It’s no secret that we are bombarded every day by more content than we can ever hope to use. Whether it’s blog posts, newspaper articles, status updates from Twitter and Facebook, or Instagram photos and YouTube videos, content is coming at us from every direction every minute we are online. And if it’s hard for us as online business owners and content producers, how much harder is it for the average person who just comes online to find some information or socialize with friends?
To be effective online these days you have to find ways to make your message stand out. There is so much noise and crappy content out there, and we, as ethical business owners, have to compete with it all. So what do you do when you need to get your message seen and heard, and into the hands of those people who really need it — your ideal customers?
I’m glad you asked!
Here are seven ways you can make your message stand out so that your audience can find you when they need you:
1. Make it relevant
One of the best ways to cut through the noise is to make sure your content is relevant. There’s nothing more frustrating to a searcher than to think they’ve found the perfect information only to find out that it’s either totally off-topic, or so outdated it’s useless. For example, I am a distributor for a network marketing company but unless I’m using it as an example or a case study about marketing, I’m not going to be talking about it here on my content marketing blog.
Providing relevant and timely information will help you get ranked better in the search engines and it will also ensure that when someone comes to your site as a result of their search results, they get the answers they are looking for. And you can bet that if you’ve helped them once they’ll be more inclined to return again for more information.
2. Make it clear and concise
I know I’ve said this before, and I probably sound like your high school English teacher, but please… don’t ramble! Make your posts only as long as they need to be to get all the important information into them.
There’s a big emphasis on being conversational in your writing when creating content for the web. This is something that it took a long time for me to master and honestly there are days when I still struggle with it. But when you can master the art of writing clearly and concisely for a general audience, you’ll be well on your way to success.
The reason is, that while you might be an expert in your field, chances are the person searching for your information is just an everyday person who wants one of two things: general knowledge or help solving a specific problem. If you write to show off all your technical expertise and superior knowledge, you will lose them.
3. Infuse it with your personality
Personality seems to be a big hot button these days. I’ve written about putting your personality into your business, and my friend Tiffany Lambert teaches personality marketing in her latest private blogging challenge. Catherine Doucette of Creativity That Inspires has an amazing video about how important it is to show your personality and be yourself. Watch the video… it’s only a few minutes, and I promise if you don’t already get why being personal and being yourself is so important, you will by the end of it.
4. Make it informative
Don’t be afraid to give your readers the information they are looking for. I promise you, in the end, you will get more sales and customers with good, helpful information than you will with sales pitches. If you’re going to offer up a how-to post, make sure you give them the steps of HOW TO do something, not just information about why they should buy your product to help them do it.
Here’s a real example of what I mean. I have this friend who has a ton of information and expertise to offer in their niche. My friend writes blog posts a few times a week, and always includes a strong call to action in the post. You’d think that by writing an informative post and including a call to action, that the sales would be rolling in, wouldn’t you? They’re not. And here’s why…
Every post reads like a sales pitch! Even though my friend has enough information to give a lot away in the blog posts, and still has loads left over to sell in information products or coaching programs, they don’t really do that. If you went to the site hoping to learn something, pretty much all you’d learn is how great they think their products are.
Learn from my friend’s mistake. Don’t be afraid to give some of the good stuff away. It will pay off in the long run, and people will remember you the next time they are looking for information.
5. Show, don’t tell.
We all know that actions speak louder than words. Here’s one you probably haven’t thought of… When it comes to your products and services, other peoples’ words speak louder than yours.
Show your visitors that other people are using your products and services and having success with them. Include customer feedback and testimonials wherever appropriate. Use video to show them how things work, or include images that illustrate your point in your posts.
6. Use the spell-checker
There is nothing worse than finding what you think is a great article, only to have it be unreadable because of spelling and grammatical errors. (Yes, I know I’m not perfect and there are probably a few in here too.)
Read your content out loud before you post it, and you will find errors that the spell-checker missed as well as places that just don’t flow.
If you’re writing in English and it’s not your first language it doesn’t hurt to have a native speaker proof-read for you as well. A native speaker will catch things that you may not even think about if you’re not using the language every day. This holds true no matter what language you write in. If it’s not your normal everyday language, get someone else to read it too.
7. Include a surprise or two
People like to be surprised, and will remember you when you give them something they’re not expecting. Whether it’s free content, downloads, coupons, or something else doesn’t matter as long as you leave them with a feeling of “Wow! What a cool site! I can’t wait to come back here and see what’s next!”
When it comes right down to it, people want to feel special. They want to know that when they hit your site, they are going to get the information they came for, and they are going to get it in a way that lets them know you care about their problems. Using these tips to spruce up your content will give it that “wow factor” that turns good content into great content and makes your message stand out from the crowd.
If you want to know what surprises I have in store for you, sign up to my list. I’m going to be giving away some really good stuff over the next little while, but you have to be on the list to get it!
It’s your turn now… What do you do to make your message stand out? Share with us in the comments below.