If you’ve ever had anything to sell or to do with marketing, especially online marketing, you’ve probably heard the saying by Bill Gates, ‘Content is king!’.
Today’s marketers are in the constant hunt for good content. They’re ravenous for it. Why?
Because good content generates leads, and leads can significantly improve the chances of a sale.
The problem is, good content is as hard to find as a truthful politician, even with 60 trillion web pages out there. What? Yes, that’s right, 60 trillion web pages and counting.
Yet that’s not so much of a problem if you don’t need to sell a service or product, but what if you do? What if you actually really need good quality content to publicize your wares and don’t know where to look?
“A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse,” said Shakespeare’s Richard III. Maybe today’s internet kings should say, “Content, content! My business for good content!”
What then are the things you need to do to write great quality content that:
- Engages your audience across multiple media platforms?
- Promotes your service, product or event?
- Delivers the message exactly as you want it?
- Saves you money and the hassle of paying somebody else to do it (and get it wrong)?
If you fail to plan you plan to fail, as the saying goes. Creating great content is no different. Planning is essential to its quality and its intended outcome.
Why? Because planning will identify the 5 vital elements that all great content is made:
- WHO your content is for – your target audience needs to be identified as one of the first steps in writing content. What does your customer fear? What are their frustrations? What obstacles do they face? Knowing who you are talking to affects what you are going to say.
- WHY you are creating the content – the purpose of your content is as important as knowing your target audience. Why is your content needed? Can it be used to overcome a fear or frustration faced by your audience? Can it satisfy a desire or fulfil a need?
- HOW you are going to deliver the content – with modern technology, there are many different ways to reach out and engage your audience such as blogs, emails, newsletters, podcasts, social media, press releases, even seminars and workshops. Your content can be tailored to suit the medium through which you want it to be delivered.
- WHEN you are going to deliver the content – deadlines can work in favour of creating content when used effectively. For instance, are there specific dates that your audience would be expecting to hear from you, like Xmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, school holiday periods? Lock in your deadline for content delivery and you won’t miss the boat.
- WHAT your content is about (its specifics) – you may be surprised that the actual ‘what’ of the content is at number 5. However, if the previous 4 steps are not taken, the actual message of your content won’t hit the mark. Knowing your audience, your content purpose, and how and when it will be delivered to your audience will help you to identify the creative components of your content, like research and statistics, examples, quotes and supportive material, even the tools required to help provide solutions to problems that your audience is facing.
*This article first appeared on ContentPlexus.com and is re-published with permission.
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