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If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

More importantly, do you think if "engaging" content is created and no one interacts with it, is it really engaging?

Not quite.

What Makes Content “Engaging?”

  • It resonates with its audience.
  • ​The audience found it and was moved to do something—whether that is sharing it, answering its call to action, or interacting with it.

Without this happening it is “engaging” in name only.

That’s why it’s difficult to provide a formula for create engaging content. Each audience is different.

But there are some basics most content creators can agree on.

Basics of Creating Engaging Content

You must first know who you’re creating it for and where they are (online and off) so you can do your best to ensure they see it. Even by doing this, there are no guarantees. However, if you have data showing that historically that type of content has been successful, you can take a chance that producing something similar may yield similar results.

Content creation is experimental and requires a scientific approach. Like chemistry, you start with a hypothesis of what you think will cause a reaction. Then you test your theory and measure your results. If the results are positive, you replicate it. If the results are not what you expected, you try something else.

In this article, we’re going to do what a lot of scientists do. We’re going to use content “experiments” that other chamber pros have conducted to illustrate how you might master engaging content.

Common Aspects of Engaging Content for Chambers

While we mentioned earlier there is no magic formula for constructing engaging content, there are some commonalities in the different kinds of engaging content.

Engaging content usually:

  • Entertains, educates, or inspires.

    Really engaging content might do all three at the same time.

  • Tells a story.

    Stories stick with us and they’re easy to recollect.

  • Makes connections.

    The driver behind engaging content is to help someone see themselves in it. We want them to read, watch, see, or hear it and say, “They get me.”

  • ​Is authentic.

    Don’t be someone you’re not just for the sake of a good story. When it comes out that the persona you built for your chamber isn’t anything like who you really are, you’ll lose all the connections you made.

  • Is relevant to your ideal audience.

    While you might find it fascinating what other chamber professionals are doing, your local businesses probably don’t care unless there’s something in it for them. Engaging content always keeps the audience in mind and reiterates the benefit and relevance to it.

Engaging content can (and should) take on different formats. Some people love image memes, others podcasts, some videos, and other members love meaty articles. That doesn’t mean you have to do them all. Create in the formats you receive the most response/engagement from.

The good news is that this isn’t that much extra work. One piece of long-style content (like a meaty article) can be repurposed in many shorter types of media including a hot-tip soundbite, pull quote, or video reflection/teaser.

In theory, these things sound good but what do they look like?

We’ve compiled a few examples of chamber content that received a lot of engagement. What worked for one community may work for yours too. When deciding whether these examples will work for you, think about your audience.

Are these things they are interested in, will find entertaining, will be inspired by, identify with, or lose sleep over at night? If they are, you should consider creating something similar.

Examples of Engaging Content for Chambers

There are many forms of content. But for ease of conversation, sharing, and reproducing, we’re focusing on social media posts and graphics from chambers.

Entertaining

This post was taken from the Chamber Pros Facebook Group, so the audience is slightly different than when you’re posting with your community members in mind. But this a great example of entertaining content.

Why it works:

  • There are images with the post that immediately catch the audience’s attention. It’s not every day you see someone hitting a golf ball from a commode. It stands out and makes us laugh.
  • ​The images stop us from scrolling by, but the uniqueness of the shots cause the “Facebooker” to read the post. Win! Win!

If this was a post to your members, you would add either a call to action or a question that would prompt viewers to leave a comment.

Relevant

If there’s something that’s important to your town, post it. While this post only has 155 reactions, it received 34 shares.

Why it works:

  • This is an event that is important to the town, the people who live there, and it’s become a growing tourist and media attraction. Maybe you have a similar event in your community such as a Christmas Tree lighting, parade, or anticipated unveiling.

    With this event, growing media attention has made it difficult for the average person to watch it up close anymore. Sharing a good picture, commentary, or behind-the-scenes look is a guaranteed way to get attention (and shares!).
  • ​Images of community members (especially younger people) are widely shared and viewed. Posts like this elicit a response such as, “Hey, isn’t that Pete’s kid?” and before you know it, it’s shared with everyone.

Connecting

This post from the Vail Valley Partnership is an award announcement. However, instead of using it as an opportunity to reiterate how amazing the Chamber is, Vail makes it about their community. The Chamber boasts that it’s the community and businesses that made this award possible. For that, it received a ton of reactions, comments, and shares.

Why it works:

  • It recognizes the community and gives them something to be proud of. When telling the chamber story, it’s always more effective to cast someone else in the hero role.
  • ​It provided good news during a difficult time.
  • ​The post serves as social proof that the chamber is tops at what it does (without having to say it themselves). This is referral marketing gold.

https://www.facebook.com/chris.romer/posts/pfbid04WYXJZNudgr1MfxUUAJA7jncTQzEf1XgRxxwYa2iLrWJL4HncQt176LxcP8h7ecZl

Valuable

Sometimes there are certain topics people love. Generally speaking, ribbon cuttings are mid performers from an engagement perspective. You can give them extra oomph by sharing with your audience the unique things about the new business and why they might want to check them out. However, some businesses come with their own following. This company is one of those.

Why it works:

  • There’s name recognition with this business and it shows the community is growing. Chick-fil-a franchises have some of the most rigorous screening processes so one moving into the community is a big deal as it doesn’t happen often.
  • ​The image is captivating and brand centric. Everyone knows with a quick glance who you’re talking about. 

https://www.facebook.com/NixaChamber/posts/pfbid04o9J48TYubEryY9gYRajJERgKAdHhcPweQioVxZVTfWJudd66FZmukdWVcHW3f95l

Think about how you might use similar tactics to improve your engagement. Conversely, the algorithm on social media and search engines will ding your content if you don’t have engagement. Make sure you’re publishing content that you know will receive reactions, shares, and comments. Otherwise, you may want to stop producing that kind of content.

Top Engagement Killers for Chambers

Before you check out these “engagement killers” and assume you need to remove all these types of posts from your social media posting schedule, remember every audience is different. Just because these posts don’t typically get a lot of reaction, doesn’t mean they aren’t successful for your audience. If they are, keep them. If they’re not, find something more engaging.

Many chamber pros who share these kinds of posts with little engagement argue that it’s important information for their community. No one is debating that. What we’re suggesting is that if your community isn’t interacting with it, Facebook will stop showing your posts to those people. If it’s important information and no one is sharing it, you may want to consider sharing that information somewhere else like an email blast or text message where you won’t get penalized for a lack of engagement.

The following posts will often elicit crickets:

  • Chamber hours. Informative, yes. Engaging, hardly. There’s likely a better place for this information than your social media stream; unless there’s relevant information contained that you think people will share. For example, a notice that you’re closing due to inclement weather and a listing of sandbag filling stations in the same post.
  • New member posts. Before anyone goes to bat for these, what we’re referring to are lists of names or boring information such as “Welcome City Bakery, our newest member.” If that’s all you’re saying about them the only reactions you’ll receive are from the owners and their employees. On the other hand, if you tell the new member’s story, share a captivating picture of their products, or post an offer and a reason to visit them, you’ll get a lot more engagement.
  • Chamber or community events. Again, it’s not the topic that turns people off. Events can be top performing posts if you let your audience know what’s in it for them. Give your audience a reason to clear their calendar.
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