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The secret’s out: Content marketing works. So well, in fact, that virtually everyone seems to have hopped on the content marketing train in some way, shape or form, meaning the amount of content floating around the online universe is exploding at rates that are tough to keep up with.

For instance, within the minute that you spent clicking on the link to this article and reading the first sentence alone, more than 350,000 tweets were sent. By the end of today, 95 million new pictures and videos will be posted on Instagram. By the end of this month, 79.7 million new WordPress blog posts will be published.

Standing out from the crowd and creating content that’ll win your audience’s attention is a lofty task. Here’s how to get it right:

Keep It Relevant
No content will be effective in creating your desired ROI unless it’s relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach. If you haven’t already, take the time to formulate clear personas of your target audience. What are they interested in? What are their demographics? What kinds of information might they find useful? Find the topic sweet spots that get people engaged and use them to focus your content.

Visuals Are Key
Keeping things visual is the key to catching the eyes of potential clients. In fact, articles containing images receive an average of 94 percent more views than articles without images. Videos, images and infographics are all strong performers, so incorporate them when possible.

Make It a Conversation
Encouraging clients to engage with your content will only strengthen the loyalty they feel to, and investment they have in, your brand. Consistently incorporating “ask the audience” style social media posts such as polls, contests and hashtags will make them more likely to comment on and engage with your content.

Straight to the Point
While creative titles can be fun, make sure they are informative enough that the reader can feel confident that diving into your post will be worth their time, and that they’ll find the kind of information they were searching for in the first place.

Get the Timing Right
To put it simply, there’s a reason we don’t see popsicle commercials in the winter. Timing plays a key role for every business, as you want your content to always fit your client’s current needs as best as possible. Instead of simply guessing when the time is right to reach out to clients with certain kinds of content, utilize data to get it right.

Make It Scannable
The reality of today’s mobile word is that we tend to get the bulk of our information while on the go. This means that it’s important to make content scannable, so readers can quickly get to the information they are looking for. Breaking up your content using lists, bullets, and subheadings will help guide the reader through your content with ease.

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