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It’s no secret that people skim content online.
In fact, according to Chartbeat: 55% of people read your post for just 15 seconds or less.
If you’re still reading this line, you’re in the minority.
It doesn’t matter if you are ranking first for a keyword with 5,000 searches a month if half your audience leaves in 15 seconds.
Writing is just the first step, and it’s far from the last.
Now content has to be more digestible than ever.
Here is how to optimize your blog content for 55% who skim while still delighting the 45% who don’t.1. Create Summary Graphics for Each Header
The purpose of H2s, H3s, etc, is to optimize for people that skim.
To structure your articles in a logical sense that people can quickly follow.
But, we all already do this.
And it doesn’t help skimming beyond grabbing a few simple words about what the next section entails.
Instead, take it a step further.
Don’t stop at descriptive H2s.
While those are a good start, they don’t offer enough information for people who skim.
Enter: summary graphics.
What are they? Essentially, summary graphics are custom graphics that help you summarize the key points of a section in your article.
For example, on my travel blog I do this for each major section to optimize for people who skim, which is most people online:
While my goal is always to keep people reading content, it’s simply unrealistic to expect everyone to read every single word.
It’s never going to happen.
So instead of thinking that “just writing better” can solve your problems, optimize for skimming with summary graphics.
Not only will you please loyal readers with stunning visuals, but you’ll also cater to those who don’t have time to read your entire post.
And we all know how valuable good user experience is for both SEO and your brand perception.2. Keep Intro Paragraphs Short & Sweet
Most people get carried away with introductions.
Tons of intros can feel like their own main section of an article.
I’ve seen it all from images to study break-downs within an intro, and it simply doesn’t make sense.
Data shows that people skim.
So, what do you think they are skimming first?
Most likely it’s your intro.
Chances are they aren’t reading your intro and they jumped straight to an H2.
Instead of wasting your own time writing long-winded intros, follow a simple strategy like PAS – problem, agitate, solution.
For example, take a look at this intro from a recent SEJ post on why content tactics fail:
Let’s break it down.
Problem: Content tactics promise game-changing results but for most, they don’t deliver.
Agitate: Most of these tactics have a short lifecycle from results to obscurity.
Solution: Here is how to become relevant without them.
This simple intro takes just minutes to write and gives the reader exactly what they want to hear:
A problem, why it needs fixing, and how to fix it.
In addition to simple introductions that follow a structure, here are some hard-fast rules you can abide by to keep intros short and to the point:
No images: Save them for the meat and potatoes of your content.
No breakdowns: You shouldn’t be deconstruction any concept or complex data in your intro.
Use a formula: For example, PAS, to keep your intros succinct and enticing.
Word count: Keep it to 150 words or less.
Value: Give the reader a reason to stick around by explicitly telling them how you will help them solve the problem.
Put these to work and your intros will be better to both read and skim.3. Use a Detailed Table of Contents & Scroll to Top Button
And if there is, it’s usually just H2s.
The problem here is usability.
If someone is looking at a lengthy guide, they need a detailed table of contents for a good experience.
Especially if they are on mobile, scrolling can feel almost endless.
In addition, people might be searching for just one section in your guide, rather than consuming the entire thing at once.
This presents a major potential issue for your traffic and conversions.
In every lengthy post that you write, include a table of contents for H2s and H3s, or important steps within each.
In addition, to optimize more for mobile traffic, add a scroll to top button that enables mobile users to jump back to the top of the page instantly:
This will display in the bottom right corner of your screen, improving the mobile user experience greatly.4. Develop Charts & Graphs for Data
Original research and data is one of the best forms of content right now to build authority.
It’s insightful, provides value, and can help you obtain high-quality backlinks from countless unique domains.
But, original research and data suck if you don’t spend the extra time to break it down into charts and graphs.
Even if you don’t have an original research blog post, charts and graphs can help users interpret complex data with ease.
In addition, those proprietary graphs and charts are link magnets just waiting to be cited on a top blog in your niche.
Plus, they are easier to create than ever before.
For example, via apps like Canva you can browse between countless graph templates:
When you have the data on-hand, you can build high-quality graphics in minutes.
