Part of being an inspiration (for me, at least) to others includes finding ways to educate and share knowledge, just like how I did with these free mobile apps that you can use to learn new skills. I know what it’s like to ask for some information and get no answers from people in return, so I genuinely hope that this blog becomes a place where you’ll always find knowledge and information.
Now, as a digital content creator, I’ve got information to share when it comes to creating said content. While I don’t consider myself a thought leader or expert in this field (yet), I do find inspiration in other creators to keep pushing my own creative boundaries. One such creator is Caitlin O’Riley. She is a consistency queen when it comes to not only her editing style but the quality delivery of her content – both on Instagram and YouTube. It was a no-brainer for me to ask her a few questions about how to create eye-catching and captivating content. So with her thoughts, together with mine, here are some tips that you can use.
What’s The Purpose of Your Post?
I recently made the Top 45 South African Lifestyle Blogs and Websites to Follow in 2019 on Feedspot, and you can imagine the sheer excitement I had! Because there’s real work that comes with creating content, and behind all the high quality images and well-written posts, I always consider what the purpose is of every piece of content I create.
At the end of the day, I know that my purpose is to inspire people whenever they come across me, and the same philosophy applies to my content. Your purpose, on the other hand, may be different. Maybe you simply want to entertain through comedic content, or educate through informative YouTube videos.
Whatever it may be, I think it really helps to figure out what the point of your post will be. Because when you know that, it becomes a lot easier to create and tailor your content in such a way that not only makes it meaningful, insightful and ultimately, captivating.
Emotions Are Everything
I asked Caitlin what comes to mind when she thinks of the words ‘eye-catching content’. Her response?
“‘Emotive’ – something that makes me feel some type of way. Whether that is amazement, curiosity, or excitement.”
There are a number of times I see people creating content online but there’s no real feeling invoked within me (or sometimes, a negative feeling arises). When I scroll through Instagram, there are various reasons why I stop and double-tap on certain posts – usually, it’s because I feel something. Which is the same perspective I take when I create content.
Especially with my flatlays, although many of them may be product or lifestyle based, I try capture a particular feeling within the images through some kind of storytelling. The flatlays you see with my hand in them? That’s me trying to share a snapshot of the moment I’m in, with the goal of relaying a feeling within the audience I am targeting. But take a look at the below flatlay images and think about how they make you feel. Then think about what it was about each image that made you feel that way, and how you can find your own unique ways to try and capture the same (or similar) emotions in your own content.
One thing to remember when it comes to creating captivating content is that they go hand-in-hand with captions – a string of words, phrases or sentences used to accompany your content. While there are people who have mastered the art of the simple ‘Post and Go’ method, where no words come with the image, for the rest of us creators, we need to add that extra bit of sauce to help our audience digest our content a little easier.
I’m a huge fan of having a few ‘play on words’ or alliterations in my captions, but this is really something that’s up to you. The beauty of being a content creator is knowing that you have creative freedom to express yourself however you please. But you also still need to be mindful of the fact that your content will be consumed by others – is there a way that you can make that more enjoyable, educational or simply easier? There’s no limit to what your captions should be; you could be literal, figurative, funny, use emojis or nothing at all. But being genuine to you is always something that I will advocate for.
If you’re a content creator looking for your work to be seen by a broader audience, using hashtags is going to help you tremendously. Caitlin tries to use less hashtags than most for a cleaner-looking captions, and while she may “just kinda fling them out there and hope for the best”, I use a little hashtag strategy from Meltwater to help me with my SEO and social media success, which you can find here.
(Quality) Content is King
I pride myself on ensuring that I deliver the best quality content I can. I may have some work to do across my social media platforms, but when I look at how far I’ve come with my quality work, I am nothing but proud!
With that said, yes, quality equipment does play a role in delivering quality content. But you really don’t always need the most expensive cameras, lights and lenses to get some of the effects that other creators get. Sometimes, it just takes an understanding of lighting, your environment, and camera settings (yes, even on your phone), to bring out the best quality.
One reason I also approached Caitlin for this topic was because of the quality of images and videos she puts out. It’s clean, detailed and edited in a consistent manner that leaves me coming back for more. How exactly does she do it?
These are some of Caitlin’s go-to apps when creating her captivating content. I’m with her when it comes to Lightroom and Snapseed. These are my 2 main apps that I use to create my content, and it’s worth taking the time to figure out how these apps work. Eventually, you’ll develop your own editing style that’s distinctly yours and will soon captivate people in a way that you weren’t doing so before.
I hope this post was insightful enough to give you a boost in creating captivating content. If you can stick to these tips, and implement them in a personalised way that best suits you, I’m sure you’ll be well on your way to catching the eyes of more people 🙂