In these days when content marketing (or inbound marketing) has become the buzz word, businesses are expected to produce a constant flow of content to keep up with the hunger for information amongst internet users. But one thing that is sure is that people are not just expecting to see more content. They want good quality content.
This means as a content marketer (blogger, web entrepreneur, article marketer or whatever other garb you put on) the type of content you show-case on your site will tell, to a great deal, what type of content marketer you are because it is your marketing content that helps you to connect with your target audience.
As a blogger and a freelance content writer, I've had the opportunity of reading many blogs and other online content while doing research for clients' projects. One thing I have observed during these times is that many entrepreneur bloggers and business persons suck at content creation!
Most times I'm perplexed and just wonder what these people really want to achieve. You know, if you cannot articulately communicate your marketing message with simple and legible content, how do you expect your audience to take the right action?
I think this is very important because you are in competition with millions of other content marketers, bloggers, web entrepreneurs, and information merchants vying for the attention of your target audience. And, as you do know, attention span on the net is a split second. Your marketing content must be able to make the best use of that split second – arrest the attention of your target audience, gain their trust and convince them that you are the right person to listen to!
So, how do you guide against creating marketing content that sucks?
Here is how….
1. Know Your Purpose
I’ve written severally, on this blog, on why and how to provided value with your content. But for you to provide that value you must decide the purpose of every piece of content you put online. Decide the purpose ever before you write any piece of content.
First ask yourself, what do I want to achieve with this content? What impact do I want to have on them? How is this going to be helpful to them?
Settle this and work backwards from there. Yes, start with the end in mind!
2. Who Are You Targeting?
The second element that will make your content not to suck is having a perfect picture of your target prospect in mind. You are not creating that content to fill space on your blog. No, no, no! And remember this, no matter how strongly you feel about your content it is what your target audience feel about it that truly matters.
So, research your market and answer the following questions: Is this what they truly want to read? What pain or question will this piece of content heal of solve? Can you really provide a solution with this piece of content?
The key? Know your prospect and give them what they want.
3. Your Presentation
Your content presentation is another critical element that will decide if your content sucks or not. How you present your content is most times determined by your target audience. So if you’ve done your research very well, choosing how you present your content will be much easier.
To make better impact with your content presentation you should focus on presenting the benefits in the language your prospect can connect with. Don’t sound like someone giving a lecture. Understand how they describe their pain and then use that same language in presenting your content.
Your content needs promotion for it to achieve its purpose. This is where many content marketers get it wrong. When you have spent hours researching and creating a piece of content designed to heal your prospects’ pains, it will achieve no good if your prospect do not get to know of it!
As a freelance content writer, I must say many clients also get this so wrong. Except where this is factored into the contract, you must understand that promoting the content, once it has been written, is your sole responsibility. No matter how great that content is, without promotion it is nothing. It is only by promoting that piece of great work that you can reap its rewards.
Again, your target audience will determine where to promote. You must know where they congregate, where they spend their time, online or offline, and at what time to reach them. This way, your efforts will not be wasted.
5. Your Reward
This is the ultimate determinant if of your content actually achieved its purpose. Were you able to deliver your promise to the prospect? Did they take that action you desired for that piece of content?
This is where you check if the prospect truly feels that they have received enough value in your presentation. Once you are able to achieve this they will be ready to listen when next you speak.
Fulfilling the other elements listed above will help you to achieve this one!
Content is your medium of expression on the internet. It is what helps you to pass across whatever you have to say. It may be in text form, video, graphics, etc. but except you are able to expertly present your message having the prospect in mind, knowing what she wants and seeking to fulfill those wants, your marketing content will be a failure. If you don’t want to suck at content creation therefore, put the above tips into use!
Over to You: Ever written a piece of content that fell short of its purpose? Share your experience in your comment below.