6 steps to make users read your content
Creating content is one thing. However, doing so in such a way that ensures users are reading it, is quite a different thing.
Are you one of those who goes through a meticulous process when it comes to choosing which words to use? You think about the words that you think will generate more engagement among your readers and you adapt them to suit your content. But do you get good results?
If you’ve gotten this far, then it’s probably because after a long, non-stop process of creating content, you still don’t know what to do to make it attractive. Few people read your posts. Hardly any comments are left on them and nobody interacts with them on social media.
Do you really think you need to dedicate 10,000 hours to perfecting your writing skills? That’s probably not the answer. In fact, creating attractive content is not just about the text itself.
The design should help to make it easy, attractive, readable and appealing
Remember that when a user reads something its because it really has captured their attention. In fact, creating text content that engages users is one of the most difficult engagement techniques to get right. Watching a video is not the same as reading a text. The latter takes effort and requires an active approach.
If you want a user who lands on your blog to feel attracted to what you say and show interest in reading your content, then you must take certain basics into account. For example, the lettering.If you use very modern fonts that really don’t make reading the text any easier, then that could be another one of your first errors.
The font you use is a big influence when it comes to deciding whether to read your content. There are currently billions of pages and blogs on the Internet. And be under no illusion: there are plenty of people writing about the same topics as you. Therefore, your audience will soon search for other content if yours is too complicated.
Or if their first impression is a bad one.In keeping with that initial impact and the basics of any optimum content, the colours and styles used throughout the article have a strong influence. Reading a plain text without paragraphs, bold font or subtitles is completely different from reading an organised and clear text.
And the last of these basics refers to the visual content. There’s nothing like incorporating images and videos to facilitate reading.
How to create content that generates engagement
1.- It’s all starts with knowing your audience
The more you know about the users that most often read your work, the better you’ll adapt it to suit them. This point is really easy to understand. In fact, transferred into real-life, it’s just like how you’d treat those around you. Chances are you don’t talk to your boss the same way you talk to your friends or clients.
In terms of the latter in particular, the odds are that if you want to sell them something, you’ll need to know a little bit about them. What they like, how your product or service can meet their needs, etc. The same applies to content creation, even though your intention isn’t making a sale.
You simply need to create a family ecosystem, know your audience, know how to speak, use the same language and provide visual content that you know will capture their attention. Not to mention the fact that the chosen topic must be the ideal one.
There are many techniques you can use to get to know users. An interesting idea is to build your Buyer Person to define a certain profile. In addition, there are other tools that can help you with this first point:
- Rapportive. It is a plugin installed in Gmail that gives your more information about the person you are corresponding with. Their position in the company, profiles on social networks, contacts in common…
- Google Analytics
- Facebook. Its statistics will reveal a lot about your readers.
- Twitter Analytics.
- Surveys, etc.
2.-Analyse the reason behind each piece of content
What do you want to achieve with each publication? Imagine you want to share your knowledge on a subject as broad as Facebook. What is it that really intrigues your audience?
In the first point, you’ll have collected sufficient information to define your objectives. If you audience has a certain type of behaviour, you’ll know what circles they move in and what their problems are, so you can then provide them with solutions. This means that when you take on a subject as broad as Facebook, generally speaking you’ll be able to determine what exactly the user is interested in knowing.
So before writing a post, the first step you should take is to determine what the objective of the post is. Then it’s time to research what information has already been written on the subject, so that you don’t risk being repetitive. Never forget that you should stand out from the crowd.
Look for your competitors’ best articles, which links they use, their keywords, how users react to certain pieces of information… And with this in mind, draw your own conclusions so that you’re not repeating the same old thing. Structure your content and, above all, include elements that are amiss in all those posts you’ve just read.
3. Set out a very clear structure
When it comes to creating content that generates engagement, the order is really important. You must be clear about one thing: the majority of users aren’t going to read your whole post. So you need to do everything possible to engage them from the very start.
As you have already seen, your content is not to blame; it’s just that written texts always require users to make more effort and take an active approach. And if you don’t offer something very attractive or valuable, then very view people will waste their time reading it.
The majority of readers who land on your blog will only read a percentage of the page. It’s your job lies in making them read the rest.
Can you imagine how to accomplish it?
The user will skim over the document, first of all. If the subtitles and sentences written in bold have convinced them, they will start reading the introduction.Just like in any communicative process, the introduction and the close are the most important points.
The first will determine whether the user carries on reading the main body of the content or not. It’s the part in charge of engaging them. And the close, on the other hand, is the part that summarises all the content and clarifies the key points so they stick in the user’s mind.
You job, therefore, lies in creating an introduction that leaves your user wanting more. Organise yourself as follows:
1. Introduction: Pose a problem that your audience may have.
2. Development or body: Explain how to solve it.
3. Ending or close: Review the key points and tips.
To ensure this point is fully effective, a certain degree of intrigue is recommended. If you offer solutions from the get-go, nobody will bother reading you. Reveal your information little by little.
In fact, one of the tricks to get your content readis to create stories. One tactic is to share a real life case from your business or rely on the Internet to rescue stories about someone who demonstrates exactly what you want to explain.
4.- Get straight to the point
This is one of the mistakes of many bloggers: Repeating the same thing over and over again but in different words. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes, would you really want to keep on reading an article if it doesn’t offer anything new?
There are people who think that quantity means quality. But the two are worlds apart. It’s better to be short and concise than boring without really saying anything. Although extensive and valuable content is idea, of course. Therefore, if you don’t want to fall into this trap, we recommend you follow this little trick:
- Draft your post.
- Once you’ve written it, read it out loud.
- Find all the phrases and ideas that repeated over and over and delete them.
- Ask someone else to read it, so you get a more objective point of view.
- Then remove anything that does not offer any value.
5.- Turn the user’s skim read into something intriguing
A web usability study by Nielsen demonstrated that 79% of users skims instead of read. I.e., glances over the text without stopping to read the entire content. So if you are one of those who don’t use subtitles or divide your text in paragraphs, here is one of the reasons why users don’t read your content.
Put yourself in the shoes of a reader or think of how you act yourself against certain content. For example, if all the information you’re currently reading appeared in one single paragraph without bold text or subtitles, what would you think? You wouldn’t have gotten this far.
To create well-organised content, make a note of the following tips:
• Include short paragraphs and phrases that are legible and clear.
• Don’t be afraid of lists. In fact, they are one of the most powerful tools when it comes to getting a user to read your content. They are attractive to the naked eye, easy-to-read and light.
• Don’t forget about links. Link your content with other content on your blog which will make users spend more time on your website and realise that you’ve got plenty to say.
• Be careful with the use of bold text. This is another one of the parts skimmed over by users before they delve into the content. Don’t overdo it or confuse the reader.
6.- Visual content is very important
One of the first things the user looks for in an article are the images or videos. As you can see in the infograph, the human mind reacts differently to different types of content. And, perhaps, including some of them as a hook may get the user to read to the end.
However, you have to be careful about what you choose. Maintaining coherence between the text and the image is always important. But getting one thing to say the same as another isn’t so much. Seek out visual content that works as a complement, that adds value to what has already been said.
In short, to create content you must consider many factors that help to enhance it. However, without a good foundation, it doesn’t matter how well structured it is or how many colours it has, it’ll be useless.
Would you like to dig deeper into content marketing? Coobis is a Content Marketing Platform where brands can get help to generate the content necessary to guide them in the right direction. Or to make their articles well known by using social media influencers. Are you up for creating and spreading better content?