Welcome to the final issue of content Marketing for Beginners. If you missed the First Issue you can read it here.
When you’re writing content online, you can write it in such a way that it sounds very factual and impersonal. Or, you can write in a way that really packs an emotional punch.
By and large, most small publishers will do better with the latter approach. Of course, if you’re starting a website like Wikipedia or WebMD you’ll probably want to take on a professional tone. However, if you’re a smaller website looking to gain traction, you’ll want to aim to engage your reader’s emotions.
– It makes you memorable
People browse dozens if not hundreds of websites every day. Most websites fail to draw their readers in emotionally.
How many website do you visit each day that gets you to laugh, gets you to feel touched or gets you to get angry about something? How often do you feel like a website is talking directly to you and your problems and that they understand where you’re coming from?
These kinds of websites stand out. There’s a reason why YouTube videos of shocking clips, funny clips or touching clips tend to get passed around a lot. They make people feel something, and that’s memorable.
– It gets more links
Content that evokes a lot of emotion tends to get linked to a lot more. Naturally, people are a lot more likely to want to share or endorse something that really got them riled up.
It gets more shares on Facebook and gets more retweets. In other words, it has a higher chance of getting passed around immediately, but also has much stronger long-term potential.
– Stronger relationships
Finally, emotional content will help you build a much stronger bond with your readers. People consuming your content will feel like they can relate with you, as opposed to feeling that you’re just an objective website on the internet.
This translates to people coming back more often and to a livelier community around your blog or business and most importantly to more loyal customers.
As an added benefit, people will also want to partner with you more. If they can tell you’re passionate about something or that you have a way of being able to move an audience, they’re likely to want to invite you to speak at their events, do teleseminars for their audience and in general open their customer base to you.
There are many benefits to creating content with an emotional punch rather than just information. Adding a dose of personality is great for just about any small to medium sized business. Unless you’re trying to build an encyclopedia-type site, try to make your website as emotionally engaging as possible.
When you first started your business, chances are you had no trouble coming up with content ideas. But as you continually put out content, you’ll at some point hit a wall where you’ll start to have trouble coming up with new content ideas.
When you get to this point, instead of trying to figure out all your content ideas on your own, why not try asking your consumers? After all, at the end of the day it’s their opinion that really matters. Now let’s go over a few ways you can do this.
One great way to ask for feedback is to just ask by email. If you have a list of buyers or customers, just send out an email asking if they have any feedback. If they get the sense that you’re really trying to help them by offering better content, they’ll be very willing to help you out.
This works especially well in environments that have a strong sense of community or a “we’re in it together” sense.
– Using surveys
Surveys can be another great way to ask for people’s opinions. You can ask questions about how they like the content so far, what they’d like to see more of in the future, any unanswered questions they have, demographic questions and so on.
Because surveys take more time to answer, usually you’ll need to create some sort of prize or incentive to get people interested. For example, you can give away a free eBook to anyone who answers the survey. Or you can give away a higher ticket item in a sweepstakes style.
– Using the phone
For marketers who want to go one step beyond what most people do, there’s the phone option. If someone orders from you, chances are on their order form they needed to fill out their phone number. One way to get powerful feedback as well as to send a message that you really care is to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Let them know you’re calling because you want to make sure you’re providing the best service possible. Ask them if they have any feedback, or ask them 3-5 questions you prepared beforehand.
Once you have your feedback, use it to structure your future content so it really answers your customer’s unmet needs. If you do the feedback process well, you should have a very good idea of exactly what your customers want to know. If you provide that information for them now and consistently in the future, you’ll have loyal readers for life.
Having great design to go along with the content on your website will play an important part in your user’s overall experience. Good design will increase trust, while poor design can decrease it.
A well-designed website will get more opt-ins and convert more visitors into customers. In general, design plays a big part in the overall marketing picture. With that said let’s go over a few design tips that will help your content shine.
– Reduce ads
Yes, you need to make money. However, crowding your page with advertisements really isn’t great design. In fact, a study of several hundred thousand websites showed that statistically, having more ads on your site means you’re slightly less likely to rank well than other sites with fewer ads.
Your ads should integrate well with your website in general. The ads should be relevant, and placed strategically to get your user’s attention without being intrusive.
– Image placement
Having high quality, professional photos on your page can really add to the appeal. However, crowding your page with too many graphics may do more harm than good. Instead use one or two carefully chosen images per page. If your article is long you can add more, but try to avoid image overload.
Make sure any photos on your website are crisp, taken with a high-quality camera. They also need to be relevant to the content. Try to have to color corrected before publishing, so the colors and contrast really stand out.
– A great header
Your header graphic is one of the most important elements of what your website looks like. After all, it’ll be on the top of every page visitors go to, affecting their overall experience.
If you’re not a professional designer and you’re doing your website yourself, this is perhaps the one area where you should consider hiring someone professional to do it for you.
Your header graphic should contain just one or two graphical elements and just one or two text elements. The text elements and the graphic elements can’t both be too loud, or they’ll clash with one another or detract from the overall content.
– Color scheme
Your site will look better with coordinating colors. Use complimentary colors or adjacent colors on the color wheel in your design colors. Avoid colors schemes that clash or have one color standing out too much. The goal of your design shouldn’t be to bring attention to your design, but to create a positive framework for visitor to consume your content.
These are a few of the most important elements to designing a website that will make your content shine and make people want to keep coming back for more.
With the content techniques you have learnt in Issue 1 and this issue, you could consider starting an online business you love and start living the laptop lifestyle.