Whether you’re a business growing your company through various social media outlets, a blogger-by-night hoping to increase your following (hi mom and dad), or a 9-5 employee managing Twitter and Facebook pages, you know the importance of keeping up with consistent content.
People don’t stick around when posts go up, at most, every other week. To develop a loyal following or an audience who engages, you need a steady flow of content that people can come back to, day after day. However, if you’ve been in the blogging community for anytime at all, or perused other people’s Facebook pages, you know that there are some who just seem to have a knack for understanding what their audience wants to see. And beyond that, they possess an almost magical appeal, effortlessly drawing in new readers.
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What is it about these successful social media gurus? You know the ones. Each time their content hits the screen, dozens of comments line up in tidy rows at the bottom of the post, as if the readers have been waiting all day, for this content. Or their Facebook posts gain hundreds of likes within minutes and their pins on Pinterest have a multitude of repins (try saying that ten times fast).
The secret to all-star content that people will keep coming back to is two-fold. Humans are visual creatures, with images grabbing our attention all the time. So how do you make your blog or social media pages successful? Use visual content. The likelihood of someone scrolling down my Facebook page and sticking around for more than five seconds, when all they see is text, text, and more text, is very low.
However, throw in a cat meme, an infographic full of mind-boggling statistics, or a picture along with a sentence-long post, and my readership instantly goes up. Not only that, but when people know that I consistently post visual content, they are much more likely to keep coming back.
According to the Adobe Digital Index Social Intelligence Report, updates that are based around or include images have 600 times higher engagement rates than those that only include text. 600 times higher engagement. If you’ve been wondering what is sucking you in so easily on all of your favorite social media profiles, now you know the secret: you’ve been duped by your visually-driven brain.
But it’s more than just producing visual content. After all, your audience can only take so many GIFs of dogs jumping into the bathtub before they steer their attention elsewhere. The secret is knowing what kind of visual content your target audience wants to see. It’s like having a friend, and knowing them so well that you don’t need to ask for Christmas or birthday gift ideas, because whatever you pick out, you can guarantee they will love.
Brian Clark, founder and CEO of Copyblogger, shares his secret. “Understand your audience better than they understand themselves. It takes a lot of upfront research, and often means being a member of the very tribe you’re trying to lead – but it pays off.” Producing content inherent to what your audience wants to see isn’t a walk in the park. It won’t always be easy and it takes time, research, and the ability to go past what everyone else is posting on their blogs, profiles, and feeds.
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But when you do it, when you share the very content that your audience has been waiting to see, without them even knowing that they were waiting to see it, you’ll have struck gold. Your readers will feel like individuals in the massive sphere called the Internet and you will slowly, but surely, build a loyal following. That loyal following will mean something because what you’re posting is genuine and it resonates with your audience.
So, how’s your content? Do you have the basics down, are you posting regularly? If you’ve got that, then it’s time to take the next two steps. Make your content stimulating enough to keep the visual brains of your readers wide awake and more than that, give them content that you know they’ll love. After all, are you a part of your tribe, or not?
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