If creating them on your own is too time-consuming, hire someone on Fiverr or UpWork to get the job done.
As long as you include helpful (and aesthetically pleasing) charts and graphs, your content will be much easier to skim, enjoy, and credit.Conclusion
Skimming online content is inevitable.
You likely are guilty of it, too.
I know I am.
While we can improve writing quality greatly, it’s impossible to “cure” skimming and get everyone to read every word.
Instead, we should be aiming to cater to both those who skim and those who don’t.
Use these tips to improve your blog content for people who skim, deliver a better experience, and drive more conversions from your traffic.
You're reading How To Optimize Your Blog Content For People Who Skim
GPU, or Graphics Processing Unit, accelerates the rendering process of the 3D images on the computer screen. The CPU shares the graphical workload of the system with the GPU and improves the picture and video quality.
The capacity and ability of the GPU are getting better in every new build nowadays. But it is not always feasible to get a new one. The reason might be the increasing price factor with every new update. Or it might be that your current graphics card is equally good and it just needs a boost up.
Some hardware or software incompatibility and altered settings might also have slowed down your GPU. Hence, you might want to squeeze every bit of juice possible from it. You can easily apply several optimization methods and hacks to raise your GPU’s capability.
Let’s look at the ways to optimize the GPU and prevent yourself from buying a new one.
You might be a regular heavy-duty gamer or designer or video editor. If so, you have to be on really good terms with your GPU in order to perform your tasks smoothly. Your content can be of excellent quality only if your GPU is exceptional.
Faster Video or Image Rendering.
Run High-end games in earlier GPU builds.
Improve Frame Rates
Decrease graphical load on CPU.
Faster Design and Simulation Results.
Big Data Computation with previous GPU models.
In addition to the gaming requirements, there are several needs or reasons to optimize the GPU of your computer. Let’s see a few of them.
Now that we have shortlisted some reasons for GPU optimization, we can see the ways to maximize our GPU’s performance
Your older GPU might still have got the thing in it to enhance your graphical or computing experience. You just need to tweak some of its settings and force it to give its best to carry out the job.
So, with no further delay, let’s move towards the methods to optimize the GPU to meet your particular needs.
Most of the GPU settings are set to perform by balancing power, picture quality and performance by default. This causes the GPU to sacrifice its full capacity to provide optimum power consumption or provide better texture.
You will have to set your GPU to choose performance over texture and power consumption. You can use the control panel for the respective GPU and change easily change the setting to provide maximum GPU performance to your program. Most of the users have not seen their picture quality drop much but were able to speed up their GPU by a noticeable amount.
Even though the settings are almost the same for NVIDIA or AMD GPU, you may find the way to get to it a bit different for them.Switch Graphics Card Setting for NVIDIA GPU
Let’s see how you can change the settings to maximum performance for NVIDIA.Switch Graphics Card Setting for AMD GPU
You can find the process to set the GPU to maximum performance for AMD below.
Run your desired program to see if its performance has improved.
Whenever the resolution of your display is higher, it is asking for additional effort from the GPU to maintain the frame rate. But decreasing the resolution might cause you to sacrifice the image quality.
Hence, you can use the feature of image sharpening provided on your GPU settings that maintain the quality using post-processing tools. You will need to follow these instructions to do this.
Once you have completed the part to reduce resolution, you need to change the settings for NVIDIA and AMD graphics differently. Let’s look at the ways for both of them.Enable Image Sharpening for NVIDIA
Here is the way to enable Image Sharpening for NVIDIA graphics card.Enable Image Sharpening for AMD
AMD has numerous features in its settings to tweak for the GPU. We talked about a few of them in the earlier section. Here, we are just going to enable Image Sharpening settings in the following steps.
See if your GPU is working better than before.
Windows have a feature of instructing your GPU on using the optimum amount of power depending on the tasks. It is known as GPU scheduling and it can help optimize your GPU mildly.
Similarly, Variable Rate shading or VRS also improves rendering quality by varying the amount of shading for different portions in the frame. However, VRS works only on selected programs and some computers might not even have the function.
You can go through this process to turn on these functions on your computer.
You will find your GPU functioning slightly better.
