In our digitally-driven era, we have access to various forms of digital content at any point in time, when we want it, and right at our fingertips via various platforms, mediums, and channels.
And regardless of what many experts claim, content marketing is still in demand. Yes, it is becoming more challenging for businesses to “cut through the noise” to reach their audiences, but that doesn’t mean content marketing isn’t still effective or any less important. It has just changed.
Whether it’s written blog posts, eBooks, web content, video or social media posts, your business must create content with intent, and ensure it gets seen by the right people and at the right time.
We know, we know… easier said than done.
Here is a super-short guide on how to create truly engaging content.
How to Create Engaging Content
1. Learn about your audience.
Okay, moment of truth—do you actually know who your audience is? And we mean down to their most detailed demographics.
We still see it—many entrepreneurs and marketers want to create content that they think will resonate best with their audiences. However, after performing in-depth customer research, many entrepreneurs and marketers will discover new insights related to what their customers are actually interested in reading about.
You may need to invest the time in doing customer research to really—really—understand what topics and types of content your audience is really interested in reading and also where and how they read it. For example, is it a blog post? Email? Social media? Diving into your website and your social media analytics is a great place to start. Doing so will allow you to understand the following:
- What keywords they search for
- What types of content they spend the most time reading
- What device(s) they use when engaging with your content
2. Organize topics and ideas.
Let’s say you know your audience really well. If this is the case, then you want to create content on topics that are relevant to them. You likely also have keywords that you want to rank for. You can combine the two, and store any key words, phrases, and topics into an organized system, making it easy to prioritize which topics you want to create content on and when. After all, creating content becomes significantly easier when you have a backlog of topics at the ready.
There’s no right or wrong way to organize your content topics and ideas. You can use a digital or physical board, an audio file, notebook, or task or project management system. (Personally, I have been using Evernote for years.)
Whether you use a notebook—digital or analog—the “voice memo” application on your phone, find a tool or app that is easy for you to drop in topics and ideas as they come to mind.
3. Use the right tools.
We see it all the time… Many marketers and content creators lack the right resources to actually bring their great content ideas to life. Video is a great example. How do you create video content without a video producer? Where do you research new and trending topics that will resonate with your audience? get stuck on how to develop certain types of content. For example, how do you create video content if you aren’t a producer? How
- Google Alerts for keeping up-to-date on certain industries or keywords that you are an “expert” in or that your audience likes to read about.
- Google Analytics to see your audiences’ behavior and how they engage with your content, such as where your audience comes from, what keywords they used to find you, and how much time they spend on your pages, and which pages they spend the most time on
- Evernote for note-taking
- Canva to create templatized blog header images, graphics, and social media thumbnails
- Fathom for recording meetings or interviews via Zoom
- Copyscape for checking for duplicate written content
- Repurpose House for video creation.
- Design Pickle for graphic design.
4. Make connections.
Of course, the underlying goals of any piece of content, regardless of format or platform, is to engage readers and get them to take a specific action. However, we see many marketers make the same mistakes with their content: They come across as too “salesy” and forget about the primary driver behind creating engaging content, and that is to make that initial connection with readers. One tried and true way to do this is to evokes emotions with your content. If readers can make connections with your content, then they are more likely to engage in it, and possibly convert.
5. Watch your language.
Again, this goes back to your audience. Don’t lose your audience in vocabulary or acronyms they don’t understand. Sure, your content might read intelligently, but that does nothing for your business or brand if you lose them. Remember, you aren’t trying to impress your audience; you are trying to draw them in, engage them, and open the door for them to connect with your content. Keep the goal of your content front and center.
6. Follow other blogs and publications in your industry.
Find other blogs and publications by writers, agencies, thought leaders, and businesses that inspire you. Pay attention to what their content is about, how they write and share content, and find ways you can emulate it, put a creative spin on it, and tie it back to your brand to engage with your own audience.
7. Focus on quality over quantity.
Yes, there was a time when businesses and brands were pushing out content left and right simply as an SEO play. However, those days are long gone. Google no longer “rewards” businesses and brands for developing and publishing “keyword stuffed” content. So if this is still your strategy, trash it immediately. Shift your focus to developing high-quality content that really resonates with readers. This might mean you push out less content, but again, content creation is about intent.
8. Follow a content creation process. (And make it repeatable.)
Aside from performing hours and hours of research, and ensuring you really understand who your audience is, believe it or not, one of the next best elements of creating good, quality content creation comes from following a repeatable process. Consistently.
Two key words here: repeatable and consistent.
Every content creator’s process varies slightly based on their needs and resources, but here are some general steps to follow that you can build into your own process:
- Research topics and keywords.
- Develop an initial outline, complete with an introduction, the body, and a conclusion.
- Produce your content. Craft your article. Record your video. Create your social media graphic.
- Do a quick QA check. (Always proofread your work! And don’t forget to fact-check! Never make assumptions or take something at face value.)
- Give it a final once-over.
- Publish, and share on social media, email, and other channels where your audience will see your work.
- Review your performance metrics.
- Repurpose. Repeat.
Where to Find Quality Content Writers
The key takeaway here is that creating engaging quality content that actually engages your audience comes down to understanding your audience, creating quality content, and having a repeatable process you and your team can follow consistently.
If you are looking for quality content writers, or you need help with developing and/or streamlining your content creation process, we can help with both! Check out our portfolio or schedule a quick call with us to learn more about how we can help.