Lackluster content results can occur when content is simply misaligned with organizational goals or when the content itself is uncompelling. First and foremost, content creation should be focused around furthering the conversation on a given topic, instead of just adding to the noise. To be effective it must be readable and actionable. Without these pillars content can’t gain traction, but even with these key elements it should still be promoted through brand channels and within industry corridors.
These “secrets” to writing effective content aren’t really secrets at all, but they’re often more difficult in practice than in name. Before creating blog posts, emails, scholarly articles, videos, white papers, infographics, or any other form of content, follow this content checklist to ensure the best possible results.
Have a Goal
- BEFORE writing anything ask yourself or your team, “What do we hope to accomplish with this?” and write down your answer.
- After writing the content, go back to that initial goal and determine whether the content actually achieves it. If not, keep editing it until it does!
Add to The Conversation
- Do industry research to find out what other people are doing and saying to avoid repeating what’s already out there.
- Make people think – challenge existing ideas and opinions.
- Write for your audience, not search engines.
Make It Readable
- Write content that’s easy to read by breaking it into easily digestible pieces.
- Have another professional or a copywriter read over your content to determine if it’s engaging enough to hold their interest.
- Incorporate ways for readers to share your content.
Aim to create the kind of content that people can’t help but to bookmark and share. The ultimate test is whether someone likes your content enough to share it with their friends, family, colleagues, and followers. When you create a valuable resource, people will be compelled to pass it along to help others, and that’s the best place to be in as a content creator.
Make It Actionable
- Tell readers why they should care by answering the question, “so what?”
- Provide next steps for readers to take.
- Share it on social media.
- Send it to clients.
- Use it on the company website.
- Pass it along to other bloggers.
- Get into digital or physical industry publications.
Don’t be afraid of reusing your content. Plan to push your content out through your business channels more than once to maximize traffic. You can share the same article on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other channels a few times a year with a unique angle to appeal to different audience segments.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and two children and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!