7 Steps to Create Compelling Content
When pushing out your thought leadership posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or another social media platform, follow these steps for maximum exposure:
1. Choose the Right Format
The best thought leaders can tell their stories through multiple formats, such as text, video, audio and images. Each format contributes to expanding your reach:
- Using text and photos increases your reach by 1.3 to 1.7 times beyond just text.
- Carousels—which show multiple images in one post—increase your reach by 1.3 to 1.8 times.
- Videos increase your reach by 0.8 to 1.5 times.
If you’re tackling simple concepts or announcements, a basic one-image graphic or carousel may be sufficient. But if your content is complex and requires in-depth explanation, a video might be more suitable for effectively conveying the information. Carousels can also tell a sequential story through a series of images or slides.
Research your target audience to understand their preferences. Do they engage more with images, videos or interactive content? You should also consider the platform’s predominant content format.
2. Use a ‘Hook, Line, Sinker’ Structure
A good structure for your content is divided into three parts: the hook, the main body and the engaging ending—also known as the “Hook, Line, Sinker” framework.
Hook: A full 50 percent of good writing is the “hook” or the opening of your post. Why? A reader’s average attention span is eight seconds. Your introduction needs to be engaging enough to grab their attention and spark their curiosity and anticipation. It is how you make them want to read more and, ultimately, increase your engagement.
How can you write a good hook? Here are some tips:
- Keep it short.
- Have a bold or intriguing statement.
- Ask an engaging question.
- Leverage storytelling aspects.
- Use statistics.
- Create a sense of urgency.
- Make it personal.
Main body: The main body of your post is where you tackle enough of the subject essence. Always remember to bring value to your reader, have efficient explanations and keep it clear.
A grabber ending with a call to action. To end your post, encourage the reader to engage. Ask thoughtful questions, not only to push your readers to respond but also to keep them thinking. Include a call to action. Show your audience what you want them to do. Do you want them to sign up for something? Watch a video? Read an article? Tell them!
A CTA guides your audience and pushes them to engage with you. The most compelling CTAs will evoke curiosity, use action verbs and inform the reader of the value they will gain. Keep your language simple, clear and to the point.
3. Pay Attention to Layout
Layout affects your content reach and engagement more than you know. It plays a major role in the readability of your post. If your layout is bulky with long paragraphs and sentences, you create a poor user experience that overwhelms your reader and discourages them from engaging with your content.
When writing your content, remember to use a well-spaced layout that incorporates white space, one-line sentences, bullet points and short hooks. It makes your content more digestible to the reader, ensuring they can easily read through it.
Also, keep in mind that your audience generally skims information, rather than reading content thoroughly—they are pressed for time! A cluttered layout makes it difficult for them to quickly grasp the key points from your post.