How To Create Effective Content

Content writing

Content marketing is not only a savvy way to highlight unique aspects of your business or service, it’s also an effective way to engage customers and interact directly with them. According to research compiled by CoSchedule, 61% of customers in the US made purchases after reading a relevant blog post. In order to reap the benefits of increased customer engagement and leverage the potential power of content marketing, it’s key to understand how to create effective content.

Know Your Audience

An important first step in creating effective content is understanding the audience the content aims to reach. If the content will be published on your own company’s channels, consider what information your customers would be interested in. If you are posting on other sites, consider the age, gender, income, and geography of that publication’s target audience, and gear the angle of the article towards the interests of this demographic. An audience of female persons in their early twenties would not likely be interested in content pieces that cater to retirees, and vice versa.

Most people won’t read content that’s an obvious hard sell. Instead of focusing on espousing the benefits of a specific product or service, consider the knowledge available in your company and tap into that. Create content that solves a problem for the reader using the expertise of your company. For example, at StickerYou, we sell customized die-cut sticky products such as stickers, labels and decals, which many people use for branding and marketing small businesses. A large part of our target audience is comprised of small business owners and entrepreneurs. To engage this audience, we create content that draws on our experience as a startup to create articles on how to build a business, create effective marketing and branding strategies, or navigate the changing SEO landscape. We also have an audience of creatives that use our products for personal expression. The content for this audience highlights the creative potential of our products. One interview with an artist on the StickerYou blog garnered an 88% organic CTR.

Do Your Research

It may sound obvious, but when creating content, make sure to know what you are talking about. Today’s audiences have Google, and are much more adept at navigating the media landscape. The point of content marketing is to build trust with your audience and from that garner increased engagement with your brand. Content that is false, or based on flawed information, breaks trust. Think of it as in-house journalism. When researching for your content piece, pay attention to the sources used and make sure they are reliable. Fact-check quantitative data and put it in context to make sure it’s relevant or helpful. Data that’s out-of-date or from an unreliable source reflects poorly on the publisher may result in a loss of readership.  

Be Active

Writing matters. Pay attention to the basics of writing well. Use the active voice whenever possible as it gives the writing a sense of immediacy. Be specific, avoid vague writing and generalities. Use spell check. Make sure the language and writing style used are in line with your target audience. These may seem like small details, but spelling mistakes, vague writing that is difficult to understand or a tone that misses the mark all work to break a readers’ trust, the opposite of what content marketing seeks to accomplish.

Try Every Type

Different demographics consume media in different ways, and offering different types of content can increase the overall effectiveness of a content strategy. Younger audiences, for example, may be more interested in watching videos rather than reading long-form articles, and their searches may reflect that. Some readers might also retain information better if it’s presented in an infographic rather than a list. Experiment with different types of content to find the right mix for your content marketing objectives.

Effective content is truthful, useful and well-crafted. Ineffective content isn’t well thought-out, convincing, or relatable. Spending the time to ensure content quality is high, that it is aimed at the intended audience, and experimenting with a variety of forms is an investment that pays off in an effective content strategy that gets results.

Author: StickerYou Founder & President, Andrew Witkin

Andrew

As the founder of a global e-commerce leader in custom-printed, die-cut products, Andrew Witkin is widely recognized as a leading authority on e-commerce, customization, startups, marketing and the tech economy. Witkin has also served as VP North American Licensing for Nelvana/Corus Entertainment and Director of Marketing for MegaBrands/Mattel.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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