If there’s any downside to living in the Information Age, it may be that most of us are bombarded with more content each day than we could ever imagine consuming. With so many people using content to vie for our attention, we’ve had to adapt by learning how to quickly assess
—often within a second or two—what’s worth our time and what isn’t. This is challenging for content marketers, who must follow content creation tips to help make content that is effective enough to not only cut through the noise and grab someone’s attention, but also to drive desired business results.
Trust me, it’s no small feat.
While there is no single recipe for success, the good news is that there are some content creation tips that can help you. For example, all great content tends to have five qualities in common, which increase the overall impact when incorporated. Specifically, you want to ensure that what you create is:
- Tailored for your specific audience: If you want your content to appeal to and resonate with your target audience, it needs to be customized and reflect your deep understanding of that audience. It has to demonstrate that you know what your audience cares about, what their needs are, what problems they’re trying to overcome, and what information they need to make a purchase. It also has to show that you understand their buying process and where they currently are within that process. In other words, your content has to speak directly to them. If it doesn’t, chances are that it will fail to motivate your customers to take action, assuming they even consume it at all.
- Useful: Great content is designed to meet people’s needs. It answers their questions, provides helpful insights or advice, and has clear value. When it does, people not only consume it, but they talk about it and share it with others as well. If you can create content that helps your audience in some way, they will value it and will come to see you as a trusted expert over time. This is exactly the perception you want them to have when the time comes for them to make a purchase.
- Easy to find: It amazes me that some companies still bury their content on their websites under the false assumption that their target audience has nothing better to do than spend time hunting for it. It’s essential that your content be easy to find, both on your website and, even more importantly, in search engine results. This means you must spend some time thinking about where your content should live on your website (preferably accessible within one or two clicks), as well as how you are going to optimize it for search. Remember, content that doesn’t get found doesn’t get consumed.
- Brand aligned: Your content represents your brand. Therefore, it must reflect the positioning you have fought so hard to establish in the marketplace. One slight deviation from your core message in your content, and you risk losing your audience. The reality is that your content will always leave some kind of impression, whether positive or negative. In order to help influence the type of impression your content leaves, ensure that the messages conveyed in each article, aligns with what your brand and staff believes in. This will ultimately help your content marketing build and support your branding.
- Optimized to drive conversions: Whether you want to get a prospect or customer to watch a video about your product, fill out a form, or sign up for a free trial, the ultimate goal is to get them to convert in some way. Your content spurs your audience to action by communicating the value they will receive if they take the next step.
Creating great content isn’t easy, but it certainly is worth your time and effort. A well-crafted piece of content that has all the qualities above can help you attract and retain great customers, build your brand, and establish yourself as a thought leader. And that’s exactly what content marketing is all about.