When they said content is king in internet marketing, they had meant engaging content. Good, valuable content is crucial to the success of any website, and naturally, this is one area where most internet marketers focus their attention and energy to. Because the truth is, without an engaging content, there will be no visitors, and hence, no business. Good content is necessary to attract and retain customers and to have a high ranking on search engines.
We all want to be able to create engaging content, don’t we? Unfortunately, there is no formula for creating an engaging content and one needs to find the moorings on his own. Depending on the topic, there are short contents and long ones but the most engaging contents have a few common characteristics. A content is good when it arouses the visitors to read on when it is informative and inspires the readers to take up a course of action. It is easy to be impressed with the content that others have created but it is another thing to create one on your own. We are never sure how people would judge our content when we publish it. We all want people to take notice of our content and find it interesting so much so that they share it and trust our words for the products and services promoted by us.
Competition for attention
The fierce competition that happens in the online business world is the competition for audience attention. Every effort is made to garner the eyeballs because the competition is in the internet space where the attention span of people is getting shorter by the day. According to a study, a visitor takes 5 milliseconds to decide whether to stay on the page or go away when he lands there. Hence, it is vital that we create that crucial first impression that will halt the visitor to the page, and possibly make him explore other areas of the website. Being able to drive good traffic to a page is not enough; we should make sure that the “bounce rate”remains low. And more than the visual content that captivates the audience in the few milliseconds when they land on the page, we need to be able to create great content to engage the people. Is creating great content easy? Absolutely not. If it was, then there would not have been any internet business! The business exists because the quality of service (content) varies so much among the competitors and that there is always a better content than mine in the niche that I have chosen. Although, there are no rules or techniques for creating a great content to amplify audience engagement, we can try certain time-tested ways.
Studies suggest that all types of visual content are a great way to making an audience take notice of your site. This is where embedding videos in our content assume significance. It said that videos are likely to attract visitors three times more than a plain text content. So, next time you’re writing a blog, try to see if you can embed a relevant video within the content. Videos are also a nice way of halting a visitor from leaving your page. The best part is, you need not take the trouble of shooting these videos yourself. Thousands of videos are available on the internet (YouTube, for instance) that can be shared without having to worry about copyright issues. Most of these videos are “public” and hence, shareable. You could even create a great slideshow using common tools like Microsoft PowerPoint and render it into a video with tools that are freewares and readily available.
Use high-quality stock photos
It is always a good idea to insert beautiful and relevant high-quality photographs within your content to captivate your audience. The graphics-quality represents your brand and nobody likes to see blurry images there. Bad photographs create an unfavourable impression of your overall brand. There are many websites that have royalty-free high-quality stock photos for any topic that could be used without the fear of copyright infringement. Some of these websites with good stock photos and clip arts include:
- Burst (by Shopify)
- A to Z Stock Images
Infographics are a favourite among visitors to a website and are likely to engage an audience to a great extent. Infographics are a good way to drive home a complex information in an easily comprehensible manner. People love them and you could expand your creativity by making nice infographics using charts, colours, graphics, shapes, etc. In fact, you can even refurbish your old favourite post into an infographic and re-post it for a better engagement. You can use online pictograph generators like:
Respond to comments
Always make sure that you respond to the comments made by visitors. Create a two-way conversation system and encourage your audience to participate in the discussion by responding to follow-up questions or comments. Comments also create a healthy impression of your post to random visitors about the usefulness of the content. Did you know that the comments and your responses all add up to your content? Meaning, they effectively lengthen our post from the search engine’s point of view! Great, no?
Customer testimonials and sharing success stories
One of the best ways to make a content engaging is to share the testimonials of happy customers or success stories. Most people, by nature, tend to rely more on customer reviews of products or services and the success stories of ventures undertaken by them. If you could ask your happy customers to share their testimonials, they can generate good engagement with the visitors. People also like to see success stories, and so if you can insert some, then, it is one of the better ways to make the audience take notice of the product or the service you are promoting.
Free offers and takeaways
People mostly want something “free” in return for the time they spent in reading your content. This could be anything – an e-book, white paper, video, slide presentation or an app that are ideally available for download as a freeware. While offering these freebies, the visitor could be asked to submit their email ID which could be then added to our list for future email marketing strategy. These free offers could make the audience engaged with your site and they become more amenable to your suggestions and in trying out the things you had written about in your content.
Easier said than done, but when you create content, make sure that you write naturally as if you’re talking to a friend. Don’t get stressed. When you write the way you talk to a friend, the writing will be more natural and compelling.
Do not make your sales pitch too obvious
People do not like it when you talk to them like an aggressive salesman. The more you try to pitch in, the more the visitors will leave you. So, tone down on your aggressive marketing way of writing. Instead, try to win over your audience through engagement and through proper guidance.
It’s never easy to create engaging content as beginners, and mastering the art might take a long time for most people. The real competition in the crowded internet marketing space is the competition for creating engaging content. There is no sure-shot strategy for it. There cannot be any strategy. It’s an ability that comes with experience too. Only a few people are naturally good communicators, but this does mean others cannot create good content. Focus on what the audience wants and avoid the aggressive sales pitch. Try to win them through an imaginatively created engaging content.
READ MORE: “How To Create Socially Engaging Content”.