The secret to user engagement turned out to lie in the creation of quality content – who would have thought?
Good content is simple in theory. Its aim is to create something that’s interesting to read, something that creates audience engagement, and something that gets across the writer’s opinion and knowledge. Good content is personal – a reader should have an idea that the tone and style is the writer’s own and so is identifiable. Good content is clear, concise, well-written and fluff-free.
It’s for these reasons that writing quality content can be quite difficult. The passage of information between person to person can sometimes lead to a great deal of miscommunication, and writing content is no exception.
So how do we go about it?
First of all, know the audience. You have to tailor the information, style and tone for the person reading it. Think about what the audience’s expectations are and look to meet them.
It’s no use writing a beginner’s guide to computers and delving straight into choosing the right graphics card, just as a review of a graphics card shouldn’t include tedious explanations of basic computer hardware. In both cases, the target audience won’t want to hear about those points as it’s pitched too high or too low.
Clear, concise sentences can be difficult to achieve, but if you’re inexperienced in writing content, pare down the idea or message to the smallest possible size and take it from there. Avoid long sentences and large words especially when the message can be made with simpler and clearer writing.
It’s always obvious when content has been written by someone who knows and enjoys the subject. Faking the funk can be hard to do. Research the topic and gain ideas, tone and vocabulary from others experienced on the topic. You’ll have a far better chance of convincing your audience if you gain their trust and the best way of doing that is to know what you’re talking about and speaking your audience’s language.
While you can create negative content and do it well, keep in mind web-based content is attracting ever-increasing user comments and opinions. Inoffensive and positive content has more longevity. Negativity can date quickly and doesn’t incur quite as much blowback as angry or insulting content can. Plus, it’s just not nice.
It should be written by you
If you are writing for your brand or for yourself, you want to convey to your audience the things that make you unique and worth listening to. In fact, it’s a worthwhile aim for anyone writing content in all manner of situations. Compelling, entertaining and informative content is aided by personality. While trade and academia might not need this so much, more informal web content can certainly benefit from a user feeling as though the content was written by another person it’s all about communication.
As you can see, good content is creative, personal and has a point to it. It has to show that it’s worth reading, and it has to get across the message that it intends. While the ideas that make content a quality experience are simple enough to explain, the real challenge is putting them into practice. But with a bit of practice, anyone can communicate effectively.