You know it’s important to create content for your website. But sometimes it isn’t easy to know what to focus on with your content marketing efforts.
And once you discover it and write about it, how can you tell if it’s any good?
Of course you can always pass it around to co-workers, friends and family. However, remember this: rarely are these people your targeted buyer.
You can tell your content is good when people engage with it, when they share the post and/or comment on it.
Here are seven tips for creating engaging content that will resonate with your buyer:
#1 – Usefulness and relevance
I consider this at the top of the list because if you have everything else but lack useful information, then it won’t matter.
What I meant by “it” is your hard work putting together a decent piece of content marketing. Whatever it is you produce, it must tap into a sense of urgency for your buyer, delivering an answer for them that will make a difference in their business.
If it’s not relevant, they’ll just pass through and won’t return. Continue to publish useful and relevant information, though, and you’ll have someone who will follow you. You’ll have a much better chance at selling them your solution than just offering something entertaining.
#2 – Clarity and accuracy
No one has time to sift through convoluted sentences. Much of my work involves taking my client’s writing and clarifying it. Most people skim content, which makes it especially important to feature clear, concise writing.
If you’re including statistics, make sure they are the most recent statistics you can find. You also want to make sure everything you write – whether it’s statistics or observations – are accurate. Avoid making general statements such as “Everyone agrees that Facebook is a lost cause…” and then have nothing to back it up.
Certainly some people have that opinion. But to say “everyone” or “all the time” or some blanket statement of that nature will only be challenged in the mind of your buyer. You want to convince them, not cause an internal debate. Writing content that is clear and accurate will help you do this.
#3 – Completion
Sometimes writers miss explaining a concept, thought or idea. It’s easy to do because although the thought is in their mind, for a variety of reasons it never made it onto the page (or screen).
You want your content to have complete sentences, ideas, and lines of logic. You want your reader to understand your complete message.
This is when it’s helpful to have someone else read your content. Often a second pair of eyes can notice the gaps left between one idea and another. You want a logical flow of ideas in your content, not a zigzag of sentences that only confuse your reader.
#4 – SEO
Although Google keeps making things interesting for marketers by changing their algorithms, it’s still important to have a few keywords or key phrases included in your content.
I don’t have much more to say about SEO because I don’t think it has nearly the marketing cache it once did. What’s more important than SEO?
High-quality, interesting, relevant, engaging content.
#5 – Branding consistency
If Nike suddenly came out with content that talked about gently easing into the day with a slow walk… but not too much walking because you wouldn’t want to bruise your feet… what would their fans say?
One word. Huh?
Your content should match your brand’s message. Nike is all about “Just Do It.” There isn’t room for excuses. It’s all about a “see the hill, take the hill” mentality.
Great content supports a brand’s message and is consistent across the board with the business’ values.
This also includes having a consistent brand image. If your colors are royal blue and light green, then those two colors (and logo when appropriate) should be evident in your content marketing, especially white papers, case studies, and any other special reports.
#6 – Intended audience
Great content hits your intended audience right between the eyes. If you know exactly who you want to reach and you know their problems inside and out, it would be difficult not to create great content.
Bland content usually happens because you’re trying to please everyone. You think if you write content that could appeal to “anyone,” it will win you business.
In fact, consumers ignore such messaging because there’s nothing in it for them.
Instead, identify exactly who your buyer is and what he or she wants. Then write your content directly to them. Great content comes out of specificity.
#7 – Consistency with business priorities
What are the priorities? Lead generation? Customer retention? Industry leadership?
Once you understand what the priorities are, you’ll be able to create content that aligns itself with that goal. For instance, for lead generation, you want to solve someone’s problems. For customer retention, you want to be a helpful advisor. For industry leadership, you want to analyze and offer unique solutions to common industry problems.
This requires being onboard with the C-level objectives. They’re the ones steering the ship. You want to make sure your content is paddling in the same direction.
Not all of your content will be off the charts amazing, but over time, if you’re hitting those seven areas, your content will make a difference.
Eventually, your target market will see that your business is dependable, helpful, willing to go the extra mile, and delivering excellent value.
Creating that kind of content marketing does take time but is worth it for establishing the type of long-lasting client relationships you want. Your clients are hungering for someone to make a difference in their life.
Will you be the one to do it?