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Scroll through any publication’s Facebook page, and you’ll quickly discover that content can spark a variety of reactions. Effective content can spark debate, soothe worries and provide direction for readers who need it.

Along with generating conversation, a smart content strategy can spark action, too. From newsletter subscriptions to fundraising efforts, content can drive tangible results. 

But for these myriad forms of engagement to be effective, you’ll have to start with the basics. Although creating high-quality content can be labor intensive, the time, energy and resources can truly pay off.

Here are three proven tactics for creating content that can attract a lively, engaged audience:

Credible content earns readers’ trust

From fake news to clickbait, too much content is insubstantial and untrustworthy. Most readers are savvy; in particular, they’re quick to pick up on shallow attempts to game SEO.

To earn readers’ respect, you’ll need to prove that they can trust your content. To accomplish this, be sure to show your work by:

  • Citing top-quality sources, such as national media outlets, academic resources, and studies
  • Including verifiable data and statistics
  • Thinking like a reporter by interviewing expert sources 
  • Publishing case studies that demonstrate your organization’s expertise

These elements are an antidote to the fluffy, forgettable content that floods the web. When you publish content that is full of facts, proven insights and specific details, your organization can build a reputation as a trusted source of information.

Relevant content sparks timely conversations

New stories unfold within your industry every day — but you don’t have to run a breaking news department to publish timely content. 

The key to jumping into newsy conversations is to work smarter, not harder. Stay ahead of emerging conversations by using tools such as:

  • Google Alerts that syndicate keyword-related content
  • Social media tools such as TweetDeck that allow you to follow conversations in real time
  • Newsletters from beat journalists who break news about your industry

To truly stay nimble when timely stories break, you’ll also have to work with an agile and collaborative mindset. Embrace opportunities for people throughout your organization to submit story ideas, and be willing to shuffle your publication schedule around to accommodate timely content as needed.

Personalized content recognizes readers’ interests 

Content doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all solution. While anyone can visit your blog and social media pages, there are plenty of ways to add personal touches while distributing your content. 

Newsletters provide a key opportunity to personalize content for your audience. As a first step, be sure to collect subscribers’ names along with their email addresses. Most email marketing software will allow you to easily program their first names into the subject line or greeting.

Additionally, experiment with creative ways to give your audience control over which content they receive. If you publish content about multiple topics, consider creating multiple newsletters that cater to specific niches within your audience.

Heather Nolan
Post by Heather Nolan
September 22, 2020
Heather a skilled communicator with expertise in social media and marketing strategy, brand management and journalism. She uses storytelling and audience growth skills to help companies showcase their brand and expand their reach.