Create content that gives people what they want. Here's how.
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
These days, regardless of what industry you’re in, the best way to reach your audience is through digital content. The 2019 Q3 Global Digital Statshot report from Hootsuite and We Are Social perfectly illustrates just how big of a role digital content now plays in our lives. More than 4 billion people watch online videos on a monthly basis. Of those, more than half are watching vlogs. Approximately 39 percent of internet users now listen to podcasts.
Even once-traditional forms of media are now seeing an uptick in digital consumption. For example, Statista reports that The New York Times exceeded 2.8 million digital subscribers in early 2018. For marketers, there also remains considerable value in blogging. Of course, with so much media out there, it is easy for your own content to get lost in the mix.
That being said, there are a few tactics you can use to better reach and engage your audience:
1. Diversify your content offerings.
The more variety you can provide in the content you create, the better. Each member of your target audience is unique, and they may engage with the internet in different ways. Offering a variety of content increases your chances of reaching the entire group.
For example, a study from IDG noted that while over 60 percent of B2B marketers rely on case studies and white papers, other top content marketing options include webinars, videos and electronic newsletters. Even varying your blog content by adding infographics and other visual content can help make it more engaging and interesting to your audience.
2. Become a storyteller.
We are naturally drawn to stories — even in content designed for marketing purposes. Whether you’re sharing a personal experience or using a case study to make your point, telling an engaging story builds trust and engagement.
The story doesn’t just make your content more engaging, it also makes it easier to remember, which can pay big dividends in keeping your brand relevant. Use your brand’s mission and vision to help guide the types of stories you will tell when you create content.
3. Get personal when you create content.
There is much to be said for the value of personalization, particularly when trying to nurture a lead in industries that have a longer sales process. By giving your audience something that has been tailored specifically to them, you can form a more powerful connection that fosters continual engagement.
A case study from Idomoo perfectly illustrates this point. The charitable organization Plan International Canada used Idomoo’s platform to send personalized videos to its high-value donors. The videos drew from each individual donor’s history with the organization to visualize the impact of their donations.
Sent via email, this personalized content saw a 51 percent higher open rate than their standard campaigns and an impressive clickthrough rate of 22 percent, while also increasing social media shares for the children’s rights organization.
Even if you don’t have a large dataset to draw from, a small amount of personalization will help your readers or viewers become more engaged from the moment they start interacting with your content.
4. Craft masterful headlines.
According to the Washington Post, roughly six in 10 readers only read headlines. Because of this, the headline you choose for your blog posts, emails and other written digital content will do much of the heavy lifting in determining whether someone decides to engage further or not.
A well-crafted headline will entice viewers to click so they can learn more. The headline doesn’t give away the final results of the story — instead, it poses a question or thesis that intrigues the viewer enough to make them want to click.
A BuzzSumo analysis of the most successful headlines based on Facebook engagement revealed that emotional or useful headlines tend to be the most influential. Examples of this are headlines that include phrases like “will make you,” “This is why,” or “simple tips.” For B2B purposes, the inclusion of numbers and statistics can be especially effective.
Once again, storytelling comes into play.
If you can present the start of an intriguing story in your headline, you will pique your audience’s curiosity and drive clicks and engagement. The headline is a promise. Whether you are promising to share a story or provide an interesting explanation, make sure that the headline and the digital content itself are working in sync to live up to audience expectations.
Creating high-quality content that keeps your audience coming back for more will require continual effort. But the results are well worth it. By crafting engaging digital content, you will grow the audience and customer base you desire.