What is content marketing worth if it does not engage readers? Not much.
You have 10 to 20 seconds to capture your readers’ attention. Is your content engaging?
To engage readers, content must be scannable, important, and create an emotional connection. Content that does not engage readers fails to bring business to your door. If you do not produce fascinating content that effectively converts prospects to sales, you may as well scribble your company’s message on the back of a napkin.
Effective content creation strategies hinge delivers important information in a way that hooks the reader by the eye and refuses to let go, leading the prospect to the point of purchase.
What is Content Marketing that Engages Readers
Content marketing involves the creation and sharing of content that captures the readers’ attention with the goal of acquiring and retaining customers.
One of the earliest and most important studies of internet users found that 79 percent of people scan rather than read. This means they glance over the headings and text to pick out the most important words. To capture your readers’ attention, break up text and use compelling headings and subheads.
Structure the content like an inverted pyramid, stating your conclusion first then supporting it in the sentences that follow. This top-heavy format allows the scanning eye of the reader to pick out the most important information quickly.
Use lots of white space to make important phrases stand out and to improve scanning.
Content Creation Strategies that Really Engage Readers
Engage readers with winning content creation strategies. Here are a few strategies that can capture attention and increase sales.
Create content that solves a problem
People use the internet to solve a problem more often than other sources, according to Pew Research Center. Be the go-to source of reliable and up-to-date information in your industry.
Speak to them as a person
Avoid sounding stiff and robotic unless, of course, you are selling robots. Use second person narrative (you, yours) whenever possible to project a natural, personable tone. Third person narrative (he, she, it) often sounds too formal and first person (I, we) can come across as too intimate.
Use bullet points and lists
Bullet points and lists allow readers to focus on the most important content in the piece. To get the most out of bullet points and lists:
- Put the most important information first
- Use short phrases
- Limit the number of bullets
- Put some more important information last
Two psychological phenomena, known as the primacy effect and recency effect, means that readers are most likely to remember the items at the beginning and end of a list better than the items in the middle.
Use highly relevant links
Linking keywords to relevant pages on your product site is good for search engine optimization (SEO) and keeps readers on your site longer. External links to authoritative websites improves reader engagement by establishing you as a reputable source of information.
Stop boring your readers with facts and figures – nobody wants to read that. To truly engage readers, stir up their emotions – create something they want to be a part of.
To maximize your content creation efforts, focus on creating content that is easy to read and provides important information in a way that really captures the reader’s imagination.