Do you ever find yourself writing content that you are not excited about? Or you are trying to rank for specific keywords, but the content is unlikely to engage your audience? Or do you just have a boring industry that you think is impossible to create engaging content for? Well say goodbye to lacklustre content in this guest post from Chris Hogan, CEO and Founder of MeMedia.
Remember you are targeting an audience that wants to read what you’ve got to say, that is interested in what you have to offer – that you can help. The secret to creating content for your industry is similar to a well made drink.
You need to have the right balance of ingredients – solid strategy, sound platforms and the right tools – to keep people coming back for more. And if it’s not getting the attention you want, don’t be afraid to shake it up a little.
TYPES OF CONTENT
Content is a word that has been appearing everywhere recently in the business world. It is becoming diluted to the extent that people are just pumping out blog after blog of generic information. Because of the saturation of content online these days, it’s now more important than ever to think outside the box.
Does your target audience lack time or have short attention span? An informative graphic also known as an Infographic works well to draw people in quickly with the use of visual cues. If it’s leads you’re after, then creating a free offering in exchange for contact details can be a worthy investment.
These free offerings could include e-books or podcasts and can generate some valuable leads for businesses. Don’t be afraid to try different types of content to keep your audience engaged, videos, memes and guides are all types of content too.
Creating content for your company, no matter what your industry, shouldn’t be hard. The reason we lack ideas for content, and get that dreaded ‘writer’s block’ is often because our content strategy is not well defined or we have just neglected it.
Once you have clearly defined your personas, goals, and approach it is much easier to move forward in content creation.
Make sure you have clarity on who you are creating content for. Personas are fictional representations of segments of buyers based on real data reflecting their behaviors. It’s important to consider who your ideal customer is and what could drive these personas to your product or services.
Considering the behavioural drivers, obstacles in purchasing, and mindset of your persona is crucial reaching them and drawing them in.
How do you ensure your content will be successful? Are your goals for traffic, brand awareness, conversions? Being able to measure the effectiveness of your content helps you to understand your audience and determine what content works best to achieve your goals. Some obvious examples include:
- You’re receiving traffic to your content
- The content is being liked and shared on the platforms for which you have marketed your content
- Click through to other pages are occurring
- Enquiry forms or requests for more information are occurring
- Your Google rank improves for the keywords which you targeted in the content
YOUR APPROACH TO CONTENT CREATION
Content doesn’t have to be viral to be successful. Consider the value of content amplification such as PR and outreach. Think about who and what influences the core audience. What could you offer them by way of content to earn their help?
What content would they find valuable enough to share and link to?What challenges do they face and could be helped with? How could your brand set itself apart from any other business looking for help from these potential outreach partners?
CONTENT MARKETING PLATFORMS
The platforms for digital content are continually changing and adapting to consumer needs. Just think about social media sites like Snapchat, Instagram and Periscope – which you probably haven’t even heard of – but has surpassed over 40 million Android users in the past four months since it’s launch, whom are watching over 40 years worth of video each day.
When creating content, research the platforms that your target audience are using and how they are using it. Think about how content is being shared, and how to optimise your content so it can reach your target audience.
Depending on your industry, maybe a video would be better suited to explain information rather than it getting buried in text. Deciding what platform you are going to use and how you want to use it will help you determine what style of content to create.
CONTENT CREATION TOOLS
Once you know who your target audience is and how you are going to reach them, it’s time to listen to them. Any target market will have problems and questions they will need help with. This is the best place to start – look into forums, social media or even Google Suggest to understand what problems or questions your target market has and create content that is useful for them, that will help them.
A few examples of useful online idea gathering tools include: Google Alerts, LinkedIn Answers, Google Insights, Google Analytics, Google Trends, and Alltop.com. Once you have some ideas for content that will help your audience, choose an angle to explain that information.
Remember every great story has a beginning, middle and end. And like we’ve seen in Adidas ads, don’t just story-tell, story-ask. Inviting audiences to contribute can add relevance and authenticity to the stories brands tell. What does your product help your customer to achieve? Consider talking to the end point so it doesn’t matter what industry the content is for it aligns with the audience and their needs.
Make up a survey and send out to your target audience. You can use that data to create an industry report on your services or products. Tailor your content to the location that your services or products are available. Choose a topic such as a product, service, or industry and bridge it with a person, place, news, or activity, etc. This way you can target the person who will buy your product by connecting their industry with a relevant topic.
Interview a subject – it’s a great way to get valuable content to use for multiple platforms whether it be video, audio, or text, and the interviewee will likely promote it too.
Want a bit of extra help on the marketing front? ADMA’s IQ courses are seriously the bees knees and will have you smashing the competition in no time. Check them out here.
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