Valuable content marketing: The secret
Now that you have a good idea on what content marketing is and the benefits it can provide your company it’s a good time to start thinking about how to actually create the content and what elements it needs to really work to your advantage.
The secret to creating valuable content in marketing is in the word valuable; is it of worth to the reader, has it the potential to educate, entertain, excite or enriche them in anyway?
As we mentioned in a previous post, valuable content is one of the most important things in this process. Keep the following points in mind and you’ll be creating great content in no time.
Take a minute before you start to get into the mindset of the people you are trying to reach. Focus on just one person or organisation typical of the audience you are trying to reach. Consider the challenges they face or the topics that really get their interest and let that drive your content subject matter. Then as you create your content, do so as if you were talking to directly to them, one to one, over a coffee or lunch. Anticipate their questions, objections and arguments and build in your responses.
Relevance is a key trigger in gaining response from your target audience, which is why you should take an intelligent approach. Before you begin you should understand what it is you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it.
Not only does your message need to be relevant but so do the channels that you use. Consider the objective behind your message and the method that you will use to target your audience, whether it’s a video, brochure, blog, case study etc.
Knowledge is key here. For example, there’s no use investing all of your time and money in social media if your demographic have been shown to respond more to printed media. I find that one of the best ways to know whether or not your audience is going to find content relevant is to ask them.
While this may feel like cheating, isn’t it better to pick up the phone and have a quick conversation with a customer, or ask a colleague who’s more involved with a project than you, than to waste time producing something that is likely to miss the mark and risk losing interest.
Let’s face it, if you don’t have structure how will you ever know what it is that you’re doing, or what you want to achieve? Particularly in writing, we have been taught throughout our lives that stories all have a beginning, a middle and an end. This is an idea that will serve you well when planning to write content, although one set structure won’t work for everything. A well planned structure that is tailored to a piece of content will provide great benefits such as clarification of your ideas and the saving of a lot of wasted time.
Structure doesn’t just relate to how a piece is written, it also relates to the way it’s published. Take a web page or brochure. If you’ve ever put one together you’ll know that there should always be a clear structure in place, so that everything is designed to be as engaging as possible.
Not only that, but your audience will benefit from a clear and concise message that is easy to find, read and share. After all, the content is being designed for them, it’s not all about you, so this should always be one of your marketing objectives.
Unless you make your content engaging nobody’s going to take a lot of notice. There’s so much content out there and you can bet your target audience is being bombarded by it every day in social media and directly in their inbox. You really need to make yours stand out from the crowd and earn its attention.
So what makes for really engaging content ? It could be a number of the following factors:
- Of the moment and relevant to the reader
- Subtly, or even, unashamedly disruptive and able to attract the reader without them noticing
- Entertaining, informative, educational or stimulating
- Personal and relatable, written in an informative but friendly manner
The list goes on, but the main point here goes back to using your intelligence. Hopefully you’ve done the research and you know what it is that will grab your audience’s attention. Now you just need to work that into your content marketing strategy.
In order to make your content valuable you must also take mileage into consideration – how much can you get out of one piece? Think outside the box, as to all of the other avenues you could take. Posting relevant links on social media, creating a video, podcast or presentation, adding a survey to gather info for a follow-on post, distribute by a newsletter, email directly to contacts who could benefit from the info, repurpose into a guest blog or article, add a link onto your email footer, promote on your website. The list can go on. Once you’ve done the initial hard work it almost seems silly to waste it by not exploring other options.
Nearly 50% of marketers use content that is not original. This is a fantastic opportunity to get your own content out there, by looking for others who are willing to share or expand upon it. Don’t be afraid to reuse your own content – especially if the first time round it created a buzz and got people talking. There’s nothing wrong with a little repurposing of quality assetts and you may even reach a whole new audience.
It’s likely that we’ve all sat down to write something only to find that an hour or two later we’re still staring at that blank page and our notes don’t make any sense. The next instalment of our content marketing blog series will be covering the obstacles of creating content so be sure to look out for that one.
Blog by: Nicky Wren
We know what it takes to create valuable content. If you would like to discuss your content marketing strategy with us or need some help creating your own valuable marketing content then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit IT Hummingbird for further information.