Here are 6 ways to create more Effective Content
New research has found that more than half of the content created by some of the biggest brands in the world is nothing more than clutter and they are failing to create effective content. The findings emerged from a study entitled Meaningful Brands, carried out by the media agency, Havas. It concluded that 60% of content created by 1500 of the world’s leading brands had little impact on consumer’s lives or business results.
The same study found that 84% of consumers expect brands to produce content but over one in two found that the resulting materials were poor, irrelevant to them or simply failed to deliver. The result? 74% of consumers worldwide (and a massive 94% of consumers in the UK) wouldn’t care if those brands getting it wrong disappeared.
In contrast, the brands who get it right and succeed in producing effective content earn a 48% increase in share of wallet and report 137% more returns on their KPIs.
If you’re afraid your content fails to hit the mark, isn’t meaningful or doesn’t inform, educate, entertain or inspire, your business could also be at risk of customer apathy and lack of connection. Check out this live training Mike did at a recent Infusionsoft User Group on the Content Lifecycle.
Ready to learn more today? Don’t resign yourself to be among the 60% of brands creating clutter, however big or small your business. You can create more effective content, using the following six tactics.
#1 Identify content purposes
There is a lot of pressure to entertain your audience via your content. And, while this is certainly a key aspect of content creation, other purposes should also be considered. Take time to create a content matrix, identifying the different purposes that your content should fulfil. The exact mix will depend on your industry but, you should have a list which looks something like this:
#2 Research, research, research
One of the very first skills trainee journalists are taught is how to carry out research and appreciate its value. As a brand, you’ll also need to adopt this mantra if you’re serious about turning a corner with your content marketing. The research job is never done and you should expect to carry out various forms of research as part of your content creation cycle.
- You’ll need to research relevant keywords and topics.
- You’ll then need to research those identified topics in order to create effective content that adds value and fulfils one of your previously identified content purposes.
- Once published, you’ll have to research which pieces performed best and determine why that was the case.
Researching the content of each article or video is a critical phase. Google’s own quality content guidelines state that pieces which are too light on information, written by someone who isn’t an expert in the subject matter or fail to provide something new will all fall short of the standard it expects. This is also a good rule of thumb for creating content that is of a standard your audience expects.
#3 Test your content
Often, the only time to know what will truly resonate with your audience is to test your hypothesis. While often overlooked, AB or split testing should also play a role in your content creation process. Test everything from subject lines and headlines to opening paragraphs and image selection on a small segment of your audience before you roll out the final piece to everyone.
Even a basic landing page testing tool should facilitate these and many other types of test, and provide detailed analysis on the results. Use this data to refine your content, until it is tightly honed and as good as it can be before opening it up to public access.
#4 Experiment with formats
It is very easy to get stuck in a rut with content and churn out blog post after blog post each week simply because new posts are ‘required’. Mixing up your content format and experimenting with different types of content can be incredibly effective and a useful way to keep your blog looking and feeling fresh.
Changing up your content format doesn’t require a big financial investment and is easily accomplished with a little creativity:
- If you usually produce a written blog, for example, try swapping a standard post for an infographic conveying the same information.
- If you’re comfortable producing longer articles, turn some of your older content into a SlideShare.
- If you always write long-form blog posts, try a listicle or an image gallery instead.
#5 Turn to your competitors
We get it. Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day, especially for SMEs with limited budgets and large to do lists. Why not call in help from an unexpected source? Your competitors. While you might be fighting it out for market share, your competitors are a treasure trove of information and you can use the lessons they have learned to your own advantage.
- Start by studying the types of content they produce. Can you fit it into your own content matrix? Do they have content that seems to fulfil other purposes?
- Which topics do they cover?
- What formats do they use?
- Which subjects generate the most likes and shares on social media?
Settle in for some sleuthing and you’ll soon have a blueprint for making your own content more effective, simply by observing what’s working well for your rivals.
Measurement is a critical and often overlooked aspect of content marketing. It’s important you track the response and impact of each piece you create in order to learn what does and doesn’t work.
Use whatever metrics you can get your hands on but be consistent across all of your content. Measuring social media shares is a popular choice but you might also want to factor in considerations such as time on page and number of links earned.
Looking to get your Content Strategy better understood, check out this blog on 7 Compelling Reasons Your Business Needs A Content Strategy
If you are ready to dominate with your Content Marketing and Social Media, get started by scheduling a free no obligation consultation call with one of our consultants, simply click the button below and pick a date and time off our calendar and we look forward to speaking with you.