How to create dazzling content that engages readers and delivers results!

. . .

According to Lindsay Thibeault from Hubspot Academy, “content really is the fuel that keeps the inbound methodology running.” It’s what enables you to attract new visitors, convert leads, close sales and delight customers. And, as such, content generation is a never-ending task for inbound marketers.

Sometimes, after a morning of sifting through articles, monitoring social media accounts and scheduling posts, I sit down to write a blog and just think to myself: “What on earth am I trying to say?”

In the daily battle to feed the insatiable maw of the internet with fresh blogs, tweets, facebook posts, etc., it can be all-too-easy to lose sight of what you’re actually trying to get all this tasty content to do.

. . .

The Medium and The Message

“Content” comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s an incredibly plastic term, encompassing everything from blog articles and ebooks, to podcasts and infographics. These formats are all distinct ways of packaging your information for prospective readers / viewers / listeners. And certain formats are better suited than others to particular types of information.

For instance, more data-heavy information might be best displayed visually, in the form of an infographic, whereas more anecdotal material might work best as a blog post or podcast.

However, no matter what method you use to package your information, the content itself is simply the core message you’re trying to communicate. So, before you start writing that blog article, designing that infographic, or recording that podcast, you need to be crystal clear on what that message should be.

. . .

Set a Goal

The key to sending the right message is figuring out, in advance, what type of response you’re looking for. That is, what purpose do you want your content to serve?

Some examples include:

  • Increasing visits to your website
  • Generating leads for your business
  • Increasing sales
  • Engaging and up-selling existing customers

The type of content, as well as the mode of delivery you use will vary depending on what goal you’re trying to achieve.

For example, if you simply want to attract new visitors to your website, your content should easily searchable and accessible to anyone on the web. Whereas, if you’re looking to generate leads, you may want to place your content behind a landing page form that captures user data.

. . .

Know Your Audience

Once you’ve got a clear goal in mind, you need to put yourself in the mindset of your target audience members, or “buyer personas.”

Truly effective content is content that responds to the specific challenges faced by your buyer personas and speaks in a language they understand.

Resources like Quora are great tools to help you start thinking about the types of questions your buyer personas are asking and the kinds of answers they’re looking for. Comment threads on relevant industry blogs and forums can also be excellent places to start researching topics.

. . .

Walk a Mile in Your Customer’s Shoes

Now that you’ve got a clear sense of who you’re talking to, and what you’re trying to achieve, it’s time to consider the “Buyer’s Journey.”

The Hubspot Buyer’s Journey
  • Are you looking to target readers who are just becoming aware that they have a problem and are trying to educate themselves about this problem?
  • Do you want to reach readers who have already identified their problem and considering possible solutions?
  • Are you writing for readers who have already chosen a course of action and are trying to decide between various products or service providers?

Once again, certain types of content are better suited to readers at different stages of the buyer’s journey.

. . .

Creating Your Masterpiece

After the planning and research phase is complete, you’re finally ready to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard, as it were.)

Here are some important best practices (courtesy of Hubspot Academy) that you should always keep in mind when you begin crafting your content:

  • Don’t forget to tailor your writing to your buyer personas and their stage in the buyer’s journey.
  • Keep your content short and sweet. You can even use tools like Hemingway to make sure your writing is clear and concise.
  • Educate don’t promote! Inbound is about educating, not selling. So don’t ram your product/service down your buyer’s throat. Only mention your company when writing content geared to the Decision Stage of the buyer’s journey.
  • Prioritize substance over style. Yes, it’s important to make things look pretty, but it’s a million times more important that your content is useful and engaging!

. . .

Promote! Promote! Promote!

Once you’ve got that shiny new piece of content under your belt, it’s time to tell the world about it!

Push your content out into that great cyber void through every channel you have at your disposal. Don’t be shy! Promote your content through mailing lists, websites, business, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+. Shout it from rooftops! Tell your friends about it! Who cares? Just get it out there for people to see!

And don’t just do it once! If your content is still useful and interesting six months from now, publish it again!

. . .

Analyze and Evaluate

After you’ve promoted your content far and wide, and given your adoring fans a chance to read / watch / listen to it and share it with all of their friends, then take a look at your metrics and see how you did.

For instance:

  • How many views did your content get?
  • How many people shared it, once they viewed it?
  • How many site visits / leads did it generate?
  • How did this piece of content perform relative to others you’ve published?

These types of metrics can help you figure out what you’re doing right, and what you should tweak going forward.

The more content you generate, the more data you’ll have to work with, and the better your content will get!

So, what are you waiting for? Go get that content mojo workin’!

Share This