“Content is king.”
You’ve probably read or heard that a dozen times. However, despite your best efforts and carefully choosing the right words, you can’t seem to grab people’s attention with your content.
You write interesting blog posts. You participate in social media. You’ve proofread your content 10 times. You even go so far as to add videos to your content. And yet, crickets! It’s not getting you far.
No comments, no sharing with Facebook, no tweets. It’s as if nobody reads them. All these are enough to wipe out the writer’s or the content team’s motivation to continue producing great content.
This doesn’t mean content marketing is ineffective, though. Know that writing and designing content is one thing. Doing so in a way that ensures your audience is reading it is another thing. There are a lot more factors involved than just your precious words.
Don’t worry. We’d love to help you create content more efficiently so people will actually read them. But first, let’s find out…
Why You Need To Make Sure Your Content Is Being Read
Producing great content takes a lot of time, regardless of how efficient your workflow is. It’s because time equals money, just as the old saying goes. And it only makes sense why you want to get as much out of your content marketing efforts as you can. After all, there’s a link between content and revenue.
When your content is working, it generates leads and these leads turn into sales.
Aside from driving traffic, your content will also help build your reputation as a thought leader in your industry. Another reason why you need to make sure your content is being read is to help establish yourself or your business as someone or something that your audience can trust for leadership and great advice.
To make this happen, you need to ensure that you are producing highly readable content. On the writer’s part, it can be demoralizing as well to write content that is not consumed. That’s why it’s up to you to make your content readable.
Below, we share with you some tips to make sure your readers can lean into your information, stay on your page, and even interact with your content.
Steps to Create Content that People Want to Read
1. Follow the F-Pattern (Especially in Blog Post)
Let’s say you’ll cover catchy or benefit-driven content. Your next consideration should be how your visitors will read your website or blog post. Did you know that your readers’ eyes move fast when reading content?
F for Fast
This was discovered by usability consultant Jakob Nielsen in 2006 when he used eye-tracking visualizations to know how people read the content. His conclusion was summaries for F – meaning fast.
To be more specific, people read in an F-pattern that emphasizes the headline of the content as well as the first few paragraphs of the article. Then, they would generally scroll down the webpage, focus once again on the left side of the web page, and will start skimming the remaining content instead of reading it.
This may be frustrating, but the result is more likely accurate. Why? Because using a heatmap tool, we realized that our readers are indeed highly focused on the content within the typical F-pattern.
Sometimes, the longer your content is, the less likely people will actually make it to the bottom of your content. It doesn’t mean you avoid writing long articles, because there are still benefits in writing long-form content. The technique is to find the right balance and test it for yourself.
2. Consider the User’s Experience
Another way to stand out and succeed in content marketing, you have to consider where your audience is reading your content/ blog post.
How many of them are exactly reading your content on their laptop or computer? How many are using tablets or phones? We bet many of your readers are actually using a mobile device when consuming your content.
And this is backed by research. It shows that reading the news, online shopping, checking the weather, checking their emails, or scrolling through Facebook are mostly done on a handheld device.
Many of these activities can even result in click-throughs coming to your website on a smartphone or tablet. So, if you want to take advantage of the significant amount of traffic that mobile devices can bring to your website, you need to consider the different viewport sizes when you write content.
Before you write your next blog post, consider also that your visitors may be reading your content from a social application or their RSS reader. As such, it’d be a good idea to make your valuable content included in the RSS feed.’
Sure, you may be sharing an informative post, but if you only share a portion of that content in your RSS feed, you may only get a few extra clicks.
There’s another place your audience may be reading your content. That is, through their email inbox, especially if you’re using email marketing in distributing your content.
Understand how search engines work
If you want your content to be found online, we encourage you to understand how search engines work. This means avoiding posting content that is less than 300 words at the very least. It’s because search engines, like Google, give preference to longer articles that provide unique and valuable insights.
Here’s exactly what you can do: consider the relevant keywords in your H1 (often marks up the web page title), understand the topic in-depth, and your website’s loading speed.
If the webpage is too slow to interact with or too slow to load, the search engine is more likely to reduce your ranking. This is most especially the case if your competitors have great content and have fast site speed at the same time.
Pair valuable content with strong design
When creating content, there are typically two priorities: engaging content and a strong design. Plus, it has already been shown that over 50% of people retain information better when the text includes an image.
