What’s the quickest and most-effective way of increasing online conversion rates? The answer is great content. Great content not only creates engagement amongst your followers; it also has the power to increase social sharing and persuade readers to act on your calls to action. But what is great content? How do your sort the wheat from the chaff, and how can you make average content better? Here are 7 tips that will help make your content stand out from the crowd.
Content will never engage if it fails to hook
No matter how good your ideas might be, or how skilled you are at expressing your thoughts, you’ll never make any headway with your content unless you are able to hook the reader in. You’ll have to draw the reader in before you can engage with them, so here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling.
If there’s one sure way of increasing engagement and sharing, it’s adding images to your content. It might be a cliché, but pictures do speak a thousand words. So add at least one image/picture to your content. Whatever image you use, make sure it complements your narrative. If you add an image of a customer using or wearing your product, make sure the narrative is testimonial, emphasising just how good the product is and how satisfied the customer was.
Tell a story
Everybody loves a good story. We all get drawn in by the hook, and regularly check back in to see how things are progressing. Don’t think you only have to rely on your own tale-telling abilities either: your customers and followers may also have compelling tales to tell. So use them. Ask your customers for their stories; run competitions. Get them involved and get them engaged.
Keep content short and simple
Many people will access content via their smartphones, so you’ll need to keep content concise. Many others will just dip in and out and look for something that stands out; something that resonates. They have limited time to look at what you’ve written so they’ll want instant answers to questions like ‘what’s this blog about’, ‘how is it relevant to me’, and ‘what will I learn by reading on’?
So to cater for these readers you’ll have to write concisely. Use short sentences and short paragraphs. Make use of bullet points and lists, and make sure you leave plenty of white space too. Text-heavy blogs can quickly alienate the casual reader. Look at your content objectively, and ask yourself would a reader get the gist of what you’ve written in 10 seconds or so? If not go back to the drawing board and start again.
Concentrate on the headline
No matter how good the body of your content might be, you’ll never manage to attract and retain readers if your headline isn’t compelling. Most people will pass over an article without a second glance, unless something – ie the heading – attracts their attention. So make your headline short, sharp and punchy and try to include a number. Try to entice or intrigue readers, or even appeal to their sense of desire. Above all else make sure you craft a headline that grabs attention.
Personalise your content
Nothing strengthens a bond more that personalisation. It adds to and strengthens the sense of belonging and inclusivity. So get to know your audience, and write content that is specifically tailored to its needs. Then write your articles in the second person. Use words and phrases like ‘you’ and ‘yours’ as these make the reader feel like you are addressing them personally.
Don’t make too many demands on your readers
The ultimate purpose of writing your content is to get readers to act on your call to action, whether that’s becoming a customer or interacting with your brand. So concentrate on this ultimate goal, and don’t ask too much of your readers before the final hit. Use videos and embedded links by all means to engage your readers or to get them to share your posts socially, but don’t overegg the pudding. There’s a finite limit to how much readers are prepared to do, so concentrate your efforts on the call to action.
Use power words to help motivate and drive readership
Some words have the power to evoke an emotional response. If you want to invoke anger and frustration words and phrases like ‘rip-off’ and ‘scam’ will definitely tick the boxes. But with content what you’re trying to is evoke positive emotions. Think about words like ‘secret’, ‘amazing’ ‘win’ and ‘dream’ and try to use these and other similar ones to motivate your readers.