Content is king. The message you deliver helps create a connection, establish your industry authority and drive a conversion. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of content online – and more is being created all the time. How can you stand out?
We’ve got 10 tips and tricks you can add to help take your content to the next level. No matter what subject you’re writing about, these techniques will help increase engagement with your readers. Even better, these tips are free and easy to implement. Check ‘em out below:
- Ask a Question in the Headline
This trick has been used by journalists long before the internet and it still works wonders today. When you ask a question in the headline, the reader is almost instantly engaged. Practically everyone will automatically answer the question in their head. Many people will then open the story and read it in order to see if their answer was correct or not.
- Ask a Question on Social Media
Along these same lines, asking a question on social media is also a great way to engage. After all, what is a social media post except a headline to what is hopefully a more in-depth conversation? Your Facebook, Twitter or other social media platform is a great place to ask questions which solicit:
- Concrete, factual answers (“How do I change the oil in my car?”)
- An opinion (“What’s your favorite movie of 2015?”)
- An example (“What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on?”)
These answers can drive conversations related to your industry or otherwise simply help build a sense of community among your audience.
- Source Your Content
If you get answers from social media or other sources, be sure and give credit whenever it’s due. Also, be sure and ask before you use a quote, picture or any other type of content which you didn’t create. Not only is this simply good manners, you also might get a few links from the content creator, too.
This includes adding contact info whenever possible. A quick shout out such as “featuring @joesmith” in a Tweet can help increase shares and generate goodwill. With social media, you can easily add links to others – and the results can be very effective.
- Answer Questions Yourself
You shouldn’t always rely on social media to answer your questions. The chances are good that if you have a question related to your industry, other people probably have that question, too. Answering that question might be appealing to many potential readers.
Make sure the question (and answer) is related to your industry. Posting detailed answers related to your product or service helps establish your expertise in your field. And if search engines see you as an authority in your field, they’ll give you lots of preference in the SERP.
- Enlist Influencers
You can establish your authority in collaboration with others. Reach out to other experts in your industry and ask if they’d be interested in writing a guest blog or otherwise contributing to your site. One popular and proven idea is an “Ask Me Anything” with an expert and held on a social media platform.
- 6. Add Visuals
Content isn’t always words. Visuals help break up the monotony of large chunks of text. Plus, infographics are a great way to present complicated info clearly.
Social media is embracing images, gifs and videos. Twitter allows a variety of pictures including micro visuals, which are tweetable stats. Facebook recently launched Facebook Video, which is already giving YouTube a run for its money. With social media, sometimes a picture really can be worth a thousand words.
- Encourage Sharing
You know those “Share” buttons which appear at the end of practically every article ever published online? Do people really use those? Internet marketers are divided on the answer. Many studies say they’re not very effective.
However, we still recommend adding these Share buttons. A Twitter logo, “Add Pin” button and the like at least introduce the idea of sharing to the reader. They might go on to Share using another method, but at least give them the option of one-touch sharing. The exception is if the buttons appear needlessly cluttered or otherwise drastically interfere with the design.
- Display Share Counts
Even though Twitter has made displaying share counts difficult, it’s still possible with other social media platforms. Display your share count whenever you can. Social media proof can really influence readers. Group behavior can help your content quickly grow in popularity – and even go viral!
- Think Short-Term
If your content is related to a current event, you want to emphasize that connection as much as possible. Content featured in Google News will also get a nice bump in the SERP, at least for a little while. Aside from a boost in the Google News section, you’ll also see an increase in the main index.
Getting into Google News can be a little tricky. In short, what you’re sharing has to actually count as news. But the benefits can be worth the extra effort.
- Think Long-Term
You also want to create content which will be future-proof. Evergreen topics such as help guides, FAQ’s and other instructional material can attract new readers year after year. You also want to identify as many rising trends in your industry as possible.
Another type of evergreen content are seasonal-specific subjects. Some examples include:
- How to Weatherproof Your Home for Winter
- Top 10 Summer Fashions
- This Year’s Hottest Christmas Toys
In some cases, such as “Winter Weatherproofing,” you can probably re-use the same piece of content year after year. Other articles will require some updating each year (for example, some summer fashions will change each year while others will not). Finally, topics such as the “Hottest Christmas Toys” will probably require a complete re-write each year – even though the topic will generate interest from readers every December.
Content is Still King
Don’t be intimidated by the volume of content which already exists online. Audiences will always seek out informative, interesting articles – especially if you have expertise to share. From short Tweets to long-form blog posts, every piece of content you publish is an opportunity to connect with your audience.
Our 10 tips will enhance practically any type of content. You’ll reach potential customers which can lead to increased brand goodwill and help create valuable conversions. So get out there and start communicating – you’ll be glad you did!
Got any other tips to make your content sparkle? Share them with us below!