Did you know that in March 2019, records indicate that 4.4 million blog posts were published each day?
(That’s a heck of a lotta blogs, wouldn’t you agree?!)
It’s no wonder, then, that so many of us despair when it comes to creating content which truly stands out and makes a mark.
With the internet slammed by so much noise, your own posts can easily be swept aside and fail to achieve the results you’d hoped they would.
Whether your aim was to increase engagement with your audience, nurture potential leads or simply offer content to educate or entertain… it can be incredibly disheartening to witness your blogs/social media posts/videos etc. die a swift death when you put in a considerable amount of effort.
But you don’t have to despair a moment more, because right here we’re going to reveal seven sizzling secrets to help your content POP!
Regardless of whether you’re creating content for a B2B or B2C audience, there may be occasions where all your competitors and their cousins are zeroing in on the same topics.
If you want your content to stand out in this instance, you simply have to take this well-worn topic or subject of industry focus and realign your perspective. Use your unique viewpoint to position your content as fresh and imaginative, content which offers something new to your audience, rather than rehashing the same information or opinion as everyone else.
For example, perhaps you’re a business selling handmade jewellery. Naturally, your content may then be focused on fashion trends. Yet rather than doing what every other business/blogger is doing… discussing who wore it better on the red carpet… you could instead craft content diving into the cultural significance of the symbolism of the jewellery worn by those celebrities.
Do you see how easy it is to take a popular topic but then filter it through your specifically unique viewpoint to create unique content? Sure, your blog/social media post/video etc. may be more niche, but as a result, this content is much more likely to stand out and achieve greater traction with your target audience.
As humans, we are hardwired to look for patterns, sequences and logical connections in everything we encounter and experience. And storytelling in your content can be particularly impactful in drawing your audience’s attention and resonating with them on a deeper level, for this very reason.
Storytelling not only strengthens the cohesiveness of your content, providing a beginning-middle-end structure to your posts, but it also develops the strength of your messaging, your brand voice and the emotion you’re evoking too.
For instance, which of the following blog post examples seems more impactful to you?
Blog A: This pitbull, Danny, was recently adopted from our shelter. Please donate so we can continue our rescue efforts.
Blog B: This is Danny, a six-year-old pitbull. He was abandoned on the streets, left to fend for himself after being severely abused, used as a bait dog for illegal fights. After struggling to survive on scraps for months, a member of the public called our shelter, describing how they’d spotted a scared, skeletal-thin and scarred stray cowering in a nearby alleyway. Our team located Danny, gently coaxing him out from his hiding space, before taking him into our care. After a thorough health check and several months of TLC, Danny grew more confident and playful, the spark slowly returning to his eye, his cheeky personality shining through. It wasn’t long before Danny found his forever home with ex-marine Joseph and to this day they’re having the time of their lives, taking long walks on the beach and playing in the backyard together. Please consider donating to our shelter, so we can continue on our mission to rescue ex-fighting dogs and find them their own loving, forever homes – just like we helped Danny.
Sure, you can see that blog B may take more time, effort and resources to produce, yet the emotion it is likely to arouse in the reader is 10x more than that of blog A. If you were that dog shelter, you would be much more successful in increasing public awareness (and subsequently, the number of donations) by crafting content which engaged a reader’s interest and was more ‘shareable’ – specifically because of the strong emotion it elicits.
You may want to check out our blog on The Power of Storytelling, where we reveal how harnessing the power of storytelling can lift your digital marketing to a whole new level.
Okay, so this one isn’t so much a secret… but you’d be surprised by the number of people out there who lose out on audience engagement because they’ve neglected to polish the appearance of their content.
Experiment with your colour combinations, use gifs and animations to illustrate a point or add a splash of personality to your prose, overlay an important quote over an eye-catching image, incorporate video into your content, summarise any key information you want to communicate in an infographic… there are so many possibilities!
It’s incredibly off-putting to click onto a piece of content and be faced with a giant wall of text. Break up your information with well-placed images and graphics to make it more approachable, understandable and help the ‘flow’ of any long-form content.
Incorporate quality graphics and design elements (read: no pixelation or cringe-inducing stock photos) and your audience’s engagement rate will soar, we promise.
If there’s one lesson we want you to take away from today, it’s this… the more you give, the more you’ll get back. Don’t be stingy or hold back.
By offering insider knowledge of your industry, by sharing your expert information and insights for free, you’re offering your audience true value when engaging with your brand.
The result? You’ll nurture brand validity, trustworthiness and build a sense of community around your business (as they will see you as a generous and reliable resource, looking to educate and empower your audience rather than make a quick buck out of them.)
Here are some examples of content you can produce to ‘Go Above and Beyond’: How-tos, guides, checklists, infographics, whitepapers, tutorials, case studies, reviews, resource round-ups…
Whatever you believe will genuinely benefit your audience.
