Such is the frequency that fresh content is distributed across the world wide web, brands are now constantly engaged in a battle to keep their pieces relevant and interesting. Still, the ever-increasing output of their producers should not be an excuse for stream upon steam of irrelevant, mundane and, in some extreme cases, mind-numbingly boring content.
In order to establish just why your pieces aren’t getting the response you might have hoped for, it’s imperative to consider the situation from a consumer’s perspective. Good content needs an interesting topic, bags of personality and plenty of relevant information for the target audience.
Originality is also key to producing good content, although a unique angle on a well-covered topic can revitalise something that many would perceive to be a done and dusted affair. The reality is that without at least one of these key ingredients, the producer will struggle to engage with their audience and inevitably make a hash of their grand delivery.
If you’ve realised that your content contains none of the above, stop what you’re doing; put one hand on the mouse and listen up. Here’s how you inject the life back into your posts:
Whether they’re researching something, keeping up to date with their favourite author or looking to get someone else’s opinion on a topical subject, most people will flock to your content in the hope of learning something new. So as they arrive at your company page with a truck-load of questions, you have to be the one that provides the answers. People use content to build their knowledge and they’ll be looking to gain this enlightenment in the quickest way possible. This should be your prime consideration when laying out the structure of a new post.
Not a tip to help you boost your self-confidence; no, just one to put your readers at ease. Certain pieces of content may have a sales message underneath, but this doesn’t necessarily have to mask your personality. Remember who you are and try to incorporate your own writing style where you can. Content marketing guru Joe Pulizzi says a fellow professional once told him: “Your story travels further the less you mention your brand.” Thus, if you really want to keep your audience on their toes, you’ll have to put your company to one side and focus on something the people can relate to.
Using hard-hitting stats to break up lines of text is a highly effective way of gaining a reader’s interest. Numbers provide a break from the norm and should allow you to demonstrate a point in a more striking manner. Just remember to pick your research and images carefully, whilst only lifting stats from reputable sources. After you’ve found your figures, give the original author credit by linking to their page.
Norman Vincent Peale, known as the progenitor of positive thinking, once urged the world to “be interesting, be enthusiastic.. and don’t talk too much.” Content marketers can learn from much of Mr Peale’s wisdom, but this particular example stands out among the rest. You may think that your highly complex topic deserves the full 1,000 words or ten minutes of film along with references, but chances are that only a fraction of your audience will appreciate the piece in its full glory.
For every 50 visitors that stuck with it, many more will have clicked away after dozing their way through 300 words or three minutes worth of fluff. Keep everything to the point and consider the importance of everything you produce. If in doubt, leave it out!
Relax and read
Finally, going back through your own work of art can be a fairly cringe-inducing activity, but one that must be performed nonetheless. Whilst you’re looking out for typos, spelling mistakes and glaring errors, also try to take in the content itself. You might be happy with the length of your piece but are you happy with what it’s saying?