5 Ways to make your content stand out
Good content starts with a great headline whilst providing valuable information, good content does this on steroids if it wants to stand out against all the other similar content online. With millions of blog posts, eBooks and white papers being uploaded and downloaded to the world wide web every minute, your content needs to stand out in order to get consumed. Creating content that stands-out requires you to go above and beyond, to ensure that your content not only gets opened but is loved by your demographic.
This requires you to think a little differently when it comes to creating the best content. Sure, headlines and all the rest matter, but there is more to it than that; it is more nuanced. Let’s take a more simplistic approach. Consider why are you writing content in the first place. Content is intended to help educate and provide your readers with value. It is this value that will hopefully lead them to view your brand and business as being:
These are the type of words we want people to associate with our brand, right! To do this, you have to know the types of questions that your audience is asking and what answers they are looking for. Thanks to the convenience of sites like Quora and Reddit, there are so many platforms that you can browse through to establish the type of questions that your audience may be asking. You can check other places such as:
- Social Media Groups
- The social media accounts of your competitors
- Your feedback or testimonials
- Your customer emails or queries
- Yahoo Answers
- Review sites (Amazon etc.)
Set your intentions to make a selection of questions that your audience may be interested in learning about, then use those questions as the support to your content creation strategy. If there are questions or feedback that use strong emotive words focus on them particularly as it most often the case if one person is super emotive about something, others will be too. These emotional statements can give rise to content ideas and are more likely to lead to copy/content that your demographic is passionate to read about.
Nobody knows your brand better than you, take a moment to stop and think what value you could be offering to your customers/audience.
Keeping your keyword research simple
Whilst it can very useful to take the time to research the perfect keywords at length, sometimes there is an easier and more efficient way. Merely type your chosen keyword into Google’s search bar and see what options drop down in the list below. These are examples of commonly searched phrases in regard to your content. Google provides related search ideas at the bottom of every search page, this is a good time saver. This strategy may be basic, but it instantly helps you to find the common phrases surrounding your keywords. By doing this quick exercise, it will aid you to develop the perfect keywords to use without the hassle of research. By utilizing Google’s search bar, you can finesse your content and create much more powerful headlines as opposed to using expensive keyword research tools such as Ahrefs and SemRush.
Make it conversational
Nobody wants to read a long and boring essay style article, do they? You don’t want your content to be poorly written, however at the same time you want your content to be approachable and conversational. Online content is about having a conversation in order to educate. You need to keep your content light-hearted and aligned with the overall tone and message of your brand. For example, using “it’s” instead of “it is” may not be perfect grammar, if it helps to support your tone of voice and overall writing style, it should be considered. This will aid your content tome more colloquially correct in terms of grammar and hip words. You want your readers to feel as if they're getting to know you and what you stand for. Stay true to your writing style and voice! After all, this is what makes you unique and is something that only you can offer your customers/audience.
Split test your headlines
Large sites require all of their writers to split test their headlines. The headline is the most important part of any piece of content, often a headline single handily determines whether or not your content is going to be read. According to Copyblogger: “On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.” It may not be practical for your business to split test all headlines, however it is definitely worth paying attention to the sorts of headlines that perform better than others. Based on the most up to date research and studies, there are 3 well known factors that a good headline consists of:
It uses numbers
Including numbers consistently attracts readers as it offers transparency. Your reader will know what is included and that your content will be broken down into an easy to read list.
It is accurate
Misleading headlines give your content a bad reputation, which is why being truthful about what your article is about can help your article to actually get read.
It is short and punchy
The ideal length is between 5-10 words or 55 characters or less. This is the ‘sweet spot’ for having your full headline displayed on search engine results and most social media sites.
Being authoritative and persuasive
For most brands the ultimate objective with their content is to get readers to sign up, subscribe or purchase something from your site, or just provide value to your readers to help build trust and credibility between yourself and your readers. You want to ensure that your blog posts are authoritative and persuasive to give readers an understanding that your business is in control and can be trusted to deliver on what is promised. Essentially, your content is written with confidence and allows your reader to be persuaded by your tone of voice and brand image. Being persuasive is not always about getting your reader to purchase something, it is more about persuading them that you are trustworthy enough to buy from. To achieve this, your content needs to stand for a message and clearly affirm to your readers what your brand is all about.
Making content easy to digest
Structuring your content means having clear subheadings, clear paragraphs and also including bullet points and images to break up large chunks of text. It makes your content easier to read and allows users on social media to better scan through it. Here is a strategy that is commonly implemented by journalists to make their work easy to read:
- Having your article lead by the who, what, when, where and how
- Revealing your facts in the order of importance at the beginning of your post
- Adding quotes and additional information towards the end of your post
- Wrapping it all up with a conclusion and solid ending
When writing your content not everyone is going to stay to the end. Therefore, it is crucial to put your most valuable information at the start. This also helps to hook your readers and keeps them engaged.
No matter what strategies your business deploys, be sure to listen to feed back and criticism from your readers, after all, the content is for them, so make sure it's exactly what they want.
Being the Founder & Head Of Growth at Vivid Visuals, Ash Bryant is responsible for leading the team that helps grow businesses faster, better & smarter.