5 Secrets to Crafting Engaging Content

When curating content, it’s sometimes tempting to just get it out the door, but it’s important to remember the basics of a big, beautiful piece of share-worthy content.

When curating content, it’s sometimes tempting to just get it out the door, but it’s important to remember the basics of a big, beautiful piece of share-worthy content.

Without good content, even the best, most compelling story can get lost. How can brands achieve real scale with content marketing?
Here’s a look at common elements seen in well-crafted content that often goes viral.

1. Give Consumers an Experience

People share positive or interesting experiences they’ve had – online and offline. Before they share it online, however, they evaluate its social currency. The more brands can give a consumer a positive experience, the more likely they’ll be to pass it on.
In this example, Australian grocery chain Woolworths turned negative online feedback from a consumer into an opportunity to connect with their customers and improve their brand.



Image Source: Mondaq.com

2. Activate Triggers

You would be surprised to see how often brands are being talked about. Johan Berger, Wharton professor, partnered with Katherine Milkman in a joint paper to present their research on the characteristics of what makes content go viral.
Many viral content pieces rely on triggers. For example, ever wonder why people share so many food photos? Or cat pictures? These are typical daily conversations of any broad target audience. By linking your product or business idea to these triggers that already exist in your targets environment, you’re creating an easy entryway to engage in conversation.

3. Show Social Proof

We look to others before making our decisions about ideas to follow or products to purchase. It’s important to gain high visibility of your products and services to help sell itself. Try using design elements to facilitate more product adoption.
Zevia, a natural soda brand, has created a feed that shows their personality whilst reflecting their message of a healthy lifestyle:


4. Evoke a Strong Emotional Reaction

When creating content, think about what emotion you want to target – happiness, inspiration, fear? Sparking a strong emotional response from your audience really gives you the opportunity to connect with them.

People will stop what they’re doing because they feel compelled to share this content with their friends or entire network.

So what emotions should you aim for? Positive emotions receive more viral than negative. Surprising right? After reading the news, you’d think otherwise.

Top 5 emotions to target according to Moz:

  • Amusement
  • Interest
  • Surprise
  • Happiness
  • Delight

5. Add Value Through Storytelling

Drive shares by creating content that targets a social motivation for your information-savvy consumers. You’re a storyteller. Your story should feed your audience’s cravings to be educated, inspired, or entertained. Good content facilitates connection. Too much fluff could cause you to lose credibility. Think practical and useful. Some examples include:

Neil Patel – Digital Marketing Guru

Humans Of New York – Catalogue of images & stories from locals

With consumers hitting information overload, brands will seek out new ways to drive consumers to share their content. Managing interactions and guiding brand advocates to communicate will be a key benefit when aligning buying behaviour.  By tapping into content marketing that focuses on these elements listed by Berger, we can create a new understanding of consumers.

This article was republished with the latest industry insights on October 17, 2016.