Why Your Company Needs Content
What is content? Content is what your overall strategy is delivering. Content is what gets your message across to your potential customers. It’s what shapes what gets delivered; a blog, email, landing page, on social media, and so on. Without content, none of those deliveries can even happen.
Content is what will grab people’s attention and draw them from one stage to another, for example within the buyer’s journey. It’s what fuels their interest and attraction. Without creating content, how are your potential customers going to know who you are and trust your expertise?
Failing to consistently create content that’s designed to add value to your audience’s lives will, essentially, fail to engage your audience
The less content, the less results. You need to create content in order to spark an interest in your brand and keep people coming back to read your new content. Your content needs to be well planned and thought out, not haphazardly assembled. The content you create needs to hold a purpose and value.
Without content - what are your audience going to read? How are they going to trust your knowledge and expertise when you don’t share it?
How to Create Exceptional Content
It’s all well and good creating content; but how do you do it well? Making your content exceptionally written ensures that people will definitely want to read it, share it, return for more, and so on. It’s more important than ever to write unique, compelling content that varies from other content in your industry.
Gaining the attention of your audience, or target audience, may seem impossible nowadays. There’s such a vast amount of popular and helpful content accessible on the internet nowadays that it seems unrealistic to think that your content will make a difference. However… it can, and it will. You need to create content that’s unique to your business and industry. Content that will add value to your target audience’s lives.
So, how do you begin to create this exceptional content?
First of all, what is the proposed purpose of the content? Why are you writing it? What do you want readers to do? Determining the purpose of the content also determines any goals you have.
Determining your goals will allow you to know what to work towards and what you’re aiming for.
Then, you must decide what format you want your content to be in. There’s an endless amount of formats your content can be in; videos, infographics, whitepapers, eBooks, templates, reports, checklists, and so much more. Deciding the format is essential; the decision will be driven by the content you’re wishing to get across and the size of said content.
Then think about the topic you want to write about in this specific piece of content. You can do this by determining who the specific audience is for this content and becoming aware of their stages and where they are in terms of your business strategy. Topics can also be determined through keyword research.
When creating content, you need to understand the problem that your potential customers are having. To help you understand this, you can use the buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey helps you refine what your content needs to be about to be relevant to your potential customers place within the journey. This may mean creating various types of content for all stages of the journey.
Awareness: the content would be more about educating your potential customers on how you can help them overcome a problem they’ve had or are having. Focus on solving theirproblem with vague educational information rather than specific business information on how you can solve their problem.
Consideration: in this stage, your potential customers are now prospects and they’ve given a specific reason for their problem. This stage will focus much more on the specifics of how your business and products or services can actually benefit them and solve the problem they’ve got.
Decision: this stage means your prospects are now ready to make a decision/purchase. You need to show them everything about your business and focus on what you have to offer them. This stage is important as you need to show them why you’re the best business to choose.
Vendor or product comparisons
Always be sure to focus on mapping content to your buyer personas and their place within the buyer’s journey. It’s important to keep your target audience in mind when creating content and write content that will specifically attract and interest them. Be specific with the content you write and reach your niche audiences with content that is designed to engage them.
Less is more. Just because you’ve got a lot of content ideas and you could write and write forever on; don’t. Your target audience haven’t all got a lot of time to sit down and consume large portions of text, unless that’s what they’re looking for. Focus on being concise but interesting.
Keep it educational, not promotional. More often than not, people are deterred by shed loads of promotional content. Try to focus on educating people and adding value to their lives.
Your content is only as good as your content distribution, right? Creating content is just the first step in content creation. You have to distribute your content; without it, who’s going to see it? You cannot just assume that uploading content will automatically get you hundreds of views.
You need to spend as much time on promotion and distribution as you did on writing the content.
Use landing pages as gateways to all the content you’ve created. Your website also needs to hold all relevant content (e.g. blogs). Landing pages are good gateways as they will be found easily in search engine results and if you engage someone on that page, they’ll most likely click through to see more content.
As well as this, it’s important to share your content on social media. Social media itself is content and your strategy might already include separate social media content, but it’s always a good idea to share content that isn’t just on social media, too.
Emails are an easy way to get the content you’ve written directly in front of potential customers. On the email you can use call to actions to gain their interest even more and entice them into taking further action. This further action may be to view more of your content.
Distribution and promotion isn’t just a one time thing. You have to constantly be promoting content you’ve created, even if it’s from 6 months ago. Promotion is the only way you’re going to receive engagement and views.
Just like after anything you do as a business, you must analyse what you’ve done. Without analysing the performance of the content you’ve created, you’re not going to know if you’re creating the right content, on the right topics, and so on. Analysing the content allows you to see an in depth review on what you’re doing right and what could be improved.
What metrics should you look into considering?
Number of visits - how many views did your content have?
Leads generated - did your content offer convert leads?
Social proof - did anyone share your content on social media?
Inbound links - are there any outside web sites linking to your content?
Content performance by topic - Do your buyer personas prefer a certain topic that you’re covering?
Answering all these questions enables you to see the route you should be going down moving forward. You’re not always going to be able to remain constant with the content you do - there are always going to be hurdles you must face and overcome before moving onto creating better content.
Remember to test and repeat. Be consistent in your writing, distributing and analysing until you nail a strategy perfect for your business.
Content creation isn’t as easy as just writing a few hundred words, publishing it onto the internet and expecting it to gain millions of views. It’s a lot more work than that.
To even begin creating content, you need to know what your overall message and strategy is
You need to nail the message you want to portray to your potential customers and what values you want to hold. This then allows you to begin to mould your content and topics around these factors. Be sure the content depicts everything the way you wish it to.
You then have to think about creating it - who’s it for? What’s the purpose of it? Where are they in the buyer’s journey? There are a handful of essential questions you must ask yourself before writing. Once you’ve answered all these questions you’ll have a detailed understanding of what form the content needs to take and how it will be constructed.
Once created, you must distribute it. Without distribution, who’s going to see it? You need to make sure that you successfully promote your content to those who matter and those that will be interested. Then it’s all about analysing the content as well as the distribution. You must track your performance and see what could be improved next time.
And that’s it. The basics to content creation.