By Jeanine Gordon
There’s no shortage of content online. Some of it is buzz-worthy and swirling around between popular sites, and other pieces sit and collect dust, never to be seen. What the key to getting your content to fall into the former camp and avoiding the perils of the latter?
Great content doesn’t belong to a members-only club of brilliant writers and marketers. Even the average small business owner can turn out viral-potential content without needing a recipe for the secret sauce. The trick lies in how you communicate it.
Making your audience work hard or put a lot of effort into seeing your content is a surefire way to make sure it’s never seen. Instead, you need to serve it to them straight up, in one of their favorite forms: video. Video, for more than 50% of people, is the preferred method of experiencing content from the brands they engage with. Simple how-to videos or product demonstrations can be all it takes to drive your message home and set your brand apart from your competitors.
Just like video, people like pretty things to look at. A wall of text is boring, hard to read, and is easily forgettable. In an article by Search Engine People, it was revealed that we only remember 20 percent of what we read but 80 percent of people remember things they see or do.
In other words? Include some images with your newsletter or blog post….but do it strategically. Make sure they’re relevant, and unique – all in the name of grabbing the heartstrings of your target audience and carving out a spot in their brains as a memorable, reputable, and money-worthy brand.
Plowing through vast blocks of text is simply too much to ask of most people and they’ll click away from your page without even reading the first sentence. The trouble is, you have so much to say! You have so many insights about your services or details about your products that you’re just dying to share with others, yet they give you so little time. What’s a business owner to do? Presenting: the infographic.
Here’s the straight truth: people are 30% more likely to read an infographic than text. Just look at the infographic above. That could easily be written into a 500-word article, but why read it when you can simply view the information in a fun and interesting way that requires minimal effort? Infographics require some creativity – thinking about your business in a less obvious way, or finding a way to put a humorous spin on your products of services.
That’s right – the humble blog post still has a place in wow-worthy content marketing. While video and infographics are sexier and perhaps more exciting, a great blog post stands on its own without the need for smoke and mirrors. But what sets a stellar blog post apart from one that’s bland, boring, and will never see readers’ eyes? There are a couple of factors that you should put into a blog post:
- Value-Add Content – Get into your target audience’s brain. What do they need? How does your product or service make their life better? Find their pain points and address them through thought-provoking content, related articles and studies, a new spin on a popular idea – basically anything that adds value to their life or shows them a solution to a problem they have.
- SEO Optimized – No one will read your content if they can’t find it online. This means rolling up your sleeves and doing keyword research using tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, or SEMrush. Once you find your keywords, use them a couple times in your post as well as in headings, sub-headings, and alt-tags on your images.
- Actionable Items – As mentioned, people want solutions when they read your posts. If you’re helping them solve a problem, give them clear, actionable steps that they can take away and follow. One of these important steps can be a call to action asking readers to reach out to your business for more information or to check out your product online. When you are able to teach others important lessons that will help them in their personal life or their business, you establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
- Sharing – Once you’ve got a great blog post polished to perfection, it’s time to share it. Tweet about it, link to it on your Facebook page, post it on your LinkedIn page, mention @ influencers in your posts, and ask your friends and other like-minded businesses to share it too.
If you want to stand out in a sea of content, you need to adjust your marketing strategy. Move away from plain-Jane content and get creative. Always keeping your audience in mind, do everything in your power to make your content easy to read, easy to find, easy to look at, and thoroughly valuable for your readers.
Jeanine Gordon has written extensively on content strategy and marketing. In addition to working as a full-time editor and writer at Article-Writing.co, Jeanine provides content strategy to clients across every sector, specializing in the HR and Recruiting industry. When not crafting brilliant content, Jeanine is at home in Vancouver, BC, spending time with her husband and two kids.