Take Neil Patel or Gary Vee, as prime examples of this in action. They both offer their insights and advice for free, providing guidance and information in the forms of blogs and videos. This isn’t gated content their audiences have to pay to access… it’s all available for nothing on their websites and social media. And as a result, they respectively have hundreds and thousands of loyal followers who share/retweet/quote/link to their content on a regular basis, subsequently helping both Neil Patel and Gary Vee’s online visibility.
Remember, your own offerings don’t have to take weeks and months to pull together. They can be quick, simple pieces of content designed to provide as much value as possible. What’s important is that you give your audience content that will enrich their lives and provide legitimate benefits, and not just sell to them.
Irrelevant content is… well… irrelevant. Why would your audience want to engage with an article on the X that happened last year when Y is happening right this moment?
No one turns on the news to hear about what happened two weeks ago, and no one will turn to your website or social media channels if all they’re receiving is outdated information or advice.
You can use tools like Buzzsumo to discover the most relevant articles on your chosen topic, so you can understand exactly what kind of conversations are taking place online and how you can contribute or add your own viewpoint to the mix (see Secret One: Filter Common Concepts Through a Unique Viewpoint).
Tools like Buzzsumo can also be used as an easy resource to pull together your own third-party resources. So if you’ve run out of time to create your own content on a topic, you can always share interesting articles and posts from other websites, engaging with your audience and prompting discussion around this third-party content instead.
Likewise, Quora and Reddit are useful tools for you to be a ‘fly on the wall’ and discover what your audience may be discussing and reacting to contemporary events. (Another top tip: pay careful attention to the kind of words/phrases your audience are using on these sites and make sure to incorporate this kind of language into your content & any promotional material. This will make your copywriting more relatable/relevant to your target audience.)
Up until now, we’ve been considering the meat of your content, but it’s also vital to understand where your audience is hanging out digitally & select the channels which are going to get you the best engagement…
After all, there’s no point posting content on Snapchat if your audience is made up of business executives who spend their spare time on LinkedIn, right?
Don’t make life more difficult for yourself. Identify which channels your target audience uses the most and then position your content in front of them on these platforms.
SproutSocial produced a handy blog outlining what demographics hang out where for US audiences, for example highlighting how 84% of 25–30-year-olds use Facebook:
If you dedicate the time to undertaking this extra research, understanding what gender, age and income/education demographics your target market is skewed towards, the data is available for you to then identify what channels they are most active on.
You’ll have to test what times are best to post on your chosen channels, in addition to what content performs best on each channel (e.g. is linking to your blog on Twitter more effective than Facebook? Does your Facebook community prefer video content rather than your Instagram following?) yet you’ll already have overcome a number of obstacles, as you’ll know that your target audience is definitely interacting with these platforms… it’ll just be a case of ensuring your content is interesting enough to grab their attention!
Okay, we may have lied when we said if you only had to take one lesson away from this blog it’d be ‘the more you give, the more you’ll get back’… because we have a second SUPER important lesson to drill home.
Do not be a spammy salesperson with your digital content.
Although you may argue that the whole point of establishing a business profile is to generate additional exposure for your brand across social media… that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything you post should be ‘sales sales sales’ or ‘conversion conversion conversion’ focused.
Step back, take a breath and consider…
Perhaps I can post content designed to nurture relationships with my target audience instead?
Maybe I can offer them value without necessarily expecting anything astronomical in return?
Possibly, my aim for this content should be to establish a better quality of connection with my brand?
Educate your audience. Demonstrate your expertise through discussion, not through sales tactics. Sure, include opportunities to subscribe to your newsletter or book in for a free consultation… but don’t make this the focus of your content and don’t hammer your audience over the head with this kind of marketing.
Instead, seeking to push the envelope with your digital positioning. Try out different angles of conversation. Don’t always view content as a means to an end, as a method to make money out of your audience.
Think of it as a stepping stone, or a set of bricks you’re using to gradually build a bridge, connecting your audience to your products/services. It’s a journey, a long-term strategy, a way to work towards your end-goal.
You may want to check out this blog from Uxbooth, which explores exactly why customer-focused content is key to your digital marketing success. The Digital Marketing Institute also breakdown examples of ‘How Not To Do Digital Marketing’, highlighting how factors such as ill-preparation and poor content execution can have serious repercussions on your marketing efforts.
We hope you’ve found our blog on 7 Secrets to Make Your Content Sizzle informative, enlightening or beneficial for your own digital marketing strategies (is it greedy if we want to have achieved all of the above?!)
For further inspiration of how other established brands have historically kicked-butt with their content, then make sure to check out this post from the Content Marketing Institute.
If you’d like to discuss strategies to improve your content strategy for 2020, make sure to book yourself in for a free 15-minute growth strategy call here, for a day and time that best suits you.
We’d love to discuss new and exciting approaches to breathe fresh life into your digital presence, and can’t wait to hear from you soon.