Last updated on September 7th, 2013 at 02:23 pm
Now that you know how to cook your content right, let’s tackle how you can keep your readers hooked to your stuff. Great content marketing means serving your readers the good stuff all the way to the end. More than 50% of readers drop out 50% of the way through content on the internet. Here’s how to beat the statistics – and keep your readers going back for more.
This entry is the 7th part of our Content Marketing Series: Breaking Down Content Marketing. Here are our previous entries:
- How to Write Powerful Outlines and Why you should give a Fluff
- How to Integrate Low-Hanging Keywords from the Global Market
- Writing for a World of 36-hours-a-day readers
- Assembling Booby-Trap Content for your Audience
- The World Above the Fold: How it Affects SEO
- Where’s the Beef? How to Cook your Content Right
Hook, Bait and Content
We’ve talked about leading your audience to action in Assembling Booby-Trap Content for your Audience – now we’re talking about how to get them hooked on your stuff. People can write content – that’s relatively easy. It could be 500 words, 800 words, or even 2,000 words. But what’s the point when, after reading the content, the visitor says “Ok that’s makes sense.” and then hits the back button or the ‘X’ button?
Then you’ve just lost one good reader with little hope of bringing him back again. Shame, isn’t’ it?
What if I told you that you could bring that reader back? That you could make that a loyal reader who would go through your stuff every time you had something new to offer?
Always remember that content marketing starts with your content (duh!). This is your arsenal. You need to bring this to your readers any way you can.
Making it Personal
Social media is the ever-rising communication platform of our online world today. However, in the workplace, there’s no guarantee that social media websites are not blocked off. You know how you can be sure that people are still receiving your stuff even at the workplace? Email.
Up until today, email is still the most effective way to communicate to your readers. The thing about email is that you can make it as personal as you want.
Introducing Email Marketing
Wait a second, I thought this entry was about Content Marketing?
Hold your horses. Yes this is about content marketing – a specific part of content marketing – which is all about retaining your visitor’s readership of your content. It’s a crucial part of your content marketing efforts. And email marketing is a great avenue to do that.
Start by creating an email marketing account. Mailchimp is an awesome email marketing platform that gives you a head-start for free! If you don’t have an email marketing platform yet, I’d advise you to start with Mailchimp.
Why is Email Marketing important?
There are tons and tons of reasons why – but I’ll highlight the ones just for the purpose of content marketing. So here’s 7 of them straight out:
Email marketing has that touch where you can make your subscribers feel that there’s no communication barrier between the both of you. There’s no moderator, no secretary, no community manager. It’s just you and me. Mano-a-mano. When you hit the ‘reply’ button, you’re talking directly to the webmaster.
It’s that feeling that makes email marketing so good. It’s that feeling that makes it such a great tool to carry your content through!
2. Permission Marketing
People don’t like interruptions. Privacy is important and ads are considered spam – especially in emails. Email marketing is evolving to be one of the foremost permission-based marketing avenues. Once your readers sign up, they should be sent a confirmation email and they MUST click it before they would be officially included in your list.
This is not to say that you don’t have the option of making it intrusive – you can. BUT it’s looked down upon. Both by your email marketing platform provider and by your readers. Taking out the confirmation email from your email list building process will mean higher bounce rates / spam subscriptions / user complaints.
It’s the age of permission marketing because people are wisening up to what they want to see, hear, watch and read.
The best thing about email marketing is that people are subscribed to you for each new blog entry you publish, for each news article you post, for each video you put out. It’s amazing how you’ll have that recurring reach with a simple push of a button. This is not to say that you have to keep that “magic” that pushed them to subscribe to you.
Only send out the best. Content that they really want. That’s the reason why they subscribed to you in the first place.
4. Share-able (Even in the Workplace)
The great thing about email marketing is that it’s so easy to forward to a colleague or a co-hobbyist even in working hours. Some companies have social media sites blocked out for their employee’s work efficiency – this means that if you’re retaining readership through social media alone, you lose out on the average Monday-Friday employee’s work hours. Not a good thing.
5. Track Open rates / Click rates
Email marketing enables you to track your open and click rates. Meaning you’ll be able to see how many people are actually opening your emails, how many times they’ve opened it, who is opening it, and what links they’re clicking. It’s actionable data right there and then. You’ll know whether you need to tweak your email’s subject or your first sentence. Stuff like that.
6. Customizable Layout and Design
Email marketing platforms (especially Mailchimp) are highly customizable in terms of look and layout. Although images are turned off by default in email browsers, it doesn’t hurt to pepper your email with an visual or two. Sometimes people do click ‘display images’ when you prompt them to. It makes your email pleasing and brings in a whole new perspective to the one reading it.
7. Win-Win Opt-in Forms
One thing you need to know to juice up your email marketing’s listbuilding – you need to give an incentive for people to stay tuned in to your stuff. Give them the best of your content. The good stuff. Send it to them as they subscribe to your newsletter – and send it right away.
One example of how we do it here is through our Free Ebook: 8 Actionable On Site Optimization Techniques.
Email Opt-in form
Notice how we keep users stuck to our tail here at SEO Hacker? There’s an email sign-up form on the right-hand side. We have almost 2,000 people tuned in to our stuff. It’s a shame that we publish content just approximately once a week (I’m trying to get my head around how we can make it twice a week). These people get our latest news, tips, tricks, and lessons straight to their email inbox. We get in touch with them on a personal basis. And chances are, they reply back with their thoughts, comments and inquiries – all via email.
Growth hacks is all about sending you the top 10 best stuff we’ve found on inbound marketing for the month. It’s free! Check it out here.
So this post is about Email Marketing?
It kinda looks like that, doesn’t it? But hey, if you drill it down, email marketing is one powerful aspect of content marketing. It’s a way to market out your content – Personally and in a measurable, customizable way.
How does all this Affect SEO?
That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? It’s simple, really. Dwell time metrics. It’s something you will find extremely hard to artificially replicate but it’s something that is rising in its weight as an SEO factor. having people go back to your site and go through your stuff means better user activity, higher dwell time, and if your content and branding is any good, there’s a good possibility of links, co-citation, co-occurrence. The possibilities are many.
Tips for Keeps: All this sounds great but you know I found out that people miss out on one important factor: Ask. People forget – that’s life. Your readers won’t subscribe or opt-in to you just because. Even if you do have a giveaway. Remind them. Ask them to subscribe – keep them on the loop and hooked on your stuff.