Keeping your content fresh, readable and sharable are key components of a strong content marketing strategy. Engaging content is the cornerstone of your content success and compelling your audience to stick with your brand’s output is a long-term battle.
Sometimes, it’s helpful to go back to basics and get a bit old-school when it comes to your content layout and formats. We can learn loads from print media – there might be declining print sales, but it doesn’t mean that magazine UX should be overlooked.
Your content needs to look great and print knows a thing or two about making stories visually appealing, so content editors and web editors should take note.
One of the biggest print tips is to make the most of the visuals that you use. Rich, colourful graphics can draw people towards your content and encourage them to stick with it.
Use attractive visuals to fill your readers with intrigue to learn why that visual is relevant. Your visuals can help to build your narrative and signpost your storytelling.
Vectors and gifs can help to signpost parts of your content and show people where specific corresponding information is in your piece.
Using captions for your visuals is also a good way to squeeze in some humour or witty observations.
Intelligently designing your page layout is important so you can maintain your audience’s attention. Your page hierarchy can mirror print, for example – a big headline, an opening visual, structured copy, smaller visuals and pull quotes. You can mix and match with your hierarchy and signpost through your content with:
- H1 tags for major topic changes
- H2 sections broken down within H1 tags
- H3 sections broken down within H2 tags
Here’s the easiest tip of all:
You can add bold and italic phrases to make sections stand out and use elements to make more of an impact. Set out your page and think about whether your audience will find it easy to read and engaging to follow.
Print media relies on brilliant and bold headlines to attract readers. Work on creating headlines for your content that will introduce a piece in an arresting way. You also need to think about the types of hook-lines you’ll use when promoting your content on social channels – use the same type of informative and entertaining formula.
If your headline is strong then you’re not doing your content justice. You might have written the most badass content or designed a fantastic infographic, but if your headline doesn’t wrap your content up positively then you won’t see great engagement rates.
Pull quotes are a great way to present actionable tips or highlights in a snippet-like away. They allow people to join your content at different moments with pull quotes etc, make it simple to scan and easily navigable – grab attention and keep it.
Use pull quotes like this to make the content easy to read. Users will be able to join the content at any time.
Whether they decide to carry on and look at your content depends on the quotes that you choose, of course, but it’s a tried and tested print media method that works.
Think of the last magazine you read (remember them?) and think about the layout. You’ll see lots of pull quotes when magazines do celebrity interviews – they use particularly salacious or unusual quotes to draw a reader in and promise some juicy information. Pull quotes can also signpost certain parts of your content.
Using bullet-point lists throughout your content is one of the best ways to break up lots of texts and keep things flowing and interesting.
Lists make content more readable and easier for your audience to scan through your text.
- Short, direct snippets of information.
- Breaks up your text.
- Signposts to different sections.
- Easy to read instead of large sections of copy.
Bullet points are eye-catching and allow people to receive direct information. It’s a really quick way to improve user experience when reading your content.
Tips from print media can give you lots of food for thought and provide some really cheap, simple ways for you to improve your copy and its user design. By doing this, your content will be more engaging and enjoyable for your audience to read which will impact your traffic and other metrics.
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