Does Your Content Marketing Sizzle?

5 Elements to Entice Readers to Consume Your Content

Does your content marketing reach out and pull your audience in? Most marketing content is chock full of marketing-speak. As a result, it’s dry and boring like burnt steak. To entice prospective readers you must ensure that your content has a scent that carries through the entire piece. In other words, your content’s sizzle has to have an aroma that lures your audience in and provides the beef for which they’re looking for once you’ve got their attention or they’re onto the next alluring new article.

Here are five elements to give your content marketing the sizzle it needs and the recipe for fixing it up if you’re missing an important ingredient.

  1. Choose a juicy topic. Face it, there’s a limited amount that you can do if your subject’s a major snooze for your readers. The worst writing in the world on a trending topic will do better than the best-written piece on an obscure subject in which no one’s interested. No matter how you dress it up, it’s going to still be a tough sell. Recipe for success: Find out what your target audience is interested in. Then chose an aspect of what your audience is interested in and make it relevant to your subject.
  2. Craft a title that’s got a strong scent. Unfortunately, readers are lazy. No matter how well written your content is, it needs a sexy title that arouses readers’ curiosity and lures them in. Recipe for success: Before you publish your content, revisit your title and tweak it. It’s worth the time investment  because, without being conscious of it, readers judge an article by its title when they’re determining whether it’s worth their time. Fortunately, many titles can be formulaic to follow. Here are some tips for writing killer titles.
  3. Show them the beef. Provide visual eye candy. Humans are visual by nature. Does your content use photographs, charts or other graphics to attract prospective readers? Without an image, prospects may move onto the next article that grabs their attention.  Recipe for success. This one’s a no brainer incorporate visuals into your content. (Note: Every post on this blog has a relevant photograph to draw readers in!) Use photographs and/or charts. Take your content to visual extreme by incorporating it into an infographic that’s bait for Twitter and other social sharing.
  4. Plate your content to be consumption-friendly. Do readers’ eyes glaze over when they see your content? Is it mind-numbing because it lacks bold headlines and short punchy short paragraphs to make it scanable? Face it, no matter how much time you’ve invested in creating your content, your audience is time-strapped and is looking for shortcuts. If your presentation looks like too much work, readers aren’t going to stay. Recipe for success: Help readers consume your content by breaking it into small, tasty bites. Highlight these morsels of content with the use of bolding to guide your reader through the content.
  5. Give your readers meaty information. Once you’ve broken through the clutter and gotten your audience’s attention, you’ve got to deliver the goods in terms of solid, useful information. If your content’s a lot of empty calories, readers aren’t going to stick around for dessert. Recipe for success: Supply helpful, practical advise. Skip your usual marketing pabulum. Instead examine your products and/or services for clues or ask your customers what help they need in terms of information.

Realize that it takes more than just strong information to makes your content marketing sizzle. It’s a combination of elements that work together to attract prospective readers and pulls them in.

Do you have any other suggestions to add to this list? If so, please include them in the comment section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: BitMan via Flickr

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