Are you pouring valuable resources into creating marketing content that isn’t resonating with your target audience?
Are prospective customers truly engaging with your ecommerce site’s blog?
Is the content you’re publishing succeeding at generating traffic, nurturing leads, and creating new customers?
Getting the most out of your content marketing spend means you need answers to these questions. It also means you need to step back occasionally and rethink your approach to blogging.
If you find yourself in a position where you’re dissatisfied with your blog’s performance, one of your options is to start creating different forms of content. Constantly publishing the same type of posts could limit your blog’s effectiveness at engaging a wider audience spectrum.
In this article, we’re taking a look at four different types of content proven to be highly effective at customer engagement.
1. Long-Form How-To Guides
People want to know how to do stuff. They’re hungry for experts to tell them exactly how to get good at something. And, if this kind of upskilling is their objective, they’re not scared to engage with a giant piece of content.
Take this incredibly in-depth piece on website migration as an example. It comes in at a whopping 17,000 words, yet it’s managed to stimulate a decent level of on-site engagement. Forty-one readers left comments on the web page, with some of these even resulting in mini conversations.
The piece also managed to generate an impressive 1,400 backlinks. This is SEO gold!
Here are some tips for writing a killer long-form how-to guide:
- Write with authority. Don’t speculate. Assign the project to a writer who knows the topic or is exceptional at research.
- Avoid presenting the reader with a wall of text. Break the written content up with images, bullet-point lists, quotes, videos, graphs, and meaningful subheadings.
- Include original information. Aim to include knowledge that competing articles don’t have. Conduct your own research and get quotes from subject matter experts.
If your marketing process needs your leads to understand and remember a large amount of information, then you need to create and publish infographics.
The human brain simply doesn’t engage with written data in the same way as it does with visualized data. A landmark study conducted by Cognition found that people remember only 10% of the info they hear, while they retain 65% of the info they’re shown in a visual format.
On top of this, people are also 30 times more inclined to read all of an infographics content than every word of a blog post.
Creating a great infographic needs:
- A relevant, trending topic – This is something all engaging infographics have in common. People read and share information that affects their lives in an immediate, material way.
- Different visualization types. – The Data Visualization Catalog is a terrific source of inspiration if you’re looking for unique ways to display info.
- An attractive color scheme. – Keep your users engaged with an engaging visual palette. Colormind is a terrific AI-powered resource generating color schemes.
Ivan Cash’s amazingly meta infographic on infographics is one of my all-time favorite examples of how to create a killer piece of visualized information.
When it comes to keeping visitors engaged with content, video is about as effective a format as you’re going to get. Stats and figures supporting this statement aren’t difficult to find.
Sixty-nine percent of people participating in a WyzOwl survey said that they prefer watching videos over reading text when learning about a brand.
At the same time, humans retain 95% of a video’s information, eclipsing text’s 10% retention rate.
While it may be more expensive to create, the overwhelming majority of digital marketers (87%) report a positive ROI with video content.
The Adventure Junkies have perfected the art of publishing blog posts in video format. The website excels at taking standard blog topics (like how-to guides) and converting them into highly engaging moving pictures.
Take a look at what they did with this excellent piece on preparing yourself for a hiking trail.
Here’s what I like about the video:
- It’s the perfect length. Three minutes is the ideal amount of time to sit still and ingest information.
- Production quality is high. The producers obviously used professionals with professional equipment when shooting and editing the video. On top of this, the video is displayed in a high resolution (1080p).
- The information is in-depth and extremely useful. The blog doesn’t rely entirely on video’s “novelty factor” when trying to engage viewers. The producers obviously did excellent research and packed the post with helpful content.
- Presenters are comfortable in front of a camera. More than just “talking heads,” the two people delivering the post’s content have a comfortable, candid demeanor that resonates well with viewers.
4. Answers to Very Specific Questions
A surefire way to engage your target audience (and keep them engaged) is to publish content that addresses a super-specific question.
People use search engines to ask questions. And many of these questions relate to the niche that you sell your products in. No matter what you’re selling, you’re likely to find that potential customers have questions relating to them.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
- My RA Wealth answers the question How much money can I bring into the USA on a plane? in a super-informative post that takes barely two minutes to read.
- Mexico Dave’s blog tells people what the best time to go to Los Cabos is.
- Medical Alert Buyer’s guide published a post that answers the question Does medicare pay for a medical alert device?
All three of these posts answer their questions early but also give interesting additional information on the topic.
Being extremely niche questions, the chances of these posts getting a great Google rank are also increased. The lack of competition means that this content format represents a great way to boost organic traffic.
Creating content that’s outside of their comfort zone can sometimes be a genuine challenge for a company’s marketing team. However, don’t let this prevent you from experimenting with new content forms.
In some cases, you’ll face steep learning curves or even steeper production expenses. But, at the end of the day, this effort will pay off in the form of a more engaged audience, improved traffic, and better conversion rates.
All of these things, plus a content marketing platform, combine to make your online store more profitable. And isn’t that what we’re all after?