We all know creating good content is vital to the success of any website. Content drives search traffic, creates relevance, engages customers and builds your online reputation. But, creating content that's consistently compelling and relevant can be a challenge.
Content creators must fight for attention not only against other websites on the same topic, but also the short attention spans and frequently fickle attitudes of users. In today’s society where trends appear and disappear just as quickly, marketers have to be at the top of their content game in order to drive more visitors to their sites.
Good content can make an impression, push a product or create an emotional bond with a customer. But in order to be successful, web content must be varied, relevant, interesting and, above all, easy to digest.
So, how do you make the most of your content creation? Here are four top tips:
Your audience's time is at a premium, so use the "inverted pyramid" or "bottom line up front" model of content. In short, put the most important, attention-getting, compelling material first so readers will get to it right away.
If you're creating video content, start with a hook strong enough to keep your audience's attention through the remainder of the video. Don't make viewers wait until the end to absorb your message, as they are just as likely to click away before they get there.
And remember, starting with a good headline is not just good for user attention, it's also vital to driving search traffic and social shares.
The rise of social media and participation culture means contemporary audiences want to feel engaged with the businesses they buy from. Engagement is key to connecting with your audience, and that means telling stories—not delivering lectures or writing impersonal press releases.
Every company, project or product has a story behind it, and sharing these stories can bring a personal touch to your content in a way dry corporate language often will not. Taking a storytelling approach to your content can be challenging—especially when it comes to being consistent with your branding—but can pay huge dividends in audience engagement.
Considerations for Effective Storytelling:
Maintaining a consistent brand message is vital to a successful business, but a creative rut can be the death of good web content. Do not be afraid to mix things up every once in a while and utilize all forms of media for content awareness.
Doing the unexpected can catch your audience's attention and bring new life into your content stream. Consider using guest editorials or different writers or speakers to bring a varied voice to your articles and videos or to take a contrary viewpoint. Or deconstruct a popular assertion—maybe even one of your own! Having more than one voice or viewpoint can help keep your web content fresh and vibrant.
Consider an Experts' Corner where you will be able to insert informative and unique content through different voices, setting you apart from the competitors. Look at an Experts' Corner as a way of educating your audience. For example, if you work in the beauty business, ask professional models or artists to share their knowledge on tips and techniques. If your business is in construction, have builders or architects examining the latest developments and obtain their opinion on the market.
Trends in web content have a certain life cycle. Content creators discover something effective—such as Top 10 lists or "viral" headlines—and soon everyone is doing it. While formulaic content might work in the short term, true innovation means being ahead of the trend and leading instead of copying the success of others.
To make truly compelling and fresh content, study your website analytics, find out what your audience reads most, and bring it more of that. Set high standards for your content, and build a presence on social media to create a reputation and engage with your customers even more.
True innovation is challenging and difficult, but companies who take the time to invest in a strategy for setting themselves apart from the pack will reap dividends later on.
Hannah Connor is a marketing specialist and product development strategist at Vouchercloud.