If you are trying to grow your business it’s likely that you’ve spent a good deal of your time on marketing. It’s also pretty likely that a large proportion of that time has been designated to content marketing. Creating the right content – content that is unique, creative, on brand and targeted in just the right way – can give your business a huge boost and help keep your users stay engaged. But how can you take content that is “ok” or “good” and transform it into content that is truly “great”. We’ve prepared a few key tips below.
Build up creativity through consistency and planning
It might not sound super inspiring but being consistent is absolutely essential. Your content reflects your brand and keeping things on brand means keeping them consistent across platforms and in terms of timing. It’s no good having super creative frequent content one week and then badly written sparse content the next. So start by putting together a plan. Creativity doesn’t need to be a Eureka moment or an off-the-cuff brainstorm, it can actually be something you build up and structure. For some great advice about how to do that take a look at this video from Craig Wynett, Chief Innovation Officer at P&G.
Don’t do it alone
You don’t need to do everything on your own. One great way to widen your pool of content is to introduce “guest” or “expert” writers. Staying true to your brand while showing different perspectives can really help to enrich your content. And don’t forget – content is not just what comes from your brand directly. It includes articles about your business (which can be easily shared and promoted across platforms) and perhaps even more importantly, it includes everything your users say about you.
If you have your own blog then you know there are a thousand and one things to worry about. Are you marketing it correctly? Are you using the right channels to advertise? Are your posts interesting and relevant? Is your design the best it can be? After a while a blog can seem like a pretty long checklist of items that are difficult to keep track of. And things can get pretty expensive, pretty quickly. Blog and web design does not come cheap, nor do new logos, paid marketing campaigns or the like. But the good news is, there are lots of simple things you can do that won’t cost you a penny and will help you radically improve your blog.
Publish more and better content
According to the New York Times, 95% of blogs fail. To avoid becoming part of this statistic, focus on what really matters – growing your readership. There is sadly no tried and tested formula to magically grow from 0 to 1 million but there are some straightforward (and free) things you can do. Publishing more content is one proven way to grow your readership. Keeping your writing unique and high quality is essential (so you can’t simply increase the frequency but reduce the quality). Starting to sound expensive? Not necessarily. One tip for generating more content is to keep track of what inspires you. Get a notebook or an app you like and write down every inspiring article, quote or thought you have. Keeping these ideas organized and within reach at all times is a great way to convert a higher proportion of your good ideas to awesome content. Another way to increase the frequency of content (for free) is to feature guest bloggers. And this is something that works both ways – you can feature other bloggers on your site, and send your own articles to other blogging sites for even greater exposure.
Have a clear call to action
Blogs aren’t all about the content. One of the best ways to grow a readership is to actively engage with your readers and work to build an online community. One great way to do this is to create clear calls to action so people don’t just read and leave. Decide how you want to engage with your users; for example through a comments section, through an online poll or by inviting guest submission, and make it crystal clear to readers that this is how they can take an active part in your blog. If your call to action is simply requesting social media shares, make sure it is easy and obvious for readers to do so.
Make your comments amazing
We all know comments are important. They generate a constant stream of user content. Every comment is unique and free. Best of all, it is much easier to gain user generated content then actively manage a new advertising campaign or double your blog output. Simply put, high-quality user-generated content is low hanging fruit and you should focus on how to leverage it. So, how can you significantly improve your comments? For starters, if you are currently using the native comments platform on your blog – there is a better way. Today there are a whole host of unique commenting platforms that can radically transform the way you interact with users. One of the best ways to do this is to go beyond text. For a long time comments have been almost exclusively text-based (apart from the occasional emoji or meme) but there is a better way. Voice, image and video commenting can help increase user engagement and make your blog stand out. Voice in particular is a great way to create a much more personal interaction, and best of all you can do it without spending a single dollar.
Heyoya is a game-changing comments and reviews platform that brings voice to e-publishers and e-stores, improving sales and user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. Heyoya’s new Receiver plan allows for quick and easy below-the-fold monetization through native advertising. Heyoya is a game changer for websites and is proven to increase brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content.
For more information about Heyoya, click here.
One of the best ways to keep users engaged with your brand is to produce great content. But what makes content great? Obviously, it has to be interesting and insightful. It should be compelling (through visuals and audio as well as just text) and it should tell a story that is relevant to your brand. But all this relies on a basis of trust. This means that the first step to getting your users to engage is to create content that is trustworthy. So, how can you take your existing content and make it even more trustworthy? Here are some simple tips.
Make things personal
Having a corporate brand might be effective for some things, but when it comes to content, writing in a personal way is actually most effective. Readers want to connect with individuals not with a corporate entity so share names, photos and even bios to add credibility to your content. To create a relationship between reader and author, strive to make what you write informal enough to appear conversational but formal enough to be professional – it’s a careful balance. Ultimately the ratio of informal to formal depends on your brand and your goals (as well as on your content channels), so think about it and listen to what your readers have to say (especially in the form of user comments and feedback).
Choose ads wisely
Be careful what you do with advertising! Too many ads can alienate your users. Auto-play ads often feel overwhelming and intrusive. People don’t want to be talked at by your blog, and this is especially true of Millenials. But on the flip side, advertising is still very important and certainly a major part of most of the today’s blogs. So how can advertising be leveraged in a way that is trustworthy? Well, native ads that fit seamlessly onto your website or blog are a great way to go. Another way is to focus on building a community rather than simply advertising. Allowing people to engage and interact with your content is often more likely to lead to a conversion than pre-roll ads or intrusive banners.
Make your design flawless
You may think content is all about the words you choose, but if you think about it, people judge brands on visuals as much as on actual content. If a storefront is cracked and broken, you are probably less likely to purchase there. The same is true of the online world. If you have a website from the 1980’s, people will be less likely to trust your content. So what can you do? Well, if you haven’t already, now might be the time to invest in a top-notch web designer. But failing that, there are tones of free web design services out there. Even a few hours of work and a few great images can make a huge difference to user perceptions of your brand.
Let your users sing your praise
It’s all well and good creating a trustworthy platform, look, feel and even working on amazing content with statistics and quotes from experts. However, there is only so far you can go alone. The real mark of trustworthy content is user engagement and interaction. If users trust you they will want to join the conversation, and your content will go from static story to dynamic discussion. So how can you help this happen? It’s pretty simple – a trustworthy comments platform that filters spam but lets your users have a voice is a great tool for making your content more trustworthy and keeping people on your site for longer.
Heyoya is a game-changing comments and reviews platform that brings voice to e-publishers and e-stores, improving sales and user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. Heyoya’s new Receiver plan allows for quick and easy below-the-fold monetization. Heyoya is a game changer for websites and is proven to increase brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content.
For more information about Heyoya, click here.