5 Tips from Print Media to make your Content more Engaging

4 min read
Jonny Pathan
A Magazine on a coffee table

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.

Visuals

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.

It’s easier than you think to create amazing images. Here’s our guide on how to create beautiful images using Canva.

Page Hierarchy

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.

Strong Headlines

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

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.

Bullet-point Lists

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

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.

Social Media Management Software

In order to promote your business and reach consumers that spend an entire 24 hours a week online, you need to make sure that you have a viable social media strategy in place.

By posting unique and interesting content on your social media platforms, and by actively engaging with followers, you can start to turn this into a funnel for generating leads.

In order to stay on top of your social media strategy, it’s important to have some form of social media management software to do some of the heavy lifting. Software such as this is imperative for scheduling, tracking and monitoring social media content.

At its best, social media management software can help you not only plan your content months in advance, but also remain reactive by letting you tune into ongoing news stories or trending topics.

Screenshot of Hootsuite's homepage

We recommend: Hootsuite

There are a whole bunch of social media management companies out there and all of them offer roughly the same sort of package but Hootsuite is the only one that offers an actually free service (as opposed to just a free trial period).

They do try to hide it on their website though so make sure you follow this link in order to get to the right page.

The free version of this software lets you:

  • Manage up to three social media profiles from a choice of channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn
  • Schedule up to 30 posts in advance at any point in time
  • Track follower growth, likes and comments
  • Integrate two RSS feeds in order to find and share compelling content
  • Access Hootsuite’s online help center and community forum

Of course, there’s also a number of paid-for packages that you can buy from Hootsuite that give you access to a great number of services including higher ad spend budgets, automated post scheduling and custom analytics.

But if you’re a small business looking to get started, the free version of the software should be comprehensive enough to allow you to get your social media strategy in motion.

Website Tracking Software

We’ve said before that the secret to a successful lead generation strategy is to keep analysing and refining your methods. Well, website tracking software is the best way to conduct this analysis.

By digging into the analytics of your visitors’ actions, you can start to gain a better picture of why people come to your site, what they want from it, what they dislike about it and how you can improve upon their experience next time.

There are a wide variety of services that can fall into the category of website tracking software, including heatmaps, funnels, user polls, surveys, visitor recordings and more.

Basically, any kind of software that collects data about the ways in which your visitors interact with your site can be considered website tracking software.

Screenshot of Hotjar's homepage

We recommend: Hotjar

Whereas there are a multitude of smaller software companies that focus in on just one website tracking service, Hotjar offers an array of useful tools.

Hotjar tools include:

  • Click, move, scroll, download and share heatmaps that can also be split by device type
  • Visitor recordings that allow you to replay sessions of real site visitors
  • Conversion funnels that identify on which page and at which step the most visitors are leaving your site
  • Form analysis that can help you to discover which fields take too long to fill, which are left blank and why your visitors abandon your form and page
  • A customizable widget that allows you to create pop-up feedback polls
  • Responsive surveys that can be distributed through web links and emails, or featured your site just before your visitors abandon the page in order to discover what their concerns are
  • The ability to recruit test users in order to get instant feedback on your site

Hotjar’s free service is able to collect data from 2000 page views a day and will give you access to up to 300 visitor recordings and 3 heatmaps, forms, funnels, polls and surveys. Unlimited users can be added to your account and Hotjar will also store your data for a full year.

While we’d normally recommend free services when possible, it’s probably worth paying for Hotjar’s Plus plan to begin with.

For just under £25 a month you can collect data from 10,000 page views a day and have unlimited services and reports. Plus there’s even a 15-day free trial for you to test out whether you like their software or not.

Remember

Lead generation doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour.

What’s important is that you put real effort into all of your interactions with potential leads - whether that’s through educational and informative blog posts, social media interactions or even just a chat on the phone.

If you believe in your business’ ability to help its customers then all you have to do is let that shine through.

Ultimately, these tools are just there to help you meet potential leads on their level. The rest is up to you.

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