6 tips for creating engaging content

Having an engaging social media content strategy is harder to come up with than one might think.

We all long for a content strategy that sets our audience on the edge of their seats, you know the type that has you laughing along or feeling all the things or vigorously nodding along like “ja, ja, ja!” like Gunter from Sing.

Bottom line we want all the shares, comments and love in the world.

BUT sometimes writing content is just not enough, we have to write engaging content. So, we can get all the love.

And obviously, because I love you all so damn much and because I only want what’s best for my babies, I have compiled 6 tips to help you guys get all that engagement.

Short and sweet wins on the engagement front

It goes without saying that our attention span is not what it used to be. Y’all we’ve officially reached the era where our attention span is less than that of a gold fish.

This is why you need to help your readers along wherever and whenever they need it. Short choppy sentences with tons of sass will do (you don’t really need the sass but y’all know I love to be sassy).

Go for headings and subheadings, they offer nice breaks in long winding paragraphs and they make your audience feel as if they can skim your page without losing any information. I tend to gloss over the essays and head straight for the headings.

Facts make your content more believable and therefore more engaging

Did you know that 64% of marketers agreed that a crucial element of an awesome social media strategy is to increase audience engagement?

That’s a pretty large percentage of marketers who agree, I suggest you take their advice.

Statistics are reliable, safe and trustworthy.

If your content is backed up by facts that is hard to argue against then how can you go wrong?

Tell an engaging story

One thing that stories bring is emotion. And like I said in the beginning we want our audience to have all the feels.

People loving hearing about vulnerabilities, inspirational stories or challenging ones that is just so relatable. So, bring ‘em on.

Quote yourself on engagement

“Marketing is just really about sharing your passion.” – Micheal Hyatt. Yeah, I agree with the man. He knows what he is talking about.

See how easily I agreed with him? And I don’t even know him!

But seriously, though. Quotes inspire a positive energy in you that makes your content 1000 times more relatable and likable.

Whether it is a statistic (see above. Heh? Heh?)

Or anything in between, really. Quote it and thank me later.

Trending

It’s basically a well-known fact that people like shiny new things. Some higher ups have dubbed it the “shiny new toy syndrome” and we’re not supposed to fall for it but shiny new toy, right? *Cue heavy breathing*

I don’t know about you guys but I love memes, the more on trend they are the better.

So, throw in meme or two about the latest what’s hot and get that engagement up. You can always optimize your content later or even better repurpose it for later use with yet another trending meme.

Direct engagement

People like to be involved. We are busy bodies by nature and we love, love, luurrrve conversation.

I guarantee you that talking directly with your audience is going to benefit you ten times more than just spouting facts.

Make your content engaging by having a conversation. At worst they can disagree (in which case you will probably still get a comment or two) and at best they can agree which means you get all the love in the world, baby!

Get clicking away on those keyboards to get your engagement up and while you’re at it share some of my passionate love too.

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Creating content for your ideal audience

Target audience. Something that is often not spoken about too much because it is one of those things that just goes without saying.

When I first started, I had no idea who my target audience was, who I wanted to cater for and what I had to offer.

As a small business owner, it takes really knowing your audience and your brand to reach your goals. Whether your goal is to sell a product or host a webinar.

You need to know who your audience is and what your audience wants.

So, first things first;

What is a target audience?

Simply put, a target audience is a group of people from a particular demographic.  For example, if you are offering digital marketing solutions then your target audience are business owners, event planners, etc.

Why the hell do I need to know my target audience?

Knowing who you are targeting is hella important because you don’t want to be talking about pots and pans when a potential client is interested in software. People need to be able to relate to what you are selling.

This enables you to provide content that suits your audience as well as making them trust your word so that they become future friends and clients.

How do I find my target audience?

The best way to find your target audience comes back to knowing who your brand. Becoming familiar with what you are offering, how your product serves and how it solves a problem leads you to find your target audience.

Create a persona

Great advice given by a dear friend that really helped me when I was trying to narrow- down my audience was to create a persona. So, basically create your ideal client and put yourself in their shoes. For example, my person was Sandy she has a small business and a busy life and she often needs help with all the mundane tasks so that she can focus on her passion which was making jewellery.

Once I had her, I directed all my content, marketing and problems that my services solved to her. If she had a problem, I tried to solve it, if she needed answers, I provided. Directing what I was offering to someone really specific helped me narrow down what I needed to do, provide and put forth.

Address the pain points

I have mentioned this throughout this post but this deserves it very own bullet point cause this is just so dang important.

