How to create content that resonates

As marketers, our key goal always comes back to the customer experience: Will the strategy we’ve established and the resulting tasks we’re executing deliver a great experience and content that ticks the relevant, useful, shareable boxes?

It’s all too easy to think about who the customer is and not really consider what they actually want. Here are six top tips to help come up with more content placement and content marketing solutions that resonate with your key audiences.

  1. When was the last time you asked your customers what they really want from you? What their pain points are? It’s easy to slip into the habit of assuming you know what they want, because as far as you know they’re happy with what you’re giving them. But wouldn’t it be better if they were even happier? Take some time to ask your customers questions on a regular basis – what one thing could you do that would make their lives easier, what is their biggest challenge right now? This gives you fantastic material straight from the horse’s mouth, for you to go and create great content from. From here, there are some great opportunities to turn your loyal customers into brand ambassadors. You can also look at collecting insight from other parties that engage with your audience – if you’re in the travel sector, build up relationships with tourist boards – share data, customer insight and trend predictions.
  2. If you are hosting content on your website and want to extend the reach, investigate some of the most influential sharing sites such Reddit, StumbleUpon or Digg, depending on which ones work best for your sector. If you are sharing content across multiple sites on a given theme, research a number of variations, for example, pet-friendly days out, great dog walks, places you didn’t know you could take your dog – then you keep Google happy too.
  3. You can also use video intros to entice your audience to click through to your content. Around 65% of internet traffic is accounted for by video content and a very short 15-second introduction on a social media channel or on your website where you really get across the value of reading on, can increase your click through rate and site traffic significantly. Or how about a whistle-stop “how-to” guide as an intro to a great piece of content – for example “Five ways to fix your boiler yourself” – tease people with the content they’re going to get from you if they click.
  4. It’s a known fact that you can achieve superior results through SEO by opting for lower-competition, expertise-based search terms – “Best places to watch the sunset in Ibiza” as opposed to “Ibiza holidays” for example. And that logic extends to content placement. You can use the Google Adwords campaign planner to establish which types of search terms/expert topics will work well for your client/brand, without spending a penny. You can also use tools like EpicBeat to see which influencers are writing about topics of interest. This is a great research tool not only for other subject matter that might work well, but also as a way of building relationships with relevant sites and writers. It’s also good to take a total step back and stand in front of the newspaper racks instead – look at the headlines and imagine how each could apply to your brand – what can you take from what’s selling stories and how can you adapt that for your audience?
  5. Using infographics can work really well but only if you give people a clear reason to publish something and link back to your site. This is far more achievable if your content includes newsworthy, timely stats from data that has a good sample size (above 500 people ideally). As we are increasingly visual learners, image is everything – especially because the internet has decreased our attention span; an infographic can be the hook you need to get someone interested in your product or service. Pinterest also means that this type of content is more and more widely shared – plus we rely more and more on Google image search. Checklists and resource based infographics that help people to achieve a task or manage something more efficiently work really well and give you much deeper and long term brand awareness. Depending on your audience, simple infographics are ideal for a Facebook audience – again link back to the bigger story, whether that is text or video-based content.
  6. Finally, don’t forget about the value of offline content marketing. Creative direct mail is already seeing a huge resurgence – simply because people aren’t doing it, or doing it particularly well. Follow the cut-out-and-keep philosophy and give people something informative that provides a useful reference point – things as simple as wall planners with dates marked that are key to your customers are fantastic content marketing tools.

In summary, creative content marketing works at its best as part of an overall PR or marketing strategy – as part of your proactive outreach to the media, social media strategy and paid marketing activities. You’ve always got to join up every dot and have a worthy call to action.

Article written by Catherine Warrilow, head of digital and social at agency Seriously PR

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