April 05, 2017
The word “content” is among the most commonly used terms these days when it comes to online marketing. Do I have any stats to back that up? Of course not…but just speaking with any Marketing Manager or SEO specialist and all you hear about is content. “Where do you get your content?” “How much do you pay for content?” “This content isn’t optimized for search engines.” And on, and on.
Naturally, there’s good reason for all this content talk. Adding useful and relevant content to your website and social media channels is the primary way to keep your audience engaged…meaning it keeps them in touch with you so they will buy your products or services and share your content with others who may buy your products and services.
However, as many of you have learned the hard way, simply throwing up any old piece of content isn’t going to get the job done. Having the ability to write doesn’t mean having the ability to create engaging content. There is actually some skill involved, and if your writers don’t have it, the content you produce will end up turning readers away instead of drawing them in.
Here are 6 ways your content may be turning readers away right now.
It is probably safe to say that the headline, or title, is the most important element of the entire piece of content. People will always read the title, but they won’t read any further if it doesn’t appeal to them on some level. The “what’s in it for me?” concept, combined with ever-shortening attention spans means your headline must draw them in, or they will just disappear.
One important tip for writing a headline that gets your piece read is to create it in a way that it solves a problem for the reader, or provides definite benefits. The title of this post hits on the pain point of losing readers by producing poor content. Writing the headline in the third person also helps. Some proven headline formulas include how-to’s, numbered lists, promising benefits, asking questions or rounding up your audience: “Attention SEO Managers!”
Now, creating a good title is one thing, but making sure the content that follows answers the question or provides a solution to that title is another. There is no better way to turn your readers away than to venture off topic and start writing about something completely unrelated to the title. Always remember, your readers are reading the post / page because of the title, so stay focused!
One of the most useful copywriting tips of all time is to write as you speak. That’s not to say you need to be dropping F-bombs every few sentences; you still have to write to your audience. It means that you write conversationally, in the third person. Use “you” instead of “we” or “I.” If you picture having a conversation with one person (your ideal client) it will become second nature in no time. And this helps to create rapport with the reader because she will feel as though you are speaking directly to her.
Today, “content” doesn’t only mean blog posts and web pages. Obviously, these are still paramount when it comes to ranking online, but there are other forms of content that are important, too. Sometimes, a brief landing page is the way to go. Sometimes, it’s a video or a laser-focused infographic. Figuring out which format is right can be more about trial and error with lots of testing than anything else, but the more you learn about your customers, the easier it will be.
As mentioned above, everyone (yes, you too) wants to know, “what’s in it for me?” every time they decide to read or watch any type of online content. This means, the content you provide must be relevant and useful to the people reading it. It has to solve a problem, answer a question, provide a solution or make their lives easier in some way.
Believe it or not, no one wants to read about how great your company is, how wonderful your products are, or how much customers worship you in the marketplace. Picture your ideal customer, then ask yourself, “Is this content useful to them? Is it relevant to their lives?” If you can answer yes, then you’re on the right track.
Any good Marketing Manager or Content Manager knows that every piece of online content doesn’t need to be a literary masterpiece to be considered high-quality. The odd mistake is going to squeak through, no matter how rigid your editing system happens to be. However, putting out pieces of content that are loaded with spelling and grammatical errors will turn off readers in a hurry. When this happens, it makes the content seem sloppy, which makes the company associated with the content seem sloppy. Would you want to do business with a sloppy company?
These are a few issues that seem to pop up on a regular basis when creating content. There are more, of course, and there’s always a fine line between slipping into the subconscious of your reader and making an impact, and turning them off altogether. If your content provider hasn’t been getting the job done, call The Content Company today at 888.221.5041 and we will help you out.
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