Nobody writes content hoping that the person who reads it will either stop halfway through or ignore the call to action at the end of the post/article/blog.
As a content creator, you write to achieve a goal. Sometimes that goal is increasing conversions, sometimes it is selling products and sometimes it is something else that when achieved will help your business or brand.
But every time you write, there is a reason. Few of us simply write for the sake of writing…and even when we do we often hope that someone will read what we have written.
So, the question I sought to answer this week was what are the most effective ways to inspire a reader to take the action that we as content creators wish them to take?
To find the answer, I read blogs from top content creators, listened to podcasts on the subject, and turned to Google to see what came up in search results. Then I compared what I found to my experience in content creation.
Here are the steps that I found that you need to take to inspire your reader to take action based on your content:
Be concise. We get it, big words are fun to use and long, detailed sentences feel smart, at least to the writer that writes them. But the problem is nobody reads them. You are creating content, not an academic paper. Break sentences into no more than 30 words, and keep paragraphs to a 3 sentence maximum. Give your reader a break and make it easy to consume your work.
Offer value. I know, this has been said before, but it is worth repeating. Offering value to your reader means that they take away some new take on your subject or they learn something from your content. Solve the problem that keeps them up at night…or at least give them a new way to think about it.
Make it interesting. It’s the elephant in the room, you have to have content that is worth reading for it to get read. Boring is boring and even if it is valuable people will struggle to take action. Look, we don’t have all day to just sit and read content, so what you offer has to keep us engaged. Better yet, make it funny or entertaining. If you’re not naturally funny, make your writing entertaining enough that folks will want to keep reading just to see what you say next.
Make it impossible to say no. Have you ever watched a video or read an ad and by the end of it you are thinking “where do I sign?” I have, and I’d be willing to bet so have you. These pieces of content have passion, rhythm, and personality. They make you smile or gasp simply from the choice of words and the tone of the work. They change a want to a need. Do this and you’ll increase your conversion rate instantly.
Give them a prize. Everybody wants to get something for free. Ginsu Knives made a business from the idea (“but wait…there’s more!). Create a compelling free giveaway and share it with those who take action from your content.
It can be an infographic, an ebook, a .pdf…a cartoon, you decide what best appeals to your ideal client and offer them it for signing up (or taking the action you seek).
People are more than 50x more likely to give you their information when they are getting something for it instantly.
Content creation isn’t rocket science, but it is a science. Writing what your audience wants to read (or watch) and giving them reasons to engage are essential steps on the path towards content marketing success.
When you take the steps listed above, your chances of engagement radically increase. Of course, content marketing is a marathon and things might not change the first week that you try these steps. But, keep it going and soon you’ll see an increase in conversions, revenue and engagement.