How to Create Content That Truly Helps Your Readers
LAST UPDATED: TOPIC: Content Marketing
All too often, content creators work hard on a piece of content only to see it met with indifference. They’re left thinking, ‘what’s going on, why doesn’t anyone want to read this masterpiece I’ve created?’
Well, the answer is probably because readers don’t find the content useful, helpful or interesting. Successful content gets shared, linked to, and talked about. One practical “digital marketing definition” might include the concept of researching in a probability-based way the virality of proposed marketing messages. There is also a more technical explanation from the Financial Times here.
The only way to be a successful content creator is to give readers content that truly tickles their fancy.
Here are some tips on how to come up trumps:
- Deliver Content in the Right Format
People read in a variety of ways. Some are complete digital freaks and read everything on a screen of some sort, whether that’s a tablet, desktop or mobile. Others embrace the old-fashioned and prefer reading real paper they can flip through.
Whenever you set out to create content, it’s important to choose the correct format to accommodate readers of all types, both digital loving and old-school.
Whether you’re producing an infographic, visual article, blog post, or video, determine which format is best to get the message across in a way that most appeals to your audience.
Readers will appreciate that you took the time to think of them when creating content.
- Provide real-life examples
There’s only so much theory a reader can take in. Back up your facts with real-life examples to really bring the piece to life and show the reader how it applies in practical terms.
Using examples makes content more engaging because readers are shown how the theory works in real situations. Instead of just reading words that explain other words, readers learn how to put the theory into practice.
This combination of application and theory benefits the reader, which means they’re more likely to engage with the content and pass it on.
- Let the audience have their say
People love to have their say! A glance at the comments section of any social media post will confirm that.
So why not ask readers for their contribution. They will automatically be more interested in an article or video when they know they have added to it in some way.
For example, when writing a blog post about the timing of marketing campaigns, ask people on Twitter what challenges and solutions they have had with marketing campaigns.
- Paint a Picture
Videos, graphics, charts and graphs create visual content. And readers process visuals more easily than written content.
Faced with a 1,500-word article, what reader doesn’t feel slightly daunted about getting stuck in. Visuals make it easier to ease the way in. Plus they’re often a better way of telling the story.
When creating content, pay attention to the type of language and tone you use. It’s important to choose the right words, words with an impact that grab readers’ attention.
Use phrases that create common ground with the reader. If the opening line reels them in, they are more likely to continue to the end.
Keep in mind:
- Sentence structure
- Sense of humour
- Word choice
- Add Impact with Data
Numbers are the frenemy: they can be difficult but handled properly, they can have a powerful impact.
As with real-life examples, numbers are a great way of putting things into perspective.
For example, when writing a blog post on the use of social media, it’s essential that statistics on how often people use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat on a daily or monthly basis are included. Data creates the bigger picture in a way words can’t match.
Readers like to know the facts and figures, especially when they can relate to the topic. Data makes the content more relevant. So to please your readers, include data in your content.
Content can work magic, but it takes work. Putting readers’ needs first will make success more likely. Imagine hitting ‘publish’, and people responding in droves by reading, sharing, tweeting and linking to the content. That’s success. Let the magic begin!
– This post was written by Emma Vince – former Digital PR Lead at Tinderpoint.