Are you all set when it comes to social media campaigns, adverts and driving traffic to your site? Well, what happens once they get there? Are your readers sticking around and engaging or clicking away in a few seconds? Whatever you do, your main aim is probably to get conversions. This can mean purchases from your online store, newsletter sign ups or lead submissions. The longer visitors stay on your site, the more likely they are to convert. So, getting loads of traffic, which disappears after a few seconds, isn’t so great. And in fact, statistics show that 70% of people who abandon your site will never return. So, here are some tips to make your readers stay longer.
Make sure your content is easy to read
It may sound obvious, but if you’ve written the best article in the world, and it looks terrible visually, most people won’t stay to read it. In fact, the majority of readers won’t read your content at all – they will scan it. Make sure your website looks good visually and that content is broken up in ways that are easier on the eyes. For example, instead of one huge run on an article, try breaking articles up into short paragraphs with headings. That way, even if people don’t deep dive into your content, they’ll be able to get an overview of what you’ve written. You can also help vary the flow of an article by inserting visuals within the text. Playing a short clip is a great way to ensure people stick around a little longer.
If you have a blog then writing is at the center of what you do. However good your web platform, graphic design, and advertising, if your content doesn’t stand out from the crowd, people won’t stop to read it. With an increasingly crowded digital world of blogs and bloggers, it’s tough to differentiate. Every potential topic already has multiple blogs and articles. But don’t despair; here are some tried and tested methods to dramatically improve your writing and help take your content to the next level.
Break things down into bite-sized chunks
It might seem overwhelming to suddenly get better at everything writing related, but you can break things down into easy to achieve tasks with clear goals. For example, if your writing is very formal, practice a more conversational style. If you want to spice up an article full of facts and figures then try adding a personal anecdote to it. These are small steps that can significantly improve the quality of your blogs. And keep practicing – there is no better way to improve your writing than to keep on doing it and experimenting with new directions and ideas.
Don’t do it alone
The vast quantity of blogs that are already out there can actually be an advantage. You aren’t writing in a vacuum and it can really help to read a lot. Looking for styles you like (and don’t like) is a great way to hone your own writing skills. And as the saying goes, “the best form of flattery is imitation” so don’t be scared to mimic other people’s styles until you find your own unique voice. Another great way to improve your writing is to connect with the people around you. Ask a writer you respect to review your blog and give you honest advice. A great way to do this is to join a group or workshop and exchange and read work. When it comes to feedback, don’t just focus on how great a blog is – yes, this can help boost egos – but ultimately it won’t be very helpful. On the opposite side of the spectrum, negative criticism can totally shut down a conversation. So, the best form of advice is constructive criticism with positive reinforcement – drawing attention to what is great, and explaining what could be better and what steps could be put in place to take things to the next level.
It’s hard enough building up a blog from scratch, maintaining it and constantly creating content. But, however effective your blogging formula is, it’s sometimes a good idea to shake things up and try something new. Finding ways to be a more creative blogger can help generate new traffic and make your current readers stay on your site for longer. So where can you start with something like this? Well, we’ve thought long and hard about it and have collected a few easy to implement tips that you can try out today.
Work on it
Contrary to popular belief, creativity isn’t just something innate which you are either have or don’t have. It’s actually more like a muscle and that means you need to use it and exercise it to strengthen it. So, how does that work? Well, you can try a few simple exercises and do them in a daily and disciplined way to help boost your creativity. One great place to start is to have daily relaxation/distraction time. If you are struggling to think about how to write your next awesome blog, take some time away from it. Rather than thinking about non-stop and stressing out, try doing something else and let your mind get distracted – go to the gym, take a short walk, read something unrelated. Sometimes these periods of disengagement are our most creative ones – they let new ideas rise up in our mind.
Content is no longer just about the great marketing copy you produce; it’s about getting your users to interact. According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, interactive content is on the rise. In fact, 53% of marketers surveyed said they use interactive content. Reasons for using it include (unsurprisingly) increasing user engagement but they also include educating audiences, lead generation and creating brand awareness. And 81% of users surveyed agreed that interactive content grabs attention much more effectively than static content. Here are a few tips to make your content more interactive.
Embed surveys, quizzes and polls into your content
Writing a blog about psychology or key personality traits needed to succeed in the workplace? Why not pair that with a quick interactive personality test or survey? There are tones of tools out there that can help you do this. One of the best is Apester. They allow you to easily embed a very wide variety of interactive content into your blogs, website or articles, and they are the world’s largest engagement platform so are definitely doing something right. Another good option is EngageForm – they have a wide range of easily customizable quizzes with great visuals.
If you own an online store then you’ve probably spent a good deal of time marketing it. There are so many options to choose from in terms of content. From social media campaigns to below-the-fold ads to sponsored articles, the real difficulty is building up the right content strategy and sticking to it. And there are huge benefits to be gained. Statistics show that content marketing can increase your conversions by a factor of 6! Each business is unique and so is each strategy, but below are a few tips that can help you get started.
Focus on results
Building a content strategy might sound as simple as putting together some great content and sticking it on social media or other platforms. But too often, we can’t see the wood for the trees. It’s easy to focus on the quality of content (and yes – it’s important) but it’s even more important to keep the “big picture” in mind and focus on results. In order to do that, think about your goals. Why do you want to publish content? What are you trying to achieve? Is your main goal to increase your overall conversion rate? Are you trying to boost sales on a particular product that is underperforming? Building your content around your goals is key to the success of your business.
