It’s no secret that marketers are attention seekers, at least when it comes to content. We see it all the time; a company produces an interesting piece of content, and then it just sits there waiting for some love before getting lost in a sea of sameness as other content marketers produce similar material.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 72% of marketers list creating engaging content as their top priority for 2016. However, many are falling short. In fact, 60% of B2B marketers say that producing engaging content is their top challenge. If you’re one of those marketers feeling as if your content isn’t getting the attention it deserves, here are five surefire ways to garner more clicks, shares, and buzz around your content.
A recent AdWeek infographic stated that 18% of consumers who engaged with branded content did so because it was entertaining. But entertaining content doesn’t have to be all fun and games. If you’re in an industry where it’s often difficult to explain different products, such as insurance, adding a product wizard or a calculator can not only make product selection more fun, it can give users useful information in a personalized way. A sales sheet is definitely informative, but clicking through a short list of questions pertaining to needs and interests can actually show a new customer how your product can work for them without coming off as an impersonal sales pitch.
Aside from providing entertainment, 16% of consumers engage with content that provides specific information. And while it can be tempting to take that figure and assume it means to churn out more white papers to give audiences the specific information they crave, the overabundance of these materials could actually be the problem. The Content Marketing Institute reports that 71% of B2B marketers use white papers in their marketing strategies with an average of 13 per company. That’s a lot of specific information, so it’s much easier for even really great stuff to get lost in the shuffle.
The secret to standing out lies in interactivity. While marketers may be churning out one white paper a month, most aren’t including sharable quizzes or product calculators. Because consumers don’t just want details; they want to know exactly how information relates to them.
If you’re not addressing customers by name, you could be keeping them at arm’s length. By now it’s no secret that including customer names in email subject lines increases open rates. What’s more, adding company names to landing pages and microsites can also be a boon for account-based marketers looking to break the ice with an entire organization rather than an individual.
More than ever before, customers expect brands to know what they like and remember their preferences. Generalized content is unlikely to get engagement from digital natives who are used to interacting with content created just for them. Adding short quizzes and assessments to gather data can not only get audiences interacting with and sharing your content, but can also give you valuable data about customer goals, challenges, and even their place in the purchase funnel, so future content can be even more relevant, which means it will be even more engaging.
Pictures aren’t kid stuff. Even the greatest content can suffer if there’s no visual intrigue. Studies show 40% of people respond more favorably to content that includes visual information rather than plain text, which means content containing images is much more likely to be shared across social media. And not only is visual content extremely sharable, it’s also much more educational than static text. Relevant visual content, such as an interactive infographic, means that 95% of your audience is likely to understand your research, as opposed to 70% who will understand based on text alone.
By 2020, the customer experience will be more important than the product, according to some studies. That makes sense, since so many brands are producing content at a breakneck pace. However, content for content’s sake is probably not the best way to provide a stellar customer experience. Instead, engaging, interactive details, like assessments and quizzes, are a surefire way to glean valuable information about a customer’s likes, dislikes, preferences, and pain points, all while providing an engaging experience that will leave users excited to learn more about products.
Now more than ever, it’s important to make sure content doesn’t fall flat, since customers expect to be not just educated, but engaged. To keep your customers on their toes and ensure that you're meeting their needs and providing an engaging experience, download The Future of Content Marketing.