Creating Engaging Content is Not Hard!
Many small business owners fully understand the benefits of content marketing. It is the actual content creation that gives them headaches. But it doesn’t have to. Creating engaging content that your readers are eagerly awaiting is easier than you think. The ultimate purpose for creating engaging content is for your readers to share it, and for your content to reach another audience.
In a previous post, I talked about how you can prepare for the content marketing marathon. Today I want to take a slightly different approach that may be easier for some of you to understand. I always tell people how any effective digital marketing campaign is like having a conversation with your customer or prospective client. Here are some basic ideas for starting and continuing the conversation. Based on my experience, creating engaging content is the natural part. Most business owners struggle with keeping the conversation going after that.
In 2020, 77% of companies say they have a content marketing strategy. SEMRush
All you need to start a conversation and keep it going is a friendly, and preferably unique and fun way to introduce yourself and keep stringing enough words together to form a coherent sentence, and conversation. In other words, when you get to the party, you have to interact and communicate.
If you simply stand there without saying a word, of course, you will be overlooked! The digital marketing equivalent would be an old blog post and the most recent social media post dealing with the current pandemic, racism in the US, or the state of the world economy!
Marketers today create content for multiple audience segments — marketing to three audience segments is most common. HubSpot
The funny thing is that I know many clients who tell our team and me that they can’t possibly create content. What would they likely say? They are just a small business. But when we meet them in person, they are funny, witty, informative, relate their knowledge and expertise passionately, and are hard to stop once they get going!
In other words, they already have all the basics for creating engaging content. All I need to add are a few very essential tips for starting and maintaining a digital conversation. And trust me, once you start creating engaging content, you will realize how much fun it can be.
7 Tips for Creating Engaging Content
Being yourself should be obvious, but many business owners feel they need to adopt another persona to be effective in digital marketing. Trust me; if you are Azalea Ace from Atlanta, you don’t want to come across as the guy from Home Depot. The first rule of creating engaging content is always to be yourself!
Your content and ideas have to be original if you want your audience to engage with and share your content. This engagement is not going to happen if you try to be someone else, use their tone of voice, or copy their messaging.
Another way for creating engaging content is always to be informative, or at least have an educational component to each post or page and on your social media channels. Yes, you can have a picture of your office cat or company picnic go viral, but there is no real, lasting value.
Instead, you want to create content that will be shared and create new links back to your site. If your audience can learn how to avoid an obstacle or achieve personal gain, they are more likely to share your content with others who have the same needs.
Remember back in school, that one teacher who kept droning and droning and droning … Yawn, where was I? Oh yes, the last thing you want to do with your content is to let it drone on and on. Informative and droning sounds like a manual and nobody I know reads these for fun!
If you want your audience to keep reading your content long enough to consider sharing it, you better include something along a lighter line. Humor can work very well, as long as it is in good taste. Many years ago, I kept going to business seminars run by a friend of mine. I knew the material as well as he did; I wanted to see if Richard added any new jokes to his presentation!
Creating engaging content that has little practical value to your end-users is not going to work either. Practicality is a significant factor in content that gets shared because most people prefer to share helpful information with their connections, friends, and circles.
If you are creating engaging content at the advanced level, but your audience only understands the basics, your content has no practical value for them. Instead, take your information and frame it in such a way that makes it useful and applicable to your audience. As our SEO in Residence likes to say: “When I am hungry, I don’t need the entire restaurant history. I just want the lunch menu!”
As humans, we are very visually oriented. We drew images of early hunting scenes well before we ever wrote about them. And while the written word is essential for the success of any content marketing campaign, it should not be the only aspect of your engaging content creation strategy. Including visual elements in your content not only helps to break it up for your end-users visually, but it also can convey complex information much more naturally than a string of words.
Remember what I mentioned about droning a few lines ago. Instead, consider converting more complex data into infographics, providing training manuals as slide decks, and sharing background information about your company and your client testimonials as videos.
The idea of only having a static website is so 2010! It is 2020, and your end users are expecting at least some interactivity to your content. Yes, I know. Adding interactivity to an existing or traditional piece of content can be difficult or impossible. But don’t worry, there are simple ways to include necessary interaction with your visitors in your content.
On your blog, you simply need a comment form for others to contribute to or comment on your content. On social media, ask your followers for their thoughts, run a contest, or post a survey. The more interactive your content is, the more likely it will be shared. All your readers want is a chance to interact with your brand, leave comments, and see how you respond.
Creating engaging content is like the perfect comeback to a wisecrack or having milk in your fridge. You miss the timing, and it is no longer useful, and after a while, your content will stink. Part of creating engaging content is to be timely. In the digital age, trends come and go very quickly. If you want your content to get shared, you better strike while the iron is hot.
For instance, if you are relating to a current event or recent article, you need to do so within a few days. After that, it is pretty much a case of who cares. Even the most engaging content has a definite lifespan before it goes stale.
Creating Engaging Content Yourself
Now that you have my tips for creating engaging content, you can take the next steps. If you already started one or more conversations, you now have some additional ideas to keep them going. If you are just starting with your content marketing, you will need to start a few conversations.
How do you see yourself? What makes you different from your competitors? Start there. Remember just to be yourself. If you are already nervous, trying to be someone else will only make it worse. I mentioned this before. Imagine you are at a party or networking event. You want to meet that group over there. Go up and introduce yourself.
How to Start the Conversation
If you are stuck on how to start-up a conversation, I will even give you a few ideas. The world is in crisis. The Coronavirus pandemic has affected businesses and individuals around the world. By creating a digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic, you can become a trusted resource for your friends and neighbors.
Take a look at your brand, product, or service. Now take a look around you and see what kind of need you can fill or benefit you can provide. If you have a way to stay safe and healthy, work more effectively from home, or keep children entertained, don’t you think folks would love to know, read, and share that? And just imagine the sharable content you can create for your e-commerce site!
Longer Articles Over 3,000 Words Received 3X More Traffic. Convince&Convert
I always recommend starting with the low hanging fruit. Maybe you simply need to get started with your engaging content creation. Pick a topic from the above and give it a try. Not sure which topic is the most effective right now? Check what is trending on Twitter. Not sure at first? Try a simple blog or social media post to start. See what happens.
Joining the Conversation
Getting back to that conversation I mentioned at the beginning of this post, imagine that you are at a backyard BBQ and pool party. Burgers and brats on the grill, kids screaming in the water, and groups of people talking about summertime stuff, like baseball, camping, and not finding a kid to mow your lawn.
You could join one of those conversations, couldn’t you? If not, how about starting one with that group of folks over there? Creating engaging content works just like that. Say something. Listen to what other people say. Comment on that. It’s how conversations get started.
Of course, if creating engaging content is far above and beyond your comfort level, or if you simply do not have the time, you will need to bring in some outside help. Now that you have tips for creating engaging content, you just need someone to write it. A guest blogger, copywriter, or social media strategist may be the best solution for getting you started with creating engaging content. It is perfectly fine to start slow as long as you are consistent.
How is Creating Engaging Content Working for You?
Did you start creating engaging content? How is that working for you? What kind of obstacles are you facing, and how will you overcome them? Do you have anything to add to our tips for creating engaging content? Please leave your comments below so our audience can benefit as well, and grab our feed, so you don’t miss our next post! And help your audience with their content marketing by sharing these tips for creating engaging content with them!
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