Posts

Getting Attention for Your Content

Everyone is in the content marketing game. We are all vying for attention. Getting attention for your content requires that you have an intentional content strategy.

There are 5 steps to developing content that gets attention: planning, audience targeting, creation, distribution, and optimizing.

Plan Your Content Strategy

You are busy, but you need to be strategic to get the most from the time you devote to content. The best way to guarantee that is to take time up front to plan. Focus on your content strategy, write down what you will do, and you will have a road map that will keep you on course.

Be sure to document:

  • Goals
  • Topics
  • Sources
  • Creators
  • How often
  • Where
  • Marketing plans
  • Meaningful measurements

Understand Your Target Audience

Take time to deeply understand your audience. Where are they online? What are they interested in? What do they react to both positively and negatively? How do they feel about your topic and brand?

The more you understand your audience, the better you can be at creating content that will grab attention.

Understanding your audience is a continual process. Be sure to keep track of how their interests evolve over time.

Develop Great Content

This is the step where many content marketers begin, but the first two steps should provide you with insight into the content that makes the most sense for your audience. Be sure all of your content is well-developed with great writing and clear imagery.

Be sure to provide a mix of many forms of content:

  • Blog posts
  • Visuals
  • Audio
  • Micro content (tweets)
  • Video
  • Guest content
  • Text
  • Infographics
  • Quotes
  • Facts
  • Etc.

Post, Share, and Share Again

Post your content and then share it on all relevant channels. Track what you have posted and post it again in various forms on various channels.

You want to increase the odds that your very busy target audience sees your content at least once. Several times is better.

Measure Impact and Make Adjustments

Some elements of your plan will hit the target, some will exceed expectations and some will fall flat. That’s fine, as long as you pay attention and use that intel to make your content even better.

Be sure to take periodic assessments. This should be easy if you have defined your measures in your plan. Stop doing the things that don’t get traction and adjust to the insights that have the potential to increase the engagement with your content.

 

 

Need a Little Inspiration?

Generating a consistent stream of interesting and insightful content online can be a grind. I’ve been feeling a little tapped out lately. The monotony of COVID restrictions, waiting for spring to arrive for good, and other factors are contributing to a sense of stagnation.

I went looking for a little inspiration to reignite my work in Q2. Here are some great places I found.

Be a Blog Reader

Subscribe to a variety of blogs related to your field and your target audience. Look to them for ideas that you can use for your next post. Sometimes you will find the same topic covered in different ways, giving you some good depth to draw from.

Be sure to look at the comments as well as the posts. There are often great gems in the comments that let you know what’s top of mind for your target audience.

Follow Aggregators

News aggregators pull blog feeds and newsletters together to provide a rich source of ideas around a specific topic. Just reading through the headlines can give you inspiration. Reading the posts can help with research around a specific topic.

Listen to Podcasts

Podcasts are really taking off. You can find them on every topic, even ones you never knew existed! Give some a listen. Sometimes just looking at titles and descriptions is enough to spark some new ideas.

Learn from Questions and Answers on Quora

The Q&A website Quora is a forum for just about everything. The questions and answers there will give you ideas.

Put that Email to Work

We mostly talk about the overload of email, but looking at all those messages as a place to mine for ideas makes the deluge seem a little more palatable. Subscribe to interesting newsletters. Click-through at least a few items every day.

Content Ideas Offline

There are plenty of offline ways to get some fresh ideas, too. A friend finds them walking in nature. Another gets energized with a little retail therapy. There’s inspiration all around if you open yourself up to the opportunities.

Go, and be inspired!

Keep Your Content Simple

Guest Post by Amy Newton

Everyone who owns a business wants to tell the world about it. Sometimes, owners want to tell the world so much about what they can do, what they have recently done, and so on, that their websites or brochures are crammed full of content. While there isn’t any harm in writing about your services, expertise, and accolades, especially to help bolster business, is that all really necessary? Can the content be scaled down to get to the core — the “meat” — of what you do?

There isn’t any judgment about your writing here. We have all used business jargon, too many adjectives, and too many words in general. Whether you are writing text for a brochure or your website, getting to the point of what your company does and offers is achievable.

Plan your content

Let’s start with the nuts and bolts of your marketing material before we talk clutter. Think about the communication form you will be using and the information you want to provide to your potential customer. For brochures, decide if you need an eight-page, stapled booklet or an 8.5×11 sheet. If you are creating or refreshing a website, decide how many menu pages are necessary to focus on your company.

For either project, you will want to separate your content into pages or sections that are easy to identify. Titles/headers and lists are simple ways to break up paragraphs of text.

Keep it Simple

Once you have decided on the size of the printed material and/or menu of your website, text is next. Strike the balance of giving your client enough information about your company, while not making them click away because of text overload. A simple way to do this is to categorize what you want to include:

  • Need to Have
  • Nice to Have

Need to Have information is easy to identify. This can include: a brief overview of your company, the services or products your company offers, years of service/expertise, and company contact information.

Nice to Have information is the content that is extra padding. This includes: testimonials or recommendations, bios of team members, lengthy photo galleries or galleries that show projects many years old.

It isn’t wrong to include any of the information in the Nice to Have category. You will just need to be stronger with your editing because these areas can get unwieldy.

Keep in mind when writing content for your website on how it will translate to other devices. If you have to scroll down several times when reading your text on a desktop computer, think about how much scrolling one will have to do from a mobile device. While some are more willing to scroll for a little while, nobody likes to scroll forever.

Before you Post or Print 10,000 Copies

When in doubt if your content is clean and simple, take a step back, get a cup of coffee, and come back to review your text. Chances are you will find a sentence or two, or maybe a paragraph, that can be edited or deleted altogether. Time is valuable. Get to the point so that your potential customer can find what they need and contact you to get started.