Creating Engaging Content Takes Strategy
Creating content that people want to read is hard when you don’t take the time to learn the proper strategies. It is always tempting just to write and see where your typing will take you, to just shoot a quick video without an outline, or to assemble those pretty pictures on your hard drive into an image gallery for a Facebook post without worrying about hashtag strategy. Small business owners can feel they are pressed on time, so they create content as quickly as possible.
Rushing anything is never good, especially publishing marketing collateral associated with your brand. This will always take your content as well as your brand’s credibility to a bad place. A place where online users have a hard time finding your content on the web and when they do find it, get bored quickly. If your boring content lives on your website, your high bounce rate will let you know just how uninteresting and irrelevant your site users found it. So, follow these strategies when developing your content to improve your content engagement and your chances of turning readers into leads.
1. Research Your Target Audience
Before a small business owner places their hand on their keyboard they should already know their target user. Engaging business content must speak to at least one pain point that is common for your target audience. For example, this article is geared towards small business owners to helping them with creating content their target readers will find valuable. We performed the research in Google Keyword Planner to know small business owners search for this solution on the web. You can see the Google Keywords Planner results below:
While the searches are not high, they align exactly with one of our services, content creation for small businesses. We have expertise on the matter and know that even though publishing this article on our site won’t generate high traffic, it will give us the opportunity to generate high conversion traffic. Notice we said opportunity since we still have to apply strategies to get the traffic to convert on our site such as having good user design and site performance.
You notice how we keep saying target. Since time and resources are limited for small businesses you need to focus on the best people to spend them on. Creating content for only those who will find your company solutions valuable is key here. There are many factors you can research on a person, we recommend these: what are their pain points (and does your company solutions align with solving them), how do they try to solve their pain points (understand their buyer’s journey), where do they go to solve those pain points (competitors), and how do they interact with those companies (online, in-person, telephone, or all three).
2. Use research tools
The best tools to use when researching your target user depends on what you are trying to find. Google Keyword Planner is an amazing free tool that allows you to find how people try to solve issues when they are in the research phase of their buyer’s journey. It is a great place to start when brainstorming content topics. Just like the above Google Keyword Planner example, you just don’t want to go after highly searched for keywords because you want high site traffic. You should focus on keywords that will give you conversion traffic and that usually means traffic that is lower than expected.
SEMRush is a paid for online tool that has a keyword research tool like Google, it has a feature for checking out how your competitors are attracting users and how those users are interacting with their online brand. It is a valuable tool to learn how to beat your competition. You can see the SEMRush example below for the ad agency called Brunner Works.
With just looking at the overview page, we can see how many keywords they have used for their Google ad campaigns in the US, the estimated Google traffic those ad campaigns are giving their site, and their estimated total ad campaign cost. There is a tab that we find very valuable that allows you to see the ad campaigns of your competitors. This is not to copy, but to give you a direction to take with your own ad creation.
You want to see what bigger; more successful competitors are doing with their online ads. The point is to learn how they are successful and to learn from their strategies. When you look at the keywords they are using for their paid campaigns you can see where to focus your ad campaigns. If you didn’t have this tool or Google Keyword Planner you would run the risk of wasting money on poor performing keywords.
3. Don’t Self Promote, Solve A Problem
It is so tempting to tell you right now just how amazing we are in digital marketing for small businesses, but let’s not get into those details. People don’t like being sold to anyway. You came to this article not to learn about how cool we are, but to learn how to create better content. You want your content to give you more leads.
Always keep you target user in mind and always think about why someone would take their time to interact with your content. We sometimes get lost in our own brand and think to ourselves, well why not? No one cares about what your brand is unless it can solve their problem. Focus on how it can do just that with every piece of content your brand creates and you won’t have to worry about self promotion. Your target users will promote your brand for you.
A great method to preventing self promotion in your marketing collateral is to always review how many times you talk about your brand in your contents’ drafts before they are published. This includes all formats not just written collateral. If you want to include your brand in your content, only say it twice in videos and podcasts, once in the beginning and second in the closing and only once in all other collateral. Stay brief, ideally just state the brand and your slogan if you have one. You don’t want to turn people off your brand by over promoting, which is very easy to do.