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5 Ways to Create Engaging Content Your Audience Will Share Content marketing is powerful, but producing the content that makes is work is not easy.

By Peter Daisyme Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Content comes in all shapes, sizes, and topics. The best content is interesting, informative and awe inspiring, the rest you wonder how it ever got published. It's easy to look at the work others have done and judge it, saying, "that's great," or "that's horrible," but, it's another thing to have to create your own content.

You want people to like your content enough that they share it and trust your your product or service. Sounds great. Here's five ways to do it.

1. Dream up a challenge or contest.

The desire to compete seems to be part of our DNA. Dream up some type of challenge or contest where people compete against each other for a prize - they will like it. I've used apps like Challenged or the contest generator on Facebook to add a social cause component, as well as link participants to celebrities, companies or their friends to deepen the engagement. What you create needs to be clear, within reach and reflects what your audience likes.

Related: 3 Principles of Video Games That Can Make You a Better Entrepreneur

2. Add visuals.

Numerous statistics suggest that all types of visual content, including video content, is a sure-fire way to make an audience fall in love with your content. An article in The Guardian noted many of these findings, including Cisco's research that suggests that video will account for 69 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2017, while YouTube already receives more than one billion unique visitors each month.

Tools that can help you create and/or embed video content in your website and social media platforms include WeVideo, Dripbook, CarbonMade and Powtoon just to name a few. Infographics are a popular way to make complex information easily digestible. Numerous tools are available to assist the graphically challenged create infographics.

3. Provide takeaways.

People like to get something more than they paid for, so offer some type of content takeaway. Serve up something useful to your audience for free and you will win fans. Offer these takeaways as a download to get data on each person who takes that free content. You will learn more about them and market to them better in the future.

Depending on your audience and business niche, these takeaways might include a white paper, ebook, slide presentation, video, an app or software tool, or research material. These freebies also may make your target audience more amenable to your messages or to trying your product or service.

Related: 7 Deadly Excuses that May Be Holding You Back

4. Include influencers.

Social media works because people tend to trust their circle more than companies. Social media stars have more influence on what people buy than traditional marketing tactics. People will be drawn to your content when Internet stars such as Wesley Stromberg, Tanner Patrick and Kenny Hamilton share it.

These respected voices add instant credibility to your work and information. You can tag these people in the content to get their attention, then write about something that these influencers personally enjoy or often share. Social sharing buttons make it easy for these influencers to share your valuable information.

5. Report on current trends.

Following a trend is human nature. Research suggests that there are many reasons why people follow trends, from "keeping up with the Joneses" to peer acceptance. Whatever the reason, people crave information on what is current, "hot," and popular. Even better are cutting-edge insights about what is just around the corner to keep your audience ahead of the game and admired by their peers. Provide this information and your audience will devour your content and advocate your brand.

We share more than ever (sometimes too much). Specific triggers get more people to share our content, spreading our message, gaining traction, winning customers and beating the competition.

Related: Useful and Easy Gets More People Sharing Your Content

Peter Daisyme

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Co-founder of Hostt

Peter Daisyme is the co-founder of Palo Alto, California-based Hostt, specializing in helping businesses with hosting their website for free, for life. Previously he was the co-founder of Pixloo, a company that helped people sell their homes online, that was acquired in 2012.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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