As an online course creator using digital marketing to grow traffic, original content is integral to what you're doing whether you're involved with SEO, social media marketing, or content marketing itself.
Content marketing, in particular, is gaining greater adoption with many businesses.
In fact, it's estimated that over 200 million pieces of online content are created every minute. That's an immense amount of content you have to compete with!
So you need good content of high quality that's full of useful information. But anymore, depending on your target market, that might be a bare minimum.
So what can you do to take good content and turn it into great content?
Here are some effective ways to create truly great content and gain the attention of your audience.
1. Back-Up Your Content with Facts and Statistics
An effective way to add more weight to your content is to add facts and statistics. The best way to use facts and statistics is for making a strong point or to back up your argument or idea.
Facts and statistics give your content credibility. They know your content is based on reliable data, which makes readers pay attention.
Adding facts and statistics also makes your content more authoritative. This helps distinguish your content and help it stand out from your competitors.
If you’re in the eLearning space, then in addition to higher rankings in the search results, including facts and statistics in your content can help increase your course conversions.
2. Quote the Experts
Another way to make your content more credible and authoritative is to quote the experts. Whether it's a well-known industry figure, publication, a subject matter expert, or even you, using a quote can go a long way in your content. It brings familiarity, likability, and reputation into the mix.
People trust experts and often rely on them to make purchase decisions, learn about pop culture, and stay updated on aspects of their lifestyle.
3. Use Charts, Tables, and Diagram
It's one thing to introduce an idea, statement or argument backed with data. But it's a totally different thing to show it.
If you have interesting data that will support your content, why not present it in a visual format? Using charts, tables, and diagrams can help enhance your content. You are presenting your data in a way that's easier to grasp than just using words.
Charts, tables, and diagrams are not just for show either. It's found that 65 percent of people are visual learners.
So you're not just presenting your data in a way that's easier to consume, people are learning more efficiently, getting more value out of your content, and retaining more information.
Plus, using a visual format to present your data will likely once again increase conversions for enrollments in your courses. That’s because you’re proving you know how to make complex data more digestible. Your prospects can see this in your free content before they ever purchase a paid course from you.
4. Provide a Table of Contents
More websites are creating long-form content for their content marketing campaigns. While long-form content offers a lot of value to readers, it can be very difficult to navigate. Some users may take a break and lose track of where they were. Others may skim through your content to try to find a segment of information that can be found within it.
A great way to make it easier for users is to provide a table of contents. You can break your content into multiple sections on the same page. This allows users to navigate within the page to access different sections of the content. To implement this properly, you want to offer a small navigation menu that doesn't obstruct other parts of your website like your main navigation menu.
In addition to increasing the value of the content for everyone who reads it, you’re also showing to prospective learners that you know how to make your content more digestible.
If they walk away from an article with an understanding of the main topic they came to learn more about, then they’ll be more likely to enroll in your full course later on. It’s like a sales opportunity for you. Show you can help them understand the topic.
5. Integrate Videos
Videos add another dimension to your piece of content. You can do so many things with videos including demonstrate live-action, explain complex topics visually, show video testimonials, tell visual stories, and more. You can integrate short videos into your content if you want to expand on a particular sub-topic. It can help make sense of complex topics or explanations.
But videos can do more than just enhance your content. Video has been found to increase your website's engagement by 88 percent. Landing pages see a jump in conversions by 80 percent through the use of video. Adding videos to your pages even helps you generate more traffic from the search engines.
And again, your visitors will be impressed. If they learned so much from your free content, they’ll start to feel more like your paid course is worth the price.
6. Add Relevant and Helpful Images
Adding relevant and helpful images is another way to visually improve your content. Images help add more context to the words on your page. They also add eye relief to a giant wall of text.
What you need to know is that images can be used in many different ways. You can add a comic strip for relevant humor, draw attention to an important part of your content, and even help guide the reader through the content itself.
7. Use Different Formats
Don't limit yourself to just creating text-based articles for online publications and blogs. There are many other formats you can use in your content marketing strategy.
