Creating Engaging content in SharePoint Online: Make relevant content

How can you help your reader navigate your content in a way that feels so natural that it makes the reading experience a satisfying one? How do you convince that person to come back for your next piece of content?

Creating engaging content is challenging. Especially in an environment where everyone is empowered and invited to collaborated on critical topics to share their point of views, their ideas, and their team’s successes.

Luckily, living in Office 365 and using SharePoint in particular, amazing tools are being made available to us and will help in our content crafting!

Use the right amount of “click-baityness” in your title

When creating a piece of content, the title is the first thing that we get asked and is always a good way to reflect on the content we are about to write. What is the goal of the page I am about to create? What is the main focus of this article? What happened that makes me want to talk about it by creating a news post?

The title is the first thing a user will see, so it’s important to make it relevant, informative and ludic at the same time! Don’t try to be too funny or too “click-baity” but a boring news article or a page that feels “grey” is never the best title. Some examples could be:

  • We just shipped our new product… And we’re stoked!
  • How we transformed our customer by helping them reduce their carbon footprint?
  • FY2020 is approaching. Let’s make this our greatest year so far!

Also, get discouraged by the title when creating a new piece of content. Work with a temporary title if needed. You can always change it before publishing!

As SharePoint pages offer the ability to also add an image as a backdrop to your title, leverage it! An image is better than a thousand words so adding an image that can be linked to the topic of your page is just natural!

Depending on the topic, you could also add some secondary information (Audiences, regions, subtitles) to this area of the page to give even more context on the content.

Use image as a backdrop to your title

Use image as a powerful backdrop to your title

Use quotes when needed

While you are creating your article, page or news post, always think of some quotes that could be interesting for your reader.

The following two types of quotes are helpful and interesting:

  • The inspirational quotes that help you to contextualize a decision, a move, a philosophy
  •  The testimonial quotes that help the reader to put a “face” on the content being created

Not only the quotes creates a pause in the reading experience (similar to how we “pause” the news on TV to move on to a discussion with an expert on a topic or a person that can share their experience), but the quote also breaks the visual aspect of the content, making it easier to read, easier to consume, and lighter to digest.

In a SharePoint page, it’s not only easy to make an impact by using the “Quote” style for text, but it makes your message stand out and it creates a break for your reader. Think about quotes from your team or thoughts leaders to help your reader understand the scope of your message.

Make an impact by using quotes

Highlight and break the text by using quotes

Tell a story and bring your readers on a journey

When you can tell a story about the content you are creating, do it! Stating facts is easy but will not make it relevant for the user. You will have a high drop rate in your article, and this is not what you are looking for! You want your article or news to have an impact on the reader and telling a story is the best way to do it.

In SharePoint Online you have the ability to leverage our favorite storyteller,  The Hero WebPart! It is a piece of content you can add to any page and that has the ability to vertically tell a story. Not only you get a nice visual effect with the inclusion of images but breaking a story in “chapters” or main “facts” is key to enjoying reading this story!

Pro-tip: Use a writing assistant tool to ensure the quality of your text

We all think we have perfect writing skills and we never make mistakes, poor language and language errors are the #1 reason why people will stop reading your article. How to prevent it? Use external writing assistant tool, such as Grammarly! Not only it’s free, but it helps you creating content that is always well written and will ensure your readers stay with you for the entire length of your post!

Use grammarly to avoid spelling mistakes

Use a writing assistant tool, such as Grammarly, to avoid mistakes.

 

This article is the first part of  3 post series that will highlight the three main actions to be taken by every content author using SharePoint Online. Follow Sebastien on a journey to creating engaging content in SharePoint Online!

Part 1: Make relevant content
Part 2: Make your content pop!
Part 3: Bring your user in the conversation

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