In this age of information overreach, creating engaging content is the only way to way to stay on the top of your customers’ mind. What is engaging content, and how to create such content while still remaining consistent on this? We take a look!
Free-flow of information is a sign of progressive time because when information ceases to exist – discussions and development do not wait to happen.
They just disappear.
But the problem with our time is the abundance of data – and the lack of human ability to derive the true value from it.
The abundance of information that goes online (filtered and unfiltered) increases distractions, creates trouble in comprehension and decision-making. Creativity is compromised across multiple levels.
So, what does engaging content mean?
Engaging content provides a reward to your reader during the time s/he stays on your website. People are fed up of information. They are actively seeking trusted and genuinely useful ways to solve a problem. If your content addresses their needs (rewards their stay) it is engaging. Engaging content touches a reader’s emotion, triggering reactions that positively impact your business.
Practical steps to create engaging content
- Invest in marketing and research to understand how your content is doing
Many brands invest in content – in creating, publishing and marketing it. While they also invest in analytics, only few use the data to make informed decisions. Make it a priority to allocate separate funding for high-end research and content performance measurement, and regularly tweak your content based on the information gathered. With Google updates keeping its focus on content quality unchanged, it is also the time you not just create and publish content, but monitor and measure it for positive outcomes.
- Don’t sell. Tell sellable stories
Engaged, intent-based storytelling is the only way you can sustainably connect with today’s highly smart audiences. Instead of what you do, talk about how you helped someone solve a problem. Doing this means you are actually talking about what you do, but rather than making a salesy pitch, you are showing your concerns about an existing problem, and participating in the problem-solving process because you want to, and you own the skills to solutions. People connect quite fast with brands that seem real, and work and upskill to tackle real issues and real challenges.
- Don’t write what people already know.
Everything is written and discussed and there’s hardly anything no one has talked about yet. But this does not mean you can’t create original, unpublished and highly engaging content. Exclusive information is always a crowd puller. Take a topic, explore different ways to represent it uniquely so that your customers can benefit from an entirely new perspective, and immersive information.
If you serve your audience with information your competitors already serve, are you not adding to the noise?
- Feed people with a precise amount of information they can consume
When there’s too much of information, chances of distraction multiplies. It is easy to write a long-form article with smartly-picked keywords evenly distributed across the content. It could even steal a fair rank on SERP – preferably at position O you call featured snippet. But if the long-form content purposefully drags the topic over and over again with hardly new insights, it will not work. The abundance of non-important information negatively impacts people’s interaction with content. Higher bounce rate will eventually pull you down from the favourable rank. The best way to retain a fair rank, and reduce bounce rate is to write as long as you can serve value. A short article full of unique, useful information is better than a thousand words filler long form.
- Start a conversation and continue doing it
Engaging content is not a one-way development. If you expect a comment to your article, also make it a habit to reply to your readers’ comment. Start a conversation that is meaningful and relevant. Your dynamic readers are sensitive, demanding and seek fair treatment. Respect their engagement to expect they respect you!
- Don’t be everywhere. Create a sustainable online footprint
It is not a practical approach to be everywhere your audience is. Continuously reminding them that you exist, may not always bring favourable outcomes. Initially, people may treat you fairly and want to listen to, and engage with you; but at one point, they may treat you as an impulsive, aggressive and forceful marketer. The best way to organically connect with your important customers is to keep your presence limited to few online platforms and continuously reinvent them for increased exposure.
- Create a personal connection
Asking for your readers’ emails? Don’t use it exclusively for emailers and new product announcement. Send a personalized birthday card, a thank you email for their engagement with your brand, and periodically release exclusive freebies they mostly desire. People always feel happy when they are cared for and rewarded. In this age of information overload, when everyone is busy promoting products and services, it makes a sense to take time understanding and appreciating your readers.
- Take advantage of user-generated content
If you are the sole content creator of your business, you are losing out on a lot of fronts. UGC – short for user-generated content – opens up a new avenue of opportunity for brands to connect with their audience. With no content investment from your side, you can build brand awareness, instil trust and credibility, boost social media signal, support lead generation activity. Third-party content also brings fresh and important insights to your business.
- Invest in boosted content programs
Information overload also means you should actively explore new ways to immediately become accessible to your audiences during the times of need. Investing in paid, sponsored and boosted content is a good way to eye new customer base.
We live in the age of information revolution. If you think there’s too much noise and stop creating content, your silence will be your competitors’ advantage. Yes, content overload is a serious challenge, but as a progressive brand, you can’t give up and get lost. There’s a lot to say, there’re a lot of things to do.
Is your content not performing as intended? It’s time you seriously realign your content strategy by redefining your business objectives and focusing on information that supports these objectives. Take steps to build a people-friendly brand, and foster its ongoing growth. Accommodate changing customer priorities in your content vision. Build a sustainable relationship with your readers before onboarding them as customers.
Cut through the noise. Understand that information is not a product. It is a promise.