Content is a Vital Part of Any Marketing Strategy
Regardless of what industry you work in, you will have to create content in some form. Whether in the form of blog posts, unique content for webpages, social media posts, newsletters, or ad copy, you need content to succeed. However, you cannot just create content and expect things to work out in your favor. There are thousands of businesses all vying for the same consumers, so your content has to stand out among the rest. For your business to succeed, you need to create engaging content.
While it sounds simple enough, creating engaging content is not as cut and dry as you might think. Due to the increase in digital technology, people’s attention spans have gotten smaller and smaller. Microsoft conducted a study in 2015 that discovered that readers have an attention span of eight seconds. That means you only have a small window to grab a reader’s attention.
Creating engaging content is easier said than done. However, as a premier Dallas digital advertising agency, Tech Critic possesses the experience and skills to provide you with some simple yet efficient tips to help you write engaging content.
Create the Perfect Headline
As we said before, you only have a handful of seconds to reel your reader in and grab their attention. That starts with a strong headline. Some studies have found that eight out of ten users will read your headline, but only two out of ten will keep reading. Your headline has to be compelling enough to convince a reader to continue reading and exploring your site.
Your headline must be short and concise, giving an idea of what the rest of the copy is about while convincing them to keep reading. Readers have a preference when it comes to headlines. Some of the most popular are:
- Explanation: These headlines explain to the reader the “how” of something. For example, “How to Create Engaging Content” or “How Do PPC Ads Work.”
- Question and Answer: The second kind of headline answers the “why” of a question. For example, “Why Do My Webpages Not Show Up on SERP?” or “Why Are Users Not Engaging with My Social Media Posts?”
- Numbered Lists: While lists can be cliché, they are still an effective way to grab a reader’s attention. They make a specific promise to the reader. Examples include “7 Tips to Create Engaging Content” and “10 Ways to Improve Your SEO Ranking.”
You can even combine these headlines to make them more unique. Regardless, a strong headline is the start of creating engaging content.
Break Up the Text
Readers do not enjoy reading large blocks of text. Often, when a reader first lands on a webpage and see chunks of text, they bounce from the page. Break up the content. Even if the content is still the same length, if you carefully break it up, it will seem like a much easier read for users.
There are a few ways you can do this:
- Break up the paragraphs. You never want paragraphs that are close to a hundred words long. Try to keep your paragraphs three to four sentences long (or five to six lines long).
- Use headings and subheadings. Divide up your content further with headings and subheadings. Not only do these headings break up your text, but they also act as a focal point for content, drawing in your readers’ attention. They also keep your content organized and on track.
- Use bullets and list. That is what we are doing right now! Lists are easy for your reader to follow and understand. Plus, they are easy to skim, clearly providing vital information in an easily digestible way. You can use bullets, numbers, etc.
By breaking it up, you make your content appear less daunting and easier to read.
Engage the Audience
Arguably one of the biggest mistakes people make when creating content is just giving readers information. Yes, the goal of content is to provide readers with useful information. However, you don’t want this information to be boring. Far too often, this content reads flat, failing to engage with the reader and losing their interest.
When writing content, you should address the audience directly. As the writer, create content that feels as though you understand the reader’s problems and know how to solve them.
Instead of saying, “Businesses need to engage with their consumers on a deeper level,” you should say, “You need to engage with your consumers on a deeper level.” This subtle change engages the reader. It makes them feel like you are talking directly to them, which keeps them fixed on the content.
Keep Your Content Short and Simple
Although we have mentioned it before, readers’ attention spans have gotten shorter and shorter. You only have a small window to grab and hold their attention. With that in mind, you need to keep your content short and to the point. Avoid filling your content with unnecessary fluff. Only 28% of words on webpages with at least 593 words get read, so you need to make it count.
Since readers have short attention spans and read only a fraction of the content on a page, you have no time to waste. Keep your sentence short and to the point. Long sentences with an overwhelming amount of information are boring and hard to follow.
You should only include information that is relevant to the topic of the page. State this information in a way that readers can understand easily. Avoid using industry jargon. You do not want to leave your reader confused or frustrated. Present this information in an easily digestible way.
This tip is similar to some of the above tips we’ve already mentioned. However, we would like to dive a little deeper into it. Another great way to engage with your audience is by asking them questions.
While you don’t want to include too many questions, occasionally peppering in a few here and there gives the reader an opportunity to dive deeper into the subject matter. Maybe their thought process encourages them to learn more, so they keep reading. These questions offer readers a chance to engage with your content on a deeper level.
Identify Your Audience and Write for Them
Arguably the best thing you can do to create engaging content is to identify your audience. When creating a marketing strategy, you should have identified your audience (or your buyer persona). This audience is the ideal consumer you want to attract. Your current clientele plays a part in crafting this persona, so always keep them in mind.
Once you know your audience, write to their needs. Focus your content to the needs of your target audience. Show them that you understand their problems and concerns and that you have a solution that can help them. Don’t create content that is broad and addresses everyone. Identify your audience and write for them.
Include a Call-to-Action
Last but not least, add a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your post. CTAs are a crucial part of your content because if you have kept their attention up until this point, you have a chance to move a reader further along your marketing funnel. With a CTA, you encourage a reader to complete an action (or a conversion).
Spend a couple of sentences explaining what you want the reader to do and provide them with the appropriate resources to do so (such as a link). This CTA can be to contact you, complete a form, sign up for an e-mail newsletter, or anything you want them to do. Call-to-actions allow a reader to learn more about you and your services while moving them deeper into your conversion funnel.
Content should be a vital part of any marketing strategy, regardless of the industry. Creating engaging content is so much more than providing readers with information. It’s about driving traffic to your business and eventually bringing a reader back down the marketing funnel. However, creating engaging content is not as cut and dry as you might think. To learn more, give Tech Critic a call today and let us help you create engaging content.