How to create useful content that builds engagement?

Everyone these days is talking about creating engaging content that has viral potential. Brand marketers are leveraging every single medium to improve their website's conversion rate using useful content. Despite that, few brands are actually gaining the lead from the rest. Why have there been the gaps between expectation and realty? Is the term engaging content misunderstood? Overstated? Or used out of the context? I think this confusion needs to be cleared as the first priority.

Let me first define my understanding of the term engaging content. It is a piece of useful information for a certain group of audience; so much useful that they relate their thoughts with it, and because of which they feel it is important to share, like, comment on it as a sign of solidarity. When that useful, liked, shared, commented and talked about piece of information is widely circulated online, across social networks; it is said to have viral potential.

While the definition sounds so obvious, creating an engaging piece of useful content is actually very hard. It is hard not because it can not be done or there is the lack of ideas for such creation. It is hard to create because most campaign marketers think about what to create, rather than how to create or how to structure it in such a way that it becomes engaging.

I think before we craft the overall content strategy for a brand, some basic elements of what kind of content generates the most value for the business need to be researched first. This includes looking beyond the quality of a content; and finding the dots that connect readers with the content.

Don't underestimate the power of comments

You have read a great blog with lots of useful ideas. Great! The content is so infectious that you shared and liked it. Great! You have marked the topic as your next blog post for your website. Great. But are these all you needed to look? Surprisingly there are a lot of important things you missed. Next to reading the great blog, and the number of social engagement it creates, you should also read the comments it got. Quite often people speak their minds when they read a great blog, and by making comments, they leave great story ideas which if you cover strategically you can create an equal or even greater social engagement.

Learn why people share, like and comment

This is like having the secret key to open a goldmine of resource. Various studies have been undertaken to understand why people find a content useful. They are likely to share, comment or like if by reading it, they learn about an offer or discount, if it advises them something, if it warns them of dangers, if it amuses them, if it inspires them, if it unites them as a tribe. Most content that garner quality links socially are relevant and useful, authoritative content in an industry. Great content is great not necessarily because it ranks well on Google, and/or it is written by a very expert seo content writer; but because it has potential to solve someone's problem.

Use tools - they help

Before writing down your next dream blog you want to make viral, spare some thoughts for finding a great tool that can help you explore great ideas. Tools such as BuzzSumo, MOZ, Google Keyword Planner etc are highly useful to learn what kind of content you want to write is important. For using most of the tools, you however need to buy the membership for pro access; but for doing most of task; without having to invest anything Google's Keyword Planner is my best bet.

That's it for today! If you liked reading the post, you might want to read my next blog - How to write - How to Win SERP using evergreen content