Ever been on a date that was rather boring? After it was over, it probably didn’t excite you to go on a second one, did it? Or how about a movie that failed to capture your attention? 30 minutes into it you’re flipping channels to find something more interesting. If this movie had a sequel, you probably wouldn’t give it a second thought, would you?
Content marketing is a lot like going on dates or watching a movie. It’s either engaging or it’s not. And if it’s not, you can bet your hard-earned but poorly spent dollars your readers aren’t going to walk away with a good impression of your brand.
Creating engaging content may sound easy but any professional marketer or content creator knows otherwise. To create content that leaves the reader feeling enlightened and engaged is actually really difficult, Perhaps this is why content marketing and content creation are two services that don’t come cheap.
If you’re having trouble engaging your audience, there’s no need to give up. Let’s explore five ways to create content that keeps your audience coming back for more.
Decide Who You Are and What You Offer
You have a company name and a product or service, but who are you? Where does your brand provide services to? Do you operate on a global basis? What types of customer service do you offer? What payment methods do you accept? Having a clear picture of who you are is vital to your content marketing strategy. Your answers to these questions will be sprinkled naturally throughout all of the content you create.
Another pertinent aspect of deciding who you are is deciding the tone you want to convey in your content. It is through your tone that your audience will develop its first impression of you. Also in regard to tone, you want to avoid content that sounds too stiff. Sure, a formal tone is good for making you appear professional, but make sure to keep things light. You are, in a sense, inviting your readers into your store when you give them content to read, so a tone that makes them feel warm and welcome is essential. The more welcome they feel, the more comfortable they will be with providing feedback and engaging with your brand.
Your Title Makes All the Difference
When you search for something on Google, how do you decide which link on the search engine results pages (SERPs) to click on? You look for the link with the most relevant title, right? Take for example you Google ‘where can I find quality content creation services?‘ On the first page of the SERPs, the top three links are ads. You probably skip past these because you know they’re sponsored ads and you never know whether or not they actually provide valuable information. Right below the ads, the top four search results are titled:
- What Is Quality Content Creation?
- Top 6 Elements of Good Content
- What Does a Content Creation Business Do?
- Places to Buy Quality Content Creation Services
Even though Places to Buy Quality Content Creation Services is the fourth search result, the title is still the most relevant one to your search phrase and this is the one you will most likely click on. The same concept used in this example is the same concept your audience uses when searching for content. If your title doesn’t resonate with the reader and the information they are searching for, they’re going to click on another link. Engagement starts with a click on your link, so creating a title that entices them to click is key to captivating their attention.
A Good Partner Always Lends a Listening Ear
If you’re married or engaged, then you know the standards that go along with choosing someone to marry. You’re not going to get engaged to just anyone. Instead, you’re going to say yes or propose an engagement to someone you trust. Someone who always lends a listening ear and cares about the troubles that life throws your way.
To create engaging content, you need to instill these values and standards into it. You want your readers to know they can trust you. You want them to know you are ready to listen to them and any feedback they have. How do you do this? It starts with lending that listening ear before your audience even asks for it. You pay attention to the questions your audience is asking your competitors. To do this, go to the blog comments section on your competitors’ sites and read the feedback their audiences are leaving. Once you pinpoint the questions these audiences are asking your competitors, you can then develop your content around the answers the audiences are wanting to hear.
Show Your Audience Proof of Your Product’s Effectiveness
Your audience wants proof that your product actually works. This is why case studies can work very favorably as part of your content marketing strategy. Case studies reveal a detailed picture of real people who have used your product and the benefits they walked away with. These studies can take the most boring industry and present it as a fashion model walking down a runway.
The best way to show your audience that your product works is through imagery. This is why your case studies should include a ton of images. They also need to include multiple quotes from your satisfied clients. Most importantly, these studies don’t need to come off as being promotional. Instead, they need to be more like a tutorial, providing step-by-step content and images of how your product benefited the user. If a case study is being presented in digital format, you’ll definitely want to include videos too.
How do case studies improve engagement? Well, in order to develop a case study, you are going to need past and existing customers to engage with you. They are going to be part of the development process. If your product has truly worked well, there will be many customers who want to share their positive experience with your company through a case study.
Keep It Personal
Google loves content that is full of data and statistics. So while creating content with these elements is good for search engine rankings, you must keep in mind your main goal, which is to appeal to your readers. Creating this type of content is fairly simple when you don’t care to keep things personal.
Talking to your audience like they are a close friend is key to making them comfortable. If you wouldn’t share the information with your readers over a cup of coffee, then don’t share it at all. The more personal you are, the more your audience will stay engaged. In fact, sharing personal stories is a very effective way to remind readers you are a human too and not some robot sitting behind a computer screen.
Think about it like this. If you’re sharing a story about the latest substance abuse issue in your community, your audience is going to engage on a much higher level if reveal stories of how real families are being affected. If you just spit a bunch of statistics at them, they’re probably going to walk away feeling confused and like there is nothing they can do to help. By tying in your real families, though, your audience is going to be empathetic and ask how they can help.
Engaging Your Audience On a Consistent Basis
Content marketing is all about consistency. Your audience wants to know that you are consistently going to be able to meet their needs through the content you distribute. And not only does your audience prefer consistency, but so does Google. The frequent you post content, the more pages search engines can crawl and index your pages, which is key to securing high search rankings. To keep your audience engaged and appeal to search engines at the same time, make sure you use a content calendar to schedule regular content distribution.