DLSS or Deep Learning Super Sampling is used by NVIDIA GPUs to render the images by reducing the resolution and enhancing the quality by the help of AI. This is similar to the tweak we mentioned earlier but is automatic and better. FSR or FidelityFX Super Resolution is a similar technique used by AMD.
The shortcoming of this technology is that not all programs support it. Furthermore, the feature is available only in newer GPUs. Let’s see how to enable DLSS in the NVIDIA GPU.
You will find the program run much better after turning this feature on.
MSI Afterburner is a free tool which you can use for any computer and monitor the functioning of your hardware. It also provides you the feature to change power settings to your GPU.
The graphics card of our computer can handle more power and more speed than that provided by default. If we can give more power to the GPU, it can work much better as well. Yes, it is risky to play with these settings but MSI Afterburner only lets you increase the value to the point your hardware can actually handle.
Let’s change these settings and optimize your GPU.
Run your respective program and see if it did the trick.
Overclocking the GPU is one of the most used features by experienced gamer. Overclocking increases the clock speed of your GPU to run it faster.
When you overclock your GPU, it runs faster than the designed speed and its performance improves much more. You can overclock the GPU by using the MSI Afterburner application as well.
Let’s look at the way to do it.
If the function to reduce the Core Voltage is enabled, you can decrease it slightly and undervolt your GPU. Overclocking the GPU will raise its temperature and the speed will decrease dramatically after crossing a threshold temperature.
Hence, undervolting will help you keep the temperature in check and maintain the GPU speed.
Check whether your program or game is working better than before.
Most of the games and programs utilize DirectX that provides a domain to optimize the frame rate and improve the GPU performance. Normally, Windows provides the DirectX update from the Windows Update feature automatically.
However, if your system has not updated DirectX in a while, then you can update it manually by following ways.
See if the performance of the GPU has improved.
If you are an avid gamer and just want your GPU to help the game run smoothly, you can play with some specific settings inside the game. Every game has settings provided to change its graphical settings such as resolution, frame rate, image quality, etc.
You can decrease the texture, anti aliasing settings as well as disable tessellation to slightly reduce the visual quality while improving the frame rate and performance. These settings are specific to games and you may find them in varying names in different games.
Furthermore, some games nowadays have a feature called DRS or Dynamic Resolution Scaling which works similar to VRS but is game specific. It optimizes the visual quality and frame rate by varying with different elements present on the display. You can enable this feature and see how it changes your experience.
Similarly, if you prefer playing your game or running your program in windowed mode, then it is taking a toll on your GPU. In the windowed view, the GPU has to render the game as well as your desktop background. Hence, playing the game in full screen mode will definitely do the trick.
As we mentioned earlier, GPU speed drops a lot after it reaches a temperature limit respective of your system. Hence, if you can reduce the heat or maintain the temperature limit, you can enhance the GPU’s performance very much.
There are several ways to decrease the heating of your GPU. The first thing you can do is clean your system and remove any accumulated dust from over the GPU and motherboard. Dust can increase the heat to your system significantly while your GPU might have taken the toll due to it.
Similarly, you can use a cooling pad for a laptop or provide proper air flow to the GPU in your desktop by using casing fans.
Furthermore, it is better to use your laptop by connecting to the power supply instead of running it with battery during heavy gaming. The battery heats very fast, hence increasing the GPU and CPU temperature.
You can also change the power plan of your system to High Performance during heavy-duty work. It makes the CPU take some load as well, improving the performance of the system as a whole.
You should always keep your GPU drivers up to date. The manufacturer sends several fixes and provides bug removal and sometimes, even optimization settings in the update.
Please go through the steps below to find the way to update your drivers.
After applying these solutions, you must have optimized your GPU performance by at least 6 percent.
When users find unauthorized devices on their Wi-Fi, the first thought is how to kick them off. This is certainly an important first step, but you shouldn’t stop there.
It’s also important to think about how that device got access to the Wi-Fi in the first place and what further steps you can take to secure your Wi-Fi and ensure this doesn’t happen again.
As such, we’ve detailed various ways to kick people off your Wi-Fi, as well as what you should do afterward in this article.
