In the beginning, we all asked, “What is content marketing?” Then, “Does it really work?” These days, there’s no longer any doubt. Content marketing works.
The success of content marketing has become a bit of a double-edged sword, however. Because it is so effective, everyone is doing it. This has led to so much content that your target audience is likely bombarded daily with blog posts, eBooks, videos, and infographics—all claiming to be relevant to their specific needs.
So, does this mean you should stop creating content? Absolutely not. Now is the time to create better content.
The simple act of creating content isn’t going to differentiate you from your competitors anymore. You need to create content that drives visitors to your website, firmly establishes your authority in your industry, and nurtures your leads throughout the buying process.
Here are four tips for creating standout content your target audience will want to read:
1. Don’t Become a Content Factory
We all know content marketing tends to be most successful when it is practiced consistently. However, this drive to produce a set number of blog posts per week can often lead to “throwaway” content.
Do your best to avoid creating content simply for the sake of having something to publish. Focus on topics that are meaningful and helpful to your audience.
Always remember content marketing is successful when it resonates with people looking for answers. Make sure your content strives to help. Your goal should be to inform, not just get clicks.
2. Get Acquainted (or re-acquainted) with Your Audience
You can’t create content that resonates if you don’t have a clear understanding of who your audience is and what they need. Don’t just guess at topics and types of content they want to read about. Invest a little time researching the market and develop a detailed audience persona (a fictional representation of your ideal customer) that can guide your content marketing plans and decisions.
It’s helpful to remember that as the world changes your audience’s need will change. Research-based personas must grow, evolve over time. Getting reacquainted with your audience as it changes over time will ensure you’re always on top of their needs.
3. Be Approachable
You don’t want reading your content to feel like a chore—like attending a lecture. Instead, use an approachable tone. And don’t be afraid to get a little personal or use storytelling to capture and keep their attention. When your content is fun to read, your readers are more likely to become followers.
Also, recognize how busy your target audience really is. Try to format your content so it is easily digestible and can be read “on the go.” Use lists, headers, and bullet points to help your readers to catch up on your blog posts during their morning commute, between meetings or while waiting in line at the grocery store.
4. Make Use of Visuals
Research shows that breaking up paragraphs and chunks of text with visuals increases by 80 percent the likelihood someone will read your content. A relevant image can also help the reader retain 55 percent more information than they would without it.
Finding or creating the right image, video, infographic or chart may feel like added work, but making your content visually appealing is well worth it—and your readers will appreciate the extra effort.
So, don’t get lost in the crowd when it comes to content marketing. Create better, stronger, more impactful content that captures the attention of your audience and keeps them coming back for more. Craft content that stands out. Ask yourself how you can take something that works and make it work even better.