Take time to think about segmentation
Writing great content without thinking about segmentation is like throwing spaghetti up against a wall and hoping that some of it will stick. Some of it might, but it certainly isn’t the best use of your resources. Before you get started, work to understand your customers. Who are they? What do they love? What do they hate? The more information, the better. A great way to harvest this type of info is to ask. You can add a short survey to your website, for example. A reviews platform is another great way to hear what your customers have to say.
Managing an online store is tough. The competition is massive and the online market is increasingly crowded. Major retailers dominate the scene (think Amazon, Alibaba and eBay) and if you are a small store starting out it’s challenging trying to find your space on large marketplaces like Etsy or eBay. So how can you find your niche and work to improve both your conversion rates and your sales? There is no simple answer but the tips below are a good start.
Find your niche
This is arguably the most important point for making sure an online business succeeds. With a crowded arena it is incredibly important to figure out who you are and why your offering stands out. Doug Hall of Eureka Ranch has distilled this into 3 laws of business: 1) Overt benefit; 2) Real Reason to Believe; 3) Dramatic Difference. Overt benefit basically means focusing on the major benefit your customer can gain from your product or service. It’s no good falling in love with a cool design or great technology. It’s important to stay benefit focused and to make sure that it is obvious so your customers can easily understand your business’s value.
How is tech going to change and grow in near future and what will the future of tech look like in ten or twenty years? According to Jeff Pulver, VOIP expert, the future will look a lot more like Star Trek then we might expect. In a recent talk he described typing and interacting with apps the way we do in 2017 as something that will soon become obsolete. So what will our digital interactions look like? Well, as VR and AR gain technological prowess and voice analytics improve; the future looks set to look like a lot like science fiction. If you’ve watched Star Trek then you are familiar with the concept of a ship that works primarily through voice commands and a “holodeck” where crewmembers have immersive VR experiences. We might not be ready for intergalactic space flight quite yet, but the digital interactions are already moving in this direction.
Interactive and intuitive tech landscapes
Many of the gadgets seen on episodes of Star Trek already exist. We already have tablet computers, universal translator apps and more. But the future looks set to combine many of today’s emerging technologies for a more intuitive and interactive digital experience. Gesture technology and voice technology point the way towards control decks and control hubs that can be commanded much as the Captains of the Enterprise commanded theirs. And if it sounds like nothing but science fiction to you, just check out RoomE’s hi-tech voice and motion controls. Today this kind of control panel is a one off, lab-based experiment, but soon enough we can expect to see these kinds of digital interfaces in our homes and workplaces.
User-generated content (also known as UGC) is a great way to market a brand and create authentic and persuasive content. While beautiful ads, a strong spokesperson and convincing pitches from a company are important; UGC is often the most trusted tool for customers. According to studies, UGC is the most powerful type of media in terms of influencing shopping experiences and decisions. And it’s even more powerful for Millenials. On average, Millenials spend up to 18 hours per day looking at media and a third of this time devoted to UGC. According to Millenials, UGC is 35% more memorable than other media and 50% more trusted. So why is UGC so powerful and what can businesses do to better harness it?
UGC is personal
There are so many ways to advertise a business digitally. From sponsored content to banner ads, native advertising and social media campaigns, businesses’ biggest challenge is figuring out which channels are best and how to target users through them in the most effective way. In a world that is crowded with digital advertising and content options, UGC stands out as something far more organic and authentic. Rather than “hearing” the voice of a brand explain why a service or product is best, UGC is much closer to receiving a personal recommendation from a friend or a relative, and this feeling of UGC being both personal and authentic makes it a very powerful tool to increase sales.
You probably know about big data. It has been heralded as a game-changing tool and has already transformed many aspects of many industries. According to Forbes, big data is a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis. There are different types of big data and it’s not just the realms of the digital world that count – offline interactions happening in large volumes also count. Forbes splits the field into 2 major areas – unstructured and multi-structured data. The former cannot easily be organized or interpreted by algorithms or databases (think social media posts), and the latter refers to interactions between people and machines (a wide range of interactions including web apps and social networks). But what does all this mean for advertising?
With more data at our disposal and better ways of storing and analyzing what we have, big data looks set to be a game changer for advertising. So what is changing? Well it’s not necessarily how we advertise that will change, but rather the insights informing advertising decisions will be stronger and smarter. Big data can help us get better at understanding customers. This means better honing messages with predictive analytics and gaining new insights on the way customers interact with advertising. Big data isn’t the next generation of advertising, but rather a tool that can help us do things better.
It’s 2017 and we are being constantly bombarded by ads. We see a pop up on every page we visit, there are banner ads on the sides of the blogs we read. When we log onto social media a large proportion of what we see is sponsored, and when we search Google the first few results are always advertisements. At a certain point we start to block out the advertising “noise”. There’s too much of it and a lot of it just isn’t relevant to our lives.
In recent years, ad campaigns have focused on targeting the “right” segment of users. Using this logic, the total group of potential customers of any business is split up into different segments often based on demographic or psychographic qualities. Take Instagram for example. If you want to create a campaign you can pick out your target segment by choosing their age, gender, location and up to 10 interests. On Facebook you can go into even greater depth in terms of interests but the overall logic is the same. Once a segment is chosen, material is targeted specifically towards them. For example if you are a sports brand with a segment of 18-40 year olds based in Manhattan with an interest in sport you can send them ads about a new activewear line for young people that is about to launch in New York. And though this is much more effective than just blanket targeting everyone with ads, but it doesn’t give us the full picture about our customers.