Has a piece of content ever stuck with you long after you closed the tab? Maybe it gave you the answer to a question that had been rattling in your brain for days, or maybe it featured an interview with an inspirational individual. Whatever the reason, chances are this piece of content engaged you in some way.
The best content marketing efforts make people think, feel, or take action; be it thinking about a new concept, feeling inspired, subscribing to a newsletter, implementing a new tool, or making a purchase.
But, with so much content doing the rounds (around seven million blog posts are published a day), how can you stand out? How can you make sure you’re creating impactful content that won’t get lost in the crowd?
What makes content engaging?
Content should do one of three things. It should make people:
But, most importantly, engaging content delivers. It answers the question it promises to answer, it tackles an objection a shopper might have, or it inspires them to connect with your brand in some way.
If you look at the content out there that packs a punch and doesn’t just fizzle into the background with all the other millions of same-y 300-word blog posts, you’ll notice that engaging content offers something extra.
It might offer:
- Connection: the chance to interact with a brand and get to know them better
- More information: it doesn’t just regurgitate the same old stuff
- Personalization: it’s geared towards each specific reader and their unique set of wants and needs
- Experiences: it features real-life human experiences that tell a true story
- Actionable advice: easy-to-understand step-by-step information on how to do a certain thing
- Inspiration: hope in the form of inspiring stories or interviews with powerful people
- Interaction: the chance to physically engage with a piece of content, like a quiz or a helpful tool
5 valuable tips to create engaging content as a content marketer
It’s all well and good us telling you what the best content marketing includes, but you really want to know how to put it into action.
Content marketing isn’t just the blog posts you pump out on a semi-regular basis. It’s the entire process that goes into that, from coming up with content ideas and implementing SEO best practices to actually creating the content and distributing it in the right places.
Here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Make the topics you choose count
Don’t just create content because you think you should or you’ve seen a competitor publish something similar. Your audience is different from theirs and will have different wants and expectations.
The worst thing you can do is assume you know what kind of content your audience wants to see. Instead, dive into their mindset and deliver content that they actually need.
You can do this by:
- Asking your audience on social media with polls, surveys, and interviews
- Using analytics and metrics to determine your most popular posts
- Running keyword research to see what terms your audience is searching for
- Turning to Q&A sites like Quora to discover commonly asked questions
Jarvis’ blog post topic generator can help you kickstart your inspiration. Simply enter a bit of information about your brand and who your audience is to start generating ideas.
2. Create the best possible content
Once you’ve settled on a content topic, research what else is out there. Your goal is to make your piece the most comprehensive available, while still sticking to the key pieces of information your audience needs.
List out the top five or ten posts on the same topic and make a note of all the sections they include. Then, make sure your content covers all of those (and more).
Jarvis’ content improver template can give your words an extra pinch of spice. Simply paste your content and the tool will generate different ways of presenting the same information.
3. Streamline the process
Creating content can feel like an uphill struggle if you aren’t planning in advance. It’s hard to come up with ideas on the spot and create something valuable at a moment’s notice. Instead, map out your content marketing campaign with a content calendar and create a process for writing and distributing content.
Jarvis can help you get your blog posts ready for the writing stage with its handy blog post outline template. You can enter a content topic and it will automatically come up with a potential outline you can use.
4. Hook from the get-go
On average, users stay on your website for less than 15 seconds. That doesn’t give you much time to catch their attention and keep them interested. It’s key to hook readers from the very start with a compelling headline and an intro paragraph that encourages them to keep reading. Optimization tactics like this might seem like a small deal, but they can have a powerful impact.
Both Jarvis’ blog post intro paragraph template and perfect headline template make it easy to come up with powerful content hooks.
5. Finish up strong
How you end a piece of content will determine the next steps a reader takes and increase your conversion rate. If you don’t incorporate a CTA, there’s a good chance they might disappear and never come back. However, if you think about what action or feeling you want readers to have, you can make sure your content delivers on that.
Use Jarvis’ blog post conclusion paragraph template to ensure your content finishes as strong as possible. Read our guide to making the most of Jarvis so you can write amazing content over and over again.