Perhaps your Wi-Fi has gotten very slow because too many devices are connected at once, or perhaps some of the users aren’t supposed to have internet access. Regardless of why exactly you want to do it, kicking people off the Wi-Fi is very simple – provided you have router access.
We recommend looking at the back of your router for the IP address and default login details. If you changed these in the past and don’t remember them anymore, you can restore them back to default by resetting the router.
Changing the Wi-Fi’s SSID or password causes all the devices to disconnect from the network. If the user you’re trying to kick off doesn’t know the password, changing the SSID should be enough, as they won’t be able to reconnect anyway. However, you’ll be better off setting a new password in other cases. Here’s how you can make these changes:
If you can’t currently access the router dashboard, you won’t be able to manually change the SSID or password. The reset button on the router will be handy in such cases. As stated earlier, resetting your router restores it to a factory state. This means all personalized settings, such as your Wi-Fi configurations, are erased as well.
This will leave your Wi-Fi without a password or encryption, and your router will use the default creds. So, you’ll need to configure the router and Wi-Fi again to ensure they’re secure. Here’s how you can do this:
If your router manufacturer or ISP provides programs that allow you to monitor and control devices, you can use those to kick people off the Wi-Fi without accessing the router dashboard. For instance, Netgear’s Nighthawk app allows you to do this. Here’s you can manage users on the Wi-Fi with such apps:
MAC Address Filtering allows you to control which wireless devices have network access using their MAC Address (unique hardware ID assigned to NICs). There are a couple of ways to set up MAC Filtering.
First, you can check the list of connected devices from your router. After noting the MAC Addresses of the devices you want to block, you can add them to the blacklist. However, this can be easily circumvented by faking a valid MAC Address (MAC Spoofing).
The second method, which is a bit more secure, is to only allow selected devices to access the network. This is once again done by changing the MAC Filtering mode, noting the MAC Addresses of the devices, and adding them to the whitelist.
With all this said, here are the general steps to set up MAC Address Filtering:
MAC Filtering is the most common way to manage network access, but other methods like Parental Controls, setting QOS Rules, or Bandwidth/Time Limits also work. Which methods are supported depends on the specific router in question, but most will support atleast one of these.
In terms of restricting network access to certain devices, all of these methods work similarly to MAC Filtering. They use the hardware ID of the device to limit bandwidth or restrict access based on time limits and so on. We have another article with step-by-step instructions for all these methods, but in this one, we’ll just use Parental Controls as an example:
Most routers these days can operate in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. These bands have various pros and cons, but for now, we’ll just cover the ones most relevant to us.
Older smartphones can often only connect to the 2.4 GHz band. The same goes for Bluetooth devices and appliances like microwaves or cameras. 5 GHz supports higher bandwidths but has comparatively lower range, meaning users will generally use the 5 GHz Wi-Fi when close to the router.
And most importantly, if the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands are configured with different passwords, the user you want to kick off is likely only on one band. In such cases, disabling the problematic band can be an unorthodox but viable solution. Here’s how you can do this:
Kicking users off the Wi-Fi is often akin to treating the symptoms rather than the cause. The actual problem you’re trying to solve might be that of slow or insecure Wi-Fi, and simply kicking some people off might not solve those issues.
In order to fix slow Wi-Fi:
First, if you aren’t sure what’s making the Wi-Fi slow, a ping test can be very useful. If you get high ping or packet loss when pinging the default gateway, this indicates that the connection between your device and router is facing some problems.
Weak signal strength is the most common culprit. Ethernet is an easy fix for this, but in cases where that’s not applicable, adjusting the router’s positioning and taking other steps to boost the Wi-Fi signal will be helpful.
In the case of 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, interference from other appliances and routers is another potential cause.
Malware on your device or router or faulty networking hardware are less common but still possible causes.
The problem could also be stemming from the ISP’s end due to things like Bandwidth Sharing or Throttling, or on the server end of the specific website or service you’re trying to access. Either way, we recommend contacting your ISP for support if you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi up to speed by yourself.
When it comes to securing your Wi-Fi, some of the stuff we’ve covered in this article, like configuring the router and Wi-Fi securely with strong passwords and encryption or using MAC Address Filtering, are excellent ways to start. Additionally, you should also:
Disable known vulnerabilities like WPS PIN. In the same context, keeping your router in a physically secure location is also important.
