“A content revolution is picking up speed, promising a profitable future for companies that can lock down loyal audiences, especially those built around higher-quality content,” says former Washington Post reporter Jim VandeHei.
In his post titled Escaping the Digital Media ‘Crap Trap’ via theinformation.com, VandeHei talks about “creating content of consequence and value,” and delivering copy “in the way readers actually want to read”.
What VandeHei hints at is a fundamental aspect of digital marketing — capturing your audience’s attention and engaging with them via well-researched, well-presented content.
Those who want to join VandeHei’s revolution can start with a few basics that will set them on the right path:
Creating content of consequence and value
The web is, of course, a seemingly endless library of content, with journalists, brands, media outlets and bloggers jostling for the user’s attention.
That sheer volume empowers people, encouraging them to be selective about what they read and digest, but it piles extra pressure on you, as both a brand and a writer, to deliver compelling content.
As VandeHei points out, the “crap trap” is his perceived flaw of online content — characterised by a seemingly never-ending stream of mass-produced clickbait that aims to attract the largest audience possible.
While users are enticed by attention-grabbing headlines like ‘Man goes travelling with his dog — you won’t believe what happened next!’, consider how much they’re actually investing in your writing.
Invariably, users are left disappointed with ‘what happens next’ and naturally navigate away. While visitor numbers may initially spike, it is one of the least plausible methods for growing a loyal and relevant audience.
Your content should tap into your user’s interests. As simple as that sounds, identifying your core audience and the type of information they are looking for can create a lasting connection between users and your content.
Short-term popularity is no match for long-term success, and putting in the right amount of time and effort when it comes to creating quality content could see you reap the benefits of trust and engagement further down the line.
The way readers actually want to read
While consensus tells us that people live to retain information about things that truly interest them, digesting information is subjective in the extreme.
There’s no escaping the fact that people love chasing knowledge about the things they love, but it’s not just what we’re reading that’s changing, but how we read it. Whether it’s during our daily commute or a few stolen moments throughout the day, smartphones and tablets enable us to soak up information quickly, readily and on the move.
How we access information is changing, and content creation should reflect this. In print, it’s often said you have the opening paragraph to convince the reader to persist. Get the intro wrong and they’ve turned the page and moved on.
On digital platforms, and especially via smartphones and tablets, it could be argued you have even less scope to grab their attention.
With growing user numbers and increased dependence on these platforms, brands that are failing to adapt to mobile and social run the risk of being left behind.
Whether it’s a written article, an infographic or a video, presenting thoughtful information in the correct format and via the right channels will increase engagement levels and, ultimately, positively impact your brand.
For more information about strengthening your brand’s digital profile, contact Mediaworks on +44 (0) 330 108 4263 or at firstname.lastname@example.org today.