Use a visual break and bullet points too. Also, we discussed earlier how most web users scan the content rather than reading it, right? So, give priority to the elements of your content in areas (F-shaped pattern) that users often read.
You may also use meaningful subheadings, highlighted keywords, and one idea per paragraph. That way, you can present them with content in such a way that the key points just jump out to their attention and the message is clear.
Follow the inverted pyramid writing
There’s really no need to allocate 10,000 hours to perfect your writing skills. The design and structure of your content will make it easy. And one great tool to help structure your content is the inverted pyramid.
The inverted pyramid model requires that you put important information first, putting additional information that is valuable, but not crucial in the middle part of your content, and in the last part is to be nice to web users if they reached the end part. All the while, be mindful that users can stop reading your web content at any time.
3. Make it Worth Their While
We understand that you want more people to read your content. Yet, even if they are already on some of your web pages or blogs, there’s a possibility that they’re not just reading your content.
Aside from reading your content, they may also be cooking dinner, checking their email, emailing their loved ones, watching a movie, or riding the subway – at the same time! How are you going to compete with these?
The answer is simple: write content that engages them and is relevant to them. One of the most basic methods to keep their attention is just to make sure that each sentence compels the readers to move on to the next one.
Don’t worry. For sure, you can keep your content compelling from the start all the way through the finish.
Harness the power of storytelling
The best leaders, marketers, coaches, teachers, speakers, and songwriters are all great storytellers. They connect to people on a human level and clearly convey their message in an organized narrative framework.
To make your content more effective, you can use this power of storytelling too! How? By putting your readers at the heart of your content, developing a dramatic story arc, giving your content some personality and soul (your own personal voice), or relating to your readers.
Highlight key points
No matter how amazing your content is, most internet readers nowadays would rather just scan for the key points.
And since that is the case, you can make it easy for your readers too. Did you also know that a staggering 7 million blog posts are published daily? Man! That’s enough to fill a magazine for the next 770 years.
As such, you can’t expect your readers to spend their precious time reading your message word for word. Yes, it could happen, but not to most of your readers so don’t rely on the idea. Instead, highlight the key points on your page.
Consider what you put on our title, headings, topic sentence, as well as signposts. To make it easy for your readers, simply bold your subheadings or highlight the important sentences and words.
4. Keep Your Finger on the Pulse of Your Business
Keeping up-to-date with market trends is important, most especially if you’re working online. It’s easy to get caught up in your own bubble without minding what the rest of the world is doing, but it’s a big mistake. This is especially true if your goal is to get in touch with your target audience.
So, we encourage you to keep tabs on your audience when you create stories or write content. What are their needs? How do users spend time on your website? What exactly are they looking for when they visit your site and read your content?
To stay updated, it’s not bad to check what your competitors are doing too and how they are performing. This isn’t high school anymore. Knowing your competitors as well as what they’re offering can help you make your services, products, marketing, and content stand out.
If you see that the infographics that your competitors tweet each month are getting shared with a lot of people, then you can also consider making some. Or if your competitor is writing about 2,000-word content that only a few engage with, then don’t bother writing long-form content on a certain topic.
Check what clicks and craft your next blog post or content accordingly.
Make Your Content Accessible
Last, but not least, you can engage your audience by making sure your blog or content is easy to find. We also encourage you to make your platform easy to navigate too from the home page.
Then, link your content on high-traffic pages if it’s appropriate. Share the content on your corporate or personal social media accounts. If you have the budget, you can even promote your content through paid social or search advertising.
Yes, you should still focus on writing the best content for your intended audience. But using the right keywords (especially in headings) will help both the search engines and your readers understand what your content is all about.
Follow These Steps to Get More Eyes on Your Content!
When executed properly, content can be more than just a one-time investment. It can gain traffic through organic search engine results and compound over time. So, take the time to make sure your content resonates with your audience and you’ll soon see positive results.
If you follow the \steps we shared above on how to get people to actually read your content, you’ll never struggle again to increase your readership.
Go ahead and begin motivating or engaging your audience, word for word.
Are you up to writing and spreading better content for email marketing? InboxAlly is a platform that can guide you in the right direction. Give us a call today at (347) 997-1661.