Set up guest networks. This allows you to give Wi-Fi access to people while keeping them isolated from your main network. No need to give away the main Wi-Fi’s password either, win-win!
Ensure your router and device’s firewall are working and no unauthorized ports are open.
Keep your router firmware updated, and ensure your device and router aren’t infected by malware.
Every blogger wants one thing more than anything: more traffic
In order to increase your traffic and keep growing, you need to get creative and you need to leverage a lot of different platforms and channels. There is a lot of competition when it comes to content, so in order to stand out and reach your audience, you don’t just need quality, but also a strong promotional strategy.
In my latest Quick Win for Smart Insights, I show you how you can build such a strategy by listing all of the main methods of promoting a blog. You’ll get to learn:
The top free ways of promoting your blog, such as social media strategies and how to maximise your traffic from social media, search engine optimisation tips, and other effective free tactics
The best blogging communities to share your posts in and increase your social shares
How to build your own blog promotion checklist to help you make sure you are leveraging every channel possible
But in this blog post, I’m going to share some creative ways of promoting your blog post, to help you mix up your promotional strategy and generate more traffic:Mix up your social updates
It’s not enough to share your blog posts just one or twice on your social media – you’ll lose a lot of potential traffic, as social media updates generally disappear very quickly from your followers’ newsfeeds.
To maximise your reach and generate more traffic, share your blog posts multiple times; for example:
Once every 1-2 days on Twitter
Once a week on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+
Use different text updates; for example, some of the ways you can mix things up is to use a quote from your blog post as the text update, an interesting fact, or a controversial statement (all taken from the blog post). Or, you can change the call to action; for example, “discover how to (…)”, “learn the best ways to (…)”, and so on.
Promote the blog post using different media: use fun GIFs or create social media images – you can use tools like Canva, Crello, and Pablo by Buffer to help – to attach when sharing your blog post. For example, you can add text over your image, like before (a quote from your blog, a fact, a statement, etc.)Answer questions on Quora
If you’re not sure how to use Quora, it’s a Q&A platform, where anyone can answer any question they want, and anyone can respond.
There are questions about any topic you can think of, from questions about personal lives to specific niche topics about any industry.
As you start building up your profile on Quora and responding to questions regularly, it will help you build up your blog and website traffic and your influence as a thought leader in your niche.
To get started, complete your profile; don’t forget to include a link to your blog and make sure to write a compelling bio, as it will be seen every time you answer something.
Then, start answering questions; use the search bar to find relevant questions and to find topics to subscribe to.
You can include relevant links in your answers, but try not to promote just yours – include other helpful resources and links, as the more value you offer, the better.
You should also try to respond to new questions regularly to build up your followers and your traffic: check Quora regularly to see if there are any new questions (so yours can be the first answer!) and try to respond to a new question every day, or every few days.Repurpose your content
Your content doesn’t have to be used just once and discarded. In fact, there are all kinds of ways that you can repurpose your content to reach a wider audience and drive more traffic back to your blog.
First, check your blog analytics: what are your most popular blog posts? Which generated the most traffic and engagement?
These posts are the perfect ones to reuse as they’ve already demonstrated they drive results.
Here are some of the best ways to repurpose your content to maximise your results:
Turn a top-performing how-to post into a Slideshare presentation; the ones on the front page get hundreds of thousands of views, so if you can create an awesome presentation with a compelling headline and that provides a lot of value to the reader, you have the potential to reach a whole new audience. Make sure to also add your logo and branding (use your brand colours) and to include a call to action to get people to visit your blog/website
Turn a fact-heavy blog post into an infographic: infographics are still popular and can help you generate more traffic – you just need interesting facts and statistics and a compelling design. To help you make your infographic, you can try tools like Canva or Visme; once done, share your infographic on social media and on your blog to promote it and drive more traffic.Create round-up posts
One of the ways that you can effectively boost your social media shares and traffic, is to write a round-up post; for example, it can be about:
The best bloggers in your niche
The top curated content from your industry – the articles that provide the most value to the reader
The top infographics/videos/blog posts/resources/etc. from your niche
These types of curated posts can actually provide a lot of value to the reader – especially a blog where you curate the best blog posts and resources in your niche – which is a big bonus. But the way you’re going to boost your shares is by reaching out to all of the bloggers and influencers you’ve mentioned in your post to let them know about it and, of course, so they can share it.
