Anyone who invested any amount of time or resources into blogging wants to see a return. But with the Internet becoming saturated with content, and blog posts specifically, getting yours to stand out and get clicked on is becoming increasingly difficult. Mixed media is becoming an essential survival strategy, especially n terms of showing audiences that you are attuned to their needs. Text-based content still reins supreme, but imagery and video content are showing their appeal in terms of online engagement.
We have created a guide from start to finish to help you create compelling content that online visitors want to read – and click. By tuning into your target audience and feeding it the content it wants to consume, on time and on target, you can get more conversions from your content.
1. Tap Into Your Target Market
Of course, everything you produce needs to be relevant and on-target, in terms of what you write about, and in terms of where you decide to show it. Fluxe Digital Marketing provides this golden piece of advice:
Create and share content in places you know your target audience will be looking. Write for specific industry niches by using examples for that industry and posting them where thought leaders look for information. For example, if I wanted to target the HR industry, I’d guest post for HR blogs and use HR examples in my blogs posts on my own blog.
You can have the greatest content out there, but if it is not being shown in the right places, it is largely invisible. It’s all about categorization: make it easy for users to find it and, once you’ve followed the steps below, you’ll be able to hook them.
2. Hook Your Prospects With Great Headlines
The second important technique for creating a compelling blog post is to use a provocative headline. HubSpot recently conducted a test on headlines on its famous blog, and made some interesting discoveries. While the findings are not universal they do indicate that continual testing is a fundamental part of running a successful blog. They also reveal how very subtle changes can have an impact on your click through rate.
The results of the survey found that blog headlines that incorporated questions had a higher click-through rate, as they were more intriguing to readers. Asking questions gives you a more direct interface with your reader. If the question is well phrased you can make your reader more obliged to take action than if you were simply posing a statement.
Topics that were broader rather than more specific were also clicked on more. Generally, the more specific the headline the longer it is. Blog headlines that referred directly to the reader (rather than the writer of the blog post) were also found to have more click-throughs. As HubSpot reveals in the data and example:
Variation A: 10 Things Marketers Need to Know About Inbound Marketing in Europe
Variation B: 10 Inbound Marketing Techniques that Make Us Sit Up and Take Note
The Winner: Variation A (.06% vs..02% CTR, statistically significant)
Takeaway: Craft your title language to be about the reader and what is interesting to them, not you.
The use of unique adjectives and avoiding cliches, as well as using numbers in the blog posts were also found to make them more attractive to readers. The data showed that blog posts with headlines featuring “x tips” had a better click through rate than just “tips”. Are your readers more likely to take action when faced with quantitative data?
And, of course, what works for HubSpot is not necessarily going to work on your blog. The lesson is that you actually have to keep testing different approaches and gauging the response of your target market – as well as understanding how specific your niche really is.
3. Consider Video Content To Boost Conversions And Clicks
According to Cisco data, 69% of web traffic will be video traffic by 2017. That’s an increase of 12% from where it is now. YouTube is the busiest video channel on the net, with an estimated one billion unique visitors consuming content every month.
More importantly though, YouTube is owned by Google, making it an invaluable platform to pick up on search traffic. Having a YouTube channel is one thing; what about adding video content to your blog posts to make them easier to follow? If users have the option of choosing text content or video content you have already got more of a chance of your content medium being appealing.
Also, think big. Don’t just think about video with the hopes of it going well. Consider your ideas and how they could work as segments within a bigger series or channel. Also remember to make full use of the optimization features at your disposal. Be sure to fill in the description, tags, transcription and caption files, URLs, file names and embedding in feeds. And, very importantly, do not forget about the title:
The title is the single most important optimization element for your video. Be sure to include a relevant keyword in this title. Don’t stuff keywords in this area-just stick to accurately describing your content. In most video-site content-management systems, this title will also transfer as a page heading.
4. Follow Forrester’s Formula For An Engaging Brand
To summarize, take a look at the four ways that Forrester suggests organizations use branded content to its maximum potential:
Aside from enlisting some good old fashioned brand ambassadors to help spread the word, Forrester has identified four ways branded content can help build a true brand: Educate and inform to build a trusted brand, create topical, shareable content to build a remarkable brand, develop stand-out content to build an unmistakable brand, become part of your customers’ daily routine.
Ultimately, it all points towards having a strategy, not just publishing content randomly. Once you have started working on the strategy you have to test and try out new ideas, and compare your results. Not everything you try is going to work; sometimes it might take longer for you to see your desired results.