17 Tips to Creating Better Content

  • Categories:

    Content Marketing

  • Date:

    March 17, 2022

17 Tips to Creating Better Content

Content Marketing

Every day, 7 million blog posts are published on the internet. If you’re using content marketing to build your brand and grow and nurture relationships, that statistic is pretty damn daunting.

There’s obviously an incredible amount of competition for people’s attention online, but here’s the rub: With the right strategic approach, you can create content that performs better than the competition’s. Quality content builds trust, strengthens customer relationships and generates leads while feeding other channels. Without question, it should be a foundational element of your marketing strategy.

But making sure the content you publish is relevant, informative and of value to your target audience requires more than just picking a topic and writing a blog post, case study, white paper, etc. There are a number of factors that impact how engaging your content is and how many conversions it creates.

Here are 17 tips to help you publish content that drives results — and it all starts at square one: your target audience.

1. Understand Your Audience: There are 4.66 billion active internet users. Your content should not attempt to appeal to all of them. By understanding your audience’s unique challenges and creating content that offers solutions, you create direct value for the people you most want to engage.

2. Help Solve a Problem: Content that is too self-serving or promotional could quickly disengage people if you haven’t already earned their trust. On the other hand, publishing content that helps your audience solve a challenge can forge goodwill while demonstrating how your product or service can be part of the solution.

3. Establish a Cadence: Here’s where you set expectations with your audience. An inconsistent publishing schedule creates a lack of depth in your content and hurts your ability to attract return visitors. Conversely, developing an editorial calendar allows you to tap into themes and create connectivity with your content over time.

4. Stay Relevant with Fresh Content: Fresh content helps cement brand trust and loyalty by giving your audience more of what they need, when they need it. It also feeds other channels, such as social media and email marketing. Furthermore, publishing solid content frequently will support search engine optimization (SEO), helping you earn higher positioning on search engine results pages (SERPs). Finally, if you aren’t publishing timely content that positions your brand as an authority on the current needs and challenges of your target audience, someone else will.

    5. Unlock SEO with Keywords: Speaking of SEO, a keyword-driven strategy is vital for content that gets noticed by search engines. Knowing what keywords to tap into can be part art and part science, but staying current on organic search trends and knowing how your customers talk about your products or services are both good steps to maximizing your content’s SEO.

    6. Leverage Industry Trends: Take time to evaluate the industry landscape and incorporate hot topics and trends into your content mix. However, don’t chase trends simply for the sake of the click — instead, make sure you are adding value to the conversation. Your audience is savvy, and if they see that you alluded to a topic just to get them to your website, they’ll bounce.

    7. Grab Them with Your Headline (but Keep It Short): A few rules of thumb for writing great headlines: Put the most important words first. Keep it brief (preferably 60 characters or less). Make it catchy. Leave the reader wanting more. And remember, in a world filled with clickbait, your content better pay off the promise of your headline, or next time, your target audience might swipe right by.

    8. Don’t (Over)Sell: Content marketers create content to help the brand grow, which ultimately means generating revenue. That’s why product tie-ins and calls to action are key components of content marketing. But they can’t overshadow your storytelling. Always put the needs of your audience first, and understand where they are in the journey. If they’re still collecting ideas, or if your product is a major purchase, they may not be ready to take action.

    9. Use Visuals: Photos, videos, graphs, charts, infographics … no matter which you use, your storytelling will benefit if you incorporate visuals into your content mix. Visuals not only improve the user experience by breaking up text, they appeal to basic human nature, helping readers create emotional connections that build engagement. (Speaking of, you’re long overdue for a visual, so here’s a picture of your content outperforming the competition.)

    10. Lean into Data: By infusing your storytelling with data, you increase the believability and total value of your content. Real numbers give your audience more than just an expert opinion.

    11. Provide a Next Step: When your content is so successful that your reader wants to continue the conversation, how do you take advantage of that opportunity? A traditional bottom-of-the-post call-to-action button — like “Learn More” — is one method, but you can also encourage your audience to explore your other content, subscribe to your blog, learn about a product or service your content mentions, find a dealer, download a piece of gated content (typically high-value information, especially if you’re asking for their email address in return) and/or share your content with their social networks. How can you best support the reader at this (likely) stage of the journey?

    12. Diversify Your Content Format: Long-form blog posts are great — but so are listicles (hint: you’re reading one), checklists, FAQs, Q&As and visual content such as charts and graphs, illustrations and photos, and videos. Finding ways to diversify your storytelling format helps keep your audience engaged and motivated to explore new content when it's published.

    13. Don’t Ignore Your Competitors: While workloads and deadlines can often keep us laser-focused on accomplishing our own content objectives, don’t ignore what the competition is publishing. Not only can you gain valuable insights on topics that are generating engagement, you can also discover ways to make your own content unique.

    14. Optimize for Mobile: More than 92% of people access the internet through their mobile device, meaning any content you publish on your website must intuitively adapt to whatever device is accessing it to ensure the most user-friendly experience. And as far as content format, consider that 63% of mobile traffic is video, and that figure is expected to grow to 76% by 2025.

    15. Have a Plan to Share: As content creators, having a blog or video go viral is the golden ring we reach for every day. But no one plans for their content to go viral. That’s why you have to promote and share your content if you hope to reach your target audience. Cross-posting on your brand’s social media accounts is an obvious first step to sharing your content, but other strategies include email marketing, influencer partnerships, organic and paid social, paid search, programmatic media and more.

    16. Measure Your Results: Tracking your content’s performance lets you test and learn what resonates most with your target audience … and continually optimize your efforts. Measurement and analytics are invaluable in learning what topics and content formats keep your readers on the page the longest, spark the most social media engagement and, ultimately, generate coveted conversions.

    17. Stay Flexible: No matter how much we plan, coordinate, publish and measure, preferences and habits can shift with the wind, and unforeseen events will inevitably arise. Embrace the chaos. The customer journey is rarely linear. Instead, along the way, stay focused on giving your audience what they need, when and where they need it. And if a piece of content doesn’t work as planned, the good news is we have 7 million chances tomorrow to get it right.

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