You can reach out via email or social media: just send them a short message letting them know about it and asking them to share it with their audience if they like the post.Conclusion
Blog promotion is no easy feat. In order to drive traffic to your blog, you need to promote your blog on multiple channels and on a regular basis. That means not only using all of the classic channels of blog promotion – like SEO, social media, and email marketing – but you also need to get creative and try different methods.
If you want to learn more about all the different ways that you can promote your blog and generate more traffic, check out my Quick Win, where you’ll get to learn every top blog promotion method and other lesser-known ways that you can leverage.
If you own a blog or write for one, it’s easy to get carried away with what you’re writing about and forget that an actual person needs to read and understand what you’re writing.
Writing essays for school or crafting a fiction novel is very different from writing content for a web audience.
Table of Contents
In this article we’ll provide you with 6 key blog writing format tips that’ll ensure your readers don’t hit the “back” button before getting to the last line of your article6 Key Blog Writing Format Tips
As we go through this list, we’ll highlight actual articles from this site where these tips were used successfully. The following are the key things to keep in mind as you craft your blog posts.
Start simple: Give your readers the simple answer first, then expand on it later.
Readability: Bullet lists, small paragraphs, and plenty of headers.
Logical headers: Your headers should have a natural thought process from first to last.
Lots of graphics: Pictures really are worth a thousand words, so use them everywhere!
Use keywords: No, not keyword spamming. Actually mentioning what your writing about is actually something too many authors forget to do!
Be engaging: Write like you’re explaining something to your best friend.
You may notice some of these things already being used in this article. That’s the point. Now for those of you who want more than just a simple list, let’s move on to each tip in more detail.1. Start Your Article with Simple Explanations
These are answers pulled directly out of the section of your article with that simple answer. For example, Elsie’s article on how to reopen a closed browser tab uses a perfect blog writing format that starts off with a list of methods you can use to accomplish this.
This isn’t just good for Google, it’s also good for your readers. Placing the easiest information at the top of your article lets readers who don’t need all the details get the answer they want without much scrolling.2. Make Your Formatting Ridiculously Readable
There are three core elements that make a blog’s writing format readable:
Lists (numbered or bulleted)
Pictures (relevant pictures or screenshots showing steps)
Headers (organizing the thought process)
Small bite-sized paragraphs
The idea is that you’re not forcing the reader’s mind to stay focused on a massive wall of text that takes 5 minutes to read. The human mind likes change, and small pieces of information at a time.
For example, one of our authors who is excellent at this is Elsie. For example, in her article on the best caller ID apps, she organizes major headers by platforms, followed by a numbered header for each list item.
Each list section includes a bulleted list of features for the app, small paragraphs that are quick to skim, and of course nice, big screenshots.
The point here is that you can quickly skim through an article that’s laid out in this way and your brain can still take in all of the important points.
The header provides the context, subheaders refine the context, pictures provide clear examples, and lists provide quickly digestible details.
Readability is a beautiful thing when it’s done right.3. Order Headers So They Make Sense
When you first start writing your article, it’s a good idea to format the blog post by outlining it with headers first. Work through the logic of what you want to write from start to finish and order the headers accordingly.
For example, a listicle like the article you’re reading has numbered headers for items in the list. And if you’ve created an opening section with that “simple” list, readers will know exactly where to scroll down to in order to get the information they want.
For a how-to article, obviously you’d have each header as a numbered step. Or, like Patrick’s article on how to change Minecraft skins, you may have a section for each platform and subheaders for each method on that platform.
The point here is to use headers as the thought process of your article. Don’t jump around from one subject to the next in a disordered way or you’ll lose readers along the way.
Even worse, you may give a few a headache because they can’t follow your disorganized train of thought.4. Don’t Skimp on Visuals
You’d be surprised just how often it’s possible to use a picture or a diagram to explain something in far less space than you’d use with words.