Once you have your target audience in mind, you need to identify pain points. This will allow you to create content and services or a product that helps your audience. You shouldn’t only look at the things that will get your product to sell but also at what surrounds them.

The more ground you cover the better chances your product will have of surviving because you are providing more content that is valuable and enables your audience to trust you.  You can do this by sharing information that appeals to their emotions such as talking about a personal experience or sharing your opinion on something they would feel strongly about.

Once you have this information, go back to the drawing board look at your end goals, adjust accordingly and allow yourself to market great content.

Have you found your target audience yet? Let me know in the comments below.

5 Content planning tips to create awesome content

Have you ever sat staring at a blank document for two hours, having no idea what to write but needing something because you are going to lose all your followers’ trust if you are not consistent?

Yeah, I’ve been there and it’s not a pretty street. The lead gang members on that street are “unmotivated” and “I can’t think” and boy are they rough. 

And all you want to do is get to the shop where they generate content. Ugh.

To deal with these gang members you need to be prepared. You need to know what you are getting yourself into and your audience needs to know what they are getting themselves into.

For days when you are frazzled and when unexpected things happen,  you need to have a consistent content strategy in place.

Awesome content doesn’t happen overnight. There is a lot of planning and strategy that goes into having great content.

Here are a few tips on how to plan great content:

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  • Know your end goal

Have a goal as to where you want your content to lead to. Having content set out and planned out needs to lead your audience to where you want them to ultimately be, whether that is a product, a webinar or an email series.

Whatever your end is goal, have a plan to lead your audience to it.

  • Ask your people

Your audience is not interested in what you have to offer them but what you can do for them.

So ask them what they require from you. Think about how you can help them. Address a pain point.

Not only will you get engagement but you also have heaps of content to draw from. Make sure to answer how you can help them, focus on what they want not you what you want.

  • Brain dump

Write down all your ideas, what you are interested in, what your audience wants and how you can help them. Often times when we just allow ourselves to write freely, it’s amazing the topics we can up with and how many we can branch off. So, just write.

  • Have an outline  

After you have dumped all your ideas in your brain down on a page, now is the time to outline it. Answer the questions that your main topics will outline or the pain points they address. This is what you will use to actually write out your blog post.

  • Plan in advance

Something that really helps me is to just write out topics that suits my end goal down for the month. So, I’ll write down two main topics that I would like address for that month.

From those two that I have a general outline of, I’ll take the main points of those two posts and expand on it. This way, I have content that has me sorted for the month that has the same theme.

Sometimes planning in advance can be daunting but don’t let this get you down. Know what you want, where you want to go and how you will go about will com to you! 

Do you struggle with creating content? Or have you just given up on gaining new ideas?

Are you looking for content ready to go? Then hit me up, I can provide the masses with awesome content that suits your brand.

Hit reply if you have any questions about content planning or if you just want to chat!

I’m Back!

Hi guys!

I know it has been a while but truth be told. Life happens. Blogs either evolve or they fail or people just grow out of it. 

And to be honest with you, I lost the plot for a bit. Not completely. I didn’t end up hospitalized or something drastic. I grew out of writing, for a while that is. 

When I was at uni I ended up writing so much essays in an academic manner that I feel like I lost all personality in my writing. 

And yes, you could say my writing has changed and evolved but I just couldn’t get myself to post all the drafts that I had written. Simply because it didn’t showcase my personality. 

But I missed writing. 

I missed writing essays with my voice and my personality. Writing essays for uni in an academic voice took away my voice.

But I am back now and I am definitely ready to kill it. I love writing and I am ready to take this blog to a new level.

I will be giving you some content creation tips, creative business tips as well as some general tips on writing and copywriting.

A LOT has happened since we last spoke.

I survived uni and graduated. *happy dances all around*

I also started my own business. *furiously bites nails*

I moved back home after uni and started job searching. Which is a daunting task in itself!

My life was hectic and still is hectic. But I take one day at time and I am learning to live each day to it’s fullest.

How about you? How have y’all been doing? Hit me up! I missed talking to you!

When last did you smile?

South Africa is so rich in diversity that we often tend to be too bright for the world. The rest of the world often need shades to view us properly. The only problem with this shades is that generally the good things as well as bad things tend to be overlooked.

What I mean is that when we look at political conflicts, murder cases, rape cases, etc. we tend to shake our heads and move on. This happens with the good things as well (except we nod our heads and move on). Often not a lot recognition is given to NGO projects that do good in the community. Well, today I’d like to give recognition to a specific NGO that helped me and millions of other kids and adults alike realise their full potential. This NGO is Life Choices.

