Too many times I have worked with businesses that fail to see the power and the potential of creating a strong content marketing strategy. Especially if you’re trying to build a creative business, you need to be creating fresh new content consistently, in order to attract new potential customers.
Creating content is the fun and creative way to promote your services and it has been proven to help grow a more engaged and loyal customer base. That’s why many bloggers make the transition into business owners. They work backwards, building their potential client base through strong and meaningful relationships, created through delivering awesome content.
Many businesses see the success and audience base that big bloggers have and try to recreate it, but they try to cut corners, churning out blog post after blog post that has no real value.
That’s the key to amazing and effective content marketing… value!
Why does content fail?
If you’re one of those businesses or bloggers that think the more you post the more successful you’ll be, it may be time to look at your content strategy.
It’s all well and good jumping on trending topics, or copying what seems to be popular in your industry that week, but what value is it giving to YOUR audience and YOUR business?
Whenever I’ve seen a piece of content fall flat, it’s been because of one of two reasons:
It was targeting the wrong audience or It didn’t use the right content platform
When I say content platform, I mean the type of content that it is e.g a written blog, a video, a podcast, an infographic or a downloadable guide. There are many different types of platforms to choose from, so many people just stay within their comfort zone when creating content, which can be detrimental to their marketing strategy.
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Choosing a content platform
Content isn’t just written blogs and articles, it is all different forms of content, from podcasts to YouTube videos, infographics to interactive maps.
You may stick to just one of these that you feel most comfortable with, but the very best content uses a mix.
Choosing the right way to present your content doesn’t have to be complicated. Just ask yourself one question:
What is the easiest way to digest this information?
If you are putting together a tutorial on how to create something or use an online tool, it will be less time consuming for YOU to create a video tutorial AND less time consuming for your AUDIENCE to digest that information in a video format.
You can also think about what tone and feel you want to get across in your content. Finding the right tone can be difficult in text form, so it might be better to put together a podcast. Podcasts have a more friendly and personal tone than a written article, so if you’re chatting about a sensitive subject or if you want to create an emotional response in your audience, then this is for you!
Best for a more personal, informal chatty topic. Great for advice pieces, conversational pieces, interviews and general musings.
Great for advice pieces that are more formal, demonstrating your industry knowledge, content that uses a lot of images and opinion pieces.
Best for visualising data from surveys, polls or FAQs. The main aim of an infographic is to provide complex data in an easy to understand and visually pleasing way.
Best for tutorials, ‘how to’ style content pieces, interviews, advice topics, reviews and showcasing products.
If you’re thinking ‘But Cat, I don’t have any money to make awesome video content or podcasts or any of that cool stuff!‘ well my friend you are WRONG because all of these can be made for absolutely nothing!
Creating better content with no budget
We have so much technology at our fingertips these days and with every ‘professional’ bit of software that is released, there is an app developer somewhere creating a free budget friendly version.
Let’s use video as an example. Everybody has a camera on their phone these days, so recording the video isn’t an issue. But then you may think ‘How do I edit it all together for free?‘. If you’re filming on your iPhone you can download iMovie as a free app on your phone and use that. If you want to be able to edit on a desktop or laptop, then you can use free editing software like Movie Maker Online!
If you want to create an awesome infographic, then you can use the tool Canva (I love this thing more than anything else I use!)
Podcasting? Well you can use a voice recorder app on your phone, or the mic in your laptop and edit it all together using a free audio editor like Audacity or Garage Band if you have an Apple computer.
No matter what type of content your ideas are best suited, there is always a way to create it for free.
The importance of choosing the right platform for your content
The platform you decide to use for your content can either make it, or break it. If you’ve put an amazing bit of content on your website but it’s just not had the impact you were hoping for, go back to the drawing board with the idea. Take a look at the format of it, think about whether there are better ways to get that information across to your audience.
If you want to get technical, use Google Analytics to have a look at exit rate and bounce rate. If these things are high, then you are likely using the wrong platform for your content. It shows that people are getting to your page, but they are deciding they just don’t have time to read it once they land on the page.
Think about being the consumer of your content, does it take too long to get to the point of your article? Could it be better digested using more visual content? Would the information be easier to understand in an infographic format?
By putting yourself in your audiences shoes, you’ll be able to determine how to get your information across and create a truly awesome bit of content with major value.