A Scenic Tour of the Online World

Top 10 Tips For Creating Great Content

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

1. Pick The Low-Hanging Fruit
Many people overlook the low-hanging fruit just begging to be picked. An excellent place to start is with the communications materials you’ve already generated. Much of what you’ll find can be adapted to fit into a content marketing plan simply by changing the focus from you to your audience. A product announcement, for example, can be turned into a discussion of how to solve problem x, the issue your new product was meant to address. (Though you should avoid promoting your product directly in the new content.)

2. You Are An Expert – Use Your Expertise
The stuff that’s super simple, know-it-in-your-sleep, 101-level stuff to you is frequently an absolute revelation to your audience. Overviews, Introductions and “A Beginner’s Guide To …” are all very effective content marketing approaches. And, they provide a great way for you to establish your expertise. People trust experts and people want to do business with people they trust.

3. Know Your Audience
It’s hard to address an audience’s needs if you don’t know the audience. So take the time to create profiles and persona of your audience, including all major audience segments. Don’t forget to think about your audience over time – their interests will change as they move through the buying cycle.

4. Let Your Audience Guide You
For the next week, or two, or even a month, write down every question and concern you hear from a client or prospect. Hard to imagine getting a more crystal-clear picture of their interests! Answer those questions and you’ve got content in spades.

5. Worker Smarter, Not Harder
Well, it doesn’t hurt to work harder, too … Generating content can be easier than you think if you use the tips above. Make it easier still by repurposing content for different channels and audiences. There can be some overlap from channel to channel, but frequently that overlap is minimal, so it’s OK to take the kernel of a 5-paragraph blog post and use it as a quick tip on Twitter, for example. Or to offer a link to someone else’s content that you know your audience will find interesting. Offer an editorial opinion on the content and why it should be of interest to your audience.

6. Partner Up
Colleagues with similar audiences and complementary products or services can be a great way to generate new content ideas and expand your reach. Your expertise offering a different perspective on their world can be of interest to their audience and vice versa.

7. Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Not a tip for generating content, per se, but a tip for doing the right thing and staying out of trouble. Give sources and links when you cite facts and figures, and do your due diligence if you’re treading in controversial waters. (Controversial opinions are fine, anything potentially libelous requires more scrutiny.) Remember that it’s easy to fall prey to the idea that ubiquity equals truth, but seeing the same falsehood everywhere doesn’t mean it’s been corroborated. It just shows the internet’s echo chamber at work.

8. Systematize and Automate
Create an editorial calendar, know what content you want to create, know what market events – seasonal selling seasons, trade shows, etc. – you want to target. Reduce stress and pressure, and makes it easier to stay consistent with your brand and message. Set aside a block of time once a week to generate the week’s content, rather than scrambling to do it on deadline when other things may come up. Use alerts, subscriptions and other tools to gather content ideas so you don’t have to go look for them.

9. Pay Attention To SEO
Do at least basic keyword research so you know that you’re talking about what your audience is interested in, and using the language they’re most comfortable with.

10. Get Results
Don’t forget the call to action. It’s not just “content,” it’s “Content Marketing” and without the calls to action, you’re not going to get the marketing results you want. Think in terms of the results you want as you’re creating the content. And building brand awareness is a valid piece of the puzzle. It simply can’t be the only piece.

11. Measure Engagement
Special bonus tip! Measure not just raw numbers of fans and followers and subscribers, but the number of people engaging with your content. Bonus-tip bonus: measuring engagement also shows you which kinds of content perform best so you can produce more content along those lines.

With #10 in mind … give us a call at 212-727-8445 or send us an email! We’d love to help you build a website and make your investment in social media, SEO and email marketing reap rewards.


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