If you’re creating content to draw in audiences, then average quality won’t get you very far. There’s just too much content out there and too many people putting in the hours trying to draw in your audience.
For your content marketing strategy to compete, you’re going to need outstanding content. That way, if people actually take the time to read your stuff, they’ll be willing to come back. And that, right there, is the key to content marketing. Making sure people want to come back and making sure that people talk to other people about it.
If you can get yourself into that position, you’re going to be in a golden position, where your readers naturally propagate your content for you, so that you can spend far less on the marketing and work even harder to make your content totally rock.
So what are the steps that you need to consider to make your content as high quality as possible?
Is your content aimed at your audience?
The big mistake many people make in the content marketing game is that they forget who they’re writing for. Why is that a problem? Because if you’re writing for everybody, you’re effectively writing for nobody.
After all, great content has to press the buttons of the reader, but as we’ve all got different buttons, you can’t press everybody’s buttons at the same time. Instead, you’ve got to tailor it to the people that actually matter to you.
The best way to find out what content is stirring the interest of your audience is to find out what else they are reading in large numbers. You can easily do this, for example, through the Facebook Ad Manager, which lets you specify your audience and then see what content they’re most likely to like.
Then, explore their style and make it your own.
If people struggle to access content, then they’re not going to get very far – especially as there is a constant push from other media sources for their attention. Therefore, make certain that you work on keeping it short and simple.
When you’re working with words, a great tool to use is the Hemingway app.
It will point out long sentences, an overuse of adverbs and passive voice, and more. I’ll normally type up my content and then throw it in there to see what the app thinks of my writing. Not that I always listen, of course, but I’ll generally find some sentences that I can edit down and simplify.
And the simpler my language, the easier it is for my audience to understand my ideas. And that means my content reaches further and affects more people.
The key to remember is that simple reading is not simple writing. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
Let your content cook
Don’t publish on the same day that you finish an article or a piece of content. There is just too much of a chance that some kind of mistake manages to sneak by you because you’re seeing what you want to see rather than what you actually wrote.
Instead, take a step back, sleep on it and then come back to it. Even better, get other people involved. Have a skilled editor take a look at what you’re doing. There are plenty of writing services out there that can help you. Sure, they might cost you a little bit, but then the truth is you’ve got to spend money to make money.
‘But nobody cares about the occasional mistake,’ some of you might well huff. To some extent you’re right. Many people might well overlook the occasional misspelled word or tiny grammar mistake and focus on what you’re trying to say.
But not everybody. For quite a few readers, those grammar and spelling mistakes are jarring and interrupt their flow. And when that happens they stop focusing on what you’re trying to say and focus on your words instead. And that is not the key to engaging or outstanding content.
So let your content cook.
Outstanding content needs to come at the reader across several different channels. That means not just relying on text, or video, but combining them into a unified whole. After all, we all have different ways that we prefer to consume our media, and so by varying how you present your content, you’ll make sure that your reach is greater.
There is another advantage to using different channels. It means that you can recycle the really great ideas. If a post works really well as text, for example, then you can present it as an infographic, and then as a podcast.
This means that you’ll have to focus much less on coming up with the next big idea and can instead focus on what you’re doing right now. And that is the ticket to really exploring a concept well and making sure that your coverage of it is outstanding.
It isn’t just about the content. The internet is not a one-way street. Instead, it’s about creating a back and forth between yourself and your audience. If you manage to do this effectively, then your readers will feel personally engaged with you.
And that is a fantastic way to draw them in and create a real relationship.
So give your audience the opportunity to comment, to reflect, to weigh in. And when they do speak to you, make sure you use those ideas to then create the next pieces of content. Doing this will make your audience feel appreciated and speak up more.
And at that point, they’ll be handing your content ideas that you might never have thought of. That’s a great place to be.
You can’t create content in a vacuum. You always need to be thinking about whether what you’re creating actually serves the interests of your audience. Are you telling them something that they want to hear about? Are you answering the questions that they’ve got? Can they understand what you’re trying to say?
If you’ve got to admit that the answer to any of these questions is a ‘no’ then you’re not creating outstanding content. And that means that you’ve got to change your strategy. Because if your content isn’t outstanding, then you’ll drown in the cacophony that is the internet.
About the author: Malia Keirsey is an ambitious blogger and web designer from Chicago. She’s gotten a masters degree in Sociology and started her career a few years ago. Her articles mostly related to the writing, marketing, and digital area. If you have questions, you can contact her via Facebook or Twitter.