In social media marketing, one of the most important elements is your content. The two-tier aim of generating & disseminating content is to communicate your brand & to ultimately drive conversions. If your content is falling short of achieving that, you are probably just chasing the wind.

I have pointed out before that the average attention span of human beings is still plummeting. Given the high demand placed on one’s attention by the ubiquitous content flooding social media you can’t afford to produce mediocre content. You are probably now already wondering how then does one get to create captivating content. Well, this is exactly what I shall be discussing in this article.

The First Point Of Contact Is The Bait

The first point of contact with a prospective customer is the headline, title, description, caption etc and probably a title picture. If this isn’t alluring enough to grip someone’s attention, even if your content body is well built, it will amount to no view from that person. The title must be long enough to cover the essentials whilst short enough to convincingly attract attention.

Know What Engages People More

An overview of Facebook last year revealed that content that usually leads to high engagements is more or less short. The average video length that was found to result in high engagements was anything between 15 seconds & 3 minutes. The average length that was responsible for high engagements with respect to text-based posts was 50 characters. Longer text-based content accounts for higher engagements if they are story-based. Case in-point is Strive Masiyiwa (who clinched the spot of top global social media influencer on Facebook last year) who uses story-telling on his page. These attributes are virtually universal and apply to any platform.

Leverage On Current Affairs & Information

The current fake news phenomenon is actually fueled by people’s insatiable appetite for news. I’m not encouraging fake news, however, I’m letting you in on a secret – infuse current affairs & information into your content. You can actually build up your content around current affairs or information; this will definitely attract people’s attention.

Desist From Monologues

Human beings are essentially transactional beings in many ways. That’s why one-way sermons in church can lead to some dozing off or being disinterested yet an interactive bible study session can engage everyone’s attention. Same goes for social media; don’t post content that is one-way and doesn’t elicit people’s responses. Create content that elicits for people’s input, comments and participation – that’ll grab people attention and help you learn a lot about your clientele. Don’t just bombard them with content only; that can come off as you regarding them as just objects you’re looking to get money from. That brings me to my next point:

The 80/20 Rule

Devote 80% of your efforts towards building brand awareness & conversing with customers or prospective customers. The 20% should then be channeled towards promoting your products or services. The principle here is that your content should be constituted in such a way that ensures you spend most of your time interacting with people.

Don’t Forget Analytics

Henry Ford once said that an innovator should have understanding of one’s customers and their problems via empirical, observational, anecdotal methods or even intuition. This is where analytics come in; analytics help you to make assessments on how people are presently interacting with your content. Like in Facebook for instance, you can actually get to note which posts performed more (i.e. high engagements), then that’ll help you see what drives high engagements. Apply this to subsequent posts; also get to study what leads to poor engagements such that you avoid that in the future.

Calls To Action Are Important

People are naturally wired to avert any occurrence or possibility of loss or scarcity. Therefore when presenting your content trigger a sense of urgency for people to act after viewing your content. Basically what I’m saying is that you should generate content that convinces people that if they don’t act now, they stand to lose something of value. This is closely tied into the weight of your value proposition, which I’m expounding on the next point.

Value Proposition

One of the key attributes of convincing people to buy your brand is your value proposition. Your content must communicate the provision of a formidable solution to a problem – that’s what will get the attention of prospective customers. Don’t just market/sell a product; give the people a narrative that what you are offering will solve their problems. That is how you should build your content; value proposition must be in the DNA of your content.

Visual Aspects To Consider

Human brains are more inclined to pay attention to images or videos characterized more by high contrast & curves than low contrast & angular edges. Scientifically, it’s been found out that the brain tends to regard angular & low contrast visuals negatively.

The mantra that “less is more” is central to creating captivating visuals. Do away with the use of too much clutter or detail. Ensure that your content is concise, precise & comprehensive.

Our brains are easily & more given to content that is characterised by spatial integrity. Paragraphing, bulleting, listing, the use of infographics etc, are examples of things that have high spatial integrity. These aspects have an aesthetic appeal that draws attention & also entails ease of processing information by the brain.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”, says Bill Gates. In your quest for creating captivating content don’t only focus on application of techniques (like for instance the ones discussed in this article). It’s equally also as important to endeavour to find out from negative responses where you could be getting it wrong. Conclusively, ensure that you develop a reproducible game plan for every time you generate content. The moment you have such a standard operating procedure for content generation, you’ll guarantee the production of consistent results and ease of monitoring & evaluation.