Content is the fuel that drives all online conversations.
And those conversations, if handled well, can turn into profitable conversions.
That’s right. Research shows that 63% of all purchases (both in-store and online) start with a Google search. And that search usually leads them to a piece of content.
That’s why you must always ensure that the content you create will be effective in helping you achieve your goals.
You need to master the art of content creation.
From blog posts to landing pages to your social media posts, the caliber of content you produce will determine the quality of leads you attract.
So how do you create content that drives results?
It’s not by waiting for the muse to strike (good as that is, the muse can sometimes disappoint). To create effective content, you must have a strategy. And that strategy doesn’t necessarily have to be elaborate or complicated. All you need is a simple framework based on the 5W’s + 1H formula.
- Who. Who are you creating content for? Hint, not you or your business.
- Why. Why are you creating content (and why should your audience read this particular piece of content)?
- What. What kind of content should you create?
- Where. Where do you want your content to take your customers?
- When. When should you publish your content?
- How. How will you get your piece of content in front of your target audience?
This simple content creation formula will help ensure that every piece of content you create will give you the desired results. So let’s dive right into it, shall we?
Who are You Creating Your Content For?
The very first element in the content creation equation is “who”.
Who are you creating content for?
The answer to this question will point your content strategy in the right direction, resulting in you creating effective content – every time.
So who are you creating content for?
No, the answer is not, and never will be, you or your brand. That’s one of the very first lessons you must master when you learn copywriting. Content marketing is all about building relationships with your audience.
As you well know, for a relationship to be healthy, there must be mutual sharing of value from both parties. You must give to your audience before they can invest in you. And the most important thing you can give anyone you’re building a relationship with is attention. Successful content marketers know this very well. That’s why they give their audience a lot of attention. Here’s the key – you give your audience attention by creating content for them. This is content that:
- Addresses their pain points. Show your audience that you care about them by creating helpful content. What challenges are keeping your audience up at night? Address those pain points in your content and you’ll quickly build a loyal tribe of customers.
- Inspires them. We all need to be encouraged to be better versions of ourselves. This is why inspirational content is so effective. And that’s why Nike’s content marketing helps them drive tremendous results – they focus on inspiring their audience.
- Helps them achieve their goal. Getting from point A to point B is not always easy. That’s why creating content that is geared at helping your audience achieve their goals is always a great idea.
Content that drives results is never about you or your brand. It’s always about your customers. Egotistic brands that create content to show off their products/services never last long in the content marketing game. But brands that show their customers love (by creating helpful content) always win. And this precisely why you need to know and understand your target audience.
So, who are you creating content for?
Why are You Creating Content?
Another important element in our content creation formula is “why”.
Why are you creating content?
Yes, every piece of content you create must have a purpose. Content without a goal is not worth creating – it’s a waste of time and resources. And when it comes to determining a purpose for content, many businesses fall into the trap of creating content because:
- Their competitors are doing it.
- They’ve heard content marketing is the new king of advertising.
These are not legitimate reasons for creating content. If anything, creating content for the above 2 reasons is a sure recipe for disaster.
So why should you create content?
Here are a few reasons why:
- Drive brand awareness. People always research a product/brand before making a purchase. So, create content to drive awareness about your brand and the products/services you offer.
- Generate traffic. Content also plays a significant role in search engine optimization – you need to create content that ranks well. Thus one of the goals you can assign your content is traffic generation.
- Generate leads. Content marketing has been proven to generate 3X more leads than traditional marketing. And that at a fraction of the cost.
- Drive sales. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 61% of all online purchases are a result of a customer reading a blog.
Every time you create a piece of content, make sure it’s serving one of your business goals. Of course, make sure the content addresses your audiences’ needs as well. Otherwise, they won’t have any motivation to consume it.
What Kind of Content Should You Create?
Content marketing is a necessity if your business is to be successful. However, not all content types will produce results for your brand. This is why it’s important that you know your audience and the kind of content they prefer. For example, do they prefer:
- Blog posts (long form vs. short form)
- Video content
- Templates and checklists
- Case studies
In most cases, you’ll need a combination of the above content types to meet all your audience’s needs.
Besides the types of content, you’ll also need to know the platforms your audience prefers to hang out on. Is it TikTok (the current rising star), Facebook, LinkedIn, or other myriad social media platforms available today? Create content tailored for these platforms and you’ll have your audience lapping up your content. As a result, your content marketing will drive you closer to achieving your business goals.
Where Do You Want Your Content to Take Your Customers?
One of the most powerful aspects of content marketing is that you can use it to take your audience on a journey. No, not to some exotic paradise, but paradise nonetheless.
What do I mean?
It’s simple. The reason people search for information is that they have a problem they need to solve. And your content, designed, developed, and deployed well, can be instrumental in leading them on a journey that ends with them finding the solution (in your product, of course).
In the words of Aaron Orendorff, good content can take your audience from their personal hell to their personal heaven. Or in marketing lingo, content is key to taking your audience on a successful customer journey. Of course, the successful part applies to both you and your customer. After all, good business is always a win-win situation for the buyer and seller. So, don’t just use content to inform, entertain, or inspire. Instead, use it as a vehicle to take your audience on a pleasurable customer journey. This means you need to be strategic in your content creation, making sure you design your content to move your audience further down your funnel.
When Should You Publish Content?
One of the keys to a successful content strategy is knowing how often you should publish content. While the exact number of blog posts, videos, or social media posts is debatable and varies from industry to industry, one thing is certain – quality always trumps quantity. That being said, once you’ve established your content quality standards, you need to determine how often you should publish content. Here are a few guidelines to help you determine how often you should publish:
- Budget and size of business. Small businesses may not have the budget required to publish multiple times in a week. It is therefore advisable that they focus on publishing at least one high-quality blog post a week. With larger budgets, big brands can publish more content on a weekly basis.
- Purpose of content. Your content marketing goals should influence the frequency with which you publish content. For example, if you’re publishing content for SEO (traffic) purposes, you’ll publish more frequently than you would for brand awareness purposes.
According to content marketing juggernaut, Hubspot, brands that publish content 16 times a month generate 3.5 times more leads than those that blog less than 4 times a month. This means, no matter your company size or content marketing goals, the more content you publish, the more effective your content marketing becomes.
How Will You Get Your Content In Front of Your Target Audience?
Creating and publishing content isn’t all there is to content marketing. Unfortunately, many believe the publish button to be a magic wand that automatically drives visitors to published content. Well, it’s not.
That’s why effective content marketing includes content promotion strategies.
So how do you promote your content to maximize its reach and impact?
Here are a few content promotion strategies for you to consider:
- Leverage social media. Social media is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of promoting content. You can either use your organic reach or pay to boost your posts or a combination of both (which is actually the best).
- Use content promotion services. Content promotion services have become a dime a dozen as content marketing has become a critical component of marketing. Again, you can use free services like Viral Content Bee or pay to play with services like Quuu.
- Guest posting. Guest posting is a content marketing strategy that involves publishing content on sites other than your own. While it may seem counterintuitive, it’s effective as it gives you access to an audience that fits your ideal customer profile.
Creating content without planning for its distribution is like shouting into the wind – you won’t catch anyone’s attention. So make sure to invest time and resources into promoting your content using the right channels.
Creating Effective Content – It Goes Beyond Creativity
Creating effective content goes beyond creativity. It calls for strategic planning. That’s why all great content marketing campaigns start with content planning. That’s why we created Divvy HQ – to give your content an edge by offering a content planning solution. Go ahead and take advantage of our 14-day trial. You certainly won’t regret it.