Creating content is a process that can be approached from a variety of angles, but one thing remains clear: if you want to create meaningful stories that publishers are interested in, the content must be high quality.
Beyond creating emotional and engaging content from a topical angle, it’s important to understand the technical aspects of content creation, too. Often times, marketers forget to take into consideration the user experience. This often overlooked point has the ability to turn engaging content into something less appealing.
The following content creation tips will help you optimize your content to create the best user experience possible.
Long form, extensive infographics are a thing of the past. When creating content, you should create focused topical graphics. This prevents readers from getting fatigued or overwhelmed by all of the information of a long infographic. This also allows content to be more shareable.
Smaller images allow people to share the one part of a piece of content that may be most relatable to them or people they know. This ties back into focusing on the emotions we use to create viral content. Assets allow you to really focus and hone in on a specific emotion, where long infographics tend to lose that.
Within your assets, consider adding text callouts that act as the TL;DR of the visual you are presenting. The average internet user has an attention span of 8 seconds or less, so you need these visual markets to keep the attention of the viewer.
The internet is a visual place. Trends show that most people thrive on memes, GIFs, and emojis to share emotions. Focusing on how you present and design your visuals is important not only to reader engagement but also the public's perception of your brand.
Take these sample visuals for example.
The clean style on the left looks much more authoritative and professional than the one on the right. It’s important to think critically about the emotions these may be evoked depending on font and color choices.
While your assets should be high quality, you want to make sure that the files aren’t soo large they are hindering your page load times. Going back to the short attention spans of internet users, they are used to fast results, so slowing things down could mean they just jump ship before your page even loads. Try keeping a file and avoid having too many on one page. GIFS or interactive elements can also slow down the page load speed, so be aware of how much of these types of content you’re incorporating.
Pro tip: Compress your PNGs using a site like tinypng.com. This will reduce your file sizes significantly, while still maintaining the quality of the image.
57% of all U.S. online traffic comes from a mobile phone, so when it comes to organizing your content, it’s critical your page is optimized for mobile. This includes making sure you have added mobile versions of all elements of your content to your page’s styling. This also includes the share button, sharing something should be as simple as can be. With that much traffic coming from mobile phones, you need to make sure you’re being helped, not harmed.
Think “mobile first” when designing out your landing pages. Starting by optimizing your images, as mentioned above will make this a much more seamless process
Last, but definitely not least, is duplicate text across your pages. This is especially important if you are managing content creation across multiple domains. Examples of this could be a "terms of service" or methodology statement. Each piece of content you produce should have these sections written differently. If they are exactly the same, or even if it’s just a string of 4 words, a quick Google search would instantly link your content together. With a strict limit on duplicate content before facing penalties, this isn’t always in your best interest.
Pro tip: try coming up with a branded image you insert at the bottom or add a bit of personality and flair to these repetitive sections. Adding in puns, or having it match the tone of the content it’s a part of would solve that issue. Just because you have to follow a template for these things, maybe as part of branding guidelines or content requirement, doesn’t mean you can't make each iteration of it different.
Creating Your Content
Content creation doesn’t have to be difficult, and hopefully, these quick tips help you achieve your goals.
Remember this: beyond just the content idea and story, the formatting and presentation are just as important. Optimizing your landing pages for your audience and content will improve user experience on your site and increase your chances of your content being shared, or even better, going viral!