with the target audience?
The session was taken over by Varun Duggirala, Co-Founder and Business head, The Glitch. His suggestion was to step back to the basics when it comes to creating social content. According to him, content is social when:
• It’s a conversation
• It’s not an editorial or an advert
• It’s seeing a story
Varun showed a few videos that are good examples of how the world of content is evolving.
• Find Your VW Match with the New VW.com
• Center for Selfie Improvement
He also asked content marketers to explore two platforms that are gaining immense popularity as potential channels for their content distribution. These are:
• Snapchat – a photo messaging application
• Medium – a blog-publishing platform
By Namita Walia Sawant
Namita is the Content & Social Media Manager at On Target Marketing Solutions and leads content strategy planning and delivery for clients across diverse industries.
On Target Marketing Solutions helps clients with their inbound marketing with strategic content planning, content generation and content distribution solutions. Contact us on (022) 64506796 or send an inquiry today to find out how we can help you with your online visibility and lead generation efforts. Over 100 companies in Mumbai have already benefited from our expertise!