Creating compelling content is both an art and a science, and whether you’re using articles or videos, there are certain principles to be mindful of as you aim to reach people.
There’s a zillion things competing for the attention of your potential audience, which is why it is so important to not just create mere content, but to create meaningful and compelling content that grabs their attention and keeps their attention.
Implementing certain principles while using some ingenuity and creativity can go a long way. So here are 10 tips on creating compelling content:
1. Quality Over Quantity
Internet gurus like David Wood will tell you to spend no more than 45 minutes writing a 300-500 word article that is compelling and thought-provoking- while Jonathan Bud will say it should only take 5 minutes to make a “killer video” – Really?!!
Sorry, but there is no way your going to write a compelling and thought-provoking 300-500 word article in just 45 minutes -or- a killer video in just 5 unless you happen to have some extraordinary skills or extraordinary lifestyle. So, unless you have extraordinary abilities and/or lifestyle, you only have two options: Quantity -or- Quality
You can deliver blog content on a daily basis like they recommend, but can you really make it captivating and compelling?… Remember the competition is getting steeper by the day and there is a lot more noise online today than there was yesterday, so it does take a significant amount of time to create a well thought-out and well-crafted piece of content that will actually stand-out.
It is important to deliver content on a frequent and consistent basis, so striking a balance between quality and quantity should be made somewhere, but give more weight to quality. For me, I aim for a minimum of 3 posts a week which gives me the time needed to create content that actually is thought-provoking and valuable. We all need to figure out our own formula according to our own particular circumstances just as long as we are creating quality content on a frequent and consistent basis.
2. Know Your Audience- and What Makes Them Tick
First of all, having an understanding of human nature, in general, is a highly valuable asset. What people generally resonate well with, is a message that has personality and authenticity, which can quickly build trust and rapport; Some passion and a little humor are some other elements that connect with people as well as a unique angle on things that may be a bit challenging or at least thought-provoking.
But then having a specific understanding of the particular niche that you’re targeting is just as critical. You have to know what they need and want and always ask, “What’s in it for them?” And how are you going to give them what they need and want? Essentially, you need to get into the mind and emotions of your target audience and find how you can truly serve them.
3. Be Qualified and Competent
Know what your talking about or shut-up! Don’t be another fool who babbles-on about something that is not within your expertise. If there is something you want to cover that you aren’t up on, then give your due diligence to research and educate yourself and get your facts straight before spouting-off about it.
Having adequate knowledge on your topic is important, but having the accompaniment of experience is even better. Remember that the word experience has the same root-meaning as the word expert, so if you are assuming the role of an expert, then it is best to primarily stick with the topics that you have experience with.
4. A Powerful Headline
Besides a thumbnail image, the first thing people will see of your content is the title heading. This can surely make the difference whether or not people will even bother to look at your content, so your headline must be something that is intriguing and attractive.
Again, having insight an understanding of human nature and specific knowledge of your target audience is vital to creating compelling content and the title is the very first impression of that content and usually the one chance you get at drawing their attention, so investing a significant degree of thought into your heading is very worthwhile.
5. Tell Your Story
When I first started learning to use the Internet to market my business, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I was always one of those technically challenged types that didn’t even know how to copy & paste and every time I got in front of the computer, there seemed to be a dark cloud that formed above. Just figuring out how to set-up a Youtube account was a major triumph as uploading a video was another milestone.
But with great focus and determination I came to a point where I felt like I was right in my element with Internet technology. All that brain-racking frustration and demoralizing anguish paid-off when I realized the rewards of my suffering. And then…”
You see how refreshing it is to take a break on the preaching and just tell a story? There’s something about a story that resonates and captivates. Never have I been more riveted than by a story that included elements of victory & defeat, humility & suffering- and triumph & vindication.
It’s great to tell notable stories of other people, but don’t neglect the power of your own story. Be brave enough to be transparent by including some embarrassing parts of your story and how you suffered, because most people can relate to that as it also demonstrates putting your guard down which may incline your audience to lower their defenses to enable a more profound connection.
6. Be Engaging and Interactive
One of the best ways to engage and interact with your audience is to play “question & answer”. Present challenging questions that really cause people to think, or give answers to common questions and objections. Simply forming your content in the form of a dialogue as opposed to a straight monologue lends itself to a sense of interaction.
Presenting yourself as a unique and interesting individual with real value and a meaningful message are some basic aspects of engaging with your audience; and when you tailor in some form of dialogue to your story that delivers helpful information in an enjoyable way, you are more likely to keep your audience captivated and coming back for more.
7. Show & Tell
When writing articles, it’s always nice to have some images that help reinforce your message as most people are very visually oriented. So taking the time to find images that best compliment your message is a very worthwhile practice as it will also show a thumbnail image in your link-post that supports your headline for a more attractive display.
When executing videos, you can highlight your message with facial expressions, voice tones and hand gestures. Your video presence gives you an opportunity to show a much wider display of your persona and helps people connect with you better and remember you more easily. Using a white board to illustrate with can be very helpful or perhaps some kind of prop; and remember that your background settings is also communicating something.
Metaphors are like word-pictures that help paint a picture in our minds which can go a long way. Any literary device that helps stimulate the imagination is worth wielding as well as just simply using more descriptive words and illustrations.
8. Get To The Point
While it does take a little time to tell a story and paint a picture, it’s important that we don’t make it too drawn-out and long-winded. We live in a busy age of a soundbite society that doesn’t have the time or attention-span to take-in loads of information, so, unless your target audience has a wider pallet than most, you will need to deliver your content in bite-size pieces while keeping it short and to the point.
If your like me and refuse to produce shallow little diddies, than there are ways to be more thorough and in-depth by linking to supporting articles or using anchor text; Breaking your topic into a multi-part series is an excellent way to assimilate a more thorough and comprehensive piece; And it’s always good to explore different ways to articulate a point in a more simple form with fewer words.
Even a well-written article can be difficult to follow when its not arranged in a friendly format. Breaking-up your paragraphs into 3-4 line segments makes it easy on the eye’s and less intimidating to read. Making use of bold, italic, underlined and colored print also assists the reader to follow along better while bullet points and numbered tips help guide and facilitate a better reading experience.
Video format is also easier to follow when arranged in an organized fashion. Pacing your speech to allow each point to settle before going to the next point, but, of course, not taking too long to get to the point. Unless you have amazing improvisation skills, you should go off an outline or script.
Even the best of us are alluded by a typo from time to time, but having one after another can really distract from the message while having a negative impact on our credibility. Not only is proof reading important for proper spelling, but also to find ways to optimize our content. The Internet makes it much easier to publish and update material, but don’t let that keep you from delivering your best.
Taking the time to craft your content in a way that is intriguing, attractive and captivating is essential to achieving exposure; Engaging and interactive elements are powerful tools as well as images, illustrations and literary devices; And being unique and interesting with the genuine nature of your authentic personality is a quality one must not neglect in creating compelling content that draws the attention of a preoccupied society.
–Bonus Tip– Conviction- Having firm belief in what you’re doing and what you’re about is of the essence in creating compelling content. You can’t expect anyone to be moved by your message if you’re not moved by it.