I recently received an email that said that the secret formula for successful content marketing is three rules. Is it really that simple? Well, I’ll give you the three rules and you decide.
First, your content must be helpful. If your content is helpful, it is valuable for your readers. Can you solve their problems, or help them achieve their dreams? When people type something in a search engine, they are looking for answers. Can you provide helpful answers for your target audience? What can you offer that is so much better than your competitors that your readers will continue to come back to you for help?
Second, your content must be relevant. What is the point of writing great content that is of no interest to your target audience? If you do that too often, you’ll lose your target audience. This rule goes back to the adage, know your audience. Do you know what is most helpful for your target audience? That’s what is most relevant for them.
Third, your content must be engaging. Your content can be extremely helpful, right-on-target relevant, but if it’s not engaging, who will want to read it? Another old adage is still somewhat true – it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. It does matter what you say, but it also matters how you say it.
With so much content on the internet and in the blogosphere, it can be difficult to cut through the haze of so many options. Here are some ways to make your content more engaging.
10 Tips for Building Engagement
- Write everything for your ideal customer or client. The business management guru Peter Drucker once said that the aim of marketing is “To know and understand the customer so well that the product fits him and sells itself.”
- Vary your content to cover a wide array of topics related to your niche. Not everyone is interested in the same thing. In fact, day to day, your ideal customer or client may be looking for something different. One type of content will attract one type of reader. Chances are, that one type of reader is too small a niche for a profitable online business. The answer? Diversify.
- Create engaging headlines. This is where it all starts – if your headline does not grab readers, your content will not get the chance to wow them. Click here for some free help for writing great headlines.
- Use visuals. Great visuals work with great headlines to bring readers to your great content. Images, GIFs, video, and infographics are all elements that will make your content more engaging. We live in a visual age, and any way that you can add visual content to your words will enhance your engagement.
- Use plain language. Fancy words and jargon will make your content harder to read. Keep it simple to make your content more engaging.
- Find your voice. Once you’ve been writing for a while, you will develop a unique, distinctive style. It’s your voice that speaks to your audience. It helps them to know, love and trust you. Once you find your voice, those who like how you “sound” will become your loyal readers and customers. Find that personal style that is both conversational and professional. You want your readers to know that you know your stuff, but you also want to present your “stuff” in a way that is conversational. Your voice is what will help your audience to know, love, and trust you.
- Use subheadings. Subheadings increase the readability of your content, and this will go a long way to increasing your engagement, especially for those who skim and scan rather than read every word.
- Highlight important words. This is another technique, like subheadings, that makes your content more readable.
- Keep it brief. Yes, search engines reward longer content, but readers appreciate brevity. It’s a bit of a quandary, since search engines help readers find you, but ultimately, it’s the readers who you are in business to please. This may mean editing down your content so that any extraneous words are eliminated.
- Have a strong call to action. Effective calls to action are what drive business. What do you want your readers to do following their consumption of your content? Put it in a strong call to action that is oriented around the benefits of your offer for your prospects. Whether it’s highlighting your lead magnet, offering a free trial, or something else – make an offer that your readers can’t refuse.
So, are you convinced that 3 rules are all you need for successful content marketing? Yes or no? Tell us what you think in a comment.
If you’re interested in better understanding content marketing for business to business or business to customer selling, here are two excellent resources.