Content marketing can best be described in simple terms as a pull strategy, as opposed to a push strategy. Instead of pushing out self-focused messages, you actually attract prospects to your business using engaging, customer-focused content as a magnet.

But in order for your content marketing efforts to engage prospects, you’ve got to have magnetic content in the first place. Here are 6 ingredients that are essential to creating magnetic content.

1. Make it valuable, relevant and helpful to your audience

Magnetic content focuses on what a prospect is actually interested in and actively searching Google for, as opposed to just talking about your company’s features and benefits. It identifies and addresses the problems, challenges, questions and information gaps your prospects might have and provides them with valuable information about those topics. The topics that you identify should be combined with buyer personas to drive the content you create. You’ll also want to create content that speaks to their needs at each stage of the buying cycle and also addresses their needs once they become a customer.

2. Write compelling copy

It goes without saying that your content needs compelling copy to be magnetic. Remember, it’s all about adding value by sharing relevant information that informs, educates and guides your prospects and customers. So do your homework first—compelling copy is not full of fluff; it’s full of interesting information.

Statistics, research and quotes are helpful to add substance to your copy. Unless what you are writing requires an extended narrative, keep your copy short and to the point. It’s always helpful to break up your paragraphs with headings and subheadings and use lists and graphics to make the copy easier to read and more engaging. Nothing can derail compelling copy like misspellings or punctuation errors, so be sure to proofread thoroughly before your content is published.

3. Use attractive design

While your content needs compelling copy, it won’t be magnetic without excellent design. The two go hand-in-hand and the worst thing you can do is spend all your time and energy writing great content, only to throw together the final product with little attention placed on design. You have a few seconds to make an impression and keep people engaged, and poor use of fonts, colors, whitespace, graphics and calls-to-actions will negatively impact the success of your content. This holds true for all forms of content, whether a blog article (layout, images, graphics, etc.), an eBook, a guide or video. If you don’t have the skills or resources to design something great in-house, hire someone to do it for you.

4. Be sure it’s mobile-friendly

Mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) are quickly becoming people’s primary Internet viewing device, so it’s vital that your website, blog, emails and all other forms of content are mobile-friendly. And magnetic content not only pulls you in, it also keeps you engaged because it’s easy to consume on a mobile device. No matter how valuable your information is, how compelling the copy is and how great the design is, if your audience can’t easily view it on their mobile devices, your content effort will fall flat—at least for a portion of the audience. Therefore, your content needs to accommodate the multi-screen world we live in, so that every user, no matter their device, has the same great experience.

5. Optimize it for search

The key to attracting prospects to your website is to create content that gets you found online when prospects are searching for information related to what you do or what you sell. Obviously, the way to achieve SEO success is creating quality content that both search engines and prospects love. But, in addition to quality content, you should make sure you’re following basic best practices for SEO. Consider your target keywords as they relate to page titles, URLs, ALT tags, internal and external links for blog posts, landing pages and website content.

6. Make it share-worthy and easy to share

Ultimately, your end goal is to attract an audience and have your content consumed and shared by prospects and customers alike. You want your content to resonate so much with prospects that they’re compelled to share it with their friends and colleagues online. So make sharing easy for them! Be sure each piece of content, whether a whitepaper or eBook, have social media sharing links that make it easy to tweet or like on Facebook. Include social sharing buttons at both the top and bottom of each blog post. Include “forward to a friend” and social sharing links on all your emails. The bottom line is if you are creating content that people want to share—and content that you want them to share—then you need to look for creative and easy ways for them to do it straight from the source.

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There are more ingredients that go into creating magnetic content, but these 6 ingredients are essential and can be found in nearly every piece of successful content.  By taking the time and energy to research and write compelling content, more prospects will be attracted and will want to share your content with others.

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