Readers want your content to be good—they really do. We tend to imagine our audiences as fickle, suspicious, unlikely to invest in the message behind your content. The opposite is true: exciting, actionable content inspires your audience, and they’re likely to invest time and energy into the reciprocal relationship of audience and text. If it’s worth their while.
It’s time to know if your content is engaging or not—if it allows space for your audience to participate, if it sparks imagination, if it leaves the audience with more than they arrived with. Let’s take a look at some content marketing tips to make your content distinct and useful.
What is the role of content marketing?
Good content marketing mutually benefits both parties: the audience leaves with some pragmatic, actionable information or insight; your business connects with its audience, establishing a connection that may translate to sales or brand development.
The role of content marketing is to connect with your audience—and you both win. You know the message you want to leave with your audience, so start with what your audience might value. Here are few content marketing tips for actionable content:
Create lasting content.
As your audience is watching a video, listening to a podcast, or reading through an infographic, do they believe they’ll remember it a day later, a week later? We process vast amounts of data and content at a remarkable pace, every day. Much won’t have any lasting effect on our lives, but we pay attention when we note: “I should remember this; that’s important”.
Cut the fluff.
Don’t bury your message with soft starts and passive introductions. Your audience arrived at your blog, whitepaper, or web page with a legitimate interest, so get to the point. The reader should know early on what they’ll know/have at the end of a piece of content.
Perfect the call to action.
The reader should leave a piece of content with at least one tangible, complete-within-an-hour action. Print a workout plan. Write a to-do list. Call a friend. Read an essay from a subject-matter expert. Subscribe to a YouTube channel. Download a how-to guide. These are all actionable, and you’ve tasked your audience with the responsibility to interact. If you’ve engaged them properly, they’ll be ready to take that next step with your help.
Types of Content Marketing
Different types of content marketing will offer different actionable items to best connect with your audience: podcasts provide a great longform opportunity to plug new book releases, for example. This gives the audience a chance to learn from the author, perhaps, or for someone to spend the time arguing the benefits or highlights of a particular book.
Use length as a content marketing tip: the shorter the content, the easier the actionable item should be. If you’ve crafted a series of social media posts, the CTA of these might be as simple as a share or like. A long, quality, in-depth video can achieve a more lasting interaction with an audience if done right, and you’re not out of line for the CTA to be a request for the viewer to subscribe to a channel, or provide contact information to receive updates. Some other actionable requests might include:
Questionnaires or quizzes
Comment and response
Promotions (“share this and enter your chance to win”)
Join mailing lists
Types of Content for Content Calendar
Audiences value consistency—both in valuable content as well as frequency. Many successful YouTube channels, for example, follow some pattern of releases—be it a daily vlog, weekly posts, or posts based on an annual schedule. Viewers know what to expect from the content, and they know when they can expect.
Create actionable content with a content calendar—and play off the successes of previous posts so your audience knows what to expect.
What if every second Tuesday of the month your audience knew you’d have a guest blogger on your site answering industry-specific questions from your followers? This creates a timeline, asks the audience to participate, and comes with the possibility that an audience’s question might show up in your content.
Create consistency and meet your audience’s expectations. This grows your relationship and leads to brand development. Do this with all your content strategies with a platform like DemandJump, which allows you to plan, organize, and measure the entire process. Try it for free and see the difference for yourself.