Back in the day, it wasn’t too hard to get eyeballs on your content if it was decently written. Flash forward to 2018…
People are inundated with more content than ever, with newsletters, emails, social media updates, advertisements, and promotions coming at them from every angle.
In an age of information overload, what’s the secret to getting people to read your content? Below you’ll find 5 key ways to create engaging content that gets noticed:
1. Take a Cue From Your Competitors
Businesses have been analyzing their competitors’ marketing methods since, well…always. Advertising executives always perform competitive analysis before creating marketing initiatives to be sure they’re not getting left behind. You can use the same approach when planning your content.
Take some time to review how your competitors speak to their potential customers and ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do they answer questions you don’t?
2. Do they promote the benefits of their products and/or services in clever ways you hadn’t thought of?
3. What aspects of their content speak to you?
4. How can you imitate their best content in your own unique voice?
Remember, the best content forges new relationships, provides customers with relevant, useful content, and/or generates sales. If your competitor’s content inspires any of these desires in you, they’re doing something right that you should be doing too!
2. “Listen” to Your Customers
Customer feedback surveys and contact forms offer great ways to find content ideas. If you’re typically not the one who handles this information, make sure you communicate with the person and/or department that does.
When you recognize particular patterns that indicate people are asking the same questions over and over, that’s a clue as to the type of content you should be creating.
These recurring topics should be added to your FAQ page, as well as being addressed in more detail on your blog, in social media posts, and across other communication channels. Building up a bank of content based on customer feedback can also create opportunities for future engagement.
For example, customer service reps can send a link to the relevant content (article, video, etc.) in their reply to customer questions, which will help keep them engaged and hopefully lead them to—or keep them on—the path to purchase.
3. Consult Your Own Team Members for Insight
“One mistake many marketers make is always looking outward for content ideas,” says Small Business Trends. Reaching out to other members of your team can help you generate some excellent ideas for content.
Depending on the size of your company, this may involve communicating with your small band of employees or consulting with other departments such as salespeople, customer service reps, and even human resource members. Ask them to share feedback they frequently hear, popular trends they see occurring, or even the best features and benefits of your company from their perspective.
A chat with the sales team, for example, may reveal completely new aspects of your company you were unaware of. Or, you might learn of some customer needs that could be turned into great content pieces. Just because other employees in your company don’t work in the marketing department doesn’t mean they don’t have valuable insights.
4. Build Trust with Industry Expertise
If you’re a school that offers truck driving courses, it stands to reason that you need to stay up to date on new regulations for drivers because it impact’s your school curriculum, as well as the procedure students need to follow to get certified.
Consulting the organizations and associations responsible for rules, regulations, and even thought leadership in your industry will not only guide the direction of your content, but it will also help you build trust with your customers.
Industry expertise can help you generate content that informs prospective and current students of important information, trends, and changes that will impact their education. This serves to demonstrate that you have your finger on the pulse of your industry, lending credibility to the quality of your brand.
Whatever industry you’re in, take the time to invest in industry knowledge that will genuinely benefit your customers, then create content that will engage your audience, while establishing relationships of trust in the process.
5. Use Social Media as a Resource for Inspiration
Many companies are so busy using social media to toot their own horn that they overlook its effectiveness as a listening tool for research and content planning.
Don’t make that mistake. Social listening helps you extract key insights from social conversations that you can then apply to your overall content strategy, suggests Sproutsocial.
Invest a little time in reviewing what people are saying about your brand, products, and/or services, as well as your competitors, on all major social channels. Pay special attention to the types of posts that are getting the most shares and comments.
“Sometimes, the reactions to social posts are as insightful as the posts themselves for competitive analysis,” says Small Business Trends.
Armed with this “inside” information, you’ll be better equipped to address the needs of your customers and create content that they actually want to read.
Generating a steady flow of great content that’s relevant, engaging, and also holds the interest of your readers can be a seem like a daunting task. But you don’t have to continuously churn out content on your own.
There are many great ways to source content ideas that will draw eyeballs. Use the 5 tips above to create content that builds relationships with new customers, while strengthing existing ones.
If you focus on your readers, deliver content that they find highly useful, and make it easily accessible, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t gain traction, compel people to read, and prompt the desired actions.