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The Most Important Thing About Engaging Content
The Most Important Thing About Engaging Content

Online content has rapidly become one of the most effective ways to reach and engage target audiences. The amount of engaging content available on the Internet is growing at an exponential rate. The challenge for web content writers is to make their content stand out from the rest.

To create content that will attract the right readers, online content producers need to start by focusing on only ONE key element:

Your Audience’s Language

Content writers can highly improve engagement by using the language of the audience they're targeting.

There is an infinite amount of written work and proven theories about human communication and interaction, but there's one bottom line: If you make it easy to understand, you will communicate better.

This means not only having a strong understanding of the targeted industry but also being acutely aware of the way readers communicate and the terms that they use. Often colloquial industry language is very different than the terms used by the industry.

Do your due diligence and find out the common vocab your readers use - it'll make sure your content resonates with readers and carries the intended message. Ultimately, you want to create a meaningful, two-way dialogue.

There are a few tips to research the right language tone:

Use a keyword research tool.

Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to determine what kind of keyword phrases ares being searched. This is great to get a sense of popularity, but be aware that sometimes, your audience is niche and won't necessarily register with top searched terms.

Think about the way millennials communicate - it's totally unique to them, not to the masses online. And each group has its own quirks.

Find specific communities.

Find hubs where you can look at communication styles. Avoid official publications like magazines and delve into groups like Facebook or Linkedin groups where there is a true exchange of information. This is a way to get insight on hot topics by recency and volume of comments as well. You will also become aware of what interest people, what content goes viral and which topics generate controversial opinions.

Stalk a few people online.

It sounds a lot worse than it actually is.

Once you define your audience, find an individual that embodies them. Follow someone on Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat and see your audience live and close. Stay away from big influencers though. As much as it is cool to see what online celebrity is setting trends, you want to focus on everyday language.

All content writers and content marketers should be following (closely) a group of their own readers. It seems like common sense to many, but trust me, some writers distance themselves too much.

Optimizing content for an audience also has benefits beyond the page of web content; it has search engine optimization benefits. By attracting the right audience, it is more likely to get to Google's sweet spot: rich content that engages. It works as a virtuous circle if you start getting comments: comments enrich your page with content, which in turn gets your page ranked higher, which attracts more readers and comments.

Tell a compelling story.

Once you start getting some traction, you should go beyond written content in order to create engaging content. Include surveys, reviews, podcasts, interviews or question and answer posts. Use these different elements to tell a story, through statistics, interviews or even videos and pictures. Connecting to your audience using the right stories is a methodology that has been used for many centuries. It's a tactic used to pass on knowledge for generations. It's known to activate your brain, since you experience more fully what you are learning and are therefore more likely to retain it.

There are lots of things more compelling to an audience than static reading. The key is to find the right tone, the right subjects first, then let loose and explore your engaging content formats.

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