Pop culture and entertainment-centric content usually does better than more traditional businesses when it comes to being interesting.
How many people not in the movie industry would be interested in a new die-cutting machine or law practice?
Some subjects are not interesting to most people, but that does not mean they are not important.
Any topic can be made interesting by presenting it in the right way.
What Kind of Content Works Best and Why?
In a recent post on the importance of creating goal-driven content, Hannah Smith discusses how what you create should be based on what you want to achieve.
She explains that to succeed, most websites will need four key types of content:
Content to Entertain
Content marketing efforts typically focus on educating and helping the audience, which is a great approach. However, this can also be a missed opportunity to interact with readers and connect with them on a more personal level.
This type of content is often funny, highly shareable, and can quickly make a company seem more relatable.
This aspect of just like me can be crucial in building trust and separating the true fans from the random visitors. As Hannah explains:
Although content that is created solely for entertainment purposes may not be directly related to your company’s products or services, it still needs to be appealing to your target audience in order to be effective.
Content to Educate
Content that is created to educate readers about your website or product is just as effective as content that is created to entertain them. However, content that educates is often the next step in convincing potential customers to stick around. This is because content that entertains appeals to emotions, while content that educates appeals to reason.
We create content to educate our readers with posts like this one. With this type of content, it is important that it is easy to share.
Content to Inspire
When you create something that is inspiring, it can spread quickly to other people.
Inspiration doesn’t always have to be in the form of a quote on a picture.
Utilizing case studies, customer testimonials, and stories of individuals who have faced challenges and failures is often the best way to gain inspiration.
Content to Convert
The purpose of content created for conversion is usually to encourage the reader to do something, like signing up for a newsletter, taking a free e-course, or buying a product.
How to Make Your Content More Interesting
You could improve your content marketing no matter what industry you’re in or how long you’ve been doing it.
If you want to make your content more exciting, you should take a stand on controversial issues, even if it means alienating some of your audience. The audience members who remain will be more interested in what you have to say, and you’re likely to start a discussion.
Stories are a great way to make your content more accessible. You can use real-life examples, or make up examples to illustrate a point. This makes your content more approachable and usually does a better job at driving your main points home.
Focus On Practical Topics
Content that provides practical information or has a use in real life is generally more interesting than content without such a focus. For example, a post about the chemical makeup of baking soda is likely to be less interesting than a post about how to use baking soda to clean your house. When writing, focus on subjects that your readers can take and use in their everyday lives.
This type of content is effective because it is natural. For topics that are not practical, you will have to be creative. Instead of writing a review, you can write a buyer’s guide. Instead of writing a news piece, you can write an opinion piece that makes suggestions on what to do next.
Include Images and Video
Adding images and videos to your written content makes it more captivating and engaging for your audience. As vision is the strongest human sense, people are naturally drawn to images. You can add photos of your subject, images that illustrate a concept, or memes to break up your bulky content and make it more visually appealing. Using videos is another great way to engage your audience and add to your content marketing strategy.
Write in a Casual, Personal Voice
One of the biggest secrets to success in content marketing is finding a balance between writing in a consistent brand voice and injecting your own personality into your work. Most brands want their voices to be professional, authoritative, and distinguished, but strict adherence to these qualities can lead to dull, uninteresting content. By blending the main characteristics of your brand’s voice with your own style, you can create more engaging, lively pieces that still maintain a sense of coherence and brand identity.
Accept and Emphasize Your Sense of Humor
Utilizing humor is a great way to make a dull subject more interesting. However, be mindful of how much humor you use so that you don’t come across as offensive. It’s also important to have a good mixture of serious and humorous observations throughout your piece.
Embrace Metaphors & Figurative Language
If you are struggling to make your boring subject more interesting, try using metaphors and illustrations. For example, if your business provides supplies to hospitals and doctor’s offices, you could compare your production process to something more people are familiar with, such as the production of sandwiches. Be creative with your metaphors to make them more unusual and playful.
