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Sarah Banks

- Blog post by Sarah Banks

May 31, 2018

Is it time to refine your online content?

When it comes to online content, cream rises to the top – the crème de la crème, the cream of the crop. Competition is fierce and cutting through the noise is essential if you want to capture the attention of your target audience. So how do you get there? What does it take – to not just attract eyeballs, but to cultivate loyal followers who have a genuine interest in what you’re putting out there?

Well for one, it takes effort. We’re talking serious thought and time. Random, ill-prepared and irregular content says: “I don’t care and I don’t really know what I’m doing on this here Internet.”

It’s lazy. It’s sloppy. And it will get you nowhere.

But there are things you can do to raise the bar. Here are a few:

Be yourself

Let’s start with AUTHENTICITY. Whether you’re speaking as yourself or on behalf of a business, you need to find your voice, your tone, your overall vibe. Is it truly representative of you and/or your business? Or does it feel phony, salesy or contrived? Avoid the latter.

Reach out and connect

If your voice is authentic and likeable, chances are good that people will want to connect with you on social media. This is where INTERACTION comes in. Content is better with conversation. Trust is bred with reliable communication. If someone asks you a question on Twitter, do your best to answer it. Swiftly. If someone expresses effusive love for your blog post, send some love back to them. It says you’re listening and you care. And oh yeah, you’re not a robot.

Provide something of use or value

Ask yourself. Is the content you’re issuing doing its part to INFORM and/or ENGAGE the user? Are you providing something that’s useful, enriching, amusing or thought-provoking? If the answer is no, then the user is wasting their time. And they’ll come to that conclusion quicker than you can say “Unsubscribe.”

Feature visual stimuli

In the world of online content strategy, it’s hard to disagree with the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words.” IMAGERY is vital to online content. In the midst of incessant scrolling, it’s often the photo that draws us in before we even read a single word. Words can get lost. Pictures (the good ones) capture attention. And don’t forget video. These days video is arguably worth two thousand words. But again, there is a lot of noise to cut through. So, make that Insta Story count.

Don’t overdo it

Speaking of count, don’t let quantity get the better of quality in your social media output. Unless you’re writing a white paper or a dissertation, BREVITY is your friend. Say what needs to be said. Give it breathing room. Don’t overload it with senseless hashtags. Break your blog or Twitter post into two parts if it makes sense. People don’t have all day and they’ll swipe right by you if they’re not sufficiently engaged or informed in an efficient manner.

Let people know they can count on you

Dropping off. Ghosting. Fading Away. Whatever you want to call it – if your social media presence has the tendency to come and go in an unpredictable way, you’re not doing yourself any favours. REGULARITY is a must. You need to commit. People become loyal when (among other things) they know they can count on you. If it’s September and you haven’t posted since July, your followers may just stop following you. Maybe they already have. Because they found someone else who knows the importance of being fresh and dependable.

Make others want to share it

It practically goes without saying – any content worth reading is also worth sharing. That’s why making content SHAREABLE is a no-brainer. Spread the joy. Promote the cause. Inform the masses. Good content begets good content. So, encourage sharing. And make it easy for people to do so.

Write well

Last but by no means least, never underestimate the importance of GRAMMAR. If there’s one thing that will bring your credibility down a few notches, it’s a poor command of the English language. Write it. Read it. And then read it again. Then have someone else read it. If you can afford a writer, hire one. Poor spelling and typos can and should be avoided at all costs. They scream amateur.

So – do you have it in you to commit to quality content? It takes effort, to be sure. But the rewards – loyalty, meaningful connection and yes, revenue – make it all worth it in the end.

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