The power of the Internet has consistently proven itself as second to none.
From Mumbai to Sydney, London to Los Angeles; companies around the world are increasingly going global, businesses are competing on top level vying for socioeconomic and web dominance.
Consequentially, the need for great content online for the purpose of marketing a product or service, constructing a brand or influencing traffic is all the more crucial.
Hence, the internet is a compelling platform which can prove to be detrimental for success or failure regardless of your industry or niche.
With a global unflinching reach to encompass millions of people at the click of a button, the Internet gives you the ability to broadcast your thoughts and ideas, perspectives and ideals to a world-stage hungry for uniqueness.
Keyword: uniqueness. Great content is great because it is different, authentic, legitimate and in many cases revolutionary. In order to make a captivating effect and drive large traffic, attention-grabbing content that is unique and stimulating is everything.
Just because 1,000s of books and articles have been written on "how to build a great website", does not mean you can’t write unique content from a different angle. Of course you can. And you should. What you write is unique to you. Nobody on the planet can introduce your perspectives in your words from an angle that only you can foresee as an expert or observer.
Here are nine effective ways to create content that will leave your audience reeling for more in utmost glee.
Related Article: The Write Stuff: The What, Why and How of Content Marketing
1. Grab Attention With a Stimulating Headline
Let’s face it. You could have the most awe-inspiring content super-packed in your article, video, web page or Amazon product listing, but nobody has the time or the empathy to care for any of that if the headline simply does strike their fancy. Human beings are creatures of emotion and sensationalism. We crave excitement and shock value.
The fundamental premise to an attention grabber of a headline is understanding how to effectively translate the value of your ideas, product or brand within the confines of the headline itself. This is necessary to give the reader somewhat of an idea of what your content is about and whether it is relevant to him/her.
Uniqueness is the most valuable asset that you can bring to any endeavor in life. If you are good at what you do and you carve out a unique value proposition that is effectively communicated through your content to your readers and clients, you have already successfully managed to distinguish yourself from the competition in a resounding way. In the online world, uniqueness goes a long way with search engines and SEO mechanisms, just as it does with those who consume your content.
The way search engines work is they mark content as plagiarism if you use copied content at multiple places on the Internet. This results in the search engines not indexing your pages pertaining to the content, which works against you in the short and long run of everything. Logically, it does not matter to a website or blog visitors as to which search engine brought them to your page if they’ve already seen the same content elsewhere. Guess what they’ll do in such a case? They will merely click on to somewhere else in the quest for something more unique with substance and value. This is where the imperative and critical need for uniqueness stands as a shining testament.
3. Audience Scope
Identifying, analyzing and understanding your key audience type and demographic is one of the most important things you will ever know. Would it make sense to create content on quantum physics when your target audience is stay-at-home mothers? Write to and for your audience. For example, if your website or blog deals with copywriting, naturally you would be posting content based on the subject and art of copywriting, industry trends, challenges, and opportunities etc.
But say that 90 percent of your readership belongs to the beginner-intermediate level, then rationally it would make sense to tailor your content and site’s overall approach to them through basic content that dissects copywriting, discusses its intricacies and builds on those towards a refined understanding.
You cannot post advanced content for professional copywriters possessing a wealth of industry working experience when your main readership is a beginner and has far less of those credentials under its belt. The usage of tone and manner of communication towards your main audience is something that is heavily dependent on the audience itself; something you should have figured out on your own with time.
Related Article: 9 Awesome Ingredients for Content Marketing Success
4. Action-Worthy Content
At the end of the day, when all is said and done, knowledge is power if applied the right way and in a proactive manner. The focus of your content should always be actionable for the readers and those who visit your site. What’s the point of having content when it does not have a practical, tangible and real-world goal or outcome? You need to provide your readership with the right information, tools, and resources to put the knowledge you’ve generously given them through your content into action.
For example, if your content is about how to successfully market a product, then you need to show your audience how to achieve that. Give them helpful tips, practical advice, understandable data, readily available online and offline resources, personal recommendations and proven tools that will help them put theory into practical actions for successfully marketing their online or offline product/service.
The lack of information on problem-solving and overcoming barriers is one of the biggest reasons why people hesitate from taking action. Once you eliminate those constraints through valuable and action-oriented content, people will absolutely devour what you put out. Guide your readers with empathy, genuine care and unconditional insight.
