In this age of skimming, it should come as no surprise that readers often bounce 60% of the way through a piece of content. But, before you switch off and say, “well, there isn’t much I can do about it,” consider whether you’re following best practices in content marketing strategies. After all, if you’re engaging your readers well and providing them with useful content that is supported by excellent visuals, your bounce rate could be much lower than that rather scary average. And remember, these strategies work for any industry – exciting or on the practical side.
Be conversational and relatable
Tech jargon and business babble aren’t going to appeal to your readers. After all, no one likes to feel like they aren’t intelligent enough to understand. Make your readers feel welcome and ensure reading your content is an enjoyable experience – not one that they had to grit their teeth through.
Be detailed and solve a problem
If you’re going to deliver what an article promises, you need to get specific – not in language but coverage. How many times have you read an article that was intended to help, but left you feeling like it failed to deliver for your specific circumstance or wondering “yes, but how do I actually apply what you’ve said”. Try to write your content around a particular problem and then attack it in detail.
Provide value by making it helpful
Readers want to feel as though their time spent reading your content has benefited them. That means it needs to be helpful. No matter the topic or the industry, you can be forgiven for not being the wittiest or most talented writer around, so long as you provide value to your readers.
Explain ideas with analogies
Explaining a concept with the help of an analogy allows people to understand a completely unknown concept, by relating it to something simple from everyday life. For example, you could explain how inbound links work by saying ‘inbound links are like votes’. The more your website has, the higher Google will rank your site.
Your readers will appreciate it if you use fewer words to say the same thing that it took someone else 200 words to say. Time is the most important commodity in our tech-driven world, so show your readers you value their time and edit your content down wherever possible. It will give you a better chance of having your content read right through to the end.
Make it easy to consume
The format of your content can have a great deal of influence on how easy the piece is to read and in fact, whether a reader decides to read it at all. Bullet points and numbered lists can help to break up paragraphs, while bold headings and highlighted messages help a reader find the section they need, fast. Be sure to keep paragraphs small, with the appropriate spacing between.
Enhance your words with telling visuals
Infographics are a compelling tool for engaging readers. Summarize your content with the key data points by creating an infographic to tell the story in a format that also is incredibly shareable. As well as infographics, supplement your content with variations of video, images and GIFs.
Interview insanely interesting people
Interviewing an industry superstar or an influencer can add an authoritative element to your content. You can gain the benefits of their perspective and wisdom while presenting what you wanted to cover in a different format than your usual posts.
Hook your audience by shocking them
Find a controversial topic, a fascinating story or an ‘in-your-face’ statistic to harness attention in the busy content marketing space. Even the most practical industry can be brought to life by a little-known and surprising fact.
Branch out with content ideas
Your content doesn’t have to be about your service it just has to be related. This works well for keeping your immediate audience interested in the content on your blog, by discussing a broad array of topics, but it’s the ideal strategy for content outreach too. Reaching out to a selection of “shoulder niches” that are related to your site’s topic can help you gain links that may have been difficult when reaching out only within your industry.
Bonus points: make it humorous
Helpful, easy to read and fascinating writing can often be enough to give your audience what they need. But to really draw them in, and have them coming back for more, make your writing entertaining. That’s what will make it inherently memorable and keep them interested in the entirety of the piece.
Whether you’re in the tech or the travel industry (or something else entirely), these top content marketing strategies are guaranteed to make your content a more engaging read.
About the author:
Alexander Dance writes about the effective habits that make up a happy and healthy lifestyle. He is the owner and writer at Biz Think Tank. You can read more of his writing there or on his personal website