In an average day, consumers are exposed to more than 3,500 advertising messages, according to Digital Marketing Magazine. That’s a lot of competition.
Content marketing offers a way for brands to stand out from the crowd, but unfortunately, just churning out an endless stream of poor content simply won’t cut it in this highly competitive arena. Your content needs to be epic, so we’ve gathered a few of our best practice tips to help you make it so.
1. Take inspiration from current events
Scroll through social media to find out what current events are trending and use them as inspiration for your content. Whether it’s pop culture or a major sporting event, if your target audience is talking about a topic, it makes sense to use it as a hook to grab your their attention.
2. Get to the point fast
Remember the old journalism adage, ‘Don’t bury the lead’. In other words, get to the point fast and don’t make your reader wade through a sea of waffle before they even begin to understand what your content is all about. Ensure the reader knows exactly what they can expect within the opening paragraph, or get ready to lose their interest fast.
3. Use real life stories
Using real life stories and case studies (obviously check with clients first) to prove how you can help your customers are particularly persuasive as you work the human angle and offer concrete proof of your success instead of simply offering promises. Demonstrating your success shows you are a credible company that offers a tried and tested approach that works. This type of content also provides reassurance to readers that if they follow your advice, they can achieve similar results.
4. Provide details
The key to providing really useful content that genuinely helps out your readers is to offer details. Step-by-step solutions to common problems your target audience are looking to solve will give you brownie points amongst your readers whilst adding details to informative posts serves to build authority in your chosen field. Steer clear of vague comments that don’t offer value to your readers – remember, you want to keep them coming back for more.
5. Research is king
The Internet can be a wonderful thing, offering a wealth of knowledge on all manner of subjects. However, this can also lead to sloppy research by time-stretched content writers that might take one source as gospel. Be careful not to make this mistake and end up undermining your own content. Instead, check your facts, quote your sources and make sure your data is relevant and timely. Thorough research is time-consuming and many people can’t actually be bothered to spend theirs collecting information. If you throw yourself into your research to ensure your content is golden, you can stay ahead of the competition – proving you do the hard work so your readers don’t have to.
6. Whip up emotions
Emotions sell. The content that receive the most attention are usually those that whip up our emotions. Whether you are making your audience laugh, cry, feel nostalgic or inspired, you can expect to elicit a reaction or a response. Content that stirs up emotions is memorable, hits home and can encourage the reader to share.
7. Cut your content into chunks
If there’s one thing guaranteed to turn off readers who click on your post, it’s a dense and intimidating chunk of text that goes on forever. Cut your content into digestible chunks, use bullet points, lists, headings, sub-headings and consider adding a few images or a video too for a little bit of eye candy.
Seeing as the average human attention span is now shorter than your average goldfish at a fleeting eight seconds, businesses dipping their toe in the waters of content marketing need to make sure they start out with the right frame of mind – that being, if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Think quality not quantity when it comes to your content – valuable posts are most likely to deliver the ROI you expect.Ben Hollom
May 4, 2016