Joanne Roberts from Griot Communications recently delivered a session for local organisations on how to write engaging content and has kindly prepared 7 handy tips to help.

What kind of content would make you stop scrolling?

I’m not talking about the things that are like crack cocaine for the brain (shocking/unbelievable/amazing results, 3 easy answers or celebrity gossip). I mean the kind of content that inspires you, informs you and moves you to action.

And although we may all vary on what that looks like, if we stop to think about it, we’d probably come up with more similarities than differences.

The hard part is when you’re on the other end of the exchange, trying to attract and engage people through your content.

What do I mean by content?

If social media today is anything to go by, content is synonymous with video. But, in fact there’s a wide range of written digital content, including:

  • Social media posts
  • blog posts,
  • email marketing
  • white papers
  • e-books
  • case studies
  • etc.

Content is king, but content is EVERYWHERE!

The challenge for small business owners, social entrepreneurs and charity marketers looking to engage their audiences is that the market is oversaturated with ads and content.

Content marketing has totally transformed the digi-scape of marketing. No longer do we have to shout louder to make ourselves heard.

But with a market that’s already full of people marketing the same product or service as you, how do you write to engage the audiences to take that action?

These 7 principles will help you connect with your audiences

  1. ‘Stop shouting and make yourself useful’: I saw this quote by tech content marketing agency Velocity and thought it summed it up perfectly. Instead of thinking about what you want to get your audiences to do, start thinking about how you want to help them solve their problems.

  2. Understand your audiences: Go beyond the basic demographics to think through what their hopes, fears and aspirations are. Think about where they hang out, what they’re seeing, feeling and hearing. Test and learn as you go.

  3. Be informative: Draw on your own insight, understanding and experience of your industry or sector. What data do you have? What trends have you identified, who are the leaders that you want to quote? Comment on current affairs and how they relate to your industry.

  4. Think about the change you want to see: During the planning of your content, whether it’s a single blog post or case study, or part of a bigger campaign, think about the change you want to see in your audience. Do you want them to gain new understanding, learn new skills, challenge their assumptions, get them to take a specific action?

  5. Get real: Think about how you write for your audiences shows your personality, vision and values. How do everyday experiences reflect what you stand for? How do you want to show up consistently? Warm, tongue-in-cheek, curious, quirky?

  6. Tell a story: Sharing a story about your business or organisation’s journey, values and purpose is one of the best ways to achieve number 5. But don’t stop there. There are so many other stories to tell, and ways to tell them.

  7. Find a hook: We’re back to the clickbait headlines and opening sentences. Don’t be clever with your headlines. We’re hunter-gatherers when it comes to reading online. Think of the keywords that your audience wants to see. You may want to start with a question, an anecdote, a startling statistic or quote.

Want help from Griot Communications?

Do you want help with planning or writing content for your audiences?  Joanne specialises in story-based content marketing solutions for purpose-driven businesses and charities. They also offer 10% off for Lewisham Local cardholders!

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