With over 90% of businesses worldwide having a website, the competition to get your target audience’s attention is fierce. As a result, you constantly have to look for opportunities to provide dynamic and personalized experiences for your visitors. This is so they stick around long enough to read your content and ultimately increase the odds of them taking action.
If you’ve been browsing different sites for a while to get inspiration for your content marketing strategy, you’ve probably already noticed that most websites are using one essential tool: featured content.
What is Featured Content?
Featured content is a feature that allows you to highlight your posts and display them prominently on your site. It can be anything from blog posts to new products, restocks, upcoming events, and everything in between. It’s different for every business and the industry they are in. But, whatever the case, it’s a great way to present your visitors with the right content at the right time and ultimately encourage them to take action, whether that be making a purchase or subscribing to your newsletters.
As a business, you get to decide which posts you would like to highlight as featured content—pages, portfolio projects, ongoing promos, etc.—and how you would like to display them. In many cases, the featured content is displayed at the top of the homepage where it’s larger than the rest of the content on the page.
However, this is where things can get complicated: selecting a piece of content to highlight to your audience, and the problem only gets worse when you have to choose from several pieces of incoming content. The objective here is to keep your audience engaged with fresh, dynamic content to have something to look forward to every time they visit your website. But, precisely what do they want to see?
The Types of Content You Want Your Visitors to See
Your featured content represents the best of your site and your business overall. It can be a blog article, visuals, or other elements that provide an overview of what you have to offer.
Blogging is a time-tested way to drive traffic to your site and improve its performance on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Other than that, it also keeps your site updated and resourceful for your visitors, especially if your posts are high quality and relevant. It makes sense, then, to feature your blog posts.
One common practice is featuring the latest article on your site. When you visit Public Advertising Agency’s site, the featured articles are displayed prominently on the homepage.
Other Ways to Feature Blog Articles
Additionally, you can also feature different types of content in different ways.
- Pull Quotes
Also called a lift-out pull quote, this is a key phrase, quote, or excerpt that has been taken from an article. This is used to highlight a statement and, ultimately, to attract readers further into the article. In web design, the quote is mostly shareable directly to social media.
- Recommended Articles
Recommended articles are generally those that are featured within another blog article. This is a great way to direct your visitors to some related content that might interest them, which in return may increase their time spent on your site.
If you have a new product or an ongoing promo, you will want to feature that. If you have items that are bestsellers, you are going to want to showcase that as well. Some effective practices include featuring a sale going on within your product listings. This makes the product particularly eye-catching because it breaks up the page a little.
The possibilities with your eCommerce site are endless. Here, you could feature a specific product, an entire product category, a sale, and more.
Having a dedicated Events page on your website makes it easier for your visitors to see what’s happening at your organization. However, should you wish to feature your upcoming event on other pages of your site, showcasing it as featured content is the way to go.
Besides your homepage, you can also display events anywhere on your site like the sidebars where relevant users can see it. It’s essential in raising awareness, increasing attendance, and communicating event updates at the same time.
How to Create Featured Content that Works
Featured content allows you to showcase elements that are most relevant to your business and what’s happening within at the moment. When planning your featured content, the key is not to overdo it. Like in most cases, less is more.
It doesn’t always have to be grand and take up too much space. But, it shouldn’t be too small either. Committing either of these mistakes can negate the very purpose of featured content: to put the spotlight on the content you want your visitors to see and make the information easily digestible for them without it being off-putting.
In line with that, your text should be brief and concise. If you plan on adding animation, it has to have less motion. If you have to include different elements, make sure to limit it to 2-3 items. Otherwise, if everything is featured, then nothing is.
Your featured content should attract your visitors to stay longer and move further through your site with a solid media strategy. When that happens, you’re on the path to driving more traffic and generating more leads for your business.