Consumer engagement is the lifeblood of content marketing. There’s nothing more discouraging than putting blood, sweat, and possibly tears into a piece that is never read or appreciated.
The simple truth is that people don’t want to engage with boring content. Common mistakes like overloaded business jargon, dull topics, or misdirected efforts can kill any possibility of running a successful campaign. After all, your readers are busy people just like you. They want to be entertained, informed, and educated. A less than exciting piece simply won’t cut it.
If you’ve noticed that your creative juices have stopped flowing or your content just isn’t pulling the engagement levels it used to, it may be time to check out these insider tips to help breathe new life into a struggling strategy.
1. Look for the common threads of success
60% of content marketers agree that their number one challenge is producing content that engages with their audience. But, thankfully, cracking the code to find out what actually interests people may not be as complicated as you think. Thanks to extensive research and data, the formulas and common threads for creating more engagement pieces have been revealed.
For instance, a study by Searchmetrics found that post length plays a big role in SEO rankings and the likelihood of engagement. Audiences tend to enjoy longer, more in-depth pieces. Plus, posts with longer lengths of around 1,600 words are more likely to be listed in the top search results.
Another article on this site also revealed that adding in visual elements like pictures, infographics, or videos to a piece can increase views by 94%.
One method for gauging the topics most likely to capture consumer interest is to keep up with forums and group posts. Keeping an eye out for what’s buzzing or getting people talking on sites like Reddit can give you some great ideas for exciting content topics that will add to widespread conversations. There are specific details about content pieces that attract or deter your audience right away, so by tracking advanced content metrics, you can practically craft a piece that is much more likely to receive engagement.
2. Show don’t tell
Overly promotional marketing material can be a huge turnoff for many people. Just listing off all the great things your business or product does is not likely to attract a substantial audience or sway any disengaged customers. Exceptional content marketing is all about connecting with the audience. You want to give people valuable insight before you start with the more aggressive sales tactics.
If you want to get your point across in a more unique and compelling way, take things back to the kindergarten days with a little show and tell. Offering people real-life examples is much more enticing than just offering theories or vague suggestions.
Try positioning some of your content pieces around success stories from your clients or customers. For example, the eCommerce platform Shopify recently partnered with none other than Kylie Jenner to create a pop-up shop experience. Since her beauty line had only existed online, Shopify provided the data she needed to start a physical store of her own.
The genius part of the story is how Shopify used this event to promote their new POS systems by showing their audience how Kylie included the system in her store. The content they produced after worked to help other online business owners create their own offline experience while subtly showcasing Shopify’s products and capabilities.
Content marketing should not be a commercial that shouts all the features of your company to your audience. Actual facts and instances provide concrete proof that your business, product, or ideas actually work. Not to mention, they are much more convincing to a reader.
3. Give old pieces new life
Make something old new again by repurposing evergreen pieces that received strong engagement with a brand new spin. Your audience is made up of people with varying tastes, learning styles, and interests. Therefore, redesigning your content’s structure could help you appeal to additional segments of your customers.
If you’ve got some text-heavy articles in your library, consider turning them into a visual piece, like a video or an infographic, which are three times more likely to be shared on social media than any other type of content. Try transforming a piece into interactive content that gets your audience more involved or change up the structure into a list or tutorial. Doing so can potentially result in dramatic spikes in engagement.
Varying your content style or revamping old pieces can bring new life into your marketing strategy. There are tons of creative ways to transform previous posts, but even simple things like updating with new research and statistics can reignite your strategy.
4. Stay inspired
It can be super easy for content marketers to feel burnt out, especially if they’ve been at it for a while. Sometimes it just feels like you’ve written on every possible subject in the industry and there are simply no fresh ideas left.
The best bloggers are voracious readers, so be sure to stay up-to-date in your industry by following other bloggers and writers to discover what content is stimulating them. Collect interesting articles or studies that could be useful for future reference and potential content pieces. Doing things like listening to podcasts, taking classes, watching trending videos, etc. are great sources of inspiration.
Great content writers are always learning to ensure that they stay curious and connected to their niche. The trick to keeping your creativity flowing is by constantly re-inspiring yourself.
No one likes boring content. It not only makes the job miserable for marketers but discourages engagement and wastes time and resources. There’s no need to struggle in finding exciting topics and ideas for your next content piece. Cater to viewers with your style, try a new take on old pieces, and keep yourself inspired. If you can make habits out of these practices, you will never be at a loss for ideas.
Remember, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters with your content is that it adds value to the lives of the audience. Otherwise, there is no reason to engage with it.
Guest author: Pratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder of E2M, a full service digital marketing agency and PRmention, a digital PR agency. He regularly speaks at various conferences about SEO, Content Marketing, Growth Hacking, Entrepreneurship and Digital PR. Pratik has spoken at NextBigWhat’s UnPluggd, IIT-Bombay, SMX Israel, and other major events across Asia. As a passionate marketer, he shares his thoughts and knowledge on publications like Search Engine Land, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, The Next Web and the Huffington Post to name a few. He has been named one of the top content marketing influencers by Onalytica three years in a row.