Content marketing can be highly effective, but it isn’t necessarily effective. You can write as much content as you want, but if your content doesn’t truly grab your audience, it’s not going to do you much good. Only the best content is capable of establishing your expertise, improving your visibility, and converting your visitors.
So what makes some content better than others?
There are many variables to consider here, but engaging content always has a significant edge over content that isn’t engaging.
How do you write this type of content?
What Is Engaging Content?
First, what do we mean by “engaging content?”
Generally, we mean content that makes people want to pay attention. If your content isn’t engaging, people will probably skim through it or skip it entirely. If your content is engaging, people will read every last word – and possibly come back in the future to reread that content.
Also, if your content is more engaging, it’s going to increase dwell time, increase conversions, and improve your search engine optimization (SEO).
So what steps can you take to increase the engagement of your content?
Focus on Your Specific Audience
The best strategy is to focus on your specific audience. Too often, content marketers attempt to reach the widest possible audience by making their content generic and universal. But overly generic content reads as plain and uninspiring; you’re much better off catering to a specific niche, even if that means reducing the size of your audience.
Conducting market research can help you figure out who your target demographics are and how they see the world. From there, it’s up to you to come up with the creative approach necessary to write about topics they truly care about in a way that truly speaks to them.
Research Your Subject Matter
All your content will be more engaging if it is backed by sufficient research. It’s your job to become knowledgeable on this subject, even if you have to learn everything from scratch. Not every piece of content on your website needs to be a dissertation, but you should come off as a true expert who knows what they’re talking about. Be sure to cite credible sources and acknowledge different opinions.
Capture Attention Early
Most people visiting your website are going to have an attention span of around 8 seconds. That’s not much time to work with. If you can’t capture the attention of your users in the first few seconds of their visit, you’re going to lose them. That’s why engaging content typically starts with a strong headline, an excellent and original opening line, and an opening paragraph that practically forces people to read more. The beginning of your content is almost always the most important part.
Make Reading Easy
Next, try to make reading easy. The easier your writing is to read, the more engaging it’s going to be. These are just some of the strategies that can help you:
- Constrain your vocabulary. One of the easiest ways to make your material easier to read is to constrain your vocabulary. Use simpler words to describe things. Polysyllabic jargon isn’t doing you any favors.
- Write in short, punchy sentences. Want to be more engaging? Write shorter sentences. They may not be as poetic, but they’re much more palatable. Shorter, punchier sentences are also good for SEO.
- Use readable formatting. It’s also a good idea to format your work to make it more readable. That means using bolded headlines, using bold and italic formatting to emphasize key points, using bulleted and numbered lists to organize your information, and increasing the spacing between sentences and paragraphs. Additionally, make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices so mobile readers can still engage with your content.
Offer a Unique Take, a Unique Voice, or Both
Only original content is engaging. That means you have to offer a unique perspective, a unique voice, or preferably, both. Try to give people a perspective they’ve never heard before, or educate them on something they truly know nothing about. Failing this, make sure you’re presenting the topic in a way that no one’s ever done before.
Pay Attention to How Your Content Performs
Finally, pay attention to how your content is performing. There are several performance indicators that can help you figure out the level of engagement people feel with your content. For example, high dwell time is usually an indication that your readers are actively interested in the material you’ve provided them. Learn from your best-performing posts and replicate the factors that made them successful in your future endeavors.
If you can make your content more engaging, your entire content marketing strategy will improve. You’ll reach more people, be more persuasive, and easily outcompete your rivals.