Compelling business content – the holy grail.
In the last few years, it seems like every good internet marketer has been focusing on creating really great content. And rightly so.
With the latest Google updates and the average internet user becoming more and more savvy, it becomes harder for marketers and businesses alike to attract and retain attention. So how good it your business content?
Don’t take offence, but it probably sucks.
I speak statistically of course – it’s not personal!. I digest a ton of business content every single day and without question, the only constant is the inherent lack in quality of most of the content.
So, take a real good look at your company blog. And your social channels. And that newsletter that is scheduled for sending in a few days time. Is your business content really of any value?
Will your existing readers, or the new readers you hope to attract, really stop and take 15 minutes out of their busy lives to read your business content? Will they then go away and try your ideas or implement the new insight you taught them?
The answer is probably not. And making adjustments to ensure it does is the end game for businesses. But as always, it’s never that easy.
Ask yourself this one question:
Will this content attract, retain and convert attention?
Lets explore that a little deeper with regards to a business blog…
The anatomy of a blog post is usually quite similar between the better writers.
But the first two are what will grab the attention. Make sure your headline is relevant to your audience, so that they can instantly relate to your article. Also make sure it is influential and stirs emotion or behaviour.
The best headlines are those that:
- Make you want to read the whole business article because you wholeheartedly agree with what it says
- Absolutely hate the statement and want a voice to argue with
- It is so clear about the value it will deliver that it creates an eagerness to want to extract the value
Congratulations, your business content has managed to stand out and capture attention. Now, it’s time to deliver upon the promise of your headline.
This phase is solely about the substance of your business content and providing value to the reader. Anything new that a reader will learn is useful because they would have benefited from digesting your post.
Quality is paramount, but being an exceptional writer and talking about something the reader may not have known before, is still only 80% of the puzzle.
Additional measures to retain attention include:
- Internal-linking – including links in the article body to related business content. Doing so will mean readers can find out more about specific subtopics on your site. Increasing the time on site of your readers is a key indicator to your site and business content quality.
- Incentivise – offering incentives in the form of entries to competitions, free giveaways/downloads etc in return for actions or answering questions based on your business content. This will retain attention longer due to the new opportunities to extract tangible value. Readers would have to know the answer to enter and the answer could be hidden in your article!
- Commenting – commenting plays an important role in any useful blog. It provides an area where readers can express their opinions, ask questions and give feedback. Be a valuable contributor to your own business blog and give extra value, refer to more resources and generally be helpful to readers.
- Social sharing – Having social actions in your business content can retain attention. Not only does it take time to use a Tweet This link or using a Pin It button, but it usually results in someone wanting to read the whole article if they shared a snippet or image with their own audiences. A sense of validation purpose is created.
Most blogs have a purpose. It might be to generate traffic for advertisements, to promote products using affiliate links or to increase awareness and sales for your products or services.
No matter what the purpose is, the important thing to remember is that there is one. If you fall at the final hurdle and convert none of your readers, then unfortunately your efforts would have been in vain.
An essential practice to get right is to make the conversion process as simple and as easy as possible. If you have a form to download an eBook, don’t add in 6 different fields and then require the reader to click 3 different email links before they receive their resource.
It is also paramount that you obtain something in return for providing value. I frequently see free downloadable PDF guides that have no share-to-receive system or data capture methods. This is a mistake. Giving your knowledge or time away for nothing typically won’t fulfil any of your objectives or purposes. Don’t convert without having a goal to achieve.
Make sure the conversion system screams value, while demonstrating your knowledge and expertise. If the perceived value of your offering is higher than that of providing a name and an email address, then the likelihood is that you will achieve a promising conversion ratio.
Bringing all three practices together will ensure you have a winning formula. Make sure to pay attention to all three as equals – if one fails, then the overall campaign fails.
When Business Content Is Done Right
Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward is a real estate company based in London. They survived the housing recession in 2008 and 2009 to become one of the top 10 brands in the UK by launching a high-end magazine, The Completely London. This established themselves as an authority in the industry.
The magazine showcased property and informed people on the market. The high quality look, feel and more importantly business content, restored faith in their existing clients and attracted, retained and converted a huge volume of new ones. This not only revitalised their business, but actually turned them into an industry leader.
Last year The Completely London was named one of the top 10 brands in the UK.
Take A Second Look…
Take a moment to go back over your business content and your content marketing strategies. Do they really provide value to your readers?
Does it attract, retain and convert attention as effectively as it could?
Chances are that there is something that can be addressed to improve your business content.