Creating new content is a challenge. It seems everyone has said everything there is to be said, and you might feel left trying to rehash old news. But don’t worry: that’s only a feeling. While there is a lot of content out there, there is still plenty of room to add your own voice and create a wave in the noise.
You, too, can create new content that will bring original value to your reader base.
The good news is in the last five years, content creation has lead to growth in companies that utilize content for their communication and marketing. It’s not that content is difficult to create; it’s that many times when content is created, it doesn’t engage the reader.
For a medium designed around the idea of communication, getting user feedback isn’t only recommended, it’s necessary. Interacting with your users and keeping them engaged ensures that they come back when you have updates. Subscriptions are how the world works these days, and unless you engage your users effectively, they will see no need to subscribe to your updates or your content.
Lessons Learned From the Rise of the Blogosphere
Coined by Brad L. Graham in 1999 as a joke, the term “blogosphere” has fallen into common usage as a means of defining the way blogs are interlinked with each other and how they interact on a fundamental level. The reason blogs are so widespread now is partly because a blog is simple to make and partly because blogging communities have found out how to keep their audiences interested for the long haul.
Content plays a major part in this since it is about three-quarters of the reason a user would subscribe. However, another much overlooked factor is the layout. Blogging host sites such as Blogger and WordPress allow for a professional level of skinning utilizing cascading style sheets and stock images to create brand new interpretations of the same blog. Because theme features are easily updated, it only takes a few minutes and handful of files to change the look and feel of a blog.
A Fresh Outlook Means Fresh Content Ideas
Although your site is mainly for your users, having to update it means spending hours making sure all the widgets are functional and all the content is properly linked and referenced. This means you are likely to be spending a lot of time staring at the theme of your site. Changing it up can lead to a massive increase in traffic just from attracting new users to click and interact with the site.
6 Ways to Keep Your Content Readers Engaged and Active
All of these things contribute to keep your site interesting and engaging:
1) Develop Engaging Content: Engaging content can mean a number of things, ranging from interesting topics of discussion to reviews of pertinent information to anecdotes from real-life people to add flavor to your blogging. Developing engaging content is progresses steadily through learning what doesn’t work as much as from what does work. Content doesn’t always have to be writing.
In order to incorporate text and images on content, a lot of sites have begun adopting the use of infographic images. These images present information in both a textual and a graphical format, making the information easier to recall. Even videos count as engaging content, as well-planned and executed video interaction can lead to an exchange of ideas in the comments section based on the content of the video.
2) Place Your Readers First: Time and time again you read about placing your readers at the center of your content development. The reason why you see it so often is because it’s one of the major cornerstones of a successful site. Putting your readers first rewards you in two distinct ways.
- Subscribers: By developing content that appeals to your readers, you entice them to come back and see what you post on a daily basis. Arguably, you can’t please everyone and there will be some topics that are hit-and-miss. However, once you dedicate your site to a particular niche, you will benefit from users revisiting because your content is what they want to read.
- Search Page Ranking: Content that draws in readers is good content, and search engines reward good content. Ideally, your content would have the requisite keyword density and would have the proper linking data that would make it a pretty strong authority on the topic. Once these issues have been covered, your content is well on its way to being ranked in the top 10 results for that particular keyword. Search algorithms reward content on value rather than keyword density, and this means content written with your users’ value in mind is content that will rank well.
3) User Interface Layout Can Mean a World of Difference: Changing your site theme can get users to be more engaged. But, this can be a double-edged sword, as humans are naturally averse to change. There will be subscribers who enjoy the new layout and others who don’t. What will win over those who don’t like the look of the new layout will be the functionality.
Canvas your audience and find out what they do the most on your site and then develop a user interface that puts their comments to work. Developing a site that is both fun and easy to use will draw a crowd. If you keep pushing the envelope on design you will attract far more than your regular niche. Re-inventing yourself (as in a rebranding exercise) is a good way to roll out a completely different design overhaul. This should only be done if you’ve weighed the pros and cons and are willing to accept the possible negative repercussions.
4) Know Your Methodology Inside Out: Your aim is to bring your users in and then convert them into revenue. How you do it will vary from site to site, but the end result will always be the same. Developing a marketing strategy requires you know what you’re planning to do and what steps you’re going to take to accomplish it.
Doing extensive research on your site’s user preferences will help you better develop a marketing plan that focuses on these particular factors. Producing test sites and gauging user interaction based on those sites is another way to gauge the functional viability of your marketing redesign strategy. You need to figure out which areas give the most in terms of conversion and focus on those areas.
5) Make Your Users Important: Another major failing is sites who try so hard to engage that they forget their sales goals. You should be aiming for repeat business, not just a single sale. However, by leveraging your customers to provide content in the form of user reviews, you kill two birds with one stone: that of unique content on your page combined with value to the future customers. One of the Internet’s biggest marketing successes, Amazon.com is a testament to how useful something like a user review system is. Shoppers usually don’t buy something that has a poor user rating, or if they do, they expect the worst. Keeping your users coming back to review products or just for reading helpful reviews adds to the content of your site and sets you up to benefit from repeat business.
6) Find Your Fans: Each brand has their share of fans. You don’t have to go any further than the local mall to see how many people identify as Apple-users or Nintendo-users to understand how brand ambassadors work. A brand ambassador provides marketing as a sign of loyalty to your brand. Brand ambassadors develop when you are very nice to customers and take their problems seriously. Going out of your way to help your customers gives you a great reputation for customer service and creates a vortex to draw in more customers.
Dedicated effort to your customer community will create a legion of people who would swear by your usefulness to others, making them advertisers for your brand. Although this requires a lot of concerted effort on your part as a marketer, the payout if far more than you would think. Free advertising is any business’ best friend.
The Reward of Planning Your Content Correctly
Developing content and engaging your users on the Internet takes some work. It may be tiring and grueling, but the rewards from such an action cannot be understated. Giving your customers the best in terms of content, products, and a feeling of acceptance is a major psychological boost that can later be turned into a major monetary boost for your business.
On the Internet, it is hard to convey human emotions across the void of cyberspace. Following these tips will help your brand reinforce the idea that your customers are people first and should be treated as such.
Customers will respond favorably keeping the cycle of engagment with your company going well into the future.