The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Killer Content
Effective Marketing is impossible without amazing content. Regardless of your marketing objectives, good content is a part of the process and should be the priority for all marketing strategies.
Blogs, e-Books, emails, and social media are just some of the forms of content marketing.
The content itself is what brings the audience value in the form of information, entertainment, or inspiration. Here’s the most important thing to keep in mind: the medium in which you chose to deliver this content provides little to no value if the experience that makes up the content falls flat.
Simply put: it doesn’t matter how you deliver the content, it just has to be good.
While many content creators will argue that video marketing is the fastest growing medium or that blogs are rich with SEO, your audience will engage with any type content that they resonate with. They will share blogs, videos, podcasts, and other types of content that they feel others can benefit from.
What makes good content?
Let’s go back to this very powerful word - value.
This is the foundation on which all content should be built on. Content should be useful to your audience, otherwise it won’t be useful to your brand. The ultimate goal of any content that you create is to provide as much value as possible to your audience, who are essentially your potential or existing customers.
Content is a long-term strategy, meant to increase your know-like-trust factor. By offering free knowledge, advice, or words of wisdom, your audience will get to know your brand, and hopefully take a liking to the value you provide, and eventually develop a level of trust with your company.
Think of it as establishing a relationship on the right foot. A good foundation certainly builds a lasting connection, while someone who shows up once a week to ask you to buy their product will likely leave a bad impression on anyone.
Get to know your audience
If you’ve solved a problem for yourself, chances are you have a solution that millions of other people need. Content then becomes about reaching those people who are experiencing the same constraints you did before you found a solution.
Getting to know your audience means speaking to those pain points. And since you’ve already gone through the same issues yourself, you can relate to your target audience. You already know who you want to speak to, now it’s about getting to know them on a deeper level.
What are some of the challenges they face? What are their dreams, goals, desires? By asking these questions and engaging with your audience, you will be able to bring relevant and valuable information that can transform their life.
Speak to one person
Many content creators get hung up on speaking to hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people online. This risks creating content that lacks polarity and substance. Good content is less about going viral and more about reaching the audience who needs you.
You can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t please everyone. You want to repel the people who you don't want to work with and only attract the ones who will resonate with your message and benefit from your offer.
The best way to do this is by envisioning just one person who needs your content. What is the feeling that you want them to experience by coming across your website, social media, blog, or videos? What type of transformation are you hoping for them? Start with one person and nurture that relationship.
Make it conversational
For content to be effective, it needs to be easy to digest. For writers especially, blogs can quickly read like an academic paper and writing becomes a competition on who can sound smarter with the most complex words and impressive sentence structure.
Remember that you’re not writing for your English professor. Content needs to be written or presented in a way that a 5th grade level reader can understand. Even the most complicated of details and information should be easy to read, listen to, watch, and comprehend.
The best part about being conversational is that it feels more natural and content becomes easy to create. You’re no longer worried about useless jargon or being perfect. People connect more with authentic work than a boring essay that requires a dictionary to read.
Develop your voice
How do you want to represent your brand? Do you want to be thought-provoking, inspirational? Is your company witty, fun, energetic? Depending on the overall feel of your brand, the voice in which you present your content with should be consistent and defined.
One way to get inspiration from this is to read the content for popular brands such as Apple, Microsoft, or Samsung. Although they compete in the same market, each of these brands have a unique voice that makes them stand out. As you’re developing the voice for your brand, give yourself grace. It won’t be perfect, but it is part of the journey of becoming a killer content creator.
Align with your message
This concept is the cousin of the above point of developing your voice. Every piece of content you create should align with the underlying message of your company. For example, if you’re all about quality over offering low prices, you don’t want to bait and hook someone with an Ad promising low-cost solutions and then lead them to a website that has a different message.
Inconsistent messaging is one of the fastest ways to lose your audience’s trust - a slippery slope that is hard to recover from. Really take the time to sit down, define your message, what your company represents, what it doesn’t represent, and create a messaging template that everyone on your team can follow.
Have fun with it
Have you ever witnessed someone in their passion - whether it’s performing onstage, delivering a speech about medical innovations, or building a model airplane? There is something incredibly joyful and magnetizing about seeing someone having fun in the moment. Your content is no different.
When you consume content from someone who loves what they’re talking about and you can feel through the screen or the words that they have fun providing this value to their audience, it makes a world of a difference.
Many content creators become overwhelmed with the amount of content that they need to create. But part of humanizing your content means that it’s ok to walk away and take a break. Consistent content can also mean releasing well-crafted content once in awhile, a method that is often better received than forced daily content that feels empty.