With so much content being shared these days it’s become harder and harder to be visible online. If your content does not inspire your audience it will fall flat. To be seen and stand out there are some specific strategies you can use to get a leg up on your competition.

Author, keynote speaker, and thought leader Rebecca Lieb cited content as “the atomic particle of all digital marketing,” – fueling conversations, increasing onboarding, and helping companies get one foot in the door. Whether implemented through social media, onsite blogs, or YouTube, content is certainly driving change, not least because it puts businesses in the heart of customer homes. But, if the content is all-powerful, why are some enterprises flourishing while others are failing?

The answer comes down to two key focuses – impact and motivation. Indeed, in an age where 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content a day, businesses need to put differentiation at the forefront. Creating impactful content that motivates customers to take action (be that through sales, sharing, etc.) is the best way to do that, but as the wild variations in content success right now prove, this isn’t always an easy goal to achieve.

If your content is flat as a pancake, it’s a clear sign that one or both of these priorities are missing. Improvement is critical if you want to compete. Here, we’re going to consider precisely what it takes to create content that motivates.

# 1 – Nail your narrative

While traditional marketing was more of a standalone affair, content in all its forms is typically a part of a wider story – nailing your narrative is the best way to ensure that the story hits its mark and motivates. Like Dickens, you need to keep your audience hooked, make sure that they care about your characters, and ultimately get them eating out of your hand.

Luckily, you don’t need to be a storyteller to make this work. You don’t even need a traditional “beginning, middle, and end.”

You simply need to work at developing a clear brand message (the heart of your story) and a consistent voice with which to deliver it. According to Phillip Oakley of Common Giant, in-house consistency is especially vital to ensure every member of your team is an advocate who can tell your tale with a voice that rings true.

# 2 – Back it up with facts

Content works so well because it builds trust and relationships that have never before been possible between brands and consumers. This trust can create evangelists who are willing to take action like never before, but it’s not going to come easy if facts aren’t adding meat to your content.

After all, anyone can publish anything online, and if you can never back your claims, it won’t be long before customers stop acting and even question your credibility.

Make sure it doesn’t happen by cherry-picking up-to-date stats that are relevant and interesting. Make sure, too, that you always incorporate links that motivate your readers to dive even deeper. As well as ensuring your place as an educational source that they come back to, this gives your claims gravity, builds on that all-important trust, and even ensures that you rank higher for page relevance on search engines.

# 3 – Make it fun

According to Andreas Lieberoth of Aarhus University, “people can be made more intrinsically motivated simply by presenting an activity as a game.” Regarding content, techniques like gamification and reward are vital as they see readerships switching to a more receptive “play” mindset.

Content such as quizzes that put the audience in the driver’s seat is especially useful in this sense, removing the “passive” mindset of a reader and replacing it with playful participation that sticks.

As well as increasing the chances of a positive company impression, the opportunity to share results from games like these taps into our intrinsic need to be seen, making shares and their benefits far more likely.

# 4 – It all comes down to value

Gary Vaynerchuk tells us to “Give value. Give value. Give value. And then ask for business.” Logically, in order to motivate your audience, you need to offer them value. But, what does true “unique value” look like? According to Moz’s Rand Fishkin, it’s all about aggregation, differentiation, and style.

You might not be the first to say something, but you need to say it in a way that provides value your consumers aren’t going to find elsewhere, whether that be through literal value, knowledge-led value, or other.

Ultimately, you need to create content that leaves your audience feeling richer. This, alone, can create the impact you need to facilitate further motivation from what you’ve already told them.

Content that fails to incite action is worse than no content at all – make sure you don’t fall in its sweaty grasp by keeping these pointers in mind to help you motivate your audience just like a personal trainer at the gym does.

Need help creating content that inspires your audience? Let’s chat! Grab a time on my calendar: https://calendly.com/juanblanco76/meeting

John White

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