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Last week, we talked about the value of a strong content marketing strategy and the basics for creating content people want to read. We also pinpointed the three characteristics of great content: relevance, practical value, and consistency. This week, let’s talk about getting your content to stand out.
It’s no secret that content marketing is a great way to boost site your site’s traffic, leads and conversions—but that’s also the problem. With 88 percent of marketers saying that they use content marketing as a strategy, the Internet is a veritable sea of (often redundant) information. According to Moz, creating original content isn’t enough to make your business stand out.
That’s why only 33 percent of marketers consider their content marketing strategy to actually be successful.
So, how can you join the 33 percent and earn a coveted spot in the first page of Google search results? Create better, targeted content that follows best practices.
Use Your Headline Wisely
To explain this one, we’ll call in advertising legend David Ogilvy:
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar. “
While Ogilvy was speaking specifically about ads, the same principle rings true for all content, including blog posts, websites and email blasts. Considering that marketers allot up to 28 percent of their budget to content marketing, having an ineffective headline can be costing your company big time.
This doesn’t mean you should bombard your audience with clickbait headlines. Because, as Ogilvy also says, “The consumer isn’t a moron.”
Instead, make your headline something people actually want to read. For instance, if you’ve written a post about about ways to invest your tax refund try a headline such as “5 Ways Smart People Make the Most of their Refund” rather than “5 Ways to Invest Your Refund.”
Keep Content Easy on the Eyes (and Brain)
With the rise of the Internet, the way that consumers absorb information and their expectations of content have changed drastically. Yoast, a website optimization company, utilizes the Flesch readability score for determining how a page will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs).
On average, top-ranking content has a Flesch Readability score of 76.5, which means it’s easily understood by students aged 13-15.
You also need to keep in mind the physical appearance of your content. Copy written in short paragraphs (1-2 sentences) is much easier for the audience to digest.
Varying the use bullet points, statistics, and bold and italic fonts also help to keep a reader’s attention.
The Best Content Marketing Strategies Mix It Up!
If you want to stand out, you can’t be afraid to be different. Content marketing is difficult for the same reasons it’s effective: it requires both creative and analytical thinking. You must be able to answer the question “what do my customers want?” without the customers even knowing the answer.
Here’s a hint: your audience wants to be entertained while they are being informed.
We’ve talked about the importance of letting your brand’s voice shine through in your writing, but to stand out, you need to take things one step further.
Visuals—such as original photos, infographics, videos and graphs—make content much more appealing and easy to digest. Content with visuals is also far more likely to be shared and engaged with on social media.
Xerox has found that colored visuals make a consumer 82 percent more likely to read a piece of content, while Kissmetrics reports that content with relevant images gets 94 percent more views than the same content without.
Are you feeling inspired?
Good! Creating compelling content (that also gets attention) is a challenge, but it’s not impossible. To stand out from the crowd, just keep these three things in mind:
- Headlines Matter: half the battle is getting readers to click the link in SERPs, a social media update, or an email blast.
- Keep it simple: no one wants to read a graduate’s thesis. Your content can be informative and practically useful, yet still simple enough for anyone to understand. Avoid jargon and buzzwords as much as you can.
- Be Bold: Don’t just imitate competitors. You should step outside of your comfort zone to create amazing, original content that’s truly on-brand for your company. This means having a vision and a voice to call your own.