Creating enough content to fuel a content marketing initiative is one of the biggest challenges for any franchise or small business. 45% of businesses struggle with creating enough content while 51% struggle with producing content that engages. –B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends

You know the nuts and bolts of your products and services and can probably talk about them all day long. But does that translate into something your prospects and customers really want to hear?

How can you create engaging content that will draw people in to become part of your franchise family as consumers, brand advocates and franchisee owners?

What’s In It for Me? (WIIFM)

Using the WIIFM customer perspective will direct your content creation to meeting the specific needs and pain points of your customers. Creating content with their wants, desires, needs and interests in mind will fine-tune your topics. Now … you just have to make it interesting!

Here are 5 tips to help with creating engaging content that will supercharge your digital marketing.

Tip 1: Answering Questions Guarantees Engagement

92% of internet users turn to search engines to find information or a solution to a problem. Useful and informative content that answers the questions your customers are asking will engage customers and prospects, driving engagement and website traffic. Learn to listen better than anyone in your industry and continually answer questions in all your content:
  • Post Frequently Asked Questions on your website
  • A series of blog posts addressing specific issues, products
  • Videos demonstrating how your products or services solve problems
  • Sharing satisfied customers testimonies/success stories
  • Twitter chats

Tip 2: Focus on Benefits and Results (Remember WIIFM)

Your customers are your customers because you help to make their lives better. Create content that promotes the benefits and real-life results your customers will experience by doing business with your franchise. For example, instead of saying you provide the absolute best cleaning products, use customer testimonies demonstrating how they can have the cleanest, greenest house on the block. They rock!–with a little help from you.

Customer-centric content will always be more engaging than sales speak, and making an emotional connection with your audience is a great way to build your brand community.

Tip 3: Quality Beats Quantity

Everything you create should be high quality. Whether it’s a humorous video, image or article, make sure the quality reflects the professionalism of your franchise brand.
  • Use vivid language and power words to grab attention
  • Copy should be intelligent and grammatically correct
  • Images should be sharp, high resolution
  • Video or audio sound should be crisp and clear
  • Vary your content styles: educational, informational and entertaining
High-quality content is more sharable and will help expand your digital footprint as users share your content. Maintain a consistent brand voice across all your social media channels with every piece of content being a tribute to your franchise brand, vividly reflecting your business culture and personality.

Tip 4: Be Creative; Be Very Creative

In today’s digital world, we are all inundated with content and data 24/7/365. To be heard in all the noise, you need to stand out. While there is comfort in the familiar, find new ways to demonstrate your expertise that will get attention in blog posts, videos, and across all your social media channels:
  • Write like you’re talking directly to a friend
  • Incorporate unusual or surprising facts about your industry
  • Lead with “yes” questions to induce agreement
  • Write gripping or controversial headlines or tweets
  • Use emotional and sensory language or analogies to paint word pictures
  • Tell stories with “cliff-hanger” moments to keep readers interested
  • Capture attention with compelling images
  • Use relevant, appropriate humor
Having varied types of content can broaden your audience by appealing to every content preference. Creative variety will also prevent your website from getting stale, and fresh content will bring people back again and again.

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Tip 5: Make All Your Content Interactive

Since true engagement is a two-way street, you want your content to be interactive and easy to share. Calls to action should be part of every piece of content, and can include:
  • Comments, Likes, Follows
  • Downloading a document (white paper or eBook)
  • Signing up for a webinar or e-newsletter,
  • Sharing your content
  • Quick chat
  • Asking a question
  • Taking a poll
  • Entering a contest
  • Buy/subscribe now
Make sure it’s crystal clear how to take action and how to share your content with obvious links and buttons. You want your content to not only engage the user at the moment, but also to direct them on to the next step, ultimately becoming a faithful, satisfied customer.

What are some of the things you do with your content to make it engaging and interactive with your customers and prospects?

Infographic from zmags, How We Consume Content from Brands