5 Ways to Make Your Digital Content Connect
As you’d expect, we’ve seen a fair bit of digital content in our time. Good, bad and ugly. Unfortunately, most of it sits firmly in the bad and ugly categories. We’ve also created lots of our own content too (of the good kind.)
But creating awesome digital content is easier said than done. MarketingProfs recently found that 52% of marketers say that creating engaging content is their biggest challenge, while the Content Marketing Institute reports that only about a third of B2C marketers consider themselves effective at content marketing – even though 86% of marketers use content marketing regularly as they fight for more awareness, sales and revenue.
With more content being pushed into your market than ever before, and the vast majority of marketers planning to boost their content marketing spend, businesses evidently need help to develop effective digital communications that really pack a punch.
Here’s 5 Ways to Help you Create Content Marketing that Connects…
- Vary Your Format
While it’s strategically correct to keep touching upon the same themes and communicating the same values, it’s important to keep things fresh by using different digital formats. Mixing it up with videos, audio messages, articles, reports, infographics, white papers and checklists (like this one) will keep your messaging fresh over time. Changing format is also a clever way of recycling what is effectively the same information.
Whatever digital vehicle you use, keep your audience front of mind. Clear, concise, engaging content that treats the recipient as a human being and not a ‘target’ will create more cut through than corporate blurb. If you have lots of facts and figures, pop them in a great-looking infographic. If you’ve gone heavy on the blogging lately, change tack with a video or an audio message.
Rotating formats like these will help you to keep things fresh:
- Expert Articles
- Audio Messages
- White Papers
- Have an Opinion
With so much content being pumped into the ether, your prospects and customers don’t want another safe, vanilla point of view. Have a stand point, be angry, be controversial, be bold and show people that you care. If you spark outrage, or at the very least start a conversation, job done.
To create real cut through and get people liking and sharing your content, choose topics that people are passionate about and have a challenging take on that subject. If you hit the nail on the head and say what others are thinking, you’ll win friends and influence people. If you get a load of people discussing your unpopular (but informed) point of view, you win anyway. Even though it’s good to be controversial, it’s not cool to be conceited. Be confident, be passionate. But be humble too.
- Tell Stories
We all love a good story. They capture our imagination, they earn our trust and, they can make us feel. People have been passing on stories to each other since time began, which makes them the perfect tool when you want your content to go viral. It’s a proven fact that people take information in more easily when it’s in the format of story or an anecdote.
Let’s say your business sells sales training and you’re giving your readers advice on how to become better at sales. Why not tell them the story about how once you were terrible at selling, a real bag of nerves, then you went on a sales course (that you really didn’t want to go on) and it turned you into the best sales person in the company, and that’s why you now run your own sales training business. A good story usually includes an element of reluctance or jeopardy with a successful ending.
Other people might have a tale to tell that reinforces your themes and ideas, so link relevant parts of your content towards external resources that will bring what you’re saying to life and add credence to your own experiences.
- Run the Scan Test
Time is precious these days. The average website homepage gets about 6 seconds of a visitor’s attention, a marketing email gets about 4 seconds. So good digital content needs to pass the scan-ability test above all others.
Writing blogs, articles or guides for a skim-reading audience is made easier by:
- Being brief – keep your paragraphs short with just a few sentences in each
- Making quick-hit lists – use bullet points, tick lists or numbered charts
- Including subheadings – this helps readers find exactly what they want to read
- Making your point – use bold or italic text to make important words ‘pop’
- Joining the dots – link key words to other helpful content on your site
- Keeping it simple – no-one wants to read an instruction manual full of jargon
When you’re done, give your content the once-over (and a cheeky twice-over for good measure), to check that it’s not too long or too complicated.
The more valuable information, the better…but try to get your points across in a way that holds your reader’s attention. Steer clear of jargon and long-winded explanations. The most important part of the writing process is editing your words. Keep it brief, keep it punchy.
- Pictures Speak 1,001 Words
When it comes to articles and blog posts, the wrong image can be as much of a turn-off as no image at all. Many well-written articles fall by the wayside because the image selection was a last minute afterthought.
The right image should support, not detract from your message and the stock image library is no longer your only port of call for visual impact. Tools like Canva and PicMonkey give you the chance to design your own images, regardless of your design software capabilities.
If you’d like Skill + Fire to create content that packs a punch for your business please Contact Us.