There is a lot of content out there. The web is swarming with millions of blogs, articles, social media posts, videos, images, and whatnot. It is highly possible for any content that you put out there to get lost in the crowd.
Amidst all that, you have to make sure your content is visible and accessible to people. Does that mean you start writing more content? Well, maybe, if it were 2004. That’s when the idea of content creation online was fresh. Now, everybody is doing it.
To get your content noticed today, you have to make sure it’s high in quality. If the content piece aims to truly help people, is written in an easy-to-ingest format, and keeps the reader engaged, then it is considered high-quality.
Here are a few rules that we, the magic makers at VentureDive, stick to, for producing content that our audience loves.
1. Storytelling is vital
There’s a whole science behind it. Research shows that our brains become more active when we’re being told a story — the parts of our brain responsible for processing the visual input are also active, in addition to the language processing parts, when we’re reading a story.
When your content sparks the audience’s imagination and allows them to actually experience what you’re saying because of your words that are rich in imagery, more often than not, they stay with you till the end.
Boring, textbook-style content doesn’t sit well with most people. The page exit rates are quite high for posts with tedious and factual content. That’s where we, the content marketers, come in. To turn any piece into a story, here are a few things we like to do:
- Make it conversational — add a monologue or a dialogue
- Metaphors make the business talk relatable — for example, everybody has heard, “Time is money.” This doesn’t really mean that time is a currency, rather, it just denotes the value of time — it’s so valuable that it may as well be money.
- Leverage the jargon — create vivid imagery through words — e.g. change “The market dip put the investors at loss.” to “The 10-million dollars’ crash in the United States stock market incurred a 75% loss to the investors.” The second sentence is descriptive and portrays a clearer sense of the story.
- Tap into the subconscious — insert common examples that most people are familiar with, so they follow along with minimal effort.
2. Focus on the ethos
Content that appeals to the emotions of the audience generally tends to do much better than that which doesn’t. If people can relate to your content, and it evokes positive feelings, the content is successful. It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about — it could be the most run of the mill thing ever — like artificial intelligence or machine learning.
However, if the content is written in a witty, friendly, unbiased and fun tone, it is likely that people will scroll through to the end of the article or blog. It is always good to create content that is in line with your brand personality. At VentureDive, we aim for all pieces to exude the bold, passionate, fun and fresh personality that we have.
Remember, your audience will always remember how your content made them feel, even though they may forget what it said. If the feeling lasts, they are likely to revisit your content, too.
3. Harness the power of visuals
Visuals last longer in our brains than any other form of content. It is a tool that should always be used when storytelling. People can relate to the stuff they can easily imagine and keep up with.
The right visuals, when used in tandem with the storyline, can make your content go from good to awesome. Stats suggest that 90% of the information that our brain processes is visual and the processing speed is much, much faster, as well.
Furthermore, it has been proven that 40% of people respond better to visual information as compared to plain text.
Therefore, telling your take through imagery can help elevate your content’s quality, resulting in a lowered exit rate, and increased time spent on-page. It’s all about capturing the reader’s attention.
4. Ensure your content is useful
If your content isn’t providing any actionable takeaways to your readership, then the content quality needs to go up. The key is to keep the content from losing meaning.
In an attempt to make the content fun and interesting, it is quite easy to lose track of why you intended to write it in the first place. If it’s losing the meat, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate.
Here’s how we stay relevant when creating an awesome content piece:
- Build an outline — define the headings and subheadings before you start writing
- Write a solid conclusion — the whole story summed up in a short paragraph
- Chunk it down — smaller text blocks, dotted with relevant images and videos
Furthermore, another important thing is to back your content with adequate research and facts. If what you’re saying fits with the story, but there are no references to back them up, then the authority of your content is greatly reduced.
Useful content is something that actually helps your audience. You can include lists, graphs, and any other diagrams that effectively summarise what you talk about throughout the blog. What I mean is, if the title of your blog post is “7 marketing tools that can make your life easy”, then you better be talking about those 7 tools, with a list in the conclusion. That makes it easy to skim through.
5. Be seen with celebrities (not kidding!)
When you’ve been creating content for a while, it’s always better to get in touch with renowned names in the market. Doing collabs, working together, getting into a partnership or contract with famous names in your niche can offer you a boost in legitimacy.
It’s natural. If you’re trying to establish yourself as a food blogger, for example, then be seen with Mark Weins, and your authenticity in the capacity of someone who knows food well will improve. People will say, “Oh, Mark Weins knows this guy, it must mean that this guy is a food expert too, and it’s worth our while to check out his content, too.” It’s just our brain’s way of making connections and establishing authenticity.
So if the content marketing department at VentureDive needs to increase its legitimacy, maybe we would collaborate with Gary Vaynerchuk or Neil Patel, for that matter! 🙂
6. Get reviews and feedback
If people endorse your content, and refer you through reviews, it boosts your genuinity. Here are a few ways that can help you get good reviews for your business:
- Make sure your content is high-quality and optimized.
- Offer lucrative incentives, e.g. $10 Amazon Gift Card for a review.
- Ask customers for a review in-person — the personal touch, matters.
- Choose the right moment to ask for a review
- Respond to every review — even negative ones.
- Be the first to review your customers — best to keep it positive.
- Share and re-share any good reviews you receive.
- Allow people to leave reviews on multiple platforms.
- Host events (meetups, conferences, and exhibitions) to get quotes and on-spot reviews from your customers.
Moreover, reviews are a means of receiving honest feedback from industry experts. There is always room for improvement. Reaching out to experts and receiving feedback can offer advice for improving your content — and if they are words of praise, it’s always a plus. Trust the gurus. They know better. Improve your content and fly high.
Long story short
The sea of content out there can intimidate anyone who is just venturing into the content marketing field, but don’t be discouraged. As long as you create content following these 6 rules, you cannot go wrong.
While you may be a brilliant writer, these tips can help you market your skills better. We’ve tested these techniques and the results have been phenomenal. Since these are quite generic in nature, you can apply them to any kind of content you’re producing.
However, the type of audience may require you to adjust your strategy a bit. For example, it is not advised to go for the witty or fun tone of voice when writing an instruction manual that is to be used by technicians to operate certain equipment.
All in all, you can create remarkable content, it’s definitely not an impossible feat. The first step is to get started and not be overwhelmed. The rest will follow. Plus, spend double the time on its promotion. Remember, the wider the reach, the better your content performs.