The dream of every content marketer is to attract a new customer with one piece and turn that one point of contact into an immediate sale. Unfortunately, as most marketers know, this isn’t the norm.
Consumers of a business’s content often have to be nurtured. The business must keep providing follow-up content relevant to that which piqued a lead’s interest when they first opted in. The eventual sale typically comes after several rounds of content consumption. With that being the case, how does a business keep an audience coming back?
Here are five quick ways content marketers can help hold an audience’s attention and keep them coming back for more:
One of the quickest ways to lose a consumer audience is to become scattershot with content. Consistency is key. That means doing blog posts on the same days of the week, around the same time. It means an email newsletter that goes out the same day each week or month. It means drip emails that arrive uniformly.
If you want prospects and customers/clients to keep turning to your business for content, it’s important to keep them in the know about where and when to turn. Consumers of business content crave reliability, and delivering it also delivers the message that the business itself is reliable.
It’s tricky sometimes because people want to do business with those who hold the expertise, yet they don’t want to be “talked down to.” The best content marketers are often the ones who can master a conversational tone while still coming across as an authority.
It can be difficult to express that authority without sounding like a textbook or looking down at your glasses at your readers or viewers. One trick, if you find yourself sounding as if you’re speaking to a child, might be to instead try to imagine explaining something to a college student instead, maybe at a bar instead of a lecture hall.
And remember that a 10-cent word is usually as good as a 25-cent word every time. Marketing is meant to win customers, not vocabulary contests.
One pitfall of marketing content is that the marketer often has a lot of information to express. Some subject matter is so complicated, it might seem as though a book can be written on it, or a feature-length film can be made. Resist those urges.
Even massive amounts of information can be broken up into easy-to-digest pieces. A 2,000-word blog post or 40-minute video is not as likely to keep an audience’s attention as shorter posts. Break things up. Create series rather than epic masterpieces.
Content marketing is also called inbound marketing because the audience’s relationship with a company doesn’t begin with that company pushing its message outward onto them. That means that content that’s overly promotional or always selling something can quickly turn an audience off.
Instead of focusing on how great your business is, focus on what it is your customers want and need. What are their challenges? What do they want to understand better? Content created with that perspective can help make an audience feel comfortable, which will always help with retention.
Be controversial at times
It’s easy to take this too far, but many people like when content creators shake things up from time to time. It’s one thing to be consistent and “on message” all the time, but people also tend to be attracted to controversy, as long as it’s not obnoxious or fake.
Don’t be afraid to take a position on a tough industry issue or a local fuss. Check out forums, comment sections, and social media shares to see what people are arguing about and weigh in. If you can show that your content isn’t rainbows and unicorns all the time and you’re not afraid to take on dicey subjects too, you’re more likely to hold your audience’s attention.
It would be great if every piece of content brought in new leads who immediately opened up their wallets. But that’s not commonplace, and if you want an audience to keep coming back for the content they’re going to need to eventually become paying customers. It helps to give them good reasons to do so.