It happens to the best of us — that feeling that we’re not good enough. That what we’ve said or what we’ve written falls on deaf ears or a blind eye. Online content has become a kind of psychological trap — a vicious cycle of wanting to produce content that goes viral, but it doesn’t. That feeling of disappointment when something we post gets no likes. And yet there are some hard truths that many of us don’t want to face — the reason why much of our content is ignored is that it really isn’t good enough.
If you take a look at what goes viral, it boils down to human nature; we are attached to our feelings, and what evokes strong emotions is what pushes us to take action, whether that be inspired by love, hate, disgust, affection, desire, humor, or gratitude. That which leaves us indifferent gets ignored. So, how can we be sure when we’re creating content that we will engage our target audience?
Here are five tips to do just that:
Tip #1: Know your audience
Understanding your buyer personas means you’ve done your homework in order to know who they are, and where they hang out online; you know what they have the tendency to like, comment on or share. In order to do that, you need to get good at “social listening” which means you are paying attention to what they are saying across their feeds, and within groups and forums. Knowing what your audience regularly engages with will help you to create new content geared towards them, and should help increase your response rate.
Tip #2: Know your channels
Not all channels are created equal. By putting in place KPIs and evaluating the reactivity of your content, you can focus on the channels that work (and ditch the ones that don’t). You don’t need to be present everywhere online — if Facebook doesn’t work for you, don’t waste your time. It’s better to focus on the one or two channels that best support your business than to spread yourself thin.
Tip #3: Determine the types of content you need
Not everyone consumes content in the same way, which is why it’s nice to have a variety of different formats for your audience to choose from. Photos may be worth 1000 words, but sometimes 1000 words are necessary; short tutorials, case studies, infographics and explainer videos are also great ways of grabbing people’s attention and keeping it (if only for a few minutes). Knowing what your audience engages with will help you to hone in on the type of content you need to create so that you can stay relevant.
Tip #4: Don’t forget your SEO
Search engine optimization is not something that’s done once and then gets checked off of your to-do list; it’s an ongoing process and can take a lot of time (and content) in order for you to rank highly on the query terms you’re interested in. It’s important to list the terms you want to rank for, and then see how you rank on them now; once you have created specific content around those keywords, you can go back and see the impact that your efforts have had.
Tip #5: Get emotional
Don’t be afraid to get emotional in your storytelling! Everyone loves a good story, but in order to bring it home to your audience, it needs to be personal. You can use the emotion wheel below to pinpoint the exact emotions you want to evoke in your audience — but more importantly, it needs to come from the heart.