Do you also think that you’re generating content faster than your target audience is able to consume? Or it isn’t reaching them the way you’d like it too?
Creating industry specific content that resonates with your audience can be a daunting task, but what’s harder is to inspire action from it.
Even though every content marketer ensures making use of storytelling, the latest copywriting trends, etc to create and market better content, ‘actionability’ is rarely talked about. And that’s probably the reason the last post you read on a website didn’t encourage you to interact with the business.
Most of the content we see today lacks actionability because it isn’t able to completely empathize with its readers. The results of which is the reader loses interest in the content piece altogether or ends up not knowing what to do next.
So how do you implement actionability in your content strategy?
1. Make use of examples as often as possible
Whenever you write a tip or trick for the reader to follow, follow it up with an example that shows him how to do it. While finding the right examples for each of your points might be difficult, doing so makes it hard for the reader to skip the in-depth explanation that follows the tip.
For example, we make use of examples from popular websites or some of our campaigns to back the conversion rate optimization tips we often share. Here’s how we did it in one of our posts:
People follow tips and tricks only when he knows how to. They’re too lazy to be exploring all those things themselves.
2. Choose visuals over text
The number one reason for your readers to not take action on a post is because they didn’t really read through it. They probably skimmed through a few paragraphs and got bored before you could actually tell them what to do. This happens when a content piece is majorly just textual.
People prefer content that ‘looks’ appealing and is easy to consume. That’s exactly why visual content is trending the industry.
Like we mentioned in an earlier post, 65% of people are visual learners and 90% information stored in our brain is in the form of visuals. What is stored is what we make use of in our day to day lives. And that’s the trick you need to make use of to make your content actionable.
So make use of visuals wherever possible. For example, if you’re writing a how-to guide, a quick video illustrating the same or an infographic around it would make it a lot more appealing than a block of text.
You could make visuals for your content using tools like Canva, Pablo, Piktochart and Visme. Alternatively, you can make use of existing images on the internet with due credits, in the post.
3. Focus on the ‘how’ more
Content marketers often get carried away, explaining ‘what’ their product or service can do for the target audience. But isn’t that just a nicer version of the sales pitch the businesses used till sometime back?
If you’re telling your readers what they need to do to achieve a certain thing, show them how to do it as well. Like we mentioned in point no. 1, people don’t like having to look for the hows’ after being fed the whats’.
Here’s where you can actually make use of the visuals you created in point no. 2. Some of the most common and effective ways to answer the hows, include:
But each one of them come with their own set of benefits. So you must consider your business’s end goals before making use of any of them.
We often use screenshots in our posts to give the reader a feel to what our suggestions look like when implemented.
4. Implement action to only what adds value to your content
While having the element on action throughout your post is a good idea, too many of them might distract or confuse the reader. This might result in him either taking an action that does not associate with the end goal you set for the post, or simply losing him.
For example, while we suggested you to make use of infographics, how-to guides, podcasts, etc in this post, if we actually started to explain the ‘how’ for each, you wouldn’t probably be reading this point. You could get overwhelmed to try it out right then!
Hence, focus on making only the essentials in your post, actionable. Before actually creating content, set goals for each piece that compliment your business goals – and stick to them. When deciding what needs to be actionable in your post, ask yourself these questions:
- Is it going to add value to the end goal of the content piece?
- Do the readers really need to know about it?
- What is the worst thing that could happen if you included a certain action?
- Are all the actions in the post consistent with each other?
5. Include call-to-actions in your post
While the what answers their queries around a product or a service, and the how answers what they need to do, you can safely assume that your readers don’t really know ‘when’ to do something.
Including a call-to-action in your post is like calling out to your readers to take action then and there. But the trick is to place these buttons in such a way that the post has already added considerable value to them to take a certain action.
So after you have identified what you need your content piece to do for you (point no. 4), place call-to-actions around it. They could be midway through your content or at the end of it – it entirely depends on how you want the reader to consume the information and what action you need him to take.
For example, you could have simple instructive lines like “Also read….” after a tip you mention; because what you’re suggesting next, will add more value to the reader.
Alternatively, you could include clear call-to-action buttons to either subscribe, download something, sign up, etc at the end or midway through the content, depending on how relevant the action is for both you and the reader.
We use clear call-to-action buttons at the end of our posts, so that the reader could consume the information before taking any kind of action:
6. Engage the reader throughout the post
According to the 1% rule of internet culture, only 1% of people are actively contributing to what they see on the internet. The remaining tend to just skim through what’s available, consume what they like and generally lurk around to see what others are doing.
Most readers are the same. They tend to skim through a website or a blog to capture only the information they want and go away without taking any action once they find it.
The only way to address this section of the readers is to engage them throughout the content piece. It is like making the most out of the attention span they’ve given you and nudging them to take an action when they’re still interested in the topic.
But creating engaging content is one of the biggest challenges faced by marketers.
The best way to keep all your reader engaged throughout the post, is by making it interactive in nature. Interactive content basically refers to the type where the readers to take some sort of action like clicking or entering a code, etc to consume the information.
Here are some ways of making your content more interactive:
- Embed social media posts
- Include podcasts
- Ask more questions
- Include videos, slideshows, etc
Over to you
If you really want your content to work for you, it needs to inspire the reader to take some sort of action. Whether the action contributes in a smaller or bigger way to your end goal, entirely depends on how well you’re able to craft it.
The only thing to remember though is to not focus on implementing action in your content for the sole purpose of conversions. It needs to be able to promise and deliver value to the reader.
What tricks have you made use of to make your content more actionable? Do drop in your ideas in the comment section below!