How many times have you sat down at your desk, spent a couple of hours writing a blog post, published it to your website, and then spent the next few days waiting for a spike in traffic and conversions, only to see zero lift? If this is a common cycle for your business, you aren’t alone.
A lot of small businesses spend time developing content, yet see very little return on investment. If you want to break out of this frustrating cycle and create content that actually gets discovered, read, and shared, there are some critically important strategies and techniques you’ll need to focus on.
1. Write for Humans
While SEO matters, businesses often prioritize it at the expense of engaging readers. As important as it is to get the technical SEO bits right, make sure you’re focusing on creating content that, first and foremost, satisfies humans. What you’ll discover is that reader-centric content naturally performs well in the search engines.
Drug Treatment Finders is the perfect example of what it looks like to develop a content strategy that’s focused on readers first. If you browse some of the articles and pages on their site, you’ll notice that they aren’t focused on stuffing keywords into paragraphs or following every little SEO best practice they’ve read about online. Instead, Drug Treatment Finders creates robust content that answers specific questions and is topically relevant to the audience. As a result, people respond.
2. Share Original Ideas
People are drawn to content that’s unique. The problem is that most businesses are merely regurgitating and repurposing content they find from other sources. In order to develop content that gains attention and prompts sharing, come up with some original ideas.
The Whole Foods Market blog is a great example of a brand that does a nice job of coming up with original ideas. While they publish a diverse array of content, most of the pieces you’ll see are very unique and specific to the Whole Foods brand.
3. Keep Your Reader’s Attention
In the content marketing realm, short attention spans and laziness are conversion killers. If you want better metrics for your content, you must find a way to grab and maintain your reader’s attention.
There are lots of different ways to seize attention, but it all starts with the headline. The title of your content needs to provoke curiosity and encourage readers to dive in. For that matter, the opening paragraph is extremely important. A good hook in the introduction will give readers motivation to continue. Finally, be sure you’re writing in first or second person voice. This makes the reader feel a personal connection to your content.
4. Make Content Actionable
Content that provokes the reader to do something is much more effective than content that offers nothing more than a narrative on a subject.
In order to make your content more actionable, you need to focus on drawing a connection between your content and the products and services you sell. The motivating action doesn’t always need to be a direct purchase, but it should move readers closer to making a buying decision. This makes readers feel like an involved source, rather than a disconnected bystander.
Give Your Content Strategy a Boost
Part of the reason content marketing is so challenging is that it’s always changing. Search engine algorithms get tweaked, human preferences evolve, and industry standards quickly become outdated and replaced with new practices. If you want to be successful, you need to tune in and make sure you’re staying up to date on the latest trends and developments in the industry. In doing so, you can create content that consistently gets views and share.