For how-to articles, this is simple. Screenshots are key. For “explainer” articles covering more complicated topics, sometimes you need to take the time required to actually draw out a diagram for your readers.
A perfect example of this is Sydney’s article on what ray tracing is. Below a section where he describes the concept of rasterization, Sydney then provides a diagram showing how a computer figures out what a 3D world should look like if your monitor screen was a window.
Try explaining something that complex without a diagram, and you’d probably end up writing an entire page. And you’d lose your readers along the way.
Use visuals like this anywhere and everywhere that you possibly can.5. Keywords? Do People Still Use Those?
Here’s a simple concept. How do you think people actually find your articles when you publish them to the web?
Google still maintains roughly 95% of the search engine market. And while Google’s search algorithm has gotten more complicated and difficult to understand over the years, one concept remains unchanged since day one: say what you’re writing about.
If you look through this article, I’ve said “blog writing format” in a variety of ways, not to stuff the article with the same phrase a dozen times, but because I’m actually writing about that topic. So saying what I’m writing about is common sense.
Search Google for some random topic like “how to build a raft”. The first result is an article from a survival skills magazine.
You’ll notice that the author actually used the phrase “build a raft” in a primary header, and mentioned it again in the first paragraph. Google highlights the words that match your search.
In fact, Google highlighted that section of the article as a featured snippet.
The author mentioned the topic with a variety of alternative phrases, like “make a raft”, “building a raft”, etc…
Go to the sites listed on page 5 of Google results, and you’ll see a dramatic difference.
This is, in fact, an article on how to build a raft. It’s also a survival website. The author refers to the concept of building a raft once.
It’s an entire article about building a raft, without any headers, no numbered steps, and the topic mentioned only once.
Use common sense. If you’re going to write about something, it’s smart to mention the topic at least a few times, don’t you think?6. Explain It to Me Like I’m Your Best Friend
If you want the reader to stay with you, you need to make them trust you. You can do that by being friendly and informal.Use All Elements Together
It really doesn’t take rocket-science to pepper all of these elements into your blog posts. The key is to always remember that the writing format you use in your blog posts all play a small part in keeping the reader interested, entertained, and engaged with you.
If you do it all right, they’ll actually make it to the last line of the article. And they may even be smiling about it.
Stories are extremely effective at building trust. This is why businesses are using influencer marketing
Stories are a great way of appealing to and connecting with people. They’re extremely effective at building trust. Think about every time you consider customer reviews before buying a product – the stories of real people and their experiences are what truly encourages you to buy it. This is why businesses are using influencer marketing.
A study by Twitter found that tweets from influencers coupled with tweets from brands can increase purchase intent by 5.2 times. In fact, 40% of the respondents in the study reported having purchased products based directly on an influencer’s recommendation.
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So, the big question is – is storytelling the future of content marketing? In this post, we’ll explore the significance of storytelling in B2B content marketing. We’ll also look at some surefire ways of boosting your B2B content strategy using storytelling.The power of storytelling
Let’s have a quick look at the benefits of storytelling as a B2B marketing strategy.1. Stories build trust and relationships
When you share authentic stories about your brand, you can connect with your audiences on a deeper level. Businesses have started to look beyond your brand – they look for stories that resonate with them as people. Such people are not only more likely to buy from you but also spread positive word-of-mouth about your brand.
Consider, for example, one of the leaders in CRM solutions, Salesforce. This brand realizes the importance of a good story to boost trust and credibility. It leverages its happy customers for storytelling.
Salesforce has a separate section on its website entirely dedicated to the success stories of its customers. When its prospects read such stories, it naturally instills trust in Salesforce’s solutions.2. Stories are great motivators
A good story can be a great motivator to drive your audiences toward becoming customers. Many B2B brands have been successfully using this tactic to sell their services or products.
For example, the shipping conglomerate, Maersk, realizes how important it is to motivate its audiences. This is possible only through stories that are real and relatable. Its campaign, “The Heart of Trade” revolves entirely around the lives of people who make trade happen.
Through this campaign, it showcased the lives of the everyday entrepreneurs – the heroes of global trade. Such stories are greatly inspirational and can help to win the hearts of your prospects.3. Stories are fun and exciting
Well of course they are! When you simply state your amazing product’s features, trust me, no one has the slightest bit of interest in them. But, turn them into a story about how they can benefit your audiences and they’ll start listening.
