There’s more to content engagement than just words on a page. Here are the details you must focus on to grab your audience’s attention and keep them focused on your message.
1. Design Does Matter
Beauty may be only skin deep, but it gets our attention. And in the online content game, the importance of getting someone’s attention shouldn’t be underestimated. So invest the time and resources you need to create solid, professional designs that fit your industry, your topic, and your audience’s expectations.
Keep in mind that the quality you seek is a professional presentation. This isn’t about winning design awards. (Unless you’re a design firm …) Consistency matters more for content engagemen than achieving highest level of polish.
2. Graphics Get Results
An adjunct to “design does matter” is the use of photos, illustrations and other graphics. These serve to break up written content to make it more digestible and can also reinforce the points you are making in your copy. (For more conceptual content, don’t worry about that kind of literal reinforcement. In fact, being literal in a forced or cliched manner is likely to hurt your efforts more than help them.
And don’t forget the value of video. Here again, you don’t need super high-production values to have an impact. Video shot with a high-quality smartphone camera will do the trick. Add simple voice over and charts or graphics to illustrate your topic and you’re way beyond boring talking head videos. Talking heads can add a nice personal touch if the talking head is a key executive in your organization.
3. But Beauty Is Only Skin Deep
As important as design is, a great looking page isn’t going to keep your audience engaged if there’s no there there, as Gertrude Stein said. (Though not about content marketing …) Your content has to be engaging in its own right, which means:
Professional is as simple as avoiding typos, spelling errors and other basic mistakes.
Creating entertaining content doesn’t mean trying to be a stand-up comic. It means having a voice that is unique and interesting.
Relevance is, pretty obviously, the most important of these goals. Your content must matter to your audience. And it needs to help them understand or solve a business problem they are facing.
4. Grab ‘Em and Go
Don’t bury the lede! A nicely paced build up is a wonderful thing for novels and bad jokes. But in content marketing, as in news reporting, grabbing your audience’s attention immediately is the key to getting them to come along for the ride. That’s our goal with all our content marketing.