You research your target audience. You build your learner persona. You put in a lot of effort in doing your homework and then even more sweat and tears in producing top-notch content since good content attracts more learners. Maybe you have a blog that links to your online courses, or you have a guest blogging strategy to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
And then it gets lost in the sea of web content. It’s downright frustrating and somewhat discouraging.
The main reason for this is that most marketers focus on giving information and fail to make the content more actionable i.e. giving it a practical value.
Actionable content increases engagement with your e-learning products and your brand. Here are a few tips on how to create it:
Use images and infographics
Pictures make any content more memorable and easy to understand. That’s why children’s books are so nice.
Since you want to give your audience an incentive to go through your content and interact with it, imagery is a good way to achieve it. For example, include screenshots to show exactly what you mean or infographics to make the information easier to digest.
Give practical or personal examples
Theory has its time and place. It is okay to include some theoretical info in your texts, but make sure there are also enough examples for readers to fully understand what you mean. If you can make "how-to" videos, even better. The point is that not all learners have the same knowledge as you do.
Furthermore, they'll love reading about your personal experiences because they have someone to relate to. They get an idea about how they can use your advice in real-life situations.
Showcase the take-aways
If I'm going to spend five or more minutes of my life reading an article, I need to know what I'm going to get from it. If you are reading this now, you're interested in making your content more actionable. If you weren’t, you would have understandably moved on to another article.
Cognitive overload is real, and since information is readily available with a simple search, people don't want irrelevant facts. Being as clear as possible in your title and your opening paragraphs is the best way to make sure the audience is genuinely interested in the article.
Involve the audience
The golden rule of social media marketing is that you should drive up engagement by all means. Content marketing is not very far from that goal, so you should look for ways to get the readers to interact with your posts.
You can achieve this by asking relevant questions, adding quizzes, clever or funny gifs, and shareable memes. It’s also smart to encourage your readers to ask questions (make sure you answer them) and their opinions. It’s important for them to feel part of the conversation. Interactivity is the strongest driver of engagement.
Use calls-to-action (CTAs)
You are probably used to CTAs when it comes to regular marketing, as they are closely connected to either lead generation, building e-mail lists, or getting subscribers for your newsletter. On the other hand, content marketing is slightly different since you are using it to promote your brand but don’t necessarily aim to close sales.
Why, then, should you put in CTAs in your articles and posts?
The easiest answer is that if you get your audience to test some of your advice, you will gain their trust. The only way your content will be genuinely seen as valuable is if it manages to help them achieve something. It's also a way to test ideas that can be later used in your online courses.
While video content is in high demand, there is still a large market for written pieces. Actionability may not be the first thing that comes to mind when talking about blog articles and white papers related to your online courses, but weaving that in is important for audience engagement.
Test these tips on your next article and see how it works for you – that, of course, was a call to action.