Beyond jotting quick notes or marking events on a calendar, many of us write very little in a day. Even fewer have the skill or desire to write content for their business websites. Content marketers who have made an art form of leveraging engaging social media posts, blog posts, and landing pages, know that writing is a specialized field, and so engage professionals to create this type of content. By outsourcing in this way they streamline their whole project management process.
Creating content that compels audiences to take action can, for many, be a struggle. I’m sure you’ve already heard about, and tried to apply, the standard advice other marketers have to offer: keep it simple, stick to your industry, write content for your audience, and so on. But I thought we’d explore in a little more depth the most important aspects of content creation as well as some advice that you may not be able to find anywhere else.
1. About knowing your audience…
On the top of most content creation “How To” lists is knowing your audience. Your statistical tools will reveal “who” your audience is by capturing information like:
- The age range of your audience
- Their gender
- Their location
- If they are “consumer” (B2C) or a “business” (B2B)
This is a good base for creating content, but don’t stop there.
Your audience’s pain points are important – and, of course, knowing how you might completely or partially resolve them. Also, think about what their lifestyle is like:
Are they active and health conscious?
Do they own pets?
Do they love to travel?
Do they like eating out or do they enjoy preparing elaborate meals from scratch?
You may be thinking, “How do I find this information? My stats don’t tell me this!” This is where reading comments on posts on relevant websites is a good idea, as well as seeing posts and comments on social media. Go to where your audience hangs out, and try to get to know them a little more. Most niche magazines and media outlets have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, so monitor those feeds to see what topics are trending.
When in doubt, reach out to a content marketing firm. These professionals engage people like me to provide them with the content they need for their clients. Most importantly though, they have the tools to thoroughly research your market to ensure your messages are tailored appropriately.
Their business is all about saving you time and money by uncovering this information for you so that you can focus your valuable efforts on other aspects of your business.
Most digital marketing companies have a content marketing team. If you would like some recommendations from me about the ones I’ve worked with, contact me, and I’d be happy to provide their contact details.
2. About “keeping it simple”…
Unless your audience is school-aged children, you shouldn’t be speaking to them as if they are. When I first started my content writing business over a decade ago, I was advised to keep it simple, and to write as if I were addressing an eight year old. But that is just BS – you need to pitch your language and depth of detail to engage your market. Don’t dumb things down because you think you’ll reach more people. What you will do instead is lose the engagement of the people who are in the market for your product or service. If your ideal client is a technician, you won’t engage him or her by removing all of the technical jargon from your content.
While on the topic of tone, here’s an important tip: speak as you normally do. Put your personality and unique style to work when creating content. Audiences of all types will stop and read compelling, personal content, and it is a great way to encourage them to take action.
3. About the “call to action”…
Including a “call to action” or “CTA” in a post is, in most cases, important (after all, you are writing copy to get your audience to do something). But don’t make the mistake of constantly pushing your product or service on your readership. I always recommend including in your content strategy lifestyle posts that will connect with your audience and keep them interested enough to explore other posts. These lifestyle posts don’t need a CTA; consider them as a gift to your readers.
When coming up with topics for content, plot where you think a visitor to your site would be in the sales funnel when they are reading that content. For example, someone who has just seen your Facebook ad featuring a “how-to” post is in the “discovery” stage. There is a low chance that this person is interested in buying your product, but there is a high chance that he or she may take advantage of a free offer (like a free white paper or eBook), or that they may “Like” your Facebook page to keep tabs on what you have to say in the future.
4. Focus on your audience, not your peers
Right now I provide content for 27 US law firms, and the biggest hurdle I have when explaining why I write their content the way that I do, is that they want their website content to impress their competitors/their peers. They want to use complex legalese and go into the minutiae of areas of law, when what they need to be doing is speaking in a way that Joe Public understands. If they were delivering a paper on a legal topic to their peers it would be a different matter, but what they are trying to achieve is for prospective clients to understand how they can be helped – as simple as that.
Already have a content marketing strategy?
If you’ve got your content marketing strategy in place and would like some help with writing that content, I’d love to hear from you (here is the CTA!)
For over a decade Kerry Finch Writing has strategised with global clients of all shapes and sizes to help them meet or exceed their business goals through the creation of unique, thoroughly researched engaging content. Contact me directly with any questions you may have about creating impactful content or complete a quick quote form right now, and I’ll respond within 24 hours.