Great content is crucial if you want any type of success with your online endeavors. It does not matter if you run an ecommerce store, YouTube channel, or blog that relies on ads for revenue generation – you need to create great content. Content marketing and proper content strategies have become so critical that it is surprising that so many people fail to grasp how to produce compelling and gripping content. Content has also moved from being just one part of SEO to being a huge part of overall digital marketing. With this understanding in mind, here are some tips for writing gripping and compelling content.
Think About Your Readers
As a digital marketer, you already know the importance of developing proper user personas and visualizing how these different users will navigate the websites you are promoting or marketing. The idea is similar when writing and developing content – the difference being that you also need to think about the objectives the user had when they searched for and found your content.
Consider whether they were looking for new information, additional information, or information on a product or service. Also, consider who they are. You might need to think about whether you are writing content for a broad audience, for a subset of specified people who are looking for specific information or for people who are looking to complete a purchase.
Once you understand who you are targeting, it gets easier to alter the tone of delivery, the type of information added to the content as well as the type of information that would be relevant to who you are targeting.
Writing engaging content can be difficult, especially with the added pressure of wanting your audience to read every word you write. While there is no way to guarantee engagement, there are a few tips you can use to enhance it. One is creating an engaging introduction. Remember, you have a few minutes to capture your audience’s attention and your introduction gives you the opportunity to do so.
Second, tell a story. The story you tell will depend on why you are writing the content, but generally you should add anecdotes readers can grab onto and remember. Such anecdotes make people want to read more, which makes your content more engaging.
Lastly, write in a way that leaves your audience with questions. This does not mean writing incomplete content but writing in a way that leaves people yearning for more. This way, they are likely to leave comments or get in touch with you in some way.
Ensure People Can Scan and Skim Your Content
If your content is more than 500 words long, chances are that people will not read every word of that content. Analytics show that only a fifth of people stick around long enough to read pages with content of this length or longer.
Making your content scannable and skimmable becomes very important in these cases. Start by dividing your content using headers and other dividers. These allow readers to know what different sections are about so they are more compelled to read them. Also, break your writing into smaller but cohesive paragraphs. This helps reduce eye strain and has been shown to encourage those on mobile devices to read longer.
Many people confuse being opinionated with being dismissive of other ideas. In this context, it means having an opinion that makes you seem definitive and an authority on the subject(s) you are writing about. Even if others disagree with your opinion(s), you still stand out and appear like someone who knows what you are talking about. Being considered an expert in this way can help you be an authority, and this will make people listen to you.
If people disagree, they will likely leave a comment or reach out to you in other ways and this increases the interactions on your content. Remember that the more interactions your content has, the higher it is likely to rank and the higher the number of people likely to see and click on it.
Your opinion is what will set you apart from others in your sector, field, or industry. It is also possible to build a loyal audience that comes to you because of your opinions. If you have an opinion about something you are passionate about, do not hesitate to put it out there.
A common mistake that many people make when adding visuals to a piece of content is adding huge images or infographics that are not quite relevant to the content’s larger point. Using visuals to make your content more appealing is about finding highly relevant visuals. These could be images that help make a larger point, an infographic that summarizes the content’s main points, or even an eye-catching illustration that brings the content together.
The best types of visuals to add include graphs, screenshots, videos, and conceptual diagrams. Ideally, these visuals should also be shareable.
Compel Users to Take Action
There is so much content on the internet that does not compel users to take any actions. This content is often great, but because it is not actionable, it is often forgotten as soon as the visitor leaves the page. This type of content does not have any call to action, meaning there are no actions to take afterward.
Compelling content has at least one call to action per page. This action differs according to the audience as well as the type of website the content is posted on. Some websites encourage visitors to leave a comment, while others compel users to share the content on their social media pages.
Also, remember to make the call to action simple. If it is complicated and confusing, users are less likely to take the desired action.
Creating compelling content is not only about the writing itself, but is also about understanding the audience, making the content engaging, and providing value. The tips above are meant to help you add hooks to your content that you can use to make your content more appealing, valuable, shareable, and compelling.