You can make your industry more interesting by relating it to something else entirely with a creative metaphor. Compare your subject matter to something more familiar or more interesting; this is especially effective when your target audience isn’t familiar with your industry. The more creative your metaphors are, the better, as long as they make sense in context.
Throw in Some Surprises
Your content will be more interesting if you surprise your readers by choosing unexpected topics, or by adding something surprising to familiar topics. For example, if you write a post about a new piece of equipment that’s making a big impact in your industry, don’t just describe it and state what it’s doing. Add in something unexpected about its implementation, or about the possibilities it offers. Shocking or unexpected data can also be used to great effect.
You can use curiosity to drive excitement in practically any industry by using suspense and teasing language to draw your readers in, especially when applied to the title or the introduction of your article.
Types of Content To Experiment With on Your Blog
Could you try coming up with new and innovative ways to share information about your business? It might be fun to play around with different types of content to see what sort of reaction you get from your customers.
It has been shown many times that people learn better when they can see what they are learning. In one study, it was shown that after three days, a person would remember only 10-20 percent of what they read or heard. But if they saw it, they would remember almost 65 percent.
An illustrated text is more effective than text alone in both immediate comprehension and delayed comprehension.
Infographics are popular because readers both enjoy looking at them and remember the information better. This type of content is a good way to use your blog or brand messaging. They are easy to understand, look good, and can be interesting. Infographics are especially helpful when you have a lot of data or research with numbers and statistics.
Infographics are more likely to be shared than other content.
Brands and bloggers are finding out what women’s magazines have known for a long time: lists are effective. Top 10 lists are even more effective.
A few years ago, marketing scholars Mathew S. Isaac of Seattle University and Robert M. Schindler of Rutgers University searched the term “top [number]” in Google using all numbers 1 through 100. The numbers ending in zero were the most common, followed closely by those ending in five.
The researchers argue that people have a tendency to view things in round-number groups, and everything outside of those groups as inferior. They say that the difference between items ranked number 10 and 11 feels enormous and significant, even if the difference is minimal or unknown.
In an interview with Co.Design, the creators of the site say that they were inspired by their own experiences to create a site that would reflect the way people actually perceive numbers. The idea is that while numbers are generally considered to be equidistant, people don’t actually perceive them that way.
What does this mean for you?
- Create lists.
- Create more lists.
- Keep creating lists.
If you’re looking to create a blog post, you’re in luck. 30% of all blog posts are listed, so you’re bound to find a good topic.
Case Studies and Success Stories
Stories are an integral part of every culture, and have been used throughout history to inform, inspire and entertain. The advantages of storytelling are clear. Stories are a fundamental part of every culture, and have been used throughout history to teach, motivate and entertain.
The best kinds of stories almost always follow a three-act structure, a model used in screenwriting that divides a fictional narrative into three parts:
- The setup: This is where the world is created and the level set for what people are expected to do, be like, and behave like. This act shows what normal life looks like in this world and by the end of act one, something happens to disrupt this normal life and cause our protagonist to jump into action or make a decision.
- The confrontation: The second act is where our protagonist must find solutions to his or her problems, only to keep finding bigger problems and bigger bottlenecks. The protagonist does not yet have the skills or experience, perhaps even the confidence, to deal with the problems that are thrown in his or her way. For the protagonist to succeed, they must learn a new skill, have a new experience, or have a eureka moment that elevates them to the level they need to be to make their world right again.
- The resolution: This is the final act. The story is brought to its most intense moment and the final climax. Victory has arrived, and the protagonist and other characters have a new sense of who they are.
It’s important to tell potential customers about the great features of your product. But try also telling them inspiring stories about people who overcame obstacles, found mentors, and ultimately became successful. Share the trials and tribulations of your customers and users, and tell them about your own journey as well.
Case studies are mostly designed for storytelling, so it can be helpful to use that format.
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