In marketing, the focus has slowly but surely shifted from traditional ‘features-and-benefits’ soapbox tactics to a new emphasis on creating quality content to get your brand noticed, connect with new audiences, and promote your products and services in a more organic way. Whatever your business does – whether you run a travel blog, sell coffee online, do floor refinishing or run an eCommerce boutique, content is what makes you stand out and helps to build your business.
Growing your brand is all about forging a deeper, more emotional connection, and well-shot pictures, beautifully crafted wording and quality videos which offer added value are the way to do that – both for getting noticed and shared in their own right, and for communicating with search engine algorithms. Creating a digital experience gives prospective customers, suppliers and financiers a flavor of who you are and what you stand for. But how do you make sure you’re focusing on the right things and creating high-quality, targeted content for your viewers?
Know Your Audience
It’s the number one marketing rule, but one which sadly gets ignored all to often. Before creating anything, you have to decide who you’re creating it for. What audience are you hoping to reach? What are their wants, needs and attitudes? A bit like the old crafting adage ‘cut once, measure twice’, the most successful content is due to careful audience research. Content only works when it is tailored, timely and relevant – the right message, delivered to the right person, at the right time. The only way to know this is to combine as much knowledge as possible to create a detailed picture of your target audience – social listening, email polls, focus groups and big data analytics all have to work together. And remember that this picture is constantly shifting, so information gathering should be a fluid and consistent process.
Keep It E.C.R
In order to hit the mark, concentrate on making your content E. C. R – Easy, Concise and Relevant. The atmosphere online is one where you have very little time to make an impression, so any content which doesn’t make itself clear and easy to digest is on shaky ground. Translating complicated ideas and concepts into snappy, tailored messages is an art, and one that you will refine over time. But before hitting publish on a blog post or uploading a video, take a moment to ask yourself honestly if it ticks all the E. R. C boxes, and if not, it’s time for a do-over.
Set A Specific Target
Churning out content for the sake of it is never going to get your business to the place you want to do. Everything you create needs to align with your vision and values and your wider brand objectives. Ask yourself what you want this particular piece of content to do for you – is it to raise awareness? Generate sales leads? Improve your website traffic? Content should always be planned to serve a business aim, and you should also understand what success looks like and how you are going to measure it. Only by doing this will you be deriving insights that can inform what you do in the future.
Find Your Unique Voice
There is an awful lot of noise out there, and standing out can sometimes feel like a Herculean task. The only way to achieve authenticity is to understand your voice. The wording, sentence structure, editing and everything else you put in creates a particular impression. Choose what you want to embody and work towards that. Finding your voice is a process, so don’t worry too much if you have to keep refining it, as long as you stay broadly consistent.