What kind of a company are you?
A) One that focuses on delivering a consistent flow of high-quality, optimized content?
B) The one that focuses on creating content that’s high-quality, optimized, AND engaging?
What’s the difference?
One path will get you higher rankings in search engines.
And the other will generate higher conversions.
While optimization is key to getting found, you don’t want to overlook what happens with your content once users click on it. If you’re driving 1000s of unique visitors to your website each day and none of them are converting, then you’re doing something terribly wrong.
If this sounds like you, then chances are, you’re company A.
Engaging content is essential to connecting with your audience and getting them to complete your call to action.
Stats show that 72% of content marketers say content marketing increases engagement. And the same amount sees a higher number of leads.
If you’d like to witness the same results, then you need to focus more on the type of content you produce and how it’s crafted.
Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to create engaging content for your marketing strategy.
What is Engaging Content?
To put it simply, engaging content is content that generates a reaction from the reader, watcher, or listener (depending on the format).
For example, if after consuming your content users are sharing, liking, commenting on, and completing calls to action (e.g., signing up to your email newsletter), then your content is engaging.
But how do you create content that promotes user engagement?
Let’s find out.
Start By Collecting Big Data
Big data is more than just a buzzword — it’s your best friend. As a marketer, you need to know everything about your audience, including how they interact with your content.
If you have Google Analytics or a similar tool, then you need to use this to see your engagement rates. Do you notice specific topics getting more views, likes, and shares?
Then make a note of these pages to see if there’s a correlation between them all. For instance, you may notice certain topics, formats, or writing styles perform better than others.
From here, you can identify what pieces of content you should be recreating.
Enter the Experimentation Stage
Next, you have to start testing your theories. See how these pieces of content do once you publish them.
You’ll need to experiment with different headlines, calls to action, and formats. For instance, you can create a blog post and a video on the same topic and see which gets the most burn.
But what if your data is showing mediocre results? If your engagement is lower or stagnant, then try the following.
Offer More Value than Anyone Else
When visitors view your content, they shouldn’t be getting the same information they could get from a competitor. You have to step it up a notch with high-value information and actionable tips they won’t find anywhere else.
Another option is to create long-form content that offers complete guides to resolving a problem. This way, your visitors can get everything they need from that one post.
Being the first is also crucial. This will help position you as a go-to thought leader in your industry.
All the tips you offer should be easy to apply as soon as the reader leaves your post. Your content should also include resources they can use to learn even more about the problem they’re trying to resolve.
Make sure to link out to reputable/high-authority sites. And sprinkle in links to resources they can find on your site.
If visitors leave feeling just as lost as they felt coming in, then you missed the point.
Find Your Audience’s Pain Points
So how can you offer better value than anyone else? You have to deliver content on topics that matter most to your audience.
There are different methods for figuring this out. For instance, you can use sites like Quora and Answer the Public to see what types of questions are being asked repeatedly in your industry.
Social media is another awesome platform for digging through conversations that reveal consumer pain points.
If you have a healthy list of subscribers or followers, you can ask them to complete a survey.
Create Content for Humans
When you’re planning out the content for your marketing strategy, you need to mind map your audience’s emotions.
If your audience is frustrated with a problem and you know how to fix it fast and affordable, then share this in a video or blog post.
Use their emotion as a driving force to generate engagement.
By connecting with them emotionally by showing sentiment for their woes. Show that you understand their issues. Then explain clearly how they can resolve it.
If you can show them how to do it for free — even better. Don’t be afraid to give away free advice to gain their trust.
Chances are, they’ll return to you and purchase your product or service when the need arises. Actionable content is also ideal for getting more email signups.
If they can get expert advice delivered directly to their inbox, then they’re all in!
Show Personality in Your Content
Again, you’re creating content for people, not search engines. So it’s important to let your personality shine through.
This helps visitors to connect with your brand person-to-person versus brand-to-consumer.
Today’s consumers want to be educated in an entertaining way. If you can deliver edutainment, then you’ll find it easier to convert them.
Use Visuals Whenever Possible
There’s nothing more boring than a long block of text. If you don’t break up the content into a skimmable format, then you’ll suffer a high bounce rate.
As a rule of thumb, you should include several subheadings and use short paragraphs (no more than three lines).
Then for ultimate satisfaction, you can include quality imagery that supports the content. This can be in the form of graphs, charts, infographics, or relevant stock photos.
This will make the content visually appealing and help the reader get through to the end.
If you have video or animated Gifs — even better! Just be sure it adds to the content and doesn’t distract visitors from the message.
Focus On Engagement for Your Content Marketing Strategy
Marketers get a bad rap for being too sales-y. Now’s the time to show you can be just as fun, entertaining, and engaging as the next influencer.
With these tips, you can breathe life into your content so that it attracts and converts your core audience.
So based on this information, what would you rate your content as — light, fun and engaging? Or bland, technical, and uninteresting?