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About the author
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a blog full of resources for SME’s and startups.
Creating a stellar content strategy from scratch is by no means a walk in the park.
Between identifying what topics matter to your audience via keyword research, ensuring your strategy is a diverse blend of different content formats, and actually creating the content, it’s easy to lose the passion behind it.
This results in flat, lifeless content that doesn’t truly engage audiences. As a result, it doesn’t get read.
But it’s easy to avoid this by simply adding in a few fun elements to your content. Fun content gets digested — it’s as simple as that.
This is especially true given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With the world in disarray and an uncertain future ahead of us, people need a little light in their life. The world keeps turning and people still want to consume interesting, engaging content
With that in mind, read on to discover four tips for creating a content strategy that embraces fun.
If you’re after some inspiration to make your own content strategy that bit more interesting, it’s always worth checking out the competition. Discover 10 SME Instagram accounts to follow for branding inspo here.
Make your actionable takeaways engaging
The best content strategies are those that deliver value that audiences can go away and actually use — they are actionable. It’s surprising to see how many content strategies neglect this, opting for vanity content that only serves their brand, rather than the readers themselves.
Don’t just pay lip service to this either — make your actionable tips clear and concise. Use bullet points to highlight important points or use pop-out boxes to identify useful quotes.
Go beyond this and provide your audience with free resources to help them achieve their goals. Create downloadable ebooks and offer them to your readers for free. These are simple to create but offer value in an engaging, accessible way.
I know what you’re thinking: where’s the fun in actionable takeaways? The fact of it is, clear information, easy-to-understand formatting, and free resources make learning fun. It gives your audience the motivation and resources to go out and achieve the goals they desire, whether it’s creating an editorial calendar from scratch or using your product in a way that improves their lives.
Weave stories that engage your audience
Stories are as old as time itself, and with good reason. A compelling narrative, striking characters, and engaging delivery are enough to hold an audience rapt, and the same principle applies to your content strategy too.
Create a narrative arc for your content that includes a plot, challenges, and of course, characters. These should mimic your customers and their journey into purchasing with you, so create characters that tie into your buyer personas.
By crafting characters that match your buyer personas, you encourage your audience to recognise themselves in these characters. As a result, they are more engaged with your content’s narrative overall.
When you’ve created a character that resonates with your audience, engage them even further through character development. Have your character face the same pain points that your customers face, and show how your product or service helps them overcome them. Note that these pain points might well have shifted as a result of coronavirus, so refresh your buyer personas before creating a story.
While your stories are fictional, they reflect truths that pertain to your target audience. In this way, you can compel them to convert in a way that feels organic and natural.
Toy with metaphors, similes, and figurative language
Metaphors, similes, and other forms of figurative language can turn even the most prosaic copy into poetic joy. They speak around facts and turn them into something beautiful, making them easier to understand and more engaging as a result.
If your business is in an industry that doesn’t traditionally lend itself to ‘fun’ — think printer ink, for example — use an unusual or interesting metaphor to better explain how your brand offers services in that industry. In this example, you could use the metaphor of a hot air balloon to illustrate the importance of keeping printers stocked on ink. A little far-fetched, yes, but it’s interesting and even a little humorous, and that goes a long way towards making your content resonate.
This is important too. Content is king, and audiences are used to reading masses of blogs and articles online. Consequently, they need to be impressed to keep them hooked, and figurative language helps you achieve that.
Throughout the lockdown, countless people have sought to improve themselves in some way. Whether it’s learning a new language or mastering the art of watercolours, there are countless examples of lockdown self-improvement.
You can tap into this trend with your own strategy and create fun, engaging strategy at the same time by looking for ways in which your audience can empower themselves through education and self-improvement.
Online courses are the most obvious example of this. Dynamic content format that is easy to create, they transform your content into an interactive experience, encouraging repeat traffic as a result.
Tools like Teachable negate the need for expensive software or technical know-how. All you need is the knowledge — which, as a business owner in your niche, you already have plenty of. You can then create rewarding courses that make your content strategy beneficial and interactive.
The key to creating fun online courses is to nail your UX. Keep them simple, straightforward, and engaging.
Shopify’s online courses are a great example of this. Crisp, minimal design aside, even the names of the courses are accessible to users. Phrases like “101”, “for beginners”, “getting started”, and so on in the titles make other complex subjects feel fun and accessible.
Lean on visuals such as graphics or props to help illustrate your courses. Strive to make them as understandable as possible, eschewing jargon wherever possible and using simple language (niche dependent, of course — if you’re a tech brand, your audience likely already has a grasp of technical language).
Fun and rewarding, online courses tap into the self-improvement trend and livens up your content strategy all at once.
Let visual assets lift up your content
You likely already pepper your blogs with images, videos, and infographics to help your audience better understand and engage with your content. And it works — infographics particularly can make dense, hard-to-understand concepts hugely more accessible.
But beyond function, consider how visual assets can make your content fun too. Rather than using images to illustrate a point, for instance, use them to throw a little comedy relief into the mix instead.
It’s worth mentioning gifs here too. A well-timed gif can lighten the mood and put a humorous slant on your copy, increasing reader engagement as a result. Don’t go overboard though — excessive gifs can look juvenile, distracting from your message and turning your useful product how-to into a BuzzFeed article.
You don’t need to go overboard in trying to make your content fun. The tips listed above are a few simple ways that you can transform your content into an interesting, lively strategy that your audience actually engages with in 2020.