In a virtual world of online business websites and social media marketing, the question for any corporate blog beginner is how to draw
people to their website and keep them interested.
The answer is, on one level, fairly simple, and yet there is an underlying complexity to it. You need quality content that is relevant and written in an engaging style that will continue to attract interest right now and into the future too.
While content may be king, each type of content does not rule equally. There are some well tested content styles that have proven to be effective and could work well for you. Here are 10!:
1. Free Guides & How To’s
How To’s and guides can attract a great volume of traffic and a continuous flow. It's true that a guide that's going to get views needs to be researched well and does take more effort to construct than your straightforward blog article. However, this can all be worth it if you are giving visitors to your site what they want. Readers love step-by-step guides on a subject that interests them and the fact that this expert guidance is free is an added bonus. From here, site visitors may springboard into searching and reading other pieces you have written.
So, how do you turn a free guide into a success? Before a reader is able to download your guide, request some information, such as their name and email address. You can then trigger marketing plans and engage with them directly. Make sure to stick to just these two basic information requests though as if you start asking too much you will not only risk losing your readers but also your potential clients too.
2. Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs can be a powerful avenue for pre-empting some of the doubts and initial queries visitors to your site may have. By getting to answer questions immediately you are improving the chances of a user interacting with you and becoming a valued customer. It also means that you don't have to keep responding to the same questions in a comments field either which can be time consuming.
Frequently Asked Questions is in essence writing about what you know: your business. Aside from taking a different perspective - that of your potential client - you shouldn't have to carry out extensive research and analysis. The information should be readily available, so it's just a matter of putting your ideas together.
An added benefit of FAQs is the impact on SEO and your search engine rankings, especially if your site becomes a fundamental go-to destination for surfers wanting instant answers on a specific topic or to particular questions.
Interviews can help highlight your organization as an industry expert. This is a great way to build your corporate reputation and to encourage people to trust your expertise. If your interviewee is a well known pundit or personality then this can add some extra weight too. By offering a different perspective you can add new information and interesting ideas which can inspire online responses and debate amongst readers.
Video interviews can be an engaging and appealing medium to capture attention. Being able to hear the answers being spoken out loud, straight from the horse’s mouth, is powerful. However, creating videos can eat into your time, although the popularity of podcasts reveals the winning versatility potential of video interviews.
The technology that Skype and Google+ Hangouts brought to this world made video content creation easier compared to just a few years ago. There are many ways to now record footage and audio using these video chat tools. The only hurdle is then crafting the content so that it will stir interest and engagement.
Utilizing YouTube is a powerful way to reach your target market. Embedding links within videos or within the “About” page of your website can work well too.
A picture can say a thousand words. So too can a thoughtfully created infographic which can convey in a visually interesting presentation what might otherwise be a rather long article. What you need to keep in mind is the balance between data density and readability. When creating an infographic be creative in using visual aids. Make sure that you highlight the important points and ensure that any conclusions and the crux of the message are crystal clear.
6. Concept Visualization
The main difference between infographics and concept visualization is that the former is standalone and presents itself as the entire content. The latter incorporates illustrations with the goal of driving arguments forward with the use of a text article.
Content visualizations are commonly used to explain abstract concepts that cannot be easily grasped through plain text. In other words, as with illustrations in a children’s storybook, they help you understand the narrative better. What people love about concept visualizations and infographics is that these are suited to being shared on a variety of social media platforms.
Meme has just invaded the modern vocabulary and is all the rage in online culture. This involves an idea or behavior being mimicked by others to create a wave effect that in essence creates a community feeling. A recent meme that went viral was the idea of no-makeup selfies in support of cancer charities. Take a look at some of the viral memes on the Internet and how these have engaged “netizens” so effectively.
Memes can be fun, no doubt about it. The key here is to make sure that you keep up with the trend, so you don’t sound old-fashioned. Keep in mind that you would most likely target a younger audience with this type of content.
8. Original Data
Creating original data from your own research and publishing this can build your reputation as being knowledgeable about a particular subject matter. You can achieve a more respectable status when peers and authorities cite and acknowledge your content.
At the onset, this may feel overwhelming, but you probably have a mine of data that you can present in interesting ways. Considers visual presentations to convey market trends and statistics to readers.
9. Slideshow Presentations
Slideshow presentations are another form of content that can truly hook followers and make good use of resources at hand. Information from past keynotes, seminars, and meetings are waiting to be awakened and transformed into useful material.
Presentations can be effective in delivering valuable content from conventions and summits that readers may not have access to.
10. User-Generated Content
Content that is generated from users can enhance your network and strengthen your relationship with people from within the same industry. This can be beneficial to you as you are able to publish fresh ideas promoting your website and also for users who as a result gain exposure.
The age of the Internet is expanding and evolving in an unprecedented manner. Quality content can successfully equip you to meet the challenge of the changing trends and pace.
What content has worked for you? Do you have any tips on creating effective online content? We’d love to hear your thoughts and tips so please leave a comment.