What keeps you coming back to your online favorites? Whether you prefer news sites or blogs, Instagram or YouTube, there’s something about your usual online haunts that makes it stand out from the rest. Bloggers alone make around 7.5 million blog posts every day – so what stands out about the places that you choose to visit? There’s something that stands out about the content we, as consumers, choose to go back to again and again. Understanding this is the key to bringing in readers and users using content marketing. And while all content providers have lists, tips and tricks to offer, they all seem to boil down to the same three concepts.
Audience: Know Them, Speak to Them, Love Them
According to HubSpot, the audience is the heart of any content marketing strategy; it’s important to be sure your team has identified what target market they’re trying to attract by sharing content. By using demographics, online behavioral data, tracking and polls, your team should be able to collect information on who it is you’ll be speaking to and know your audience. However, this isn’t just about identifying the group you’re reaching out to. To truly know your audience, you also need to know what it is that they want. Do they want to read, watch, scroll, or participate? What kinds of information will be valuable to them? What is your target audience looking for?
Tie the audience and their needs together and make sure your content fills that gap. Most content companies provide answers to questions or educate them in areas related to their products; use your understanding of the audience’s desires to help your readers solve the problems they may be facing.
Quality, Quantity, Consistency, and Style
Each of the above terms could be broken down into an entire blog post addressing the expectations that exist for content marketing today. However, they continue to represent what’s most important about the actual content being created. Let’s break down what’s critical about each of these key points:
Quality: It’s better to make one good post a week than five average posts. With all the competition in the market, content needs to have excellent grammar, spelling, sentence structure and formatting. One mistake is easy to skim over, but most readers will close the tab on an article with too many basic errors.
Quantity: Do note that quality comes first; it’s better to make one good post a week than five average ones. However, one post won’t be enough to attract readers to engage with your content. You need to have several topics to cover and the ability to keep producing content.
Consistency: Whether you decide to post once a day or once a week, you need to stick to that schedule if you expect readers to return. This ties into both content marketing tips above: if you can produce two quality works per week, develop a schedule and post regularly. Continuously updating your content will draw new people in.
Style: It isn’t enough anymore to just write good, solid paragraphs. You’ll need something that makes your writing stand out from the thousands of other websites talking about the same topics. Some companies choose to provide straightforward, easy-to-understand information; others choose to show a sense of humor. Whatever works best for your business, make sure it helps you stand out from the rest.
Define Value and Deliver
Value means knowing the customer. However, it also involves knowing your business. Your team needs to have a concrete plan in place to meet your business goals. Your marketing strategy should drive what content you decide to create and how you choose to provide for your audience. While getting views and shares is an important part of content marketing, it won’t mean anything unless those views and shares are contributing to company image, sales, or other predetermined targets. Linking up two pieces – what provides value to the consumer and what is valuable to the company – drives content marketing towards success.
Make sure everything that you do is deliberate. You may want to start casting a wide net in terms of the content and topics that you address. According to WordStream, you should look at statistics as each piece of content goes around the internet. Learn from the number of hits and conversations to tailor future pieces to be a better fit. If you aren’t continuously improving the content you’re putting out, you’ll soon be no more than one of 7.5 million bloggers who posted that day.
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