Content fuels communication and builds relationships with prospects and customers. Creating a dialogue that empowers interested readers with shared knowledge, best practices, real-world case studies and other content allows them to learn something new, work smarter and be more productive. This in turn builds trust and credibility with those providing this content and sets the stage for a potential or deeper business relationship. Engaging marketing content starts here.
Content marketing is successful when the messages being delivered matter to those receiving them. One gauge of whether messaging is effective is how much it is consumed and shared. So what needs to be considered up front to increase the probability that content will reach and resonate with the intended recipients and expand one’s reach? Let’s take a look at some of the key elements to consider.
Clearly establishing the target audience is a required first step in crafting engaging marketing content that will impact those who read it. So who makes up that audience? The audience that you want to reach will ideally be informed by buyer personas – anonymized-but-actual composites that illustrate the characteristics of your respective customer types. Buyer personas answer key questions that will inform the makeup of effective content – questions such as:
- How many different buyer types are represented in our audience?
- In what mediums are each audience segment most likely to consume content?
- What are the pain points and aspirations of our prospects and customers?
- What competitor/alternative resources are each audience segment also likely to engage with?
- What tone and approach will best resonate with each audience segment?
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Key Elements of Content
No one list of elements will guarantee that content will engage and resonate with everyone. Nonetheless, many common components do tend to be found in high-performing content, including:
- A Strong Title/Headline – This is a make or break factor. Of all those that read a headline, only one-fifth will read the body copy that it connects to. Titles and headlines should interest readers and aim to convince them that reading further will be worth it.
- How-to and Listicle Elements – Readers want to learn things that will alleviate pain points, help them achieve a goal, or arm them with wider knowledge. How-to and listicle content is a great way of providing this – for example:
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- Relevant Statistics – Adding statistics from reputable sources adds credibility to content and makes readers more likely to trust the messages being presented.
- Ease of Sharing – Including a share bar with social media buttons and simple sharing functions increases the likelihood of readers sharing content with others. This is important because people are more likely to consume content that comes from someone they know and trust.
- Graphical Elements – Augment content with icons and images that add to the story and assist readers. Content with images get almost 95% more views versus those that don’t include them.
Readers don’t reside in just one place. Content is consumed across a wide array of digital communication channels – social media, email, digital advertising, websites, blogs, videos, and more. Multiply the impact of content by promoting it and tailoring it for the full slate of channels that your audiences utilize. Examples points to consider include:
- Social Media – What social media platform(s) does your audience use and what do they use them for? For many B2B focused businesses, LinkedIn is a first point of focus. Because LinkedIn is primarily used by professionals, the audience is already attuned to view professional, marketing and industry-oriented content. Depending on your audience and objectives, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can be valuable as well.
- Press Releases – Press releases are a great way to reach a broad audience in certain geographic locations, build SEO traffic and more. If you have an announcement about a new product or service, a press release targeted at appropriate audiences is an efficient way to broadcasting your news. Distributing in this channel is effective because it reaches a wide audience in areas you want to reach.
A key to effective distribution is measuring results. In the beginning, there will naturally be a higher degree of trial and error in developing just the right content. But as one gets more data on what types of content is resonating and where it is mostly being consumed, the better future content development and distribution will be.
Better Content, Better Results
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