Try Our FREE Content Analysis Software and Find Out Where You Stand Against the CompetitionGet started
December 6, 2016 (Updated: February 28, 2020)
You’ve probably heard all about how “content is king,” but it’s not always easy finding a head worthy of the crown. The internet is overwhelmed with blog posts, articles, and infographics vying for readers’ attention. How can you make yours a compelling pick amid the sea of choices? Pay careful consideration to how you’re engaging your customers to make sure your site offers something that’s genuinely worth reading by following these tips.
A distinctive brand voice will help your company stand apart from competitors. This personalized style and tone can tell readers a lot about who you are. A casual, conversational voice is a fine option for most brands, and a bit of wit and humor is a welcome addition when you want your readers to feel like welcome friends.
Avoid anything that’s too stiff and impersonal. If you prefer a more formal tone, keep it professional and businesslike, but avoid anything that sounds bland or encyclopedic. Write the way you would speak to your customers.
Since you’ll probably have more than one person working on your content, it’s helpful to craft a style guide detailing the way your brand voice should sound. Identify key terms and phrases and suit your approach to your industry. The fashion industry has brand voice nailed. Check out the copy for your favorite clothing line and you’ll typically find a very individualized tone that suits the styles on sale. Strive to accomplish this yourself, whether you’re selling cleaning products or copiers.
Carefully crafted blog posts are the meat of most content marketing campaigns, but you don’t want to limit yourself to the written word. Your content should include a diverse selection of offerings, including videos, infographics, and engaging illustrations. Interactive media products will help you create a well-rounded menu of engaging content.
Don’t be afraid to sprinkle in bite-sized offerings from time to time. While your written content will typically fall between 500 and 1,000 words, you may want to offer smaller snippets occasionally. Post a thought-provoking quote, a brief top ten list, or other items that are quickly digestible and easy to share.
In the online landscape, readers absolutely judge a post by its title. Fair or not, this is the reality of the internet. Your customers have an extremely limited attention span, and they’ll quickly scroll past anything that isn’t immediately compelling. Strive for titles that evoke an emotion. Ramp up your feeling words to provoke a stronger reaction.
Replace a bland title like “Tips for Organizing Your Office” with “Beautiful Ways to Organize Your Office Right.” Instead of warning readers that “It’s Time to Sign Up for Our Marketing Retreat,” try “Hurry to Snag Your Spot for Marketing Secrets.” While positive emotions are incredibly compelling, they’re not your only option. You can also draw readers in with a headline that inspires anger, fear, urgency, or concern. Any emotion works so long as it makes your readers react.
Image via Flickr by matusfi
Always strive to craft content that your readers will genuinely care about. Consider how your posts can offer something of value to your customers. If you can’t easily define why readers should care about your topic, they won’t be able to figure it out either. Write as though you’re speaking to a close friend. You wouldn’t settle in for coffee and bore your breakfast companion with a dry explanation of how your latest software works. You would, however, thoughtfully address how you’ve discovered a fresh new approach to solving a common pain point for them.
Don’t shy away from sharing personal stories. While data-driven content certainly has its place, many customers engage more with pieces that have both a face and a back story. The statistics about the impact of a tornado can certainly frame the situation, but a compelling story about the families impacted by the disaster is more likely to form that emotional connection that drives further action.
Look for ways to engage your audience beyond simply asking them to view and share your content. Get them involved on a more personal level, and you can make them feel like they’re a participant rather than an observer. Host a contest and your followers may return regularly to see the results.
While any giveaway is a great way to drum up excitement, you can make things even more interesting by asking participants to submit a short essay about how they’ll use your home improvement products, or which piece they want to win from your jewelry line and why. Drum up even more interest by posting your top contenders and asking other customers to vote on the winner.
You can also engage your audience with a competition or challenge. Lay’s does this well with their “Do Us a Flavor” contest, asking customers to craft their own fresh flavors for the potato chip line. Ask your followers to show off creative uses for a core product, suggest new colors and designs, or even film their own commercial. Their participation will naturally enhance your shareability and draw new readers in to participate in the fun.
Every good marketer knows the importance of keeping up with industry trends. However, many of them simply repost the latest news. Shake things up by offering a completely different take on what’s trending. Challenge the common viewpoint or suggest an out-of-the-box solution. Be as distinctive as possible, even if it means arguing for an unlikely idea. Your differentiation will help your content stand out from the flood of similar offerings.
Whenever possible, tie the trends to your own products or services. Make sure you do this in a genuine and understandable way, though. Nothing sticks out wrongly more than a forced connection that doesn’t have a solid foundation.
One of the most important tools you can have at your disposal is an experienced content creation team. This includes sharp minds for creating ideas, writing readable pieces, and designing beautiful visual elements. With the right professionals on your side, you can create engaging content that’s sure to draw a wealth of welcome attention.
More from the author: