The goal of all content is to move the reader and engage them. Your content sets you apart from everyone else and says you are unique. Unfortunately, most of the content out there seems to be just like everyone else’s. The safety of copying has suppressed the originality required to surpass the competition.
In a world of bland content, those willing to innovate and use high-performing content that sets them apart and engages their customers win big. So what defines high-performing content? Here are five aspects common to the content that moves and engages audiences.
1. It Speaks to the Audience
Too many companies use their content to say what they do, not how they can make their customer feel. Their content is void of understanding their customers’ identities and what they want to hear, and it lacks words that convey feelings.
High-performing content doesn’t say, “Here is what you need.” It conveys a feeling, making the reader say, “Hey, I feel good. I need that.” The words used convey a feeling more than a description. When those words are read, your audience feels cared about and excited to know they have discovered a solution to their problem on their own.
Great content creators make people feel better and move them to engagement.
2. The Length is Just Right
Another aspect of copying culture is that if a competitor has 2000 words, everyone else wants 2000 words. Content that moves people says what it needs to, unconstrained by a word count. If you can say it in 600 words and it impacts your audience, then 600 words are what you need.
Simplicity will always be the true elegance, and nowhere does that apply more than your content. The most extraordinary content professionals will go to great pains to be elegant and use the right words – not just many words. It’s a talent that takes more time and thought than simply meeting a word count.
There is a caveat to this rule, though. SEO-focused content performs better when it is longer. Blog posts with more than 3,000 words outperform, making them the one instance when considering word count is valuable.
3. Lists, Headings and Short Paragraphs
Great content writers break content out using headings and lists. Furthermore, they keep paragraphs short, usually no more than three to four sentences. The goal is approachability for a time-constrained audience that is commonly bombarded with content.
A long paragraph can be intimidating, and a paragraph that mentions too many separate aspects of one thing needs to be broken out into a list. The whole goal is reader-friendly content.
Rules of thumb for lists, headings and short paragraphs are:
- Use bullet points: Articles with lists and bullet points gets more traffic and shares.
- Longer main headlines: Longer headlines help readers discern an article’s value.
- List headlines: A headline that promises a list, like the one used for this article, will outperform all others.
- Guides and how-tos: Headlines that imply a guide or how-to article perform well.
- H2s and H3s: Articles with H2 and H3 headlines enjoy higher performance.
- Shorter paragraphs: Keeping paragraphs shorter and less complex makes your content more approachable.
4. The Keyword Tradeoff
Some content is written almost solely for SEO, which means it ends up keyword-heavy. If your idea of high-performing is SEO performance, go ahead and worry about keyword density first.
The keyword tradeoff comes into play if you believe a substantial audience will read your content. If that is the case, keyword stuffing can result in content that degrades any message you may have. Using an absurd number of keywords can create content that’s nearly nonsensical, making it evident to the audience that the content isn’t meant to be helpful.
SEO becomes an exercise in futility if you’re at the top of Google – but your content turns the audience away. Great content writers know when enough is enough when making the keyword tradeoff. They know when to say, “This performs well by SEO metrics, but if we take it any further, it’s valueless.”
5. It’s Written by Pros
Of course, we content pros want you to use us, but this paragraph isn’t meant to overly hype us up. It’s just the truth. Professional writers have years of experience putting together content that resonates with people and is tailored to fit your purpose.
Listen to your writer if you genuinely want high-performing content. Solicit their input on what works best. Writers typically have two types of clients: those that want something written and those that want writing that means something. Be the second type of client if you want the best content out there.
The world’s best content creators want to tell you when you’re asking for the wrong thing. Let them do so, and you’ll find they produce something more impressive than what you’ve seen from every other source. Content pros are worth every penny.
Content is King
The post-COVID-19 world is a very different environment for content. Audiences need to feel, and they will weed out the content that isn’t approachable. Originality is essential, and dynamic words that convey purpose have to be used.
Those who want content that outperforms don’t look at what a competitor is doing. The competitor likely has it all wrong. They approach their content knowing that quality, elegance, approachability, and originality are everything. The investment in high-performing content always results in winning.
Writer Access has the pros that create top-performing content. Being one of them, I can honestly say we’re the best team out there. Sign up for a free trial and see what amazing results high-performing content will deliver for you.