Content marketing continues to be an increasingly important part of growing a business. More than 50% of marketing professionals said that they increased their spending on content creation in the past 12 months, according to the 2019 B2B Content Marketing Report by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). More than half of these respondents stated that they want to constantly keep up with search algorithms.
Though SEO continues to be important for businesses, some marketers may be sacrificing audience engagement for rankings. If your customers bounce halfway through your blog posts, these suggestions can help you make content that will make them stay long enough to convert to customers.
Creating engaging content is a problem that more than half of marketers face, according to CMI. And it’s mostly because they don’t understand their audience.
According to Adobe’s 2018 study on consumers’ opinions on brand content, more than 60% of customers say they want to consume content that’s timely and relevant to them. About 44% of them also said they want content that’s tailored to their needs. However, the CMI study showed that only 42% of companies make significant efforts, such as research and social media outreaches, to understand their audience’s needs. So how do you do this?
Once you have a broad idea of who your audience is, try to narrow it down further. Estimate an age and monthly earnings range. Ask your customers about their interests and hobbies. Use this data to create a profile of your clientele. Going back to the meal plan example, you may be serving an audience with the following attributes:
Age: 25 to 34 years old
Description: Young professional, lives in a condo in the city, likely finished at least a bachelor’s degree and doesn’t have time to cook during weekdays
Interests: Working out, traveling, reading Quartz and Medium articles during break time going on Netflix binges during the weekend
Once you have a clear profile of your customers, you can focus your topics on the possible challenges they may face every day and how your product or service can help them.
For example, because most of your audience likes working out, you could create an article about the “best food to eat before and after exercising” or “what to eat if you want to build muscle.” These topics allow you to fulfill your readers’ wants and needs, promote your product, and with the help of a managed SEO services provider — rank higher in search results in a single post.
Because you also have an idea of their interests, you just need to pattern your writing style according to the literature and content they consume regularly. Based on the example above, it’s best to browse through Medium and Quartz to get a feel of their voice and pacing. This way, your customers are sure to enjoy your content.
Now that you have a topic and a style that will engage your reader, it’s time to write a headline that will pull them in further. According to a recent study by media research and monitoring platform BuzzSumo, headlines containing “how to,” “this is why” and “will make you” may net you more clicks and shares on social media platforms than other types of headlines.
If you’re going to use these hooks for the topics you thought of earlier, you’d end up with “How to Eat Properly Before and After Your Workout” or “This is Why Eggs are the Best Muscle-Building Food.” Customers like reading guides and explainers, so you may want to tweak your topics if you want to get more engagements.
If you already have a strong topic in mind that doesn’t really fit these formats, be honest and write a headline that reflects the rest of your content. Work with your local SEO provider to give you relevant keywords for your headline. After all, you don’t want your posts to be labeled as clickbait.
You should always be guided by authoritative sources such as scientific journals, news articles, government information and more when you’re writing your articles. This way, you’re backing up your statements with cold, hard facts. However, your customers probably don’t want to read through a dense wall of jargon and statistics.
As such, you should make it a habit to simplify niche terms into easy-to-understand lines. Breakdown run-on sentences into smaller chunks. When in doubt, use free tools such as Hemingwayapp or Grammarly to test your content’s readability. Aim for at least a Grade 9 score and below. This way, it can be read and understood by most adults. Most people will skim through your articles, especially when they’re viewing it from their smartphones. Therefore, it’s always better to get to the point.
Apart from writing blog posts and whitepapers, you should also supplement your existing content with interesting visuals such as videos, infographics and high-quality photos.
According to a report by Demand Metric and Vidyard, more than 83% of marketing professionals said that video is becoming an increasingly important part of content marketing. Going back to the meal planning example, you could feature a “how to cook a 10-minute meal” article on your site and supplement it with a quick video featuring ingredients and the cooking process. You could also add photos of the finished product towards the end of your post.
Infographics are also integral, according to HubSpot, as it’s 30 times more likely to be read than an actual article. This is simply because it features more exciting visuals. Try to use infographics for your social media pages with a full article link in the caption. Apart from getting quick information, your readers may also be engaged to look for more insights through the complete post you shared.
If you want to create content that continues to top the search rankings, you need to provide value to your readers. One way to do this is to understand their wants and needs through quick surveys or interviews. This way, you can personalize your topics and writing style according to their behavior and interests. To keep them coming back for your content, make it easy to read and use interesting visuals to pique their attention. Wrap up every post with a call-to-action, and you’re sure to get conversion after conversion.