Content comes in many different forms. Whatever form it takes, your job when writing the content is to ensure it’s compelling enough to get your audience’s attention.
The headline, or the first few words, are always the most important elements
They’re the first elements people are going to take notice of and read - if it’s engaging enough. From there, they will then make a conscious decision on whether to continue reading or not. This is where you need to capture their full attention and make it so they don’t want to ignore your content.
One of the most important things to remember is you need to know your audience. You need to understand what engages your audience or what they want from your content. From this understanding, you can begin shaping your content to interest them more than ever.
So what are the best ways to get more content clicks?
You may not realise it, but we all experience curiosity in two different ways. Perceptual curiosity is wanting to understand something strange or puzzling, and epistemic curiosity is wanting to learn something new.
The curiosity gap is, essentially, the gap between what we know and what we would like to know
Utilising this gap means to give your audience just enough so that they understand what you’re talking about but also want to continue reading. You need to make your content compelling. There needs to be an element to your content that makes your audience aware that it will add value to their lives.
Headlines or first sentences that have a good grasp on the curiosity gap will give readers enough to connect with the content but not enough to fully learn something new. The desire to learn something new from your content will take over and make them want to read your content.
People do not like the feeling that they’re missing out on something. It’s human nature to place value onto things/experiences that can be seen as rare.
As a content writer, you can evoke these feelings using words. You have the power to make readers feel they are missing out on something if they don’t take a certain action. The more urgency you inject into a headline or opening sentence, the more reactions you’re going to receive simply because people do not want to miss out on something.
As Seth Godin states, “Scarcity creates fashion - people want something that others can’t have”
If people see what you’re offering to be scarce or limited, people will immediately give the reaction you’re hoping for.
All too often, people just scan their timelines and newsfeeds. This means you need to use language within your content that immediately grabs their attention and makes them want to read more.
Numbers are amongst the easiest of tactics to get this reaction.
Numbers stick out and grabs readers attention
It’s also said that numbers signify a definitive beginning and end, which allows readers to see that they will be able to complete the task of reading and will be able to know for certain when they’ve consumed all the possible content.
Something about numbers instils a sense of security into readers. It makes them feel intrigued to see what the [x] amount of [x] is. Lists are sometimes the easiest content to consume, and so your numbered content shows the ease of read you’re sharing.
The more genuinely surprising your content is, the more attention you’re going to gain. It’s known that readers go through an “involuntary mental sequence” when they’re surprised which then tells the readers they must pay attention and read the content.
Knowing this, you should always make an attempt to make every piece of content you write; surprising
Making your content surprising and exciting not only adds something new to your strategy, but it makes you stick out from the crowd and appear individual and unique. It will make your content better than ever and earn you more engagement than ever.
Essentially, you have to make sure your content title or the first sentence is surprising and exciting enough to make your readers feel compelled or obliged to continue reading.
Ask a Question
Questions are a great way to gain more attention and engagement; as people want to know the answer. They want to understand the concept of the question and so will ultimately decide to continue reading through your use of a thought provoking question.
However, you do need to remember to be careful. There are certain things to remember when using a question as a title or first sentence. If you ask questions that are too obvious, you run the risk of not even compelling readers as they will more than likely already know the answer. If you ask questions that inject fear or negativity into readers, they may feel compelled but discouraged due to the negative connotations.
Some of the best questions will force readers to think, whether it be about their behaviour, personality, their reality, and so on
Making them think about these factors will further inject emotion and emotion works. The more emotion you can instil, the more readers you’re going to impact.
Promise and Add Value
All content you publish needs to add value. But, it’s about promising that value within your first sentence or title. By promising this value, you will automatically engage and interest readers.
One of the easiest ways to promise value is by using the words “How to”
Beginning your first sentence or title with these two words shows readers that you’re going to help them do something and give them the right directions to go in when completing certain tasks. People love to be guided and told what to do, so promising a guidance in a task they want guidance in will encourage them to read your content.
This is where researching your target audience becomes extremely important. You need to know what they want help in and what guidance to provide them with. The more tailored your guidance is to your potential audience, the better the content is going to perform.
Involve your Audience
The final way to ensure you get more content clicks is to involve your audience and readers. Involving your readers implicates that what they’re reading is for them and that they should continue reading.
Showing your readers that they’re in the right place and are involved in the right group of people will encourage them to remain as part of your audience
You want all your audience members and readers to feel comfortable in the community you’re creating. By involving them in your content and making your content tailored towards them, you’re doing exactly that.
Speaking directly to your audience ensures you’re going to grab their attention. If people see content that they can relate to and is relevant to them, they’re going to choose to click through and read it.
When you’re writing content, you’re writing it in hopes of getting clicks and engagement. However, these results don’t always come easily. To get higher levels of engagement, your content really needs to be interesting and exciting.
Your content needs to persuade people to read it
To make it persuasive, it’s all about making the first sentence or the title engaging. People tend to scan text and content; so it’s more important than ever to grab their attention and interest straight away. You need to make it so those who read the first sentence or title feel the need to continue reading.
Experiment with all these various ways of improving your engagement levels and use data to determine what performs the best. This way, you can see what solution to getting more content clicks works.