5. Clarity and Conciseness
In the mishmash and plethora of information available on the internet and the billions of web pages therein, any sane person can feel a little overwhelmed. Be direct in your content; wordiness and generic or ambiguous speech can confuse or even dissuade a reader. People normally do not have big attention spans when they are browsing on the internet.
You need to understand that and approach accordingly. Brief, to the point and concise content that is clear and transparent, is absolutely crucial if you want readers to pay heed. “Don’t bit off more than you can chew”, is an age old saying you should always keep in mind when creating easy to consume content.
Break up content using bullet points, lists and divided into short paragraphs. Doing so makes your content not only stand out and easy to consume but worth a ‘share’ on social media to the reader’s friends and family. Nobody likes to bombard their loved ones with long and monotonous content that they wouldn’t otherwise read themselves.
6. Technology and Multimedia
Clearly, this isn’t 1921 where Morse Code machines were considered hi-tech gadgetry, nor are we living in the Stone Age where smoke signals are a great way to communicate with millions of people at the slide of a matchstick. Technology has evolved to magnificent heights in the past many centuries, and hence you must use the tools and trades available to you today if you want to make an impact.
The usage of multimedia to your content can add significant appeal, immense value, and depth of substance which readers will remain stimulated by. Adding images and video snippets to a long 1,500-word article will make reading it far easier, understandable and enjoyable to the eyes of the reader. It’s just human nature; we are visual creatures! The key is to use multimedia in a balanced manner; knowing when and where to use images and videos for maximum effect.
7. Accessibility Factor
Information and its communication are best consumed by the receiver when packaged in as easy and humanly manner as possible. You do not need to throw a thesaurus at your readership’s head, nor do you need to use complicated, academic and pompous language in your content. While creating content, think of your average reader as a layman with a minimal attention span and normal every-day vocabulary.
The fundamental goal of your content should be that it must naturally be digestible by the reader so that interest is roused instead of lost, information is understood instead of confused and action is taken instead of abandoned. Simplicity is king. Experts say that your content language should fall between the understanding of a 5th-grade and an 8th-grade student.
Check out: readability-score.com; a great online content grading resource for determining what grade your content falls under.
8. Clarify The Purpose
Would you wake up one day, put on your coat, get into your car and drive 100 miles aimlessly across the entire country, without determining or knowing what your final destination is? Well, maybe in a Hollywood crime thriller, but that’s beside the point. Actions need purpose by their very nature. Actions without purpose have no substance, meaning, and worth. Hence, before you even begin writing or putting content together, first and foremost you of all people should identify and know what you’re trying to achieve with it.
You can’t be of value to the reader if you are clueless about the purpose yourself. Thus, while writing content you need to ensure that you specifically and boldly point out to your readers exactly ‘what’ the purpose of the read entails, what’s in it for them and how they can benefit from it! The best place to do this is almost always the very first paragraph of your content be it an article, blog post, eBook, training manual, DIY guide and so forth.
What tangible value are you going to be offering the reader for their time? Will you be providing valuable information relevant to their personal or professional interests, give them effective functional advice on how to overcome obstacles and solve certain problems or simply provide content that makes them laugh and keeps them entertained? Make sure the purpose is communicated clearly without mincing words or being ambiguous.
9. Provide Real-World Solutions
Creating content just for the ‘sake of creating content’ is the same as a busted washing machine discarded by someone in a junkyard. Useless! Creation must always have an underlying purpose, and that purpose must eventually in the end translate to real solutions and practical answers that the reader can actually benefit from through personal application.
This goes back to the previous point #8 where we discussed the importance of identifying the purpose of your content. When the purpose is clearly identified, you need to assess what problem you are solving for the reader through your content. Formulate a simple and easy to implement strategy, whilst providing unique options that address this particular problem from a wide array and diverse spectrum of angles.
Moral of the Story?
Conclusively, being able to attain a high search engine ranking greatly depends on ace quality content that grasps massive audience interest by providing unique value and effective resources and tools consistently. Once you’ve mastered these simple steps, then great content itself becomes one big call-to-action for your readers, who gladly follow through and subscribe or purchase your products or services without second guesses.