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Why a minimalist content strategy is the best way forward

Content consumers today are constantly bombarded with information and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to convince them to stop and read an article or blog post.

The key to an effective content strategy lies in your ability to express your message in a clear, concise and accessible format to your reader. Enter the minimalist content strategy.

What is a minimalist content strategy?

At the core of a minimalist content strategy is the base assumption that less is more. If you hope to get your message across to readers, you have to present it in a way they will understand. Create something that goes down easily, using a clear tone, direct vocabulary, and an easy-to-follow format. In other words, your text needs to get to the point without sacrificing the overall quality of the content.

When you present readers with a steady stream of articles packed with big blocks of text that overuse high-minded, academic vocabulary, you are alienating your audience. Readers will quickly lose interest in the article and your intended message.

A minimalist content strategy is more shareable

A minimalist content strategy is more shareable

To create a meaningful experience for the reader, you need content that is not only accessible, but also attractive and eye-catching. Make use of images, videos, and infographics to create something stimulating that readers feel motivated to share on social media.

How to plan your minimalist content strategy

The first step to implementing a minimalist content strategy is defining your core message. Take the time to carefully consider how you wish to present your brand to the reader. This is easier said than done and if ignored, can lead to an overly-ambitious message that’s confusing to your audience. Hiring a content agency is often the best approach to finding your direction and developing the perfect message for your target market.

Your readers want quality, not quantity

Focus on creating content that your readers want to read. No more blocks of keyword-saturated text that focus purely on search engine optimization (SEO) at the expense of the quality of the content. Moving forward with a minimalist content strategy will make you consider what your readers are really after, and what kind of message they will respond to.

Write articles your audience wants to read

Write articles your audience wants to read

By pumping out high-volume, low-quality content, you won’t create the kind of long-lasting readers that care about your brand. Readers want your unique perspective and expertise. Be honest about your vision and show them what you really have to offer.  

Struggling to plan your minimalist content strategy? Get in touch with VeraContent’s marketing team to discuss taking the headache out of your content – in any language.

5 content ideas to boost your blog’s buzz

If there’s one thing the Internet has plenty of, it’s blogs. Want a round-up of current events? Vacation planning tips? The world’s best brownie recipe? There’s a blog for that. In fact, there are probably several.

If you want your blog to stand out, you have to get creative with content ideas. Whether you’re using it to generate interest in your company, to attract new customers and clients, or just to make your voice heard, your posts need to be unique. Otherwise you’ll be buried among the hundreds of other articles out there addressing the same topic.

Here are five content ideas that’ll give your blog the extra boost it needs.

1. Listicles: content you can count on

Self-explanatory, right? These have become so ubiquitous that you might not even be consciously aware of them(in fact, you’re reading a listicle right now). This format has its fair share of haters, with claims that lists are destroying the fabric of society/literature/human existence itself.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the fact is that lists are hot right now. People like it when you break things into bite-size pieces. They make content approachable, and help keep both the writer and the reader on track.

That being said, this is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s important to choose the right kind of list for your topic. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can just brainstorm a few bullet points and leave it at that. You still need to consider things like SEO strategy and overall structure. Listicles may be easier to read, but that doesn’t mean they’re easier to write.

Checklists, countdowns, or curated collections—find the format that works for you.

2. Quizzes: Tell them something they don’t know

Remember those personality quizzes you used to take in magazines? You would answer some questions, tally up the points for each, and the total would reveal some hidden aspect of your character. The Internet has found a way to capitalize on our innate sense of curiosity (and, let’s be honest, self-involvement) with quizzes that provide much more variety and less mental math.

Creating an online quiz

Are you more a Phoebe or a Chandler? Online quizzes hook us by suggesting we can discover more about ourselves

You’re probably familiar with Buzzfeed, the site that’s churned out loads of viral quizzes concerning Disney princesses and pizza toppings. But quizzes can be far more than fluffy entertainment, and you shouldn’t underestimate their power.

Take, for example, the New York Times dialect quiz that became its most popular story of 2013. Quizzes like this one reveal insights about culture, language, and more—and get readers interested in the topics they cover. Even if the content itself is light and fun, they can draw the attention of customers and create brand recognition. People are more likely to engage with content that’s interactive and personalized, and to share it with others.

Sites like Qzzr provide user-friendly tools to help you get started. If you can concoct a quiz that’s simultaneously entertaining, culturally relevant, and aligned with your blog’s goals, you’re well on your way to success.

3. Polls: Ask and you shall receive

Polls are another surefire way to get people to interact with your content. All you have to do is pose a simple question and watch the results roll in.

Polls invite readers to step up to the mic and share their opinions—without the stage fright.

What’s more, polls kill two birds with one stone. First, they generate content that’s easy to share—both the poll itself and the subsequent results. Second, they can be leveraged to find out more about your target audience. If you’re trying to sell a product, you can gain insight into the preferences or purchasing habits of potential customers. If you’re looking for new clients, you can find out what matters to them and exactly what they want.

Polls have become especially common on Twitter, thanks to its built-in polling feature. But you can also embed them directly into your blog posts with tools like Wedgies.

4. Infographics: They’ll believe it when they see it

Everybody loves a good graphic. Even the most avid readers can appreciate an image that organizes, clarifies, and visualizes information in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Enter infographics. Another clever compound word that sums up a simple strategy: transmitting information in a visual format. Infographics can vary greatly in style, but when done right, they have one thing in common: huge potential for social lift. An interesting and well designed infographic is the kind of thing people love to share.

Example of an infographic

Here’s a simple example of how you can turn any article—even this one—into an infographic.

Always apply your SEO strategy to infographics just like you would any other post. Because they are, by nature, image files, it’s vital to pay attention to alt text. The supplementary text you include, from the title to a short introduction or description, should be optimized to drive traffic to your post.

5. Video: Lights, camera, content!

What do you get when you combine a blog with video? A vlog! (You thought we were done with compound words, didn’t you?) You don’t need professional equipment or editing software to create engaging videos. You’ve probably got all you need right in front of you; a webcam or smartphone camera and built-in editing programs on your computer or YouTube are a perfectly acceptable place to start. You can also use screen capture to create how-to videos.

Start a vlog

You don’t need a camera to start vlogging

Again, SEO is especially important for video blog posts. Make sure your title communicates that the post contains a video, and that you include text with relevant keywords. You need to draw people in, motivate them to press play, and then hold their attention long enough for them to watch the whole thing. If it’s high quality content, they’ll want to like it, share it, and spread it—and that can only mean more exposure for you.

Mix it up

Remember, all of these formats should be used in moderation. Experiment with each one, see what works for you, and adapt these ideas to your blog’s specific goals and style. Consider them as valuable tools in your repertoire, but don’t overdo it—and make sure that you always prioritize the content itself.

Of course, the most important thing is what you have to say… but how you say it matters more than you might think. So break out your design skills, turn on that webcam, and start getting creative with your blog. If you do it right, the benefits will speak for themselves.

VeraContent has a team of dedicated content professionals generating custom content ideas for clients every day. Get in touch to discuss a solution for your website, publication or marketing strategy.