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Who Wants to Solve a Puzzle?

In the very real competition to develop better websites than their competitors, businesses are often trying to solve “social” problems. They want to reach out and engage customers, and attract readership. They want to be better, to get better results.

Quite a few marketers would tell you that this is easier said than done. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start – you know you want better content, but how does that work?

One way is to “complexify” your content, not so much that it gets hard to read, but enough that it piques the reader’s interest. You can make it more engaging by making it more of a puzzle – here are some essential tips and strategies.

Frame Marketing as a Question

One simple way to change up content strategy is to ask rhetorical questions in your copy.

For example, you get inside the head of your customer – what do they need and what are they looking for? Then you ask them a question that’s related to their goals and objectives. For instance, if it’s a cleaning business, a good question would be – “how do you want your property to look like?”

Then you build on this rhetorical question to offer products and services.

Some companies go way overboard on this one! You don’t want to have a page full of question marks. Overdoing it just doesn’t sound natural. At the same time, changing this basic mode of communication can do a lot for your messaging.

And by the way, Google now says that it loves content in questions answers format because that perfectly satisfies visitors’ search intent and rank them high on the SERP (search engine result pages). 

Set Up a Challenge

Some companies can go even further, and develop even more of a “puzzle” approach within content.

Think about a tech company that’s offering a specific type of security architecture – the customers are going to be working through processes like encryption or even specific infrastructure builds like cloud gateways, VPN tunnels, etc.

A puzzle approach might involve starting the copy with a description of their dilemma – talking about the challenges they face, and what’s in their path. Then, slowly, you introduce the product or service according to that challenge. You start to pull the veil away and reveal what these solutions can do for these particular needs.

This more sophisticated narrative can really engage people who are actually researching what you offer on the web. Many of these intelligent customers want to see more than just a little elevator pitch or a rote presentation of your product or service specs. They want to be sent on the journey – they want a complex customer experience!

The Principle of Interactivity

There’s a whole other dimension that you can also explore in content. Setting up a survey or some other interactive form is also a way of building puzzles into web content. Readers will be looking at the survey, and thinking over the questions that are involved. You don’t have to stop there, either – you can set up a contest, or even an online trivia component, to help foster more engagement and a more active readership.

These are just some of the basic ways to supercharge your content marketing in 2018. Talk to WebSubstance about what we can do to help you innovate and make your web footprint a lot more effective. We work with the local businesses in Northern Virginia to shape their content marketing strategy.