Are you stuck in a content rut? Once it’s up and running, adjusting your content course feels risky, but bold moves are the secret to amplifying your message and accelerating audience engagement. Try new things, be direct, get creative, and take some chances. Big moves and bold choices are exactly what your content needs to grab — and keep — audience attention.
Playing it safe
Your content represents your business, which feeds a natural temptation to play it safe, tone it down, or dial it back. But here’s the thing: If you’re producing content that looks or reads just like everyone else’s, you’re not building interest so much as creating boredom — which all but guarantees limited, if any, engagement.
How do you banish the specter of boredom and avoid creating the “same old thing”?
Get real, and GO BOLD.
When you’re looking for content ideas, think about what’s going on in your industry and apply your perspective. What do you know that your competitors and customers don’t? Do you have unique insight on a topic of industry or market import? What about innovative ideas and strategic solutions? Creating interest can be as simple as taking on the topics no one else is talking about.
Once you have chosen a topic, keep your content engaging by keeping it real. How? Remember these two rules:
- Authentic beats academic. An artificially formal approach virtually guarantees lower engagement. Content is meant to inspire connection, but outside of academic circles, dry, overly formal communication doesn’t create broad appeal.
- Voice is a vehicle. Standing out from the crowd means avoiding the temptation to play it safe or sound just like everyone else. Rather than going out of your way to strip the personality out of your content, think about how you want it to represent your unique brand. Think communication without emulation.
To create engaging content, resist the urge to weaken your language or take an overly formal approach. Real engagement is more authentic than academic, and a unique perspective inspires more engagement when combined with a distinctive voice. Finally, being real has an extra advantage: It’s easier than the artificial alternative.
You’ve got your topic, and you’re committed to keeping it real. What’s the next step to boosting engagement?
Check out this example of bold content, entitled Culture Fit is Bull$%!t, and then ask yourself, “Are you ready to go bold?”
The specifics of a bold approach look different depending on your industry, your brand, and your content goals, but examples of going bold include:
- Shifting the focus. Avoid the prevailing tendency to talk about the same things in the same terms as everyone else in your market. When you have a platform and a unique perspective, you can use them to call attention to those facets of a topic others are ignoring or avoiding.
- Challenging the status quo. Using your content to share information and opinions that challenge widely accepted beliefs or “the way things have always been” is a bold move that boosts engagement, starts a conversation, and establishes your reputation as a thought leader.
- Raising the stakes. Whether it’s an innovative idea, a fresh approach, or a contradictory opinion, using your content to say something new sets you and your brand apart from the competition — and raises the content stakes for your entire market sector.
Marketing content is meant to exemplify your brand and create connection with your target audience. Sometimes that means stepping outside of your comfort zone, taking on the topics no one else is addressing, and creating content that matters more.