Bolton Remote’s Digital Marketing Series for Growing Businesses
We like how remote teams help scaling startups overcome challenges that come with growth. Here you'll find useful information about digital marketing roles you can fill with remote talent, such as content writing. In this post, we’ve written tips on creating engaging content.
At this stage of growth for digital marketing, businesses have to keep stepping up their game and producing good content. It’s become important to write especially interesting content, as the average internet reader grows increasingly distracted.
“In research on how people read websites, we found that 79 percent of our test users always scanned any new page they came across,” according to Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group. “Only 16 percent read word-by-word.”
You have little time to catch your reader’s attention, but so much to say about your business and what you do. How do you keep your content engaging to a crowd of skimmers? Here are a few pointers.
Keep It Simple
Present your content in its simplest form. Use simple sentences, straightforward headings, and put in an introduction that includes keywords about your topic. Put technical jargon into your title when necessary, but always maintain readability.
In his book Killer Web Content, Gerry McGovern suggests asking yourself these questions whenever you write and edit your work:
- Is this clear?
- Is there a simpler way to say this?
- Is there a shorter way to say this?
- Is this necessary?
Also, avoid lengthy, anecdotal introductions and walls of text. “Your writing could be fantastic, but it needs to be laid out well, otherwise it will dissuade readers,” suggests the Blogness team. “Your post should have a clear beginning and you should make your argument succinctly. No need to waffle on.”
It’s also important to consider the design behind your content. “Elizabeth Sillence, and her team, conducted a study where they asked a bunch of people to find websites about hypertension,” Derek Halpern of Social Triggers narrates. “When she reviewed the reasons why people distrusted a website, 94% cited design problems.”
Derek recommends to check for design red flags, including cluttered layouts, ads, slow loading time, and navigation problems. Be sure you present your content as neatly as you write it.
Originality is Your Friend
Get your audience’s attention with fresh content. Your audience will be more interested in new information they’ve never read before.
Upworthy, known for its viral content, pivoted its business into a provider of original content. “I don’t know if you could say it was because Facebook made this one change,” says editorial director Amy O’ Leary, in an interview with Matthew Ingram on Fortune.com. “You can go crazy trying to game an algorithm. My vision is to build quality content.”
Also, other writers prefer to credit original sources; be an original source if you want your fellow writers to help promote you. Positioning as a creator of original content gives you more authority to talk about the subject as an influencer. Even if you don’t choose a unique subject, you can create original content by adding unique perspective.
“If your content is played out, no one will link to it,” say Zach Bulygo and Sean Work of KISSmetrics. “And that defeats the purpose of writing content in the first place.”
Speak to Your Reader
Write for your specific audience. The ideas you express should appeal to your reader’s personal need. “The most effective way to write content that provides value to its audience is to write from a sincere desire to serve the reader,” says Loren Blinde, PhD of Writing Power in a Wood Street article. “Content creation is an act of communication, not merely an act of expression.”
To write for your audience, you need to know your audience and do your research. Consult your marketing and customer support teams, and talk to real customers using online surveys and social media.
“For most companies, they leave it here and accept the results,” according to Jon-Mikel Bailey, co-founder of Wood Street. “But, if your buyer personas are based on assumptions or intuition, you’re missing a lot. To identify a persona, you need to move beyond speculation and into reality.”
“By conducting interviews with actual buyers, you’re able to gather real information about real issues that matter to your target audience,” Jon-Mikel adds, as he describes the methods for creating buyer profiles in Buyer Personas by Adele Revella. “Instead of basing your marketing efforts on raw data or a hunch, you’re building a strategy that’s, in a way, co-developed by the audience it’s targeting.”
Get Your Reader to Act
To encourage your readers to become customers, you have to know what triggers click through. One way to do that is to know the kind of audience you have in each of your content channels. In the case of social media, observe your following for each platform, and tailor your content for each network.
As an example, Lesley Vos of Bid4papers recommends choosing images and descriptions for your Facebook post that play one of the following roles:
- They stir some emotions
- They catch attention
- They entertain people
- They send some powerful message
“You can’t just throw the link to your content out there and wait for thousands of likes and shares at once,” says Lesley in an article on Convince and Convert. “If you want your content (to) succeed, you should remember the fact that all social media networks are different. They have different audiences with different interests and needs.”
How do you keep your content engaging? We’d be glad to hear your tips. To find out more about writing engaging content with remote talent, leave a comment or contact us at Info@BoltonRemote.com.
Latest posts by Bolton Remote (see all)
- 4 Steps to Solidify Company Culture this 2017 - January 25, 2017
- 4 Ways to Add Culture Fit to Your Hiring Method - December 28, 2016
- How to Test for 4 Qualities Every Great Programmer Must Have - May 24, 2016