How to Create Compelling Content People Will Actually Engage With
March 10, 2021
A 2020 HubSpot survey showed that 70 percent of marketers actively invest in content marketing. Despite this, nearly three-quarters of consumers admit they skim a majority of the content that’s presented to them. That means only a quarter of them actually make the investment to engage with or absorb the content they see.
The message is clear—quality over quantity. Simply producing content doesn’t guarantee it will be viewed, let alone effective. Creating blogs, videos, social media content, email marketing campaigns and other types of content doesn’t mean a thing unless it resonates or brings value to consumers in some way.
As a marketer, it’s your job to make sure your content connects with the very people who buy your products. And while content marketing is indeed both popular and effective, it’s only as effective as your ability to give people what they want. Here’s how to create compelling content that will win with your audience.
Know Your Audience
It may sound elementary, but creating content that speaks to your audience begins with research. You want a thorough understanding of who they really are. Not who you think they are—but who they actually are. Without this knowledge, it’s impossible to speak directly to them.
In particular, you want to understand what prompts people to make certain decisions. What’s their life like? How much money do they have to spend on products and services? And most importantly, what customer pain point will your product resolve?
Imagine your company sells snow blowers. Do you want to fill your top-of-the-funnel content with information about technical specifications? Of course not—people aren’t going to spend hundreds of dollars just because you built a fancy device. Instead, you want to hit on consumer pain points.
For example, people working from home can’t just take off from work anymore because the roads are snowy. They now have to work a full day and shovel. You can create blogs, social media posts and videos based on how your snowblower will help make their lives easier. You could provide tips on how to clean up their driveways quickly so that they’ll actually be able to relax at night, play with their kids in the snow, or, whatever your audience is looking for. But you won’t know exactly what that is until you do the research.
No matter what type of content you want to create, you’ll have a much easier time getting people to engage with your materials if you know it’s speaking directly to their unique needs.
Tell a Story
Want to add an additional 30 percent to your conversion rates? Incorporate storytelling into your content. Give your audience a reason to care about what you’re saying, and they’ll not only pay attention much more closely, but they’ll be more deeply engaged with your content.
Look at the spate of remakes in recent years, particularly Disney’s live-action remakes of its animated classics. We all know how the stories end, but we’re very interested to see how the story is told. And while you might not be a storyteller on the level of Walt Disney, you can still use storytelling in your content to move your audience.
One common use of storytelling in modern marketing comes in the form of videos and blogs by the founders of small businesses. Rather than talking about how wonderful their products are, these videos instead focus on the individual journeys of the founders, especially as those journeys relate to the causes they support.
Doing this encourages people to feel as though they’re part of the company. Now, people aren’t just buying an item — they’re also supporting a small business while simultaneously helping a cause that matters to both the buyer and the organization.
There are countless stories you can tell regarding your business. In addition to a founder video, you can spotlight your employees, show how products are made and provide behind-the-scenes content. All of these examples provide the opportunity for you to do something that’s different, while still spinning your content in a way that focuses on the customer and makes them feel important. That’s what all good storytelling does, and that’s what you can do too.
Identify Your Strengths
Now that you know what you can do with content, how do you actually go about making it happen? How do you convert ideas into actual content?
Your first move should be to work within a medium in which you’re most comfortable—provided a sizable portion of your audience is able to consume that content.
In other words, if your customers are all on Instagram and you’re posting on Facebook, it’s time to spend a little less time mastering Facebook and a little more time learning Instagram. But assuming there’s a natural fit between your preferred content type and your audience, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Simply do what you do best…. and then, do something you don’t do best.
What does that mean? It means that while it’s nice to have a niche, it might not necessarily be the absolute best option for your business. Take a look around your office. Your younger team members might jump at the opportunity to create infographics or video content for your company. Let them!
The potential for compelling content is only limited by what you think is possible. Odds are very good that you’ve got some capable helping hands already around you. But again, stick with what the audience wants. It’s great if your new hire can produce podcasts, but if your customers don’t want that type of content from your company, it’s not worth your while.
Sometimes, the best-laid plans don’t produce the best content. Instead, it’s the things that have fallen through the cracks that present the best content opportunities.
Take email, for instance. Email was once considered to be nearly extinct, a dying medium that bridged the gap between physical mail and social media. Now? Email is the standard for lead generation and nurturing, with four of five small businesses relying on email as their go-to medium for customer communication. Mobile phones helped to bring email back, and smart businesses took advantage.
What’s the next big breakthrough? It’s right under our noses, and a forward-thinking business will find it. Working with an agency can help you to take note of these opportunities and jump on them before your competitors do.
There’s no secret behind the creation of engaging and compelling content. Get to know your audience, then give them something they care about in a medium that matters to them. If you’d like your content to benefit from the expertise of an experienced agency like Commit, contact us today.