Whoever told you that “content is king” was probably right. Well-written content is certainly the nucleus of any good digital marketing strategy.
If you are a small to medium-sized business owner with a website, your goal should be simple — you’ll want to gain traffic on your site that has the potential to convert. And as it turns out, content marketing is one of the most important components of the sales funnel. Having quality content on your site that is both unique and well-structured is what will grab the attention of your site visitors and, in turn, reap the most rewards.
So what are some of the best ways to make sure that your content is both sellable and engaging?
Here, we’ve come up with 5 ways we know to make content more marketable for your potential customer base.
1. Be headline-strong
A good headline will be one of the first things that piques the interest of your potential customers. When someone discovers your website (whether it be through social media, search results, a homepage or even a URL), your title will be the first thing that prompts them to click on your link.
Furthermore, the content’s title should be:
- Clear and straight-to-the-point, as well as descriptive of your services. A misleading title can easily drive readers away or cause them to exit your page halfway through.
- Concise. A great title shouldn’t be longer than 75 characters (especially not from an SEO perspective). Simple is key!
- Relevant to your service’s overall subject matter. Nobody likes “clickbait” techniques! Not to mention that an irrelevant title will do little to help bring in clicks over a long-term period of time, which equals less leeway for responses from potential customers.
CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer is a popular choice for both content writers and businesses alike. It scores headlines and offers valuable feedback on how to make improvements with content projects.
2. Keep it simple
As da Vinci put it, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
When it comes to adopting the best practices in content marketing, keeping the content simple is key.
Your pages only have a short window of time to capture the interest of your reader. If you want to stand out amongst your competitors, having a platform that captures their attention within their initial exposure is the first step.
Perhaps there is a service that involves complex processes, which can prompt a business owner to want to cover every minute detail when trying to sell it to potential customers or buyers. However, a long-winded paragraph might start to look stuffy and/or bore readers, which likely won’t help with your content marketing strategy or goals.
In fact, according to a study conducted by Microsoft, the average reader of today is said to lose concentration after eight seconds (that’s one second less than that of a goldfish). The main reason for our dwindling attention span is cited as our exposure to an increasingly digitized world, where everything comes much quicker than it used to.
In the meantime, keeping paragraphs at a maximum length of 300 words, breaking lines up to create more free-flow throughout the content and avoiding lengthy sentences is a good way to retain the focus and engagement of your customers.
Writing in the active voice is also a great way to simplify sentences, not to mention that it will also help your audience better understand your overall selling points. Writing in an active voice trims the fat from your sentences to avoid any possible confusion for the reader. This means turning nouns into verbs, getting rid of redundant words and removing unnecessary intensifiers or adjectives. It’s also a good idea to avoid flowery language, jargon and overly complicated words.
3. Adopt the right voice
As important as it is to be aware of the audience you are selling to, it is equally important to be mindful of the tone you’re using to speak to them. If your content is tailored to sell your services to a particular audience, we suggest thinking carefully about what voice might be best-suited to convince said audience to engage with your services.
Do your services involve important medical background knowledge, or is it essential that you provide a thorough explanation of your processes so that your customers know what to expect? In that case, a more formalized voice might be better suited for your web content. Do you have an interesting or unique product that you’re looking to sell? Content that is a little bit conversational or funny may offer a higher potential to reel in your target audience.
It’s always important to think about how one would speak about the subject at hand if they were speaking verbally. Would they want to be direct and informative? Or would it help to be witty at times, to make the dialogue a little bit more engaging and marketable? Great content isn’t just about using great words — it’s also about ensuring that the delivery of said words is well-executed.
4. Use action words
Actions speak louder than words, right? Better yet, if the words in the content can call your readers to action then we know that the words are strong and mighty.
Readers will be especially engaged when the words in the content are motivating and encourage them to act on something. If they have questions, the content will provide them with the answers needed to help them do what it is they want to do (which, of course, should be to contact you, schedule an appointment with you or further engage with your services).
Most content in the business world is created to sell something and push a prospect further along a sales funnel. In 1963, David Ogilvy (considered to be one of the biggest champions of consumer advertising) published a list of what he believed were the most persuasive words in marketing. These words, when coupled with calls to action, are said to be the most likely to drive engagement with a reader and result in a successful business deal.
5. Keep SEO In Mind
Search traffic will be a huge contributor towards increasing your audience through content marketing. This means that when your content is being written to summarize which services your business offers, a good deal of research and planning will go into the content process to ensure that the content is sellable and that the right structure is achieved.
However, having the right structure doesn’t just involve having well-written content. Out of all the types of content in digital marketing, SEO-optimized content is by the far the most rewarding. Having keywords inserted into your content is crucial to ensuring that it will answer your potential customers’ search queries.
But how should the right keywords be chosen?
When someone opens their browser and searches one of their keywords or phrases into Google, the search engine’s goal is to bring up the most relevant and valuable information to answer their search query. The more readable your content is, the better the chance is that Google will recognize its usefulness — as well as its likelihood to answer people who are searching for your services. This, in turn, will result in your website ranking higher in Google search results. Therefore, the keywords should be chosen based on the search terms that would most likely be Googled by your potential customers.
Making sure that your website has a healthy balance of informative and concise content is the best way to ensure it will rank higher in search results. Of course, this includes having a relevant, functional title that both readers and search engines can pick up.
How Can We Help?
If you are the owner of a small to medium-sized business, we hope that these tips have been helpful in advising you on the importance of having marketable content to sell your services.
However, if you aren’t sure where to start, don’t have the spare time to write your own web content or are unsure about how to properly optimize your content, consulting a marketing team should be your next step.
Our dedicated marketing specialists can offer you the right skills to help you develop the very best content marketing strategy and goals. To learn more, check out our related services!
If you have any further questions on how to adopt the best practices in content marketing or how you can achieve this with a skilled team, reach out to us anytime and we’ll be happy to chat about your next steps.