Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past decade (or are newer to your business or just haven’t paid attention), you know that everything that you write should create value for your reader and that content should focus on education, information, and relationship building rather than sales.
The goal of content marketing is generally long-term growth. Creating valuable writing helps tell your story, create brand trust and share your expertise. It is an essential part of SEO (search engine optimization) as Google looks for new and fresh content to share with people searching online. PRO TIP: Produce content (500-ish words at least) each week to keep search engines crawling your website and ranking your content.
But, the truth is that it isn’t enough just to produce content. You have to make it interesting and keep people reading. That’s where the concert of making them think comes in. The best way to keep people reading? Offer controversial or new ideas around your topic of expertise.
The best way to get them to engage:
Check out these top three ways to keep your reader engaged with your content:
Make it controversial. So often, we end up saying the same thing, the same old way. We’ve all done it – and it is valuable to readers who are new to your topic or who wish to learn more. But to keep them really engaged with you? Offer a new way of thinking about your work. Example: Everyone knows that for SEO you need to create content and put it on your website. Controversial: It’s not worth creating boring content – even for new people. If you can’t make it fun or interesting, don’t bother.
2. Tell a story. Everyone likes a story. One where the hero gets to solve their problem with your solution? Even better. Next time you create content consider using the old trick of “Once upon a time….” Example: Once upon a time there was a digital marketing agency owner who knew that she had to create attention for her brand to get found online and hired. She didn’t know where to turn until a knight in shining armor named “SEO” appeared. She couldn’t wait to get to know him better….”
3. Put it all together. Ok, so this might feel advanced for newer writers, but putting a story together with a controversial idea can really increase engagement and interest in your brand. Consider the idea that you have that would be controversial to the typical way of doing things in your work. Then, share a story about a time that you used that out-of-the-box idea to help your client achieve success. Or if you need to, create a story that your reader will identify with and tell it. This combination is powerful and a fast way to build brand recognition.
Creating content is so much more than just typing words to post something — anything — on your blog or social feeds. To be the most effective, you have to satisfy Google E.A.T. directive (expertise, trust, and authority) and optimize the content and offer value and create interest in your human reader.