When you’ve been writing content for your business for a number of years, it’s easy to get in the habit of doing the same thing over and over again. As a result, it’s possible that your content is becoming less and less effective. Don’t worry, though. In order to reverse this trend, all you need are a few simple tweaks.
6 Steps to Help You Create Content That’s More Effective
When it comes to content, quality is a subjective word. As a result, many businesses wrongly assume that their version of quality is the right version. In reality, the audience determines quality.
Here are some tangible tips for creating better content that resonates with your readers:
1. Revisit Your Reader Profiles
When was the last time you looked at your reader profiles? Do you even have reader profiles? It’s important that you develop robust profiles that control the direction of your content. If you don’t, then you can’t possibly create quality content.
Reader profiles look different for every business – and it should be noted that they may not be identical to your customer profiles – but the more detailed they are, the better. A good profile will include basic demographic information, preferences and habits, social habits, financial tendencies, pain points, and more.
2. Make Text Digestible
Your content has to be digestible in order to resonate with readers. It’s all too common to see dense articles with massive paragraphs and no subheadings. You know what people do when they click on a page like this? They immediately hit the back arrow on their browser.
Content – especially long-form content – needs to be navigable. There are a number of techniques and you’ll have to find something that works for you. Check out this blog post from The Backyard Guys to see what this looks like in practice. Notice how they use a “Jump To” section at the top of the page, multiple subheadings, neat paragraphs, bolded words, and bullet points to organize the content. This allows readers to scan for the information they want.
3. Link to Authority Figures
Just as your peers associate you with your friends in real life, your blog readers will associate your content with the websites and individuals you link to and reference. Whenever you pull a quote or reference a statistic, make sure you’re using a reliable source that they’ll connect with. This increases your reputation, puts readers at ease and makes content more effective.
4. Include Multimedia
If there’s one thing that grabs a readers’ attention and pulls them into your content, it’s multimedia. Whether you choose videos, images, infographics, or data visualizations, multimedia elements are exponentially more powerful than words.
If you’re unsure of how to properly integrate media into your content, study how others are doing it. For example, our post on women entrepreneurs does a wonderful job of incorporating striking design and quality visuals without overpowering the content itself. Review this technique and find a way to make it your own.
5. Craft a Killer Intro
The introduction to a blog post or article is critically important. Today’s readers have incredibly short attention spans and you must reel them in before they get distracted or lose interest.
There are many ways to develop compelling introductions. One strategy is to make a bold or controversial claim that the reader isn’t expecting. As a result, they’ll want to continue reading to find out why you’re making such a strange statement. You can then slowly reveal the details to keep the reader engaged throughout the article.
6. Invest in Split Testing
Are you split testing different elements of your content strategy? As marketing expert Peep Laja says, “There’s no excuse for NOT testing. Testing is easy, fast and actually… fun! You get to test your gut feeling, learn new things all the time and exercise your creativity.” Test your headlines, images, content length, and more. You’ll quickly learn what your readers consider good “quality” which in turn helps make content more effective.
Improve Your Content Today
Developing content takes a lot of time and effort. Unfortunately, many businesses are wasting their resources by consistently creating low performing content that fails to engage their audiences.
If you fear that your content isn’t living up to its potential, then implement these six tips to make content more effective. You’re sure to see a healthy return on investment.
Typing Photo via Shutterstock
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