Online content creation is not just about flexing your grammar muscle and sporting how skillful you are with the use of words. The goal of all the content published online is to engage readers in a way that they feel encouraged to take some specific action. Whether it’s a blog post, a video, a podcast, an infographic, an e-book or a whitepaper, every piece of content that you create should be aimed at offering real value to the reader. However, there are very few businesses that truly understand what content marketing signifies and how content can be effectively used to attract new customers, increase the number of subscribers, reinforce a brand, showcase niche expertise and build a loyal community of followers among others.
If you’re struggling to stand yourself out from companies, marketers and other professionals who keep on flooding the web with different kinds of content almost every day, you should take a strategic approach towards content creation. You should aim to become the go-to resource for great content so that you’re easily found, referenced and preferred over the competition.
Here are seven tips to revolutionize your content creation and accomplish your business goals for more profits.
#1. Tell Customers What They Want to Hear
When you plan to create online content that touches the heartstrings of your customers (or prospects) and stirs their emotions, it’s highly recommended not to blow your own horn. Though you’ll always find it quite tempting to talk about what makes you awesome, how many sales you make every month or the number of years you’ve been in business, that’s not what your customers actually want to hear.
What your customers want you to talk about is this – how you can help them lead a better life. And there are many ways to do that.
Here are a few –
> Answer their common questions
> Teach them something new
> Help them deal with their day-to-day problems
> Provide them with useful tips/ best practices
> Let them know about other people you helped in the past
> Make them aware of the latest industry trends
Great content is not about you, it’s about the customers that will buy from you or hire your professional services. The web is already overflowing with tons of content on almost every topic you can imagine. The only way to rise above the clutter and be successful is by identifying the specific needs of your customers and tailoring your online content to satisfy those needs. So, stop talking to yourself and start talking to the customer.
#2. Know What You Want to Achieve
The world thrives on shared benefits; it’s crucial to also be crystal-clear about why you’ll actually want to help your customers. It’s a common practice for a lot of companies or businesses to produce content while being in the dark as to what they exactly want to achieve. Your online content could easily fall flat in terms of ROI if it’s not appropriately aligned with your business goals. And bear in mind that driving traffic to a website or a blog is not a real goal. The goals you choose have to be specific!
Examples of specific content goals include –
> Establish yourself as a niche expert
> Build a vibrant, loyal community of followers
> Pull in new customers
> Retain existing customers
> Build a list of email subscribers
> Promote a specific product/ service
> Attract strategic alliances
If you want to keep yourself on the right track – and in business – you should clearly define the goals that you want to achieve much before you start to create content. In any case, always pick only those goals that are realistic and measurable.
#3. Focus on a Specific Niche
Simply think about the number of information sources available to the modern-day consumer. How do you plan to attract attention unless you concentrate yourself on creating content around a specific niche? Even if you’re a mass-market brand, it’s advisable for you to direct most of your efforts to reaching out to that distinguished group of people who are not only genuinely interested in your products or services, but they’re also eager to spread the word about your brand. Planning to please or appeal to just everyone is nothing but planning to fail. Instead of trying to cover everything, as so many brands or business are doing, you should gain an extra edge quickly by finding yourself a relevant niche. If possible, explore a little more and try going even more niche.
By focusing on a specific niche (or a sub-niche), you’ll be able to create sticky content which will further help you break through the noise on the web very fast. Niche content provides you with an excellent opportunity to successfully lead an entire niche through your innovative ideas, keen thoughtfulness and useful recommendations. To sum it up, it allows you to increase relevance, drive engagement and generate a much higher ROI.
#4. Pay Careful Attention to Quality/ Depth
Poor content quality yields poor results. Adding hundreds of filler-content pages to your website or cranking out tons of mediocre posts on your blog may help you rank better than a few others, but it’s never a guarantee of a higher rate of conversion. Even if you post content only 2-3 times a week to your blog, ensuring a high quality can help you achieve success in generating a good number of leads or fulfilling any other content goal you may have. Always remember that content that rules the web, continues to generate traffic for the long term and converts better is always comprehensive, unique and well-researched.
The same rule applies to every piece of content that you plan to create and share with your customers online in order to obtain your business goals. If it’s an e-book or a whitepaper, you should make sure it’s packed with valuable insights (backed by credible evidence) and practical examples for online success.
#5. Choose Content Media Channels Appropriately
If you want your content to hit it big, you should always choose the right media channels as well. Depending on the target audience you’re seeking, the business goals that you want to satisfy and the time (or money) you’re willing to spend, you should select those channels that will suit you best. The decision also heavily relies on what kind of ROI you expect. Usually, newbies or online marketers with inadequate experience can’t think beyond social media platforms when it comes to choosing media channels for content promotion. Undoubtedly, social media platforms (where your customers or prospects hangs out the most) should be an important part of your strategy, but you should never turn a blind eye to other forms of media including paid search, display ads, affiliate marketing, PR, influencer outreach, word of mouth, email lists etc.
It’s crucial to evaluate your specific requirements and then choose from a wide range of paid, earned and owned media to get the most out of your content marketing efforts.
#6. Be Consistent with Your Efforts
For online content success, consistency is one of the most important factors. What’s quite common among most businesses or online marketers is that they start with a bang but soon the passion dies down. What message does it send to your audience (and even Google) when you publish 4 new blog posts every week for 3 weeks in a row and then leave your blog to go stale for the next 6 weeks? Whether it’s the social media platforms, your own site or any other site, you should always create a publishing schedule around which you’ll plan, create and publish different types of content online.
For example, you may decide to create 3-4 blog posts a week, one short video a week, an email newsletter a month and a whitepaper at the interval of every four months. Whatever may be the frequency, you have to be consistent with your efforts year after year for long-term success.
#7. Monitor Analytics Regularly (and Improve)
After all the content activities you engage in and the efforts you invest into them, it’s only practical to track what the performance is like. You really need to find out whether you’re achieving your content goals. You need to know about the rate at which you’re converting the target audience. Moreover, you should analyze which channel is bringing you the most conversions. Gathering all this data is simply impossible unless you have a system that measures the results of your content strategies accurately. So, make sure you’re using a good analytics tool, as it will help you determine where you should concentrate your time and resources and where you shouldn’t, to ensure a better ROI.
Give yourself some time to plan ahead. Evaluate the writing practices that you’re following to produce online content for business growth. If you find out you’re missing out on the content creation tips shared above, start applying them without wasting any more time for more conversions and revenue.
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