People have questions, so they ask Google. There are four billion Google users - or potential customers - asking questions every day. Customers need help; they want a solution to their problem. Whether they’re searching for the best tourist destinations in Rome or what medicine to take for itchy eyes, the results of their searches provide them with content that answers their questions.
But content has two functions: it helps customers solve their problems and helps your business promote its own unique solution. It’s created as part of a company’s marketing strategy to encourage consumers to invest in a product or service. The better the content, the more likely it is the customer will make a purchase.
Having a business that creates no content is like trying to win a tennis match with no racket.
Creating great content that achieves the end goal of increasing sales involves four key actions.
Researching the topic
Planning a strategy
Creating the content
Here’s a breakdown to help you with each step:
Before you start the creative process, ask yourself who you’re creating content for? The answer will have a huge impact on the rest of the task.
Defining exactly who your audience is will give you some food for thought on potential topics you can write about and problems that your customer might encounter, which you can then seek to address.
If your audience is made up of remote workers, then writing about how to resolve a certain tech issue might be a good idea, but an audience of expectant mothers would be engaged by very different topics. What are your target audience’s obstacles and objectives? This will help you to discern what type of content you should aim to produce.
Once you’ve defined a subject area, you need to find out what’s trending with a Google Trends search. The next step is to do a keyword or SEO search. SEO return on investment is significant, as researching the exact phrases people are searching for will help create better content, give your brand greater visibility on search engine results pages and lead to more clicks.
Now you know who you’re writing for as well as the topic. But what angle are you going to take? This can be a challenge and the cause of many hours of writer’s block.
A writer can feel as though the responsibility to create content from scratch lies solely on their shoulders, but gathering information and data from as many sources as possible is the basis of writing good content. Ideas should come from many places, including:
Brainstorming sessions with your team
Asking more experienced colleagues for assistance
Getting feedback from your clients
Putting yourself in your clients’ shoes
Researching what the competition is doing- including carrying out an SEO competitor analysis
Sourcing stats from reliable sources
You’ve brainstormed, but there’s still work to do. Working out exactly what shape your content will take is the next step. Question what’s going to have the most impact on the audience. To make the greatest impression on an audience who might only passively engage with your content, a video might be the right move. However, an audience that wants to engage with you personally might prefer a webinar.
What’s out there already should serve as your guide. Simply googling one of your keywords will provide you with all the content that’s ever been created. If the most common result relates to eBooks, then it’s safe to say that you should focus your efforts there.
Additionally, your planning should revolve around your business strategy. A SaaS content marketing strategy, for example, will revolve around creating high quality content that meets real user intent. Establishing your strategy will help you define precisely what to included in each piece of content. Dividing the ideas from your brainstorm into a blog, podcast, and video is an excellent idea.
Now it’s time to create. Connect the audience with the ideas that you’ve been refining.
But don’t forget that content should be ever-evolving. If something happens and any of your data changes along the way, adapt your content to reflect this.
Content creation promotes inbound marketing - customers find you. You can earn the trust of prospective customers by creating a great piece of content that solves their problems. You helped them - for free- so they’re likely to return to you. Excellent content is the perfect way to engage customers and keep them loyal by providing quality.
Ultimately, content creation is a long-term strategy. Some pieces will win, and others will lose. But the key is to learn from and be guided by these results. Monitor your content and see what worked for your business. Then keep giving people more of what they want.