According to Convince & Convert, marketers throughout history have been telling themselves the same lie over and over: that their customers are just too busy to read their blog, watch their videos, sit through their demos, or interact with their Instagram posts.
The truth is, people are less busy than ever due to living in an age of modern convenience and digital innovation. Besides, being busy has nothing to do with why customers aren’t reading or being engaged by your content.
“What’s changed,” says Convince & Convert, “is that there is more competition for attention [and] what you have put in front of them is simply not RELEVANT enough. In other words, your content isn’t sufficiently “sticky” to keep their attention.
So, what does it take to create sticky content?
Well, first of all, you need to understand what “sticky” content really is. Problogger refers to sticky content as the type of content that when a reader finds it, they find it hard to abandon because something about it motivates them to explore it further and make a decision to return again to it.
Here are some tips from marketing strategist, Kim Garst, to help you create content that will stick with your customers:
1) Don’t Think Like a Marketer, Think Like Your Customer
“Make the prospect a more informed buyer with content.”. ~ Robert Simon, Four Seasons Hotels
When customers perform a Google search, they’re looking for information that will help them solve a problem. In order to cater to their needs, you need to provide content that offers solutions. If you sell essential oils, for example, you might post an article on how to calm a bee sting with essential oil instead of writing about the quality of your oils.
When you start addressing customer questions, you become “the answer” and your content becomes sticky.
2) Switch Up Your Content
As marketers, it’s easy to fall into the habit of pumping out the same type of content day after day. But like you, consumers don’t want to read the same ole’ stuff over and over.
“Truly sticky content has either a big dose—or even just a little pinch—of the unexpected,” says Jeff Bullas. Capturing the unexpected on day to day basis is often a matter of framing. For example, something like “Exercise is good for you” is nothing new, whereas “5 Weird Things Running Does to Your Brain” or “When Exercise is Actually Bad for You” are interesting twists that will hook readers, even if they’re really just a different way of saying the same old thing.
” Ask yourself, what simple twist on a familiar theme will entrap your audience?” ~ Drew Davis, Brandscaping
Audiences want—and expect—to read other types of content. Your job is to give it to them. Whether you use relevant statistics, quotations, tasteful humor, or historical references, mixing up your content will make it more interesting and increase its sticky factor.
3) Get Personal
“Content marketing is all about telling a compelling story.” ~ Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute
When you share stories (about yourself or someone else), you can connect with readers in a powerful way. Think about it, readers are more interested in connecting with a person than a faceless body of content. Including personal details and stories of how you engage with your topic will sprinkle your content with personality and help draw your readers into a relationship with you.
Creating compelling topics doesn’t have to be hard. Quick anecdotes, for instance, are a great way to liven things up and give readers someone to identify with. Afraid of sharing your emotions because you’re worried about being judged or viewed in an unprofessional light? Don’t be. Humans are hardwired to relate to stories. Readers will appreciate that you’re willing to share yours.
4) Embrace Interaction
“Interactive content keeps readers on the page and greatly increases shares, especially if there are incentives for doing so.” ~Jeff Bullas
Some of the best content is interactive content, whether that means playing a game or participating in a contest. The important thing is to ensure that it’s related to the brand and/or its mission. To keep things relevant and establish expertise, try integrating multiple kinds of content into one so it fits all the criteria of being sticky: unexpected, concise, interactive, and fully shareable.
5) Publish Consistently
“Consistency is key when it comes to maintaining readership and creating sticky content,” says Kim Garst. “Nothing is worse than finding a great new blog only to find the author has not actually updated it in months.” Once readers have found you and decided they like you, you need to be committed to providing them with the content they crave on a regular basis.
Too often, bloggers and marketers produce content without considering their message.That’s not going to fly in our current age of content overload. The competition for your audience’s attention is stiff.
Use the tips above to help you create content that gets read, understood, and—more importantly—remembered.