How to create the best content marketing strategy for your brand
Content creation makes up a small part of an overall digital marketing strategy. Here’s a brief step-by-step guide of things to consider when creating the best content marketing strategy possible for your brand.
- Know your audience: what does your target audience need from you? Who are they? What are the common questions they have? Interview them, ask questions, and dig into the data you have to determine their major pain points.
- Find your gap in the market: where do you sit in the market against competitors? What makes you different? Conduct competitor research and note down the difference between your product features, your audience, and your content.
- Come up with your content strategy: use your audience and competitor research to create a content strategy. Drive inspiration from commonly asked questions, surveys, and keyword research to come up with content ideas.
- Streamline content creation: create a process for producing content that can be implemented over and over again. Include ideation, outlining, writing, and editing in the process.
- Create content: what makes your content stand out? What is its purpose? What messaging do you want to create? Do you want your content to make readers think, feel, or do something? This is the part where you optimize your content so it’s the best out there.
- Distribute your content: where does your audience hang out? How do they like to consume content? Find platforms your audience is already present on, identify influencers they might follow, create connections, and distribute your content in ways that will reach them.
In action: 8 inspiring examples of a great digital content marketing strategy
Ready for a fresh wave of inspiration? These examples of inbound marketing from a range of different industries and brands will show you what’s possible with a great digital content marketing strategy.
1. Canva’s waterfall content
Canva covers all bases with its long-form design tutorials and its library of thousands of design templates. Top-of-the-funnel searchers looking for design inspiration will find comfort in their educational content, while bottom-of-the-funnel users looking to get started can browse an endless supply of templates to work from.
For example, Canva’s “guide to creating an Instagram story” captures searchers who want to learn more, while their template library for the search term “Instagram story template” makes it easy for readers to take action.
2. Coschedule’s interactive tool
Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer helps content marketers create non-boring blog post headlines.
The brand regularly links to its analyzer from other content, including their guides and blog posts, and it shows up as the first result in search engines for “headline analyzer”. Even better, its interactive nature means users keep coming back for more.
3. Bombas’ Instagram highlights
E-commerce brand Bombas uses its Instagram highlights to create a series of guides for its audience.
Followers can flick through a range of content options, from customer Q&As, to inspiring new style guides, and user-generated content.
4. WeWork’s community stories and research insights
WeWork knows its audience well and creates valuable content based on their specific needs. Their community stories reflect the goal of their content strategy (to create a community), while the research insights increase their credibility as a remote working brand. Creating a community with content is one of the best ways to grow your audience.
5. Intercom’s downloadable books
Standing out in the crowded SaaS space means building trust, enhancing brand awareness, becoming a thought leader, and sharing valuable advice. Intercom manages to do all of these things with their library of downloadable books that tackle the key pain points their audience has. This is great for lead generation since readers are asked to exchange their email addresses for the book.
The brand also has a library of case studies, whitepapers, video content, and webinars to offer different types of content for different customers.
6. Away’s digital magazine
Luggage brand Away provides keen travelers with a variety of inspiration through their “Here Magazine” and their social media accounts. Readers can explore city guides, essays, interviews, and travel ideas through beautifully told stories and images.
7. Mailchimp’s podcasts
Mailchimp doesn’t just have one podcast. The brand knows it has a variety of different people within its audience, and it caters to each segment with a different podcast. From interviews with musicians to tips for entrepreneurs and small business stories, it’s kind of like the email marketing version of Netflix.
8. Drunk Elephant’s knowledge quiz
Beauty brand Drunk Elephant keeps readers engaged with their skincare quiz. They use this central piece of great content to hook new users and link out to their guides and other high-quality content throughout the quiz. Interactive content like quizzes are also a great tool for getting more subscribers.
The best content marketing is engaging and unique
If you’re a content marketer, chances are you spend a lot of time coming up with ideas, scouring competitor sites, and social listening to see if you can work out the latest industry trend. But the best content marketing comes from knowing your audience well and tapping into their pain points with content that makes them think about something or take a specific action.