Conveying a message is one thing, generating response and engagement is another. Compelling content may not be easy, but you can get one (or three) steps closer by implementing the tips below.
It can be a rough walk in the digital channel and platform jungle. Messages here and there, like vegetation blocking our way (unwanted) or nice looking plants we spend a second or two to indulge the view of (wanted) before walking further. For many brands, digital presence is simply a means of showing that they exist. Posting content here and there is done regardless of whether interaction from the receiver should occur. “We are present” can be ticked off – sadly without much engagement. Some may be present in all the right places, but lacking the quality of the message itself. Don’t be one of them! Here are my three tips:
1. Turn the focus away from you as the sender
Your own message about e.g. a new policy might not be the most interesting. Turn it around and start with the receiver or the people this policy will affect. Personify it and convey what they think or what the link to them is. In this way, your own message will still be there, but more indirectly so. This can build both trust and engagement, as well as a more “human” touch to it. Extra tip: Faces and reactions are great engagers for digital content.
2. Don’t be too specific
Although you might have heard the opposite, relating content to a broader theme, issue or event may pay off. Especially if you sell something quite specific, try to increase the relevance by linking it up to something related. It can be new research findings, a national day or current, local events. If you can start the message there, before speaking of your product or service, more viewers/readers are triggered by a more likely relevance and then learn to associate your brand with it. Make sure the message is in line with your brand identity, with the right tone of voice to match.
3. Focus on contrasts
Don’t be afraid to play with contrasts, whether it may be words, sounds or images/video. It is literally an eye-opener for most of us, as that’s just how the brain works. In my experience, it makes the content viewer more alert and the content message stick a little bit longer, too. That is because these contrasts allow us to further process and compare what is presented. Your message becomes less “flat” and one-dimensional in a sense, as long as you don’t overuse it. Stick to one or two contrasts per message.
To continue down the vegetation analogy, creating engaging and effective content needs to be tended like a plant. If the jungle gets too overgrown and screams for attention without any depth to it, people will chop off the branches that stand in their way and move forward. If we want people to stop and pay attention, more work is needed. Make sure you create the content in a way that encourages dialogue and stimulates further thought processing. If you succeed, both you and the viewer end up nourishing the plant because it gives value to both of you.