I applied for this program on a whim in 2013, in my grade 11 year. I wasn’t sure I was going to be accepted for this specific course because the competition I was up against looked tough. Nevertheless, I got accepted and I was pretty amped up to be on the Leaders Quest journey with awesome people that believed in me and back me all the way. They gave me hope and encouraged me to be the best I can be.

I could go on and on about what they do, how they benefit people and all the lovely people that work there but I won’t because you can see that  for yourself. However, who I am today, what I’ve become? Has all been built up by the people that believed in me, that saw the potential in me and persevered with me until the very end and even at that very end they still are there for me.

Although, at times, the world looks gloomy and not appealing at all, you always get some people in the world that is willing to wipe away the grit from your lenses and open you up to newer, brighter possibilities. And that, is people you always want around you despite the circumstance.

I will leave you with this message; No matter what you do at any given time, no matter how small or insignificant you think it is, no matter the consequences that lead you to it, always remember you have the ability to change a persons life just by putting a smile on your face in a world where smiles are few and far between.

~Poppie Tee

*Image by Life Choices

And the Oscar goes to…

In relation to Leonardo DiCaprio finally getting that much awaited Oscar (aren’t we all just so happy for him, I mean he literally had to freeze his ass off in Titanic), I’ll be doing the same with awesome books that I keep on putting off reviewing.

So, without further ado… I give you Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn:

I read this book when there wasn’t really much hype about it, which was good for me as a had time to form my thoughts and not be bombarded by societies irrational (and unnecessary) thoughts. When I finished this book, the first thing I did was recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in reading. It was that good. The story kept me enthralled, I was biting my nails on the edge of my seat. The story follows Nick and Amy Dunne’s aesthetically tragic relationship as Amy disappears on the day of their fifth anniversary. The story unfolds with all sorts of lies, deceit and inner turmoil that is perfectly captured by Flynn. Flynn has a knack for writing complex and highly interesting characters and Nick and Amy were no exception. Definitely, giving it five gruesome stars.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

So, what’s my obsession with the dark world, you ask? This. These gems that are so perfectly horrendous. Flynn does it once again with her beautiful, beautiful writing and ability to capture my scrutinizing gaze. This one centers around Libby Day, the only member to survive her brother’s massacre of the family. She meets up with the underworld to conjure up what really happened that fateful night. Everything is questioned and of course in sordid detail as only Flynn can do.

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult 

This is one of my first books of Jodi that I have read and that folks is how I became a fangirl of Jodi Picoult. This book had me so enthralled. I was young when this book happened upon my hands but I would never forget the lasting impact that it had on me. When an infant is found dead in an Amish community, the mother, an eighteen year old, unmarried, Amish girl is then arrested. A high-profile defense lawyer takes on the case, living there she becomes aware of some harsh realities and the value of family and the bond between mother and daughter.

There are many more books out there that are Oscar worthy but for now these are my old gems that are now finally getting their much deserved Oscar. What are your Oscar-worthy books?

~Poppie Tee

Time, you subtle creeper.

Let’s just be honest here, getting back into the swing of things can be a pain in the behind. I’m currently in my second year of university and let me tell you, it is no joke.

Some people say that university is supposed to be the best time of your life, that you should make the most of it and I agree. My only question to them is: where in the living hell do they find the time?  My nails are currently in a state of anarchy because I barely have time for them, my sleeping schedule is off the charts crazy and my room is in a constant state of disarray. 

As person that likes (some sort of) order, I like having my to-do list checked, my bag packed and my clothes laid out (even if it’s in my mind) at the end of the night but lately I’ve gotten so little time to do any of that. 

I know, university is supposed to make you feel tired, I mean, between the studying, work and a social life, you aren’t supposed have time for sleep. Although, that is the only thing that you want to do when you are in university; sleep.

So, having spent a short while in university already, I feel obligated to let any first years out there know what they are in for.

Travel arrangements. This can be a real pain in the backside, honestly, if you live within driving distance of campus then make sure your travel arrangements are sorted or better yet, get your own car.

Time management. Have this down to a tee (haha, see what I did there), it is crucial that you have a diary, calendar and a huge board on which you can write all your dates and times, so that you have enough time to plan to study, to actually study, for homework and whatever extra things you want to do.

