Whenever a lot of us hear the term “scroll-stopping”, our minds tend to go to the craziest and most outrageous ideas imaginable. In reality, scroll-stopping content is neither that crazy or outrageous (most of the time). In fact, there are plenty of simple things that you can do today which will help your content be “scroll-stopping” too!
Creating scroll-stopping content doesn't have to be the Everest task it sounds.
If you were to think about all the times you pause your scroll on social media platforms, it’s probably more common than you think.
Now think about some the content that you actually stop scrolling for.
How many times have you found yourself watching a random video online or reading an article that you know nothing about?
We rest our case.
That’s the essence of scroll-stopping content. It draws you in, it gets your attention and then it either pushes you to make the next step or it loses your interest.
Either way it stopped you scrolling, if only for a split second.
That’s why every social media marketer aims to create scroll-stopping content.
This is in no way to suggest that creating scroll-stopping content is easy though.
Far from it.
However, you can vastly increase the chances of your content stopping the scroll of your consumer by following some simple techniques.
We’ll discuss these below and urge you to keep an open mind.
Some of these tips may sound really simple but they can be really effective when used correctly.
Surprise surprise, the video production company suggests using video.
The truth of it is, whether it’s professional or not, video content is king right now.
This isn’t us being biased either, it’s pretty much fact at this point.
To throw some statistics at you, by the end of 2022, video will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic.
Breaking that down even further, 78% of people watch online videos every week and 55% view online videos every day.
If that doesn’t draw you in then maybe this last one will - 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.
That is the literal definition of wanting to see more video content.
If you want to create scroll-stopping content, using video content is the way to go!
This one might be self-explanatory but you’d be surprised at how many people ignore this step.
If you really want to create scroll-stopping content, you need to use data to your advantage.
What we mean here is following your data and analytics.
What’s working? What’s not working?
Let’s say your engagement rate is much higher on posts that use the colour green and have bold font overlaid but not so high on text heavy posts with little colour.
This already tells you what you need to be doing.
Make more posts with green colours and bold text.
That’s an extremely oversimplified example but you get the point.
This should also encourage you to try new things on social media and get creative. You’ll never know what your audience reacts well to if you never try it in the first place!
This leads us on to our next point…
This should be one of the first steps of the process before you even think about creation.
Optimise your content.
Each social media platform is different and what works on one isn’t guaranteed to work on another.
If you don’t believe us, listen to the words of marketing and design expert Amalia Madalina Pop. She claims that “it’s essential to understand which platforms are suitable for your business,” and that “while Pinterest is one place to find inspiration that leads to purchase, LinkedIn is a more business-oriented platform.”
Essentially, not only do you need to select an appropriate platform for your business but you need to make sure you’re following the conventions of that platform.
It’s pointless trying to produce a 5 minute long explainer video on TikTok because it’s very likely to be swiped away before you even get past the introduction.
Also, make sure that you’re taking full advantage of the features of your chosen platform(s).
For instance, leveraging Instagram Carousels for posts and ads are a proven way to increase engagement. According to Social Insider, carousels generate the highest average engagement on Instagram.
This is just one of many examples of how you can use social media to get the most out of your content but it all starts with optimising your content!
This is an age-old adage.
Mainstream media has manipulated headlines for generations to boost engagement and interactions.
Well, this remains just as relevant today.
As marketers, you only have seconds to grab your audiences’ attention.
Failure to do so is too little too late.
It’s important to define exactly what we mean when we say headline here.
Nowadays, we’re no longer just talking about your article headlines (although they are still very important), we’re talking about the headlines on your video thumbnails, the headlines on your LinkedIn page, the headlines on your YouTube videos.
We could go on but you get the idea.
So, what makes a good headline?
Marketing and SEO expert Neil Patel breaks this down into 3 simple steps - 1. Use specific numbers and data in your headline, 2. Utilise a unique rationale and 3. Call for attention.
We highly recommend you read his article should you be struggling with your headlines.
Failure to utilise good headlines, in Patel’s words, will make “every other marketing step that you take a total waste of time.”
We’ve spoken about visual content previously but let’s get more specific here.
Did you know that 85% of Facebook and Instagram videos are watched without sound?
That’s a lot of silent content being consumed!
This becomes a problem when your video relies on sound to relay your message. A big problem.
So, how do we fix it?
You guessed it - subtitles!
It’s been stated that consumers actually watched video ads with subtitles 12% longer than those without any text captions.
The best part about this for you is that subtitles really aren’t difficult or time consuming to add and most of the time they can be automated so you don’t actually have to do anything!
This is understated to say the least but is arguably one of the most important points on this list.
You have to provide value to your consumer.
That’s it, as simple as it gets.
Your consumer needs to gain something from watching or reading your content. Something that is beneficial to them.
What problem can you or your product/service solve? What benefit can you bring to their life? What makes your product/service different from any potential competitors?
Granted, these are very big questions but the answers should be obvious in your content.
We’re NOT talking about a sales pitch here either.
We have no solid figures but we’d argue that most people don’t go on to social media to be sold to.
Your content needs to be authentic and valuable.
Anything less than that is a non-starter.
Along with adding value, your content has to be clear and concise.
You want to avoid “waffle” here at all costs. Don’t be dragging out videos or filling up description boxes purely for the sake of it.
It’s disengaging and after a while it will begin to damage your reputation. Users will be so used to your content being disposable that they’ll never stop their scroll.
Recent studies have found that the human attention span is only eight seconds long.
You have eight seconds to draw them in or they will be lost forever.
That is why being clear and concise is so important.
If you’re sharing a video - keep it short and to the point, using creative techniques and audience driven conventions to pique their interest. Don’t forget to make the first 5 seconds the most engaging otherwise you risk losing their attention.
If you’re sharing an image or graphic - use bold headlines and text overlays to immediately tell your user what the image/graphic is about and then you can use the post description to draw them in.
If you’re sharing an article - take advantage of the techniques we discussed earlier and show a bold and concise headline with an accompanying image to get them to stop and click.
Ultimately, it’s about showing the least and getting the most out of it.
Keep it clear and concise at all times!
As a side note here - adding a hook can be a great idea. Start your content off with questions like “did you know…”, “have you ever…” and “what is…”
Little techniques like these can instantly see your engagement levels increase as you’re enticing your audience to take some form of action by responding.
Tempting as it may be, never try to appeal to everyone.
As the popular quote goes, ‘if you try to appeal to everyone, you will appeal to no one.’
You need to stick to your audience and follow the conventions of what your audience likes.
How do you know what works with your audience?
That will be a mixture of trial and error and following the data like we spoke about earlier.
Let’s say your audience is parents of children aged 5-10. You’ll likely find that your posts full of colour, action filled visuals and bold fonts will work well.
If you were to go against that and post a minimalistic and edgy image using a dull two colour combination, we’d go out on a limb and say that probably wouldn’t work nearly as well.
The only way you will ever know what your audience reacts well to though is to experiment with your content.
It also helps to research what your competitors are doing and see how you can better them.
What are they getting good engagement from? What kind of content are they posting? What platforms are they focusing on?
These are all extremely important points to consider when going forward with your own content.
Remember - no matter what, always create your content with your audience in mind!
Creating scroll-stopping content is no simple feat.
It can be frustrating at the best of times, especially when you feel like you’re onto a winner only to see it fail miserably.
Unfortunately, that’s part of the game.
Marketing will never work 100% of the time and every company to ever exist has experienced disappointment and setbacks at some point or another.
The best advice we could give you is to never give up and keep creating content.
Once you hit that scroll-stopping sweet spot, you’ll never look back.