There are many reasons businesses create online content: Customer service, web traffic, brand building, etc.
Often playing a significant role in inbound marketing campaigns, content creation is a necessary part of doing business in the digital space.
Don't take it from me, just look at the data: Over 80% of marketers are actively moving into the online content creation space.
For it to be effective, however, your content creation practices need to be well thought out and strategic.
In this article, we look at two crucial questions you should ask as you are forming your content strategy.
Start with Quality over Quantity
If you go online you’ll find outlandishly large content creation recommendations—with some experts suggesting that an inbound marketing strategy won’t even begin to work until you’ve created several hundred pieces of online content.
While the end goal for most businesses may be to have a vast catalog of traffic-generating articles, the focus should always be on quality over quantity.
Remember that everything you post online reflects on your brand. Instead of posting vast swaths of content that is perhaps keyword-rich but lacking in character, start with a list of genuinely interesting topics that reflect well on your brand.
For example, if you run a plumbing company, you might write articles about how to winterize your house properly, how to fix a leaky pipe, or how to find a trusted plumber.
The articles not only draw people in, but they establish your authority on a topic.
Have a solid purpose
The content you produce will always have at least two purposes: to bring people to your website and to effectively convey the essence of what your article is about.
To decide if a topic is worth committing to the world wide web, consider outlining.
If it’s easy to plan out approximately 700-1000 words of content, you probably have a topic that is engaging enough to be turned into an article.
Also, if you don't already, try to create a greater cause that drives your brand like making an altruistic contribution for every purchase (below) or focusing your business operations on sustainability.
These will make it easy to generate interest and traffic, not to mention it will come off as much more organic.
Ensure your content is appealing to the eye
Keep in mind that the majority of web content is now read on people’s phones. The screens are small, the print is fine.
Readability and scrollability are key.
Use bullet points, nice pictures, and paragraphs that don’t exceed two or three lines, and focus on creating lots of engaging headlines.
Are you proud of it?
Would you be willing to put your name on the content that you are posting on your website?
Tell your friends to take a look at it?
If you aren’t proud of the content, it doesn’t belong on your website.
Question 1: Who's it for?
Figuring out who your audience is should be one of the first steps for creating content.
Your audience will help you select a tone, and establish the vocabulary that you use.
Who will see it?
Similarly, who is most likely to see it? The answer may be different than it was for the last point.
Your demographic, particularly as it relates to your online presence might not be perfectly calibrated to your brand identity yet.
Many analytic programs can help you find out what demographic your current readers fall under.
Who do you WANT to see it?
What does your ideal customer look like? This person might not be seeing your content yet, but hopefully, they will see it soon.
The goal should be to create content that they will find engaging and actionable.
How is it going to pull them in?
People typically find articles through keywords, but that isn’t why they read them. You need a hook. Does your content address a pain point? Highlight a cool product?
Figure out what your audience will be interested in and emphasize it.
How is it going to get your point across to them?
Understanding your audience will help determine the effectiveness of your writing.
Are you writing in language and metaphors they will understand?
It's incredibly important to fully understand your audience when creating content.
Knowing your audience helps you to make decisions about what you should include, how you should arrange the information, and identifying what details will be necessary for the reader to understand what you are presenting.
This also influences the tone and structure of the entire piece.
Who is your ideal audience?
Knowing your audience will organically help you find content creation topics.
What are their struggles?
What questions can you answer for them?
Question #2: Why are you creating it?
Creating content should always be purposeful.
Figuring out why you are creating content not only informs your topics but the way you express them.
What point are you making to your audience?
The article you write should have a clear point. If you don’t know what it is, your audience won’t either. See if you can boil what you are trying to say down into two or three sentences.
If you can, it probably means you have a clear, comprehensible idea that can be expanded and fleshed out.
For example, the topic of this article could be distilled into the following: Creating content should be a purposeful, audience-driven pursuit.”
What's your ideal response to the content?
Most articles, blogs, and helpful content guides have some sort of call-to-action (including this one).
Figure out what it is, and try to make content that justifies its placement in the article. It could be to visit your store, give you a call, or schedule a free digital marketing discovery call. (See what we did there? 😏)
For more examples, here are 30 powerful call-to-action examples for you to emulate.
Why is it worth sharing?
Creating content that is worth sharing is key to gaining traction online. What makes you think your audience will be interested in the topic you are discussing?
Consider questions that your customers ask consistently. These could be a fertile source of article topics.
Are you confident it has purpose?
If your article doesn’t have much of a purpose beyond drawing traffic to your site, it’s better to skip it.
Purpose is key to creating content that's worth the read.
- Is it thought-provoking?
- Would this interest you if you came across it?
- Does it give your user value?
If you can't answer yes to at least one of these questions... definitely swipe right!
Are you focusing on quantity over quality?
Ten great articles are always going to be better than fifty bad ones. What you post online will directly inform the way people think of you.
Creating content should always be done thoughtfully, with your brand image in mind.
To sum up the important parts
Creating content effectively may sound challenging, but its finer points can be distilled into a few key points:
- Make it with your customers in mind.
- Make sure it has a purpose.
- Do it right.
Need a little help with creating content? Schedule a free video call now. See? We told you there would be a call to action.