Three ways content can captivate your audience

Entrepreneurial spirit is at an all-time high, thanks to recovering global markets and increasing consumer confidence. That said, many startups and businesses are left wondering how to differentiate their services from those offered by the competition.

This is where content development comes into play. But it’s not as easy as pushing material out into the world and hoping for the best. Results are earned through hard work, sound marketing strategies, and best practice principles.

Today’s consumers are not only using their mobile phones to find the things they want, they’re using them to buy online. And as a result, businesses that fail to keep pace and cater to mobile-responsive design are at risk of losing a high percentage of potential sales.

A recent Prosper Mobile Insights survey has found that 81 percent of Americans use mobile devices to conduct product research and 50 percent have used their smartphones to follow through on their purchase intent.

With that in mind, there are certain things you need to know about content development and which methods are best suited to setting up and solidifying your brand’s identity.

Below are three golden rules to keep in mind when setting yourself apart and, most importantly, framing things for today’s modern, mobile-oriented audiences.

1. Longform content is the way forward

Despite conventional thinking, different types of content delivery methods have different “ideal” lengths. According to a Buffer analysis of what makes a particular post successful, it’s the content’s ability to capture and hold an audience’s attention.

The research found that blog posts of 1,600 words (taking about seven minutes to read) were most effective in reaching online participants. One other crucial thing to keep in mind is that search algorithms also favor longform content and rank it accordingly.

Whatever content you decide to produce or publish, just make sure that you emphasize quality over quantity and have something meaningful to say that’s also original.

2. Data visualization is better than infographics

There is an important distinction between data visualization and infographics, but there seems to be some discussion about what these two almost interchangeable terms mean.

Data visualization refers to the process by which information is represented in a visual way, and infographics are one possible end result of such a process.

It could be argued that infographics are a user-friendly alternative to data visualization, in that the graphical representation of statistics or facts is undertaken with some kind of story progression in mind. However, infographics are not necessarily more “shareable.”

Consider this data visualization from CJ Pony Parts that depicts the auto industry as if it were 100 cars. In such examples, we can see the appeal of data visualization over infographics.

Data visualization is generally about a concise topic, and the data is often shown using a single chart or diagram. Data visualization seeks to make these illustrations easy to digest and aesthetically pleasing, whereas infographics often try to cram many different kinds of information into a limited amount of space.

 3. Interactivity is the way to engage with your audience

Interactive elements are now easier than ever before to incorporate into your online content.

This flash-integrated example from Main Street USA demonstrates the best of what interactivity has to offer. By mousing over different elements of the graphic, you can view and learn about various kinds of career options available in different places and industries.

Creating this kind of content may be time-intensive and costly to set up, but there is value to be found in these pieces’ longevity. It’s for this reason that interactive content is usually more effective at converting users when compared to traditional text-based or static information displays. Not to mention, it’s a good way to get new people interacting with your brand and becoming aware of your services.

Content development offers no one-size-fits-all approach, but compensates with a multitude of options to capture and convert your customers. So whenever the time comes to redesign your site, write an article, or design a graphic, give some thought to what was covered here for some help.

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