Have everything handy in your bag. Seriously, you are going to need that tissue that is always in your bag that you never seem to use. Personally, I like to have my bag as light as possible especially since I travel in everyday and I have to lug my gym bag, textbooks and everything else around with me which hurts my shoulders and really it’s just extremely inconvenient and totally not fun. So, if you are a person that travels in then get a locker or an extremely friendly person who would allow you to park your stuff in their apartment or car since you don’t have any or better yet, get an apartment; more sleep time, yay!

Have your schedule worked out. I know this might be redundant because it can fall under time management but you need to have your schedule sorted. I have a very busy schedule this year and because of that I try and do all my work at university because it’s easier (all that gaps between classes is there for a purpose, utilize it) which allows me to have more sleeping time at home because… Well, it’s sleep, I like sleep.

Join things. I know this last one is totally unrelated but this is university and who said you can’t have fun because of a stupid schedule. So, if your schedule allows then have fun, join societies, do extra-mural activities, just do something for you.

Important things not to forget: hydrate, eat, sleep, study, go to your lectures and have fun. No matter what your schedule you can pencil in that me-time, it all just depends on the art of scheduling. You can do it!

“No matter how you feel. Get up, dress up, show up and never give up.”
~Regina Brett

~Poppie Tee

How about that summer fling?

I’ve done a lot of romanticizing over the summer break. Yip, you’ve guessed it, I have been reading. A lot.

There is nothing wrong with reading a lot, I do it all the time. Some might think that I am a nerd but in actual fact I’m not, not really anyway. It has been a while since I have written a book post so I suppose now is as good a time as any.

So here is the next edition of Poppie’s reading and biased, crappy, really bad but also oh-so good honest reviews:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perk.

Okay…? I don’t know, I think this book would have been an unbelievably awesome read if I had maybe been a teeny-tiny bit younger. The characters were sweet, normal, bitchy teenagers who are struggling to cope with school, love and life in Paris, first world problems. I got so irritated with the main characters, with the plot and with how they are both so fucking dense like honestly? I don’t even know. One thing is for sure this book reeks of teenage hormones that is subtly being romanticized. If I could give it less than one star on Goodreads, I actually would. 

Kyland by Mia Sheridan

I really love Mia Sheridan’s work. This book had me bawling my eyes out, I had so many emotions while reading this that I couldn’t immediately place them.The main characters are so raw and real, stuck in a life filled with poverty and their only way out is through a scholarship that is only given to one student in their rural town. Doomed by poverty and difficult circumstance, is love the only thing that can save them?

Lev by Aurora Belle

I was laughing, crying and just having a ball of a time reading this little treasure. Lev is different, he can’t process or understand emotion so when he literally catches Mina red handed he is caught in a whirlwind that he doesn’t understand. This was my first book that I really enjoyed that didn’t exactly have a twist. Lev’s character is so unintentionally adorable that he just makes you laugh. Geez, I was either in stitches or in tears whenever Lev said something in the book. This is honestly an awesome read. Definitely looking forward to the next few.

Consolation and Conviction by Corinne Michaels 

These are two different books about the same character. This was honestly a sweet story although it would’ve been better if it was one book. Natalie wants something she can’t have, she’s distraught having just lost her husband to war, a cute little new born and friends just wanting her to carry on with life, enter Liam, helpful, funny and caring. The cliffhanger was, WOW but it seems that having two books were unnecessary. I loved all the characters, especially the Navy SEALS, they were hilarious with their code names, inside jokes and witty comebacks. This is a nice beach read to totally get lost in but also stay grounded.

The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon 

My first book that I read of her was A different Blue that my friend over at Read and Seek wrote a review on a while back. Harmon has a particular style of writing that I love, she has got all these little bits and bobs of moral in her story. It’s heartbreakingly beautiful. Moses was literally found in a basket, he is cracked, no one understands him and no one wants him, except Georgia. She understands him, his need to paint and she just wants to love him but he doesn’t want to let her in. Be prepared to have your heart broken a million times over.

Archer’s voice by Mia Sheridan 

And, we’ve got another one of Sheridan’s novels. Whoop, whoop! I’m really into this lady’s work. The lost Town boy that everyone forgot about, that is still stuck with a big wound that never healed. Bree Prescott has one horrifying night stuck on replay in her head and it’s only the love of Archer that can set her free. A story about love, loss, fate and the regaining of power. This is a tragically beautiful story that comes highly recommended.

For more reviews from me where my true emotions are not censored as much, follow me on Goodreads.

~Poppie Tee

Life ain’t no state of nirvana.

