How To Create Impactful Content?
We have all come across a piece of content that captivates us or gives us the necessary guidance or inspiration. But, have you ever stopped to consider why you liked it? Or How the content creator know exactly what you needed, and how to present it?
Perhaps, at some point, you too may have attempted to create content that would have a similar effect on your audience?
Well, the reason some content stands out from the rest is that it is backed by a well-thought-out strategy, a good understanding of the audience and their needs, and finally precise execution of the strategy. Creating content that is spot on, takes several aspects into consideration.
Here we offer you some guidance and structure to help you get started.
Start with the objective - What do I want to achieve with the content?
Understand your audience and the overall landscape - Who is my audience? How will my audience react to it? What is my competition doing? What is already out there?
Execute to a plan - When, Where, and How should I publish my content?
Measure and Adapt - What is working and what is not?
Let’s decipher these three steps for you.
1. Start with the Objective - What do I want to achieve with the content?
Why do you need this content? Whose problem are you trying to solve here? Are you trying to gain a competitive advantage? Are you here to help your existing customers or attract new ones? These are the questions to ask to help identify the objective for your content.
Consider these 3 key areas when identifying your objective – your business goals, your audience, and your competitors.
Through your business goals – See how specific business objectives can be achieved through content.
Ideally, it is good to have one or two objectives for your content. Multiple objectives may lead you to lose focus. The end result could lead to rework to eventually get the content aligned to your objectives.
However, if you do wish to keep multiple objectives for your content – you can split them up into individual content projects. This way you can achieve your objectives while helping your content team create good content. There are typically 3 main objectives for content when you look at how you want to interact with your audience - To Educate, To Engage, or Entertain.
Setting clear marketing goals will help you work out a more precise approach as to how you are going to achieve the company objectives. Think about them in terms of your Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely (SMART), so as to not get overwhelmed by them.
Free Template: Download our free template to help you note down your business and marketing objectives.
2. Understand your audience and the overall landscape - Who is my audience? How will my audience react to it? What is my competition doing? What is already out there?
So far, we spoke of how you think about your content as a business owner. Now, let’s step into your customers’ shoes. Understand them and see how the objective you set for your content helps solve their problems.
The design thinking approach to understanding your audience is to create buyer personas. These go beyond the basic demographic information and delve deep into the reasons, mindsets, and thought processes in your buyers’ lives. Buyer personas need to be real and not fictional adaptations of your audience. There are several templates and techniques available to help you build an accurate persona.
A good buyer persona will help you identify the problems your target audience is facing throughout the buying process.
The need for any content stems from a certain problem or opportunity. This problem could be faced by your customer. For example, first-time visitors will need to be informed about you. They are looking for a certain kind of product or service and they need all the relevant information they can get before they choose to buy from you. For your business, this is a great opportunity to convert your visitors into your customers. This could also be a problem if your content does not clearly establish who you are. You may be just the brand they were looking for, but they may not choose you because of a miscommunicated message.
A buyer persona helps answer these questions and well as this:
The key messages and themes to convey through your content.
The right tone of voice and language will resonate with your audience.
The right medium to reach your audience.
Another place to look for content gaps is your competition. By conducting a competitive analysis you will be able to understand the content your competitors are putting out. It can give you insights and ideas on what you can do to be different.
With this information, you can plan a strategy and create content that your audience needs, likes, and understands.
3. Execute to a plan - When, Where, and How should I publish my content?
With a clear understanding of your own objective and your target audience and their needs, you can now start to think about your content in terms of - what you want to say, how to say it, how often to say it, and where you are going to say it. This is your strategic content marketing or content execution plan.
A clearly defined executable strategy will have the following:
Objective – Why are you creating this content?
Target audience – Who are you addressing?
Key themes/messages – What is/are the main messages you want to convey?
Language and Tonality – How do you want to sound?
Medium – Where will you publish this content?
Frequency - How often or when will you publish your content?
Key success metrics – What is the performance goal for your content?
These elements will help you plan the budget, and resources needed to execute the strategy. It is very likely that your plan will evolve over time and this is the best approach to content management and marketing.
With all this in place, you can now begin the actual content creation process. It becomes easier to stay on track once you have a strategy that is based on your current business needs.
4. Measure and Adapt - What is working and what is not?
Once you publish your content you may need to do a bit of promotion depending on the type of content you have created. But that’s not it. You also need to monitor how your content has performed. Has your content met the performance goal you set out for it?
Measure the performance metrics against each objective and evaluate if you need to make changes to your approach. If you do this regularly, over time you will see patterns that indicate what has worked out for you. It could be a certain medium, a certain tone of voice, certain elements of design, and so on. You will also find that some aspects of the content are negatively affecting performance. Keep track of all these indicators and make necessary adjustments in future content projects.
Creating great content takes time and its impact can be measured over time. There is no silver bullet or SEO hack that can change the basics of good content. At the end of the day, it needs to educate, engage or entertain the audience.
Following a structured process helps you put out content that your audience not only appreciates but also comes back for more.
Get in touch with us if you need help with developing a content marketing strategy.