The list includes podcasts, infographics, videos, audio interviews, playlists, slideshows, downloadable PDFs, and more.
Different types of content formats help keep your audience engaged. It makes you less predictable and keeps your readers on their toes.
8. Make It Personal
When most digital marketers create content, they rarely think about making their content personal. But making your content personal is a great way to establish a deeper connection with your audience and customers. Here are a few methods for making your content more personable.
- Include personal anecdotes in your content.
- Establish a unique voice and tone in your writing.
- Use multimedia so that your audience can hear your real voice.
- Include pain points especially if you have overcome them yourself.
- Tell a personal story that can relate to your audience.
- Make your content more emotional. Be more expressive and use more emotional words.
9. Provide a Brief and/or Summary
It seems that content is getting longer these days. Content marketers are competing to create the best quality content possible. While this means more value to users, it can also be a double-edged sword. Users can get put off by long-form content, especially if they can't read into what it's about.
A great way to help readers get into the content is to provide a brief summary. This is basically a preview that sums up the main points the article will cover. Summaries can also help readers retain more information. A summary at the end of an article in the conclusion should highlight the main points that were covered so that readers can walk away feeling they got some kind of value.
Again, this is another tool that will help you stand apart. Since you’re offering online courses, it helps you look like you definitely know how to teach.
10. Create Interactive Content
Marketers love to talk about engagement, but much of the content they create is not very engaging. Smart companies are catching on that it's better to share quizzes and other interactive content that gets a ton of engagement naturally.
People are bored with much of what they see online, so it's no surprise they're looking for alternative information and fun stuff. Providing them with something entertaining takes their mind off business and paints your brand in a new, fun-loving light.
Formats like polls, quizzes, tests, calculators, and games draw in an immense amount of traffic. The image below shows a quiz created from proprofs.com:
Marketers are seeing results from these interactive content formats with 81 percent stating that it's effective in grabbing the attention of their audience.
There are many creative ways to create interactive content for your particular business. For instance, if you offer money-saving training, it might make sense for you to create a calculator for some aspect of your topic.
In the digital marketing industry, you see analysis tools that help marketers evaluate the SEO rating of a specific page. Figure out what works for you and think up interactive content for your visitors to make the best content possible.
11. Improve Usability and User Experience
The main point of your content is to engage your audience and get them to consume it. But how are you going to accomplish that if the usability and general user experience are poor?
You want to take a deep dive into your content to identify potential issues that could put people off from engaging with your content. Here's a list of things that you can potentially improve upon:
- Bad design layout on your website that makes it hard to consume content.
- Slow loading times, especially on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
- Poor or no mobile optimization leading to site abandonment.
- Fonts that are difficult or too small to read on smaller display screens.
- Bad formatting. Lack of negative space, paragraph breaks, and content organization.
12. Perfect Your Headline
The decision to consume your article, blog post, podcast, or video is determined by your headline. If your headline or title is weak, your audience will ignore in lieu of something else.
That's why it's important to perfect the headline for your content.
You want to come up with many headline variations and choose the one you feel would generate the most clicks. You can even test headlines in small advertising pay per click campaigns to evaluate which ones have higher clickthrough rates.
Sometimes the headline may not be enough to sell your content. In these cases, you can support your headline with a sub-headline that expands further on your headline.
Other things that are important include the font and the opening paragraph. And as mentioned earlier, a brief of your content can help provide a preview of what readers can expect.
13. Focus on Multiple Channels
If you're serious about content marketing, you need to go beyond your website, blog, and social media platforms. You want to expand your valuable content to as many channels as possible. The list includes YouTube, Apple Music for podcasts, Slideshare, Quora for Q&As, and Pinterest for images. By getting your useful content on multiple channels you'll be able to increase your social shares, grow your brand, reach a larger audience, and generate more organic links for SEO.