Summer is finally over. Well, for some of us anyway. University starts in a few short days for me and honestly, I’m really excited. This holiday has been a long one, I think a few of my brain cells have died.

Anyway, I am or rather was struggling with a ‘condition’ that is rather common among folks and is most often known as the “Who am I? What am I doing with my life phase?” Do not be fooled folks this can happen to anyone even the most self-assured person out there. It can happen.

It all started when I began having doubts about what I was doing with my degree course. I knew without a doubt that I wanted to pursue a career that would make the world a better place out there in whichever way I could. Hence, I chose something that I really liked and just pursued it.

The problem came when I tried really hard to get my head into what I was doing. Take the good with the bad, that sort of thing. I thought that if I just worked harder at it, I’d do better, like it more. Couple that with the first year jitters and I was probably the most freaked out person out there, practically a headless chicken running around.

As time wore on I began dreading going to classes because I hated it so much. However, I am such a stubborn person that I decided to see it through, I mean we are almost there, right? What’s another three more years?

Seasons passed, tests passed and life went on. I was becoming more restless and agitated. Why? Well, it turns out that I really liked studying just not specifically what I was studying. And, honestly, that scared the living crap out of me. What now? What am I to do going forward?

Let me tell you something. Life is an unpredictable little fudgestick. You are an unpredictable little fudgestick. There is no way of knowing what you are going to want three years from now, let alone tomorrow. School does nothing to prepare you for real life, for tough decisions, for anything that really matters in the end. Once you graduate from high school, you won’t only be thrown in the deep end of the ocean but in the middle of the shark infested waters while spiders are crawling all over you and a snake throttles your neck. 

Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit but it’s the truth. You’re eighteen, you have to get a job or apply to university and are expected to make life changing decisions that would let’s admit, kind of guarantee that you become stuck in a rut for the rest of your life unless you have some sort of epiphany. It can be overwhelming, you come from a place where they passively-aggressively make all your decisions for you and you go along with it because it’s all you know. Then you graduate and they’re like “Bye! Good luck with life.”

What happens next is that you will be forced to choose a career path which would ultimately be based on a scorecard and a subject that you liked or because that job looks like it’s guaranteed to bring in piles of money. So you study it for three years, get a mediocre job after and then you live life until you’re thirty and have another epiphany, only to realize you’re back at square one.

So, why did I start off so happy only to go off on a rant about life’s unfairness? Well, that’s how my first year out in the real world was like. I realized pretty quickly that life is not just roses and lavender but also weeds and bombed seeds. Now, I know a little something about expectations and dare I say experience of life and myself but one thing is certain, I’ve still got so much more to learn. 

~Poppie Tee

Book review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

nightingale
ˈnʌɪtɪŋˌɡeɪl/
noun
  1. a small migratory thrush with drab brownish plumage, noted for its rich melodious song which can often be heard at night.

The nightingale is a fascinating little creature, with a melodious voice that sings in the night keeping you from sleep, you just can’t help but want to listen. The nightingale is said to symbolize love and lost. Where there is love there is lost. 

Vianne Mauriac is sending her husband, Antoine off to war. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis would invade beautiful France but they do. Not only do they invade her country but they invade her home too. Low on food, money and with winter approaching, Vianne has to fight for her life and the life of her young daughter all under the watchful eye of the enemy.

Isabelle, Vianne’s sister,  as an eighteen-year old has every rebellious streak in her body. She needs a purpose and when she meets Gäetan, who believes that the French can fight the Nazis from within, she falls completely in love. But when he betrays her, she rebels in the only way a teenager can in a country that is war ridden. She seeks out danger, joins the resistance not caring about any of the deadly consequences.

And so an epic tale is conveyed of a story seldom told: the women’s war. Courage, bravery and grace is an evident theme beautifully woven into the storyline.

This book honestly floored me. I read this book a while ago but I just can’t seem to shake it and honestly, I don’t even want to. This book deserves a five star rating.

We often hear about war as men enduring hardship but war affects everyone. This story follows the women of the war; wives, sisters, mothers, daughters, it conveys their courage, sacrifice and strength in one of the darkest times of their lives. It does not just contain a love story but two. Be prepared to bawl your eyes out, I know I did.

The strong characters of not only the sisters but everyone in this book was beautifully portrayed by Hannah. Vianne and Isabelle both fought in different ways, they sacrificed, they portrayed courage and resistance, they loved and they lost.

This is a powerful story that conveys a powerful message. So, get that Kleenex box of tissues and tea ready, you’re going to need it.

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~Poppie Tee