By Larry Alton
In a perfect e-commerce world, you would create relevant and useful content for consumers, and your target audience would flock to your website like bees to the hive. Unfortunately, that’s nowhere near what usually happens. If you’re reading this, it’s probably because your content marketing strategy isn’t working quite how you’d like. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, 62 percent of content marketers report that their content marketing is not giving them the results they need.
There are many things that go into a successful content marketing strategy, but one of the most important elements is also one of the most basic — the content itself. Getting shares and traffic takes a detailed content marketing strategy, and it all begins with the quality of what you create. Use these tips to help make your content more engaging, and you’ll likely see your social shares increase drastically.
1. Do detailed research
The internet is full of facts, statistics, stories, myths, insights, images and much more. As a result, the word “commonplace” has much greater significance, and unless you do detailed research, the content you’re presenting has likely been covered elsewhere. Though some content is timeless (such as how-to articles or information about your niche), you want a great deal of your content to be fresh, so that it’s the first time targeted readers see it. The goal is to publish content that’s so insightful people will read until the end and share it when they’re finished.
2. Determine the value of the content
Make sure your content provides some sort of value to your reader. Publishing content for the sake of filling up your blog won’t yield the increased returns you need as a business. Every piece of content you publish must serve some purpose for your target audience, whether that purpose is to entertain, inform, provide insight or solve a problem. Every time you plan a piece of content, begin by determining the purpose and what you hope your target audience will get out of it.
3. Design it well
Once you have your information and purpose, it’s time to start designing. You spent a lot of time on the information for the graphic. You’ll also want to exert the same amount of care on the images to ensure they’re fresh, interesting and properly complement the information for maximum impact on your audience.
One way to do that is to focus on both color and style. According to a blog post by Venngage, “If you want the information to stick out, you can’t use too much text, or too many font styles … Also, if you use too many non-complementary colors, your audience’s emotions can be affected.”
They go on to point out that the most eye-grabbing colors are the primary colors (red, blue and yellow), and when you use a healthy combination of the three, your content can capture your audience’s attention, making all the difference.
4. Switch up the content
Sharing and creating the same type of content over and over won’t get you very far. Internet users like to see fresh, engaging and original content, and publishing the same type of content will get your blog put in the “boring column” very quickly.
If you are stuck in a rut of black and white blog posts, throw in some multimedia. Continue writing blog posts, but also include infographics, multiple photos, videos, animated graphics and other media to switch up the status quo. Keep your followers interested with a variety of content, and invite new followers through your original information.
5. Add more visuals
According to a blog post from Hubspot, “Marketers who are embracing visual content are seeing huge returns in terms of … more readers, leads, customers … [and] revenue.” They also go on to point out that the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, and that 40 percent of people respond better to visual information than plain text. If your content doesn’t seem to be gaining the attention you want, add more visuals and see how that changes your audience interaction.
6. Engage with social media
Social media should not be treated as a side job that helps to boost your content marketing strategy. In fact, it should be a chapter of your content marketing strategy. Companies that receive strong results from social media have a solid social media team that brainstorms and creates content readers love, and then spends hours online sharing the information across relevant sites, targeting the audience, leveraging social influencers, responding to social interaction and more.
Play up your social media interaction. There are hundreds of things you can be doing on social networks to help every aspect of your business while boosting your content. Build up your network, ask for retweets and shares, gain more social accounts, post on the right sites at the right time, hold contests, ask questions, collect emails and say thank you to the customers who have gotten you where you are. When you really dive into your social media campaign, that’s when the results start flowing in.
Whether or not your content becomes more shareable overnight largely depends on you and the amount of resources you’re willing to pour into your strategy. As you work to improve your content and put more effort into your strategy, you’ll see higher revenue, increased leads and more shared content.
Workplace productivity is a major challenge for business of all sizes — there’s no question about it. However, most CEOs and business leaders choose to ignore the issue rather than face it. Be intentional about the issues surrounding your business and you’ll reap the rewards.