If you’re a marketer, you know that content is king. But creating content that engages your audience and drives results can be challenging. Here are 10 ways to bulletproof your content and make sure it succeeds.
1. Think Like a Reporter
When you think about content marketing, you probably picture blog posts on your site — and there’s no question this type of content is important. But before you write it, put yourself in the shoes of a reporter who is on deadline. Your job is to create compelling news that will drive engagement for your company or product, so what are the five W’s?
- 1) Who are you writing for?
- 2) When do they want the answer?
- 3) What information are they looking for?
- 4) Where can they find it?
- 5) Why should they care about it now?
Your answers to these questions will determine how engaging your content is. As a marketer, you may have an advantage over traditional reporters because you know your product or service inside and out. You can include information that other reporters might not be able to access because of time or resource constraints.
But you still need to stick to the basics.
2. Give Your Content a Purpose
Whether you’re blogging, tweeting, creating videos, or hosting webinars, make sure there’s an overarching purpose for all of your content pieces. If you don’t have one – if you’re just posting for the sake of posting – people will pick up on it (and so will Google).
The only thing worse than no purpose is a vague purpose like “increase engagement” or “attract more followers.” What does this mean? How do you even begin to accomplish it? There’s no way to measure it either, so your content will get lost in the shuffle.
Every time you plan a piece of content, ask yourself why you are creating it. How do you expect people to react? Will they share it with their friends? Will they keep it on hand for later use? What’s the next step after this content is gone?
3. Use Data to Support Your Argument
No matter what kind of content you’re creating, always have data that supports your point of view or argument. This will help you win over customers and convince bosses that more resources should be devoted to your efforts.
You can pull data from industry reports, surveys, case studies, company performance metrics – pretty much anywhere there are numbers available.
4. Make It Shareable
If you want people to read, subscribe, or comment on your content, it has to be easy to share. That means adding social media share buttons onto your posts and pages – at minimum, include them in the header and footer.
You’ll also want to use social proof like testimonials and awards near the sharing buttons so that visitors know why they should bother giving you a “like” or a “+1.”
5. Put Yourself in Your Customer’s Shoes
I know that sounds cheesy, but there are few things more important than putting yourself in your customer’s shoes when creating content. The best way to do this is by using words that resonate with readers.
For instance, if you’re creating an infographic about hiring employees, your chances of being shared skyrocket if you focus on the pain points that readers experience when they’re looking for a job. For example, one statistic could be: “66 percent of job seekers wish their resume would have been seen by at least 25 employers.”
6. Make Your Content Personal
One surefire way to make your content more personal is to use numbers and statistics liberally. But it’s also important to show a human side in all of your writing – no matter what kind of content you produce. Show people how your company or product can solve real problems in their lives by using concrete examples from your industry or from your reader base.
If you sell marketing software, talk about how you’ve helped a marketing manager streamline his or her workload. You can also share information that’s specific to the individual company, like what marketing campaigns have been most successful for them in the past.
7. Focus on Your Reader
What do your readers need? What pain points are you solving for them? How do you want people to feel about working with you?
These are all questions that should be running through your mind every time you sit down to create content for your website or social media channels.
Remember: The more value you provide, the better chance of being rewarded with positive reviews and word-of-mouth referrals from happy customers plus customer loyalty and an influx of new business.
8. Put It All Together
The best way to create content? Do all of the above. Establish a strong why, use data to back up your claims, write for your reader, and – most importantly – focus on what matters most: value.
Remember that you’re building trust with customers here. And anything less than excellent content is just plain bad business.
9. Don’t Forget the SEO
Great content doesn’t mean anything if it’s not getting found. So always remember to use keywords throughout your blog posts and pages to help search engines hone in on your content, plus use the best description meta tags possible.
10. Do It Again
If you don’t have a process for creating fresh, engaging content for your website, social media accounts, or email newsletter, start one today.
Remember: Consistency is key when it comes to branding – so keep at it! Your audience will be glad that you did. And they’ll probably also share this article with their friends too… 😉
Articles should be based on references from authoritative sources (no more than 3-5). They are informative and engaging, but never promotional.
Articles should have a strong call to action, especially in the final paragraph. [In less than 100 words.]
Reviews should be written from the perspective of a user/consumer who was using the product for an extended period of time, finally experiencing enough to write a review. [In less than 500 words.]
Promotional content is that which advertises or promotes their own business or someone else’s. It is allowed only upon request with approval by moderators after initial acceptance into either “Brand Building” or “General Marketing.” Promotion does not equal marketing – they are two separate entities requiring two separate rulesets.