Law firm, BLP, offers risk management consulting services to well-known financial institutions. For one of its marketing campaigns, it created a series of videos inspired by Ocean’s 11 in a classic “heist” theme. Their objective was to be top of mind for potential buyers.
These videos spoke about caution using real-life regulatory scenarios that can become a nightmare for firms. The videos are fun to watch, engrossing and extremely compelling.How to use storytelling effectively
Now that you understand the benefits of storytelling, let’s look at a few ways in which you can use this for B2B marketing.
An interesting strategy that has been used by many B2B brands is to leverage employees to share brand stories. Your employees are the ones who know your products the best because they’re the ones who create them. So getting them to spread your story in their circles can be a great way to increase awareness of your brand.
IBM is a company that has been using this tactic successfully for a long time. It created an internal hub that makes it easy for its employees to share content on their social networks. The employees who participate in the program are recognized for their efforts. This isn’t an absolute necessity, however.
Of course, IBM is able to leverage its in-house platform given its technical proficiency and immense resources. For those of us who don’t have such resources at our disposal, platforms like Smarp can be really helpful.
This second use case can be a serious game-changer for marketers seeking to maximize the authenticity of their storytelling. By simply posting an internal-only discussion thread, you can easily spark conversations with non-marketers in your company – sales reps, customer success agents and others who intimately know the issues that your buyer personas face day in, day out and can help inform the content you work on.
Tip: Make the process easy and seamless, allowing subject matter experts to share their wisdom via web forms, audio files – whatever fits their lives best. And make sure to offer incentives for participation. This will encourage your employees to contribute and get your stories heard in their circles.2. Involve customers in your journey
If you truly want to resonate with your audiences and infuse yourself into their lives and conversations – involve them in every step of your journey. Share stories about how you started out, what your vision is now and your plans for the future.
By involving your customers in every step of your journey, you are no longer limited to just a product or service. Through your stories, they’ll get to see the human side of your brand and this can truly help you win their trust.
Workday, for instance, uses its social media profiles mainly to give its audience an inside look at the company to show its human side.
This speaks volumes about the culture and values of the company because it was founded on the idea of putting people at the center of enterprise software.
Tip: Identify the challenges of your target audiences and help them overcome these through storytelling. Resonate with their issues as this will make your brand appear more credible and human.3. Leverage influencers to share your stories
Influencers are expert storytellers. So collaborate with influencers in your niche and have them present your story to their followers. Make sure not to meddle too much with the actual content creation process as this can do you more harm.
Provide your influencers with ample creative freedom while making sure you’ve clearly articulated your expectations. Studies have found that 77% of influencers prefer to collaborate with brands that provide creative freedom.
Microsoft launched a unique campaign on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2023. Its objective was to increase awareness and motivate more women to work in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.
The results were phenomenal. These photos recorded a total of 3.5 million likes and reached around 91 million people.
This is a great way of positioning your brand in front of your target audiences. When they get to hear such authentic stories from influencers, they’re more likely to buy your product. The amount of engagement the above post has generated is a good indication of that.
Apart from posting sponsored content on social media, influential bloggers can also help you get your stories across to your target audiences. A great way of engaging them is to ask them to write product reviews for you on their blogs. Not only can they boost your content strategy, but also help improve your SEO as well.
BuzzSumo can help you find the right influencers for your brand. It allows you to filter the results by domain authority, relevance, retweet ratio, reply ratio and other parameters. You can even filter the results to display influencers by type – whether you need bloggers, journalists, regular people or even companies.
Tip: Collaborate with influencers to get your stories across to your target audiences in a way that’s authentic, aesthetic and relatable.Final thoughts
The world around us continues to evolve every single day. With it, there are shifts in consumer preferences and hence the need for brands to constantly innovate. However, our basic human instincts have remained the same and always will. We are hardwired for stories. So follow the above-mentioned methods and use the power of storytelling to take your business places.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant for 15 years with an emphasis on Influencer Marketing in the last 5 years. He is specialized in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.
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