With so much content produced on a daily basis, from all types of sources, your audience has quite a challenge sifting through it all to get to the good stuff. They want relevant content that helps them with a problem, makes life easier or just simply entertains with a positive, motivational boost. Even more challenging is to make the type of content people want.
While you may have an idea of what your audience is searching for (and have even gone as far as to make personas that further guide the type of content to produce) there’s even more you can do to create relevant content.
Here are five ways you can improve your content marketing to capture your audience’s attention. These strategies have worked for me across multiple client businesses.
1. Go deep with data
Generalizations don’t make for relevant content. Statistics and research culled from various reports and studies do. If I read an article and there are just ideas with nothing to back up those thoughts or connection to deeper insights, I immediately think it’s “fluff” and dismiss it. However, when there is quantitative evidence, there is more for the reader to relate to and view as credible to pique their interest.
Take the time to do research when you create content. Whether you refer to an academic study or an industry report, share specific findings. Not only is this interesting, but it can further your thought leadership position as a subject matter expert.
There are numerous industry reports published by analysts, big data companies and academic journals. Use Google search or Google Scholar to find them. Be sure to link to the report and appropriately cite all sources.
2. Include real-life events
People want to hear about people like them who have gone through the same thing, but somehow found a way to solve their problems.
To achieve this, we regularly ask our customers if they would be willing to participate in an interview. We use their input to create a case study from their responses. The content shares each customer’s story, including their challenges and what they wanted to achieve. Without making it into sales copy on our service, we include how it was resolved and what they were able to achieve by focusing solely on specific tips they employed along with our software.
The real-life content can be used to create articles, videos, infographics, and more. This type of content has proven to be the most relevant and engaging.
3. Answer common questions
Use common questions you receive through your help desk or on social media as a launch point for relevant content. We often search these channels to brainstorm content topics that are then written around the questions we find.
Not only will you instantly engage audience members who most likely asked those questions or had similar inquiries, but you will deepen your relationship when they realize you listen intently.
4. Pay attention to trends
Become a voracious reader in order to write about trending topics your audience prefers. Stay on top of trends using keyword searches on search engines and platforms like Reddit and Quora. Some media platforms regularly list trending topics on their sites that you can use to create content topics. For example, BuzzSumo lists the most read articles on a particular topic.
Explore what your social media followers like, comment on and track to shape a relevant content creation strategy. You are simply researching what your audience most wants to hear about.
5. Package content in various ways
Relevancy goes beyond the topic of your content. Pay attention to how and where you deliver it. Package your content across various multimedia including infographics, videos, screencasts, webinars and even podcasts. Use live streaming and social media video formats to share content in a personable, interactive way.
Study how others use various platforms – what type of response is received and which ones are most engaging? Research your target audience to see what mediums they consider relevant for content consumption.
Content relevancy is key
The best way to stay relevant is to be consistent in your overall communication style and focus, but continue to change and reinvent the content you create. That’s because your audience finds the most relevant content to be the freshest and most unique out there.