As the year 2013 is gradually rolling by, marketing experts and internet professionals are taking…
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!
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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.
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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.
I think Purpose of blogging is the key and then everything else can be made to fall in place.
People usually falter at this step and I being one of them, though learnt fast and was able to mend ways.
Thanks for this great share.
Glad to hear that Sapna.Frankly, if you are not able to settle on what your purpose is from the beginning,getting the best from your efforts will be a problem. In everything I do I always want to get my bearings right so that I do not flounder in my efforts.
Thanks for the comment.
Whats up man?
Sure, I’ve written such content before when i was starting out, not that the content was not good enough though, but where i failed then was at post promotion.
If i knew the things i know now then, my blog would have gone very far by now. I learnt the hard way just like many other bloggers out there. Its not all of us that are privileged to have someone take them by the hand and show them what to do and how to do it.
Then, i didn’t know much about blog commenting, if i write a post, i will just wait for them to come and read without doing any form of promotion at all. But thank God for the things I’ve learnt so far.
Thanks for sharing man.
You are not alone there. It took me about 4 months or so to learn about promotion tactics. Of course, even till this day, I’m discovering new tactics for promoting a blog post. Can you believe that a few posts which I wrote when I started and had not even a single comment then, I recently republished them and they pulled in nothing less than 20 comments? That is just the power of promotion!
Thanks for joining the conversation.
Again quite useful article, Internet is full with various kinds of content and most of them are useless as they are not useful at all. Content marketing has basic purpose of building your brand and asking readers to take specific action (Call to action). So you must design your content in a manner that it not only offer solution but also compel readers to complete the task.
You are right on target Aasma. Anytime I read piece of content on a blog or any website, that is the first thing that comes to my mind, what is the purpose of this content? I doubt if many of the bloggers out there really understand this. Most simply publish a blog post because they need to meet up with their publishing schedule. I think every blog post should have a definite purpose, which is, helping the reader solve a pain while helping the blogger get her piece of the cake! 🙂
I think most of us do blogging only for marketing and earning from it. And if for this we are unable to create some great content, we should quit blogging.
well, Ansh, I think that is a hard way to put it. Ok, they may not be able to get it right for now but there is room for improvement. If they can understand what they are doing wrong and then work to improve nothing is impossible, or don’t you think so?
In my opinion, if you create content for just generating traffic or getting some good amount of visitors you are not going to create the best and handy content. The content must be unique and for readers – one must provide the complete insight for what visitors have been looking for. That is the way content marketing works.
Just creating content once and then spin it for just getting traffic purpose is not really worth.
the best way to not to create the content that sucks is to follow the audience and their requirements… responding to user requests do really help and gives you better ideas then your own brainstorm..
I agree with you 100%! If you don’t know what the readers want you cannot give it to them and there is no better way to know that than listening to what they saying either in their comments or through their contact with you.
Thanks for the comment.
you are absolutely right and i agree with you thanks for this awesome interesting article keep going
It’s a pleasure to see that you love this post. Thanks for stopping by.