Invite to the Engagement Party - How to Draw Your Audience in to Your Posts
The art of engagement. Many photographers who focus on engagement also focus on weddings. My focus is creating content for bloggers and businesses that sparks an interest for readers and followers to engage with the photo.
"Engagement" has been the buzzword for the past year or so, because if you post a photo and no one is around to see it, does it make a sound? er... you get it. There's good content, there's great content, there's photos that are out of this world, there's photos of someone's breakfast... To keep it short: there's a lot going going on that's fighting for everyone's attention. How do you stand out? How do you get your readership to engage with what you're trying to say?
INVITE THEM IN
It's as simple as that. Create a world that people want to delve in to.
Have you heard of the website The Everygirl? It's a fantastic website that, although it covers topics that relate to almost every walk of life, somehow it feels each article is specifically tailored to you. Not to say you need to post everything, all the time, for everyone. The bigger point is that it's inviting. It has useful information about semi-specific topics, instead of grand sweeping articles that are TRYING to remain broad so as to cater to literally anyone. Know your audience, and speak to them, they're listening.
Have a call to action. It doesn't need to be forced, but before you post on Instagram or write a blog post or newsletter, take a moment to think about what you're offering and how you would like your audience to respond.
If there is something special about the photo you posted, draw your reader's attention to that - invite them in to your creative process and appreciating what you appreciated in the details.
If it's a photo that directs to a broader topic, hone in on the exact message you are trying to convey. Be clear and invite your readers to respond thoughtfully.
If it's a fashion photo or lifestyle photo, there's magic in elusiveness. Literally, outfit photos without heads, coffee photos with hands but no faces, travel photos with someone turned around... these may be trite, but there's a reason we keep coming back. It's the kind of photo that places the view THERE. It creates a world based around that one image, and that is magical.
Let's extrapolate for a moment.
Give your audience a way into your world, invite them in by showing some sort of intimate detail (like above) and allow them to extrapolate from there.
This isn't an exact science, and there's no proven method, but that's what makes it fun. The internet is a facade, and if you're looking to have your whole life only online, that's fine, but if you truly wish to break through and connect with people let that guide you. It's all kind of a funny dance, but when people start to see the personality behind the screen, that's engaging as hell.
Before your next instagram post, find one thing in the photo that you amuses you, describe something that was really happening when the photo was taken, or consider how a reader might WANT to respond to the photo and prompt that response in the caption.
Connect, engage, have fun, and good luck.