With so much competition for users’ attention on social media, creating truly engaging posts that stand out requires creativity and business savvy in equal parts. To learn more about what works, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council to discuss their preferred approaches to creating sponsored posts that will be noticed by their audience on social media.

1. Offer Clear Value

If you want people to appreciate your post and share it, which is the ultimate goal for any content, it must be of value. Create posts with amazing facts, news, super-short DIY tips or suggestions. There is a major difference in click-through rates when someone gains knowledge from what they just read versus a post offering to sell you something. At my agency, it’s our primary protocol when creating any type of content. – Scott Levy, Fuel Online

2. Spark Some Emotion

Place emphasis on sparking an emotion within the audience. Use social media as a means to ruffle their emotional feathers, whether that be through content that makes them laugh, feel inspired to help your cause or empowered to take action. This emotional response will register more than a pretty picture, and they will connect the emotion to your brand. – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.

3. Center the Pain Point

Address your customers’ pain point in the first sentence of the sponsored post, and make it short and sweet. For example, if you’re selling IT solutions to law firms, your first line might read: “Tired of manual contract reviews?” This way, your audience has a general idea of your product’s value proposition and will appreciate that your brand has a solution to their problem. – Amine Rahal, Little Dragon Media

4. Let Your Customers Feel Identified

The best way a person can identify with a sponsored post is using situations they can see themselves in. We use pictures of our own customers using our products, allowing others to see that we are relatable and we’re not just trying to sell a product, but rather be there for everyone. – Chelsea Rivera, Honest Paws

5. Make It Personal

In my experience, sponsored posts that generate the most positive attention are the ones that incorporate a personal story. With enough research into your target audience, you can usually determine a common need or question they may have. Structuring your sponsored post around that need, or by offering an answer to that question, has been effective because it makes your post personal. – Bryce Welker, Accounting Institute of Success

6. Incorporate User-Generated Content

People trust content made by their own peers. You also get user-generated content for free. I find that featuring positive reviews, posts and images made by our customers can really help sponsored posts stand out. They carry a more authentic message and you can often relate to it more easily. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

7. Insert a Call to Action

It’s important to leverage the sponsored posts you have by always incorporating a call to action that speaks to users. They aren’t going to take action by themselves. You need to tell them what to do to see increased conversions. So, for every sponsored post, make sure you have a solid, actionable CTA that encourages your audience to act. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

8. Use Humor

In a society often saturated with negative news, using humor in your social media posts is a powerful way to really stand out. Not only does humor help your audience laugh and feel better, it is a way to inject a dose of memorable personality into your brand. Because there is often limited space on social media, humor also adds a much needed “oomph” to each post. – Shu Saito, Godai

9. Focus on Eye-Catching Visuals

If you want your sponsored posts to stand out in crowded social media feeds, you need to focus on creating stunning, eye-catching visuals. Bright, colorful images do really well, and the more visually interesting your image is, the higher engagement you’ll get. If it suits your brand, you can even create a super weird image if you really want to stand out online. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

10. Make It Into a Contest

Even if it’s simply giving away $100 to the best comment on your latest picture, contests can increase conversion rates twofold or threefold versus a basic call to action. So think about how you can weave a gaming component into your post to make it fun for everyone. You can get even more advanced by running a real sweepstakes, as well. However you do it, just remember to make it fun! – Jonathan Maxim, K&J Growth Hackers