Content marketing is booming. Did you know that more than 2 million blogs are published every day? That’s 2 million blogs fighting for people’s attention. This does not include the social media posts that internet users are seeing on their feeds and emails they’re getting in their inboxes.
Clearly, getting your content noticed by your target customers is becoming more difficult, but there’s a silver lining. A lot of the content published online is not worth its weight in quality and can be ignored. Creating content that captures attention and engages the reader puts you above the noise and clutter that waste the reader’s time.
Growth marketer and SAAS consultant Sid Bharath offers an on-point explanation of why creating engaging content is important: “Writing content that doesn’t promote engagement is like speaking to an audience that’s wearing headphones – it doesn’t matter what you say because nobody is paying attention (and the few that are don’t care).”
So, what’s the formula when it comes to engaging content marketing? There’s really not one secret formula, but there are several tried-and-tested best practices. Here are some of them:
1. Good Writers Matter
Just as not all content pieces are created equal, not all writers can write content that engages and fulfills a specific marketing goal. You need writers who can create beautifully written content, as well as relevant and useful content that resonates with a specific audience.
- Content marketing writers should have a background in marketing. Many good writers fail at content marketing because they’re not used to writing content with a specific marketing goal in mind. Effective content marketing writers need to understand marketing strategy and how to speak using your target customers’ voice to make the content engaging.
- As much as possible, hire writers who are subject matter experts in your industry. If you sell clothes online, the best writers for your content are those who are fashion enthusiasts or have some kind of background that is fashion industry related. The same applies if you’re selling climbing gear. Mountaineers with writing skills might be your ideal writers.
2. Perform a Blog Diagnostics
When was the last time you took a good hard look at your blog to determine whether or not it’s reaching and engaging your target audience? Most business owners put a blog on their website for the sake of having one. However, if used effectively, a blog allows you to build rapport and trust with your potential customers.
Here a few tips to evaluate whether your blog is doing its job or not:
- Research what your competitors are doing and take note of the posts that are getting a ton of engagement (look at the comments section) and those that are being ignored.
- Make sure your blog posts provide value. After reading your blog, do people gain information or knowledge that they can use to address their concerns?
- Periodically read blogs from leaders in your industry to compare whether or not your content is up to date, following current trends, and using the best practices.
- Do social listening to check if your blog is answering questions people are posting online.
- Involve your customer support team. Ask them to list the most frequently asked questions they are receiving and if your blog is addressing them.
3. Don’t Ignore Google+
Facebook may be the undisputed social network in the world, but Google+ as a platform cannot be overlooked if you want to bolster your content marketing.
Why? Here’s an explanation from Digital Marketing Project Manager Sarah Bauer: “Google+ is rapidly becoming the most important content publication platform for businesses with an eye on higher search rankings. The data in a piece of content posted on Google+ is immediately indexed for Google search, unlike on Twitter or Facebook, where Google has restricted access to the data, and indexing can take a few days. AuthorRank, the digital signature for Google+ users, is also set to affect the ranking order for search results. Content marketers should make their way over to Google+ and get acquainted.”
Here’s how you can leverage Google+ to engage your audience:
- Follow and interact with influencers who are leaders in your industry or relevant to your business.
- Participate in Google Hangouts events.
- Post high quality content that is tailored to fit to the Google+ platform (short and simple, but informative).
- Don’t just post content. Comment on other people’s posts and engage with the community.
4. Make Your Blog Mobile Friendly
According to research, internet users are spending 63% more time reading blogs on their mobile devices and it’s not going to be surprising if this continues to grow. It is pertinent that you make your blog mobile-friendly to engage your target customers whatever device they’re on.
If you avoid making your blog compatible, it can still be viewed on smaller screen sizes, but it might not give your audience an optimal reading experience.
So, how do you optimize your blog for mobile users?
- Use a responsive design. This way, you avoid wasting resources to create a separate mobile blog for your mobile audience.
- Use a mobile-optimized theme. These themes load faster on mobile devices than conventional themes. Additionally, when it comes to engaging people on mobile devices, load speed is key.
- Keep images to a minimum. In desktop devices, images and videos increase engagement. For mobile readers, however, minimizing image use helps with readability and page load speed. Research a blog theme that allows you to hide certain graphic elements when your content is viewed on mobile devices.
Clearly, not all content is created equal. Avoid wasting time and company resources in creating content that doesn’t engage. If your in-house resources are not providing the engaging content your business deserves, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
In the meantime, what strategies are you using to create engaging content for your business? Share them in the comments section below.