Creating Engaging Content
Producing engaging content is one of the top challenges in social media marketing. This guide explores the basic elements of engaging content and provides some tips and tricks for creating it.
What is engaging content?
Tips and Tricks
Working with Influencers
Being on social media and posting regularly is not enough. If you want your content to have an impact, you need users to engage with it. Likes, shares, comments, and clicks tell us that people notice and act on our content. Also, the more users are engaged, the more likely our content will be seen by others. By engaging our audiences, we can turn prospects into customers and customers into fans – and attract followers to become candidates and ultimately passionate colleagues.
If you’re struggling to produce engaging content, you’re not alone. Most content and social media marketers say it’s one of their greatest challenges. This guide will hopefully make it a little easier.
IMPORTANT: One basic mistake you can avoid is creating content without knowing your audience. Be sure to identify and understand your target audiences (practice social listening!) before you start producing content. See the Set Up guides here on the Brand Hub for help.
What is engaging content?
If you Google this question, you’ll find a variety of answers. Everyone’s definition of engagement is a little different. We believe that the best solution is the simplest one: your content is engaging if it triggers a measurable response. Engaging content not only attracts attention and resonates with people, but it also makes them want to take action, such as like, comment, share, and click.
Key elements of engaging content
- Tailored to your audience
- Easy to read and understanding
- Tells a story
Best practice example
Here’s an example of engaging content. Find more examples in the individual channel guides (see links below).
Tips and Tricks
Below you’ll find some practical tips and tricks for producing engaging content.
Know your purpose
As you develop your content calendar, make sure each content piece fulfills a purpose. On social media, our content can inform, educate, inspire, and entertain the target audience. Keep in mind that your content could potentially do all four at once, but be sure it achieves at least one.
- Inform: Share news and information; keep your audience up-to-date
- Educate: Teach your audience new things; provide opportunities to learn
- Inspire: Lift up your fans and invite them to dream, develop new ideas, and be a part of a community
- Entertain: Provide enjoyment and captivate your audience
- Share our story: Tell people what it’s like to work here using consistent messaging and visual stories
IMPORTANT: Don’t confuse content purpose with your social media objective. For example, the purpose of one piece of content may be to educate your target audience about a particular logistics trend, but your goal might be to make people aware of DHL’s expertise in the topic and drive traffic to a specific website (conversions).
Tailoring content to your target audience
You need to think and understand your audience’s needs and desires if you want your content to resonate with them – so that they not only notice it but also engage with it.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How do they feel about a particular issue? How do we want them to think or feel about a specific topic? Can they be influenced at this point?
- What is the stage of their journey? For example, do they need to be made aware of your topic, or is it time to call them to action?
- How are they personally impacted? How do they benefit? For example, will your content help their business reduce costs?
IMPORTANT: Before you can tailor your content to a target audience, you must define and get to know that group. Identifying and understanding your target audience is crucial to ensuring your communications make an impact. Furthermore, you need to understand what content works best on each channel. Check out the related guides to learn more.
Optimize text length
All social media networks have character limits, but what is the best character count? How long should your posts be? As always, it depends on the channel. It also changes over time. But one thing's for sure: optimizing the length of your content is likely to increase engagement and conversion rates.
Know the network’s image & video requirements
Your content will be the most engaging if it is formatted to fit the channel. Make sure you know the image and video recommendations for each network and tailor your media to each. Note that many of today’s social media management and planning tools have features to help you correctly format images and videos.
IMPORTANT: Every channel has different sizes and quality requirements. It’s best to check each network’s recommendations regularly.
Adding links to your posts is a great way to encourage engagement. But links – especially tracking links – can be very long and look terrible in a social media post. That’s why it’s so important to use URL shorteners. These undervalued tools produce links that are more likely to get clicked, enable tracking, and make your posts look better and more professional.
Today link shortening is easy: Most social media management and planning tools now have built-in URL shorteners and link tracking.
Knowing how to use hashtags on social media will help boost your reach and engagement. First, however, it’s essential to understand why you should use them and how to use them effectively.
A hashtag is a word or one-word phrase preceded by the pound symbol (e.g., #DHL or #LogisticsOfThings) that indicates a relationship to a topic or category. People use hashtags on social media networks to search for related content. As a result, they increase the likelihood that your content will reach more people.
Tips for using hashtags
- Don’t add spaces, punctuation, or symbols. Otherwise, they won’t work.
- Capitalize the first letter of each new word to make it more readable (e.g., #ExcellenceSimplyDelivered).
- Avoid stringing too many words together – the best hashtags are short and memorable.
- Don’t put too many hashtags in one post – it can distract from your message and make your post look like spam.
- Don’t use obscure hashtags. They should be relevant and specific. Otherwise, people won’t remember or use them.
- Each social media channel is different. Make sure your hashtags and hashtag strategy fit the channel.
Many social media networks allow you to tag other accounts in your posts. This means mentioning another account using their handle or profile name (e.g., @DHL). Tagging creates a direct link from your post to the other account, and the tagged profile receives a notification that you have tagged them. Mentioning other people or brands like this can be beneficial to our brand because it creates a connection to, for example, partners, customers, and influencers. It’s also a common way to credit the source of the content. Social tagging increases engagement as more people are likely to see and share your content.
Tips for social tagging
- Make sure the tag is relevant to the post and your audience.
- Do not randomly tag accounts in the hope of increasing reach.
- Do not tag lots of accounts in one post, as this will make your post look like spam.
- Be sure to tag partners and customers when posting about collaborative work or solutions.
- Encourage employees, customers, and partners to mention or tag your account – this creates user-generated content that you can share.
Working with Influencers
Influencers can be a great way to enhance community engagement. If you are interested in working with influences, please reach out to the global marketing team in your BU or write to Digital Communications Team at Corporate Communications, Sustainability and Brand for support.