This does mean that you do have to create more content formats. Creating different content formats can be a challenge if you're working with limited resources. Fortunately, repurposing existing content can be a great way to create new content formats. If you have a particular content format that's working for you, stick to it. But every now and then, you should be creating different content formats to expand your content marketing campaign.
14. Test What Works
You shouldn't just blindly pump out content. To make sure your content provides an ROI to your business, you need to test what works.
Go into your analytics platform to see which pages, social media posts, and content marketing pieces are the most popular.
This will provide you with valuable data that can drive your content marketing campaign forward.
Some of the things you want to pay attention to include the topics that were covered, the content formats, the content channels, and the target audience. You can also dig deeper into specific channels. For example, you can take a closer look at your Pinterest account to see what kind of images and categories are generating the best results for you.
15. Mix Up Your Content Ideas
Aside from creating different content formats, you should create different types of content. The same how-to articles, blog posts, and editorials can get old. You can keep it fresh with different content angles. Here is a quick list of different content types you can create:
- Frequently asked questions, or FAQS, which is a collection of commonly asked questions from your customers, followers, and audience.
- AMA, or ask me anything, which is a live question and answer session where you engage with people on the fly.
- Product or service reviews. If there are popular products and services relevant to your industry, you may want to cover them with reviews.
- Case studies from actual clients who have signed up to your training and gained a positive result from it.
- Pros and cons. Cover the pros and cons of a specific topic or product to help readers make informed decisions.
- Comparison pieces. Compare two different products or two different ideas to explain the similarities and differences.
16. Experiment with Different Content Formats and Channels
There are many new content formats that most marketers are not using. This includes Instagram Stories, Instagram Boomerangs, Facebook Live, Facebook Groups, and Facebook chat. All of these content types and channels can mean new opportunities for your business.
Sometimes the channels may not offer direct benefits like leads and sales. But they may offer other benefits such as increased engagement, follower growth, and more referral traffic.
17. Customer Stories Add Emotional Appeal
If you have customers telling their stories to the world, then that’s successful marketing. Online video sharing sites make that incredibly easy, so it's a matter of getting your biggest fans to contribute.
Think about it from a potential customer's viewpoint. They're considering purchasing a product from your company but don't have any experience with your company or the product. They watch a story from someone who was in the same position and now has relevant information to share. That helps them overcome any skepticism they have and gets them one step closer to purchasing from you.
Emotions are a big part of engaging with consumers. People want to connect with brands, and they're able to connect through social media quickly. The companies that are speaking to them in authentic voices reap the rewards of increased sales and positive word of mouth reviews.
18. Original Photos Add a Ton of Value
Building credibility is a critical component of efficient marketing. It's a way to tear down barriers that prevent people from buying. One quick way to accomplish that feat is through the generous sharing of original photos. Photos add enormous value to the digital experience and generate authenticity, which spurs online sales.
People are curious about products and love looking at pictures of others who are using them. It gives them insight into how their experience might be using the same product. Encouraging your customers to share these types of images helps bring in new people who are curious about your brand.
For instance, for just about any type of training you can offer, you could have images of people looking at your training on their mobile device, learning on the go. Or if you offer fitness training, someone could be in workout clothes watching your video from their home.
19. Test & Learn
If you plan to continue growing your content marketing efforts, it's necessary to get feedback from your audience. Without it, there's no way to craft content that appeals to them consistently. Testing and then learning from that test are the best ways to get into a cycle where you keep growing.
Monitoring applications give you general ideas of their sentiment and what they love, but nothing is better than just directly asking them. If you're willing to come up with more of what they love most or content that targets your audience's problems, they'll help grow your business exponentially.
Wrapping it up
These are 19 different ways to help transform good content into great content. You should now have a strong idea of the marks of great content and can apply it to your content strategy.
Don't forget that the quality of the content is more important than the quantity you produce. In today's competitive content marketing environment, poor quality content gets ignored, never ranks high, and will definitely turn off your potential customers.
You have to do whatever you can to produce high-quality content that stands out.