It’s no big secret that the future of online marketing lies in creating great content.
Content is just a buzzword for “information”, and in the context of online marketing, that could come in the form of a blog, a tweet, a video clip, an image, a meme, or anything along those lines.
Unlike traditional, “old school” marketing, where a business would push out (advertise) information about their product and services, content marketing strives to attract an audience by giving away valuable information… for free.
Simply put, give something of value for free… attract business.
What a crazy concept.
And it’s getting less crazier by the minute.
Because it works.
Check out these statistics on content marketing (Source: DemandMetric):
- Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads
- 90% of organizations market using content
- 91% B2B marketers use content marketing
- 86% B2C marketers use content marketing
- 62% of companies outsource their content marketing
- On average, marketers spend over 25% of their budget on content marketing
But… not all content is created equally.
Some content is bad.
Really, really bad.
Some business owners miss the mark when it comes to content marketing, simply because they don’t understand their businesses as well as they should before embarking on a content marketing strategy.
So what does it take to create great content?
Five deep, dark, secrets to creating great content…
Know your audience
Who is your audience? Who do you want to reach and engage? Who are these people who you’d eventually like to convert into paying clients or customers?
Don’t say “everybody.”
If you say “everybody” you are trying to be everything to everyone and you are diluting the impact of your message.
When you try to be everything to everyone, you end up losing your credibility.
(This is true in marketing, in business, and in life – but I digress).
People who drink Starbucks don’t want to hear about people who drink Tim Horton’s. You have to pick a side.
Know everything about your target audience. This includes your audience’s demographics, such as:
…as well as their psychographics, which include:
A good exercise is to envision your perfect client (it may be someone you actually work with, or it may be someone you haven’t met yet, like a celebrity, or it may be someone completely fictitious) and then go from there, sketching out an “ideal client profile” that will help you determine your perfect target audience.
Know what problem you solve for your audience
Now that you know who your target audience is, you need to identify what problem you solve for your audience.
The best content fixes your audience’s problems.
Every audience has problems – even if the problem is that they are bored.
Chances are, as a business owner, you get asked a lot of questions all the time from your clients or prospective clients. There are probably a bunch of questions that come up quite frequently… these are the questions you need to be addressing with your killer content!
If that tactic doesn’t do the trick, just ask them! Throw out a comment on social media, asking your audience what you can help them with today – you may be surprised at how many ideas for blog posts, infographics, and videos you’ll get.
Know what is unique about what you provide your audience
If you’re not the only person to deliver a particular product or service to a certain group, you’d better be doing it in a way that stands out.
This goes back to not trying to be everything to everyone. If you can figure out what makes your business, product, or service different from the rest, you can create content that will stand out from all the rest.
Because let’s be real… there is a LOT of content on the Internet – how are you going to stand out if you and your message is just like all the rest?
Know how to communicate with your audience
Knowing what to communicate with your audience is just as important as knowing how to communicate with them, and where.
Knowing how to communicate is to know what tone and language to adopt so that your audience can relate to you.
For instance, you may want to use industry jargon if it makes you look credible to your audience. On the other hand, depending on the situation, if using technical lingo goes over your audience’s heads and loses them, you might want to consider breaking down your content so that it’s easier for them to digest.
Knowing where to communicate means you have to know your platform. You have to know where your audience hangs out online, for instance on social media. Are they active on Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? LinkedIn? YouTube?
And finally, what format do they prefer to get their information?
Do they prefer written blogs? Some audiences prefer, long in-depth blog articles, while others prefer if you’d keep it brief. What length of blogs does your audience prefer?
Your audience might respond to videos or images better than they do to blogs.
By the way, just because one social media platform or one media format works today, doesn’t mean it’s still going to have traction down the road. Always be testing and adapting.
Don’t be afraid to try new things and stay a couple of steps ahead of your audience!
Have a call-to-action for your audience
It is hard to measure the effectiveness of your content if you don’t ask your audience to do anything.
Furthermore, if you don’t ask your audience to do anything or stay in touch, you’ve effectively wasted an opportunity.
Asking your audience to do something for you is really easy AFTER you’ve given them great content – they’ll want to do something for you or stay in touch since you’ve helped them with your valuable information.
Asking your audience to do something is called having a call-to-action (or CTA). An effective CTA could include:
- Download my ebook
- Subscribe to my YouTube channel
- Follow me on Instagram
- Leave me a comment or ask me a question
- Buy my program
Make your CTA easy to understand and follow. That means, not asking them to type out a lengthy and complicated URL – instead, provide them with a clickable link. Don’t make them fill out a long and complicated form, it should be more like “Click, click, here’s your ebook.”
By now, you’ve probably noticed an overall theme to creating great content… every one of the points above center around your audience. The biggest secret to creating great content is making it all about them (not you). Always be asking, is your content helping, inspiring, or entertaining the people you want to convert?