Publishing valuable content on your site—and sharing that content with others—is one of the most important marketing activities you can carry out. Despite this, many companies end up missing out on the real benefits because they don’t do their content marketing properly. Often, this comes down to the failure to create content that engages with your audience. One of the key goals of content must be to engage with the reader. If you are having difficulty engaging your audience, here are some ideas you could consider.
I wrote about the power of storytelling in a recent blog post, and this is one of the best ways that you can engage your audience with your content. There is something about human beings that makes us tune into stories and connect with them. Stories are instantly appealing, they capture our attention and (if they’re good) hold it. But what stories can you tell in your content?
There are countless options. For example, you could tell stories about your customers, about how you have improved their lives. This is the best option because in this way you turn your customers into the heroes of the stories. Great case studies are one way to do this, so try to get some onto your website. You could also tell stories from your company, things that have happened or that you have accomplished, stories about your history, how you were founded, and the challenges you have overcome. Alternatively, tell stories from the news that affect your industry and your customers. There are always stories going on in the news that you can adopt and make a story from. The key is to be creative and keep your eyes open for anything that would make an interesting story.
Focus on Your Prospect
Another key thing to remember when you market your content is to create content from your prospect’s point of view. Your content needs to matter to them, and that means you need to know what makes them tick. You should know your customer inside out and understand exactly what they want, and then you can create the content that answers their questions and provides them with the information they want. To connect with people, you must understand them. But once you know what your customers want, you can connect with them over time and continue to provide them with the content they need to build trust with them.
And if you don’t know what they want, ask them. Carry out a survey, ask your email subscribers, ask visitors to your blog, ask them on your landing pages. Sometimes it’s only by asking that you can really find out what they want. You can also see which keywords are sending them to your web pages, and use these to create more targeted content.
Asking questions is one of the simplest ways to engage your audience with your content. By simply opening with a question (or even using a question in your headline), you can immediately get the reader more involved. When people see a question, they automatically want to find out the answer or see if they can answer it correctly. Perhaps they don’t have an answer, or they want to find out if your answer is different from their own. Either way, this will immediately engage them.
The content you publish and share should open the conversation, but engagement should not end when the content ends. Instead, try to encourage greater participation from the reader. One way to do this is to end with a question, and to ask them to leave their answers in the comments. The comments are a fantastic way to carry on the conversation. Or you could ask readers to share the content across their networks to make it go further.
People are more likely to read something and take the time to consider the topics it contains if it has been recommended by someone they trust. It’s often not enough to create great content: Effective content marketing means getting your content out there and getting it read. And influencers can help you to do this. Spend time making connections with influencers in your niche. One way to do this is to share content that they have published with your own audience, and then let the original author know that you found it useful. You can also comment on their blog posts, join their conversations in social media, and ensure they know who you are. Once they know who you are, they will be more likely to share your content and get it seen by the people in their networks. A respected voice also adds more credibility to your content and is therefore more likely to encourage other people to spend time reading it.
Go Beyond Written Content
One thing to remember is that you don’t have to stick to written content. While written content may make up the bulk of your content marketing, you should also go beyond it and create visual content including photos, videos, infographics, audio, illustrations, charts, and presentations.
Get More Engagement from Your Content Marketing
Creating high-value content that really resonates with your audience is ultimately the thing you should be focusing on whenever you create content. So if you are not getting the results you expected from your existing content marketing efforts, try to adapt it by adopting the above ideas and see if you can take advantage of the benefits.