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Content marketing is the talk of the town in 2020.

It’s the best and fastest way to build a powerful personal brand and create inbound leads that actually WANT to buy from you.

But creating content is never as easy as it sounds when you sit down to make it.

You spend hours thinking of a topic or the right way to transfer your thoughts onto the page.

Quite frankly, it’s a drain on your energy and time.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though.

If you use this 5-step formula I’ve developed, you’ll go from mind blank to creating powerful content in a flash.

1. Find a topic

The first step is to find a topic to write about that your audience actually want to know about.

What burning questions do your audience have? It’s difficult to know.

Luckily, there are a few simple tools you can use to find out very quickly.

Search Quora – Quora is a question-answer site, where you can find some common questions around your industry. Search for your niche in Quora and you will see a list of questions that real people have actually asked. Answering one of these questions can form the topic for your post.

Use Answer the Public – Answer the public pools together all the questions asked in Google and Bing and organizes them into related topics. Search for your niche and you’ll find a ton of general and specific questions that you can answer.

Use Buzzsumo – Buzzsumo pulls together the top-performing content, trends, topics and questions from across the web, whether that’s a blog post, Facebook update or Tweet. You can see the hot topics in your industry.

Using these sites will quickly give you an idea of the questions your audience are asking.

2. Create a catchy headline

Your headline is arguably the most important part of your post. It’s the first thing people will see and ultimately determines whether anyone will read your content.

It has one function: to get the reader to read on.

Headlines should address a pain or desire that your audience have, and should indicate a solution to it that is either simple to do or proven to work.

Think about it, chances are you’re reading this because you have the desire to ‘instantly boost engagement’ on your posts and wanted a simple ‘5-step formula’ to do it with.

A poor headline might be, ‘How to get results for your clients’

But we can improve it by saying, ‘Use this proven system to predictably generate results for your clients without sacrificing all your time’

3. Use Problem, Agitate, Solve in the body of text

What do I mean by ‘Problem, Agitate, Solve’?

It’s the 3 components your body of text has to have to ensure people continue to read it.

First, draw attention to the problem that your audience are facing. For example, do they need results for their clients but their old methods aren’t working?

Once you’ve identified that, agitate that pain. Think about the emotional consequences the problems have. For example, stress, unease, guilt.

Then you want to solve the problem This is your chance to be the hero that saves the day. What can your audience do to solve the problem and alleviate their pain.

4. Call to Action/Question

Now you have solved their problem, you have earned the right to ask for engagement.

There are two ways to do this.

You can include a call to action that requires the reader to link or comment on the post.

For example, ‘tag someone that needs to read this’ is a good general call to action.

But you can get more specific, e.g. ‘comment your favorite tip below’.

This also allows the reader to boast their own success, which people love to do.

Alternatively, you can ask a question.

I prefer this method because it generates conversation. Rather than commenting once, people are likely to engage in a discussion, which exponentially boosts your engagement.

For example, you might ask, ‘how do you ensure you get results for your clients?’

This is related to the content of the post, allows people to talk about themselves, and generates a conversation that you can continue.

One important thing to note is that it is really important you actually follow up and reply to comments, as you’re looking to start conversations!

5. Format

The last thing to remember is how you format your content.

Ask yourself whether it’s easy on the eye and easy to read.

You should break paragraphs up into one or two sentences, preferably no more than 3 lines in length.

This makes the piece far more attractive, meaning more people will start reading it in the first place.

You should also consider the use of subheadings, bullet points and numbers to segment your piece. Again, this makes it far easier to consume.

Lastly, it is important to consider the flow.

Ask yourself, does each line follow on from the last?

A great way to ensure your piece flows is to focus on making the reader read the next line with every sentence you write.

Summary

You’re now equipped with the 5-step formula I use to consistently generate engagement on my social media posts.

  1. Find a topic
  2. Write a catchy headline
  3. Use Problem, Agitate, Solve
  4. Include a call to action or question
  5. Format the post neatly