Six Tips to Make Your Content Educational, Thoughtful, Entertaining and Effective

February 2018

Source: iStock

If you’re spending the majority of your resources writing audacious advertising claims to promote your brand, products and services, then stop. In the age of self-educating customers, you need to be offering high-quality content that’s educational, thoughtful and entertaining. Here’s six tips on how to redirect your marketing efforts for effective results.

1. Know thy brand strategy.

Your company’s ultimate purpose for existing (beyond making money) and your target customer are at the core of your company’s long-term brand strategy. Distinguish your company from competitors by identifying your differences and create a perception in customers’ minds that can’t be easily challenged by rivals.

2. Identify your customer’s biggest problems and desires.

Source: Twirling Tiger Media

Put your customer’s needs at the center of your business storytelling to build a loyal audience. In order to pull customers closer to learning more about your brand, deliver a consistent stream of relevant content that deliberately trickles through all the stages of your customer’s journey (see infographic, above). Utilize these two essential solutions in favor of yesterday’s interruption marketing—content marketing (intended to attract and retain a defined audience), and custom content (branded content meant to build an affinity with your existing audience).

3. Put some feeling into it.

Understand the distinct tone and style of your brand and of your audience and speak their language (refer to your buyer personas). To build trust and authority, the best content creators find ways to connect with customers on an emotional level, making them feel like part of a group of like-minded people. They create content that will make the life and job of the target customer easier. Use emotional triggers to strengthen your relationship and foster loyalty. Prospects and customers want to feel good about aligning themselves with your brand and recommending you to others.

4. Make your content sparkle.

Customers are unlikely to align with your brand or pass it along to higher-ups if it appears dated and confusing. Employ a team of designers, photographers, videographers and illustrators to stay consistent with your brand and on message. When writers and designers collaborate, you’re assured that your brand is communicated with clarity and impact.

5. Choose the types of content that will work for your audience.

Content types vary from e-books, success stories, membership magazines and blogs to videos and much more. Know your objectives and how your prospects and customers want to receive information, whether reading, listening or watching. Is there a long chain of approval within the organizations you are appealing to? If so, create content that’s attractive and easily shareable for all levels of consumption.

6. Get your content found. 

Beyond creating high-quality, evergreen content, doubling down on distribution warrants a list of its own:

  • Optimize your content for Google searches by using long-tail keywords.
  • Create content on trending topics and already-ranking keywords.
  • Publish content with regularity.
  • Make content actionable.
  • Become a trusted resource.
  • Tap niche communities on social media platforms and forums and connect to highly targeted audiences.
  • Cultivate and build your network with web publishers who are passionate about the same industry you’re in.
  • Distill your posts into a highly shareable video or infographic.
  • Leverage publishing articles on LinkedIn.
  • Send your relevant content creation to your email list.
  • Create a podcast of existing content.
  • Be a good peer and reach out to influencers and people you mention in your content.

Instead of creating content that overtly sells, you’re now on your way to deliver content that offers real value tailored to your audience and is positioned to solve their problems. You’re ready to convert prospects into customers and customers into repeat buyers.

—Maureen