Generating attractive content has become a way of life. Once you have defined your content “ideal reader”, you can then define your content strategy or master plan for developing the core content and topical focus for your business, written or in other media and online and offline.
Focus your content strategy
Effective content focuses not on you and your product/service, it focuses on what your users/audience cares about and wants to hear about. That’s what you need to talk about: your audience’s concerns, problems and interests.
It’s, of course, important to talk about your product or service and what it can do or how it can be helpful for your audience. But potential customers are interested in a greater variety of topics that address and can help them cope with the issues they are struggling with. The best way to find out what those topics are is to:
- Get out and about to connect face-to-face with the market. Go to events related to your industry, attend business networking meetings, sign up for a seminar on an issue or area related to your product/service.
- Learn from your audience’s interests, issues, and concerns. They will give you a general idea of which topics people are most interested in reading about. The information will also help you avoid making assumptions about how your audience is just like you (it’s not, they don’t have the same pain points you do, and they don’t necessarily know the industry jargon), cares about the same things you do (they don’t), has the same knowledge you do (they may know more, less or just different things), or has similar experiences to yours (9 times out of 10 theirs is different).
- Visit a book store, in person or online, to see what books are coming out on the topics related to your industry and product/service, what is most talked about and what gaps need to be addressed.
- Type key words related to your industry and product/service in your search engine. This will help you identify and understand the ideas, issues and experiences that surround your product/service.
Developing content around the topics, issues, concerns and pain points identified will help you best focus your content. It will establish you as an authority and make you stand out from competitors and, ultimately, increase sales.
Go beyond actionable content
The best performing content depends on being actionable: content that people read because it’s interesting, relevant, entertaining, and provides real value. Filler articles or blogs won’t cut it. Your readers need to learn something new about an issue or discover tips and advice about how to do something new or something old in a new way.
- Start by explaining what readers will walk away with if they read your post. The title and a brief introduction should explicitly state what’s in it for them.
- Make your content engaging by involving your reader. You can use images (written or visual), providing links and asking questions that they can respond to in the comments section. Quote famous personalities and/or industry experts. Be specific and include real life examples. Add a personal touch.
- Make a call to action. Everyone is focusing on making their content actionable, so it’s becoming a commodity. Actionable content is your hook and line: it creates awareness and grows traffic. A call to action is your sinker: it is what actually grows business by evoking an emotional response or enthusiasm and giving the reader a reason for why they should take a desired action by clicking to sign up, subscribe, try something for free, learn more, or join.
Focused, consistent and actionable content is what sets you apart from other companies and marks you as an industry expert. But it’s really hard to go keep your online presence going to places that create new business. To make sure your actionable content is effective, you need to convert your readers into a loyal audience of customers with an actionable call to action. That’s the formula for building your content kingdom!