We talk a lot about your content, and there’s a good reason. Putting your best foot forward from the start can save you time and effort in the long run. Whether you’re just starting out or you want to make sure you’re following best practices, we gathered a few rules for strong content.
It’s only not about you — not all the time, anyway
Gone are the days where businesses can simply focus on themselves and why they’re great. Consumers today want to know how you fit into their story, and not always the other way around. This means you have to not only consider what’s great about you or your product, but also listen to what your customers are saying. What are they talking about? What problems are they having? Start there and work backwards to how you can add to the conversation or solve that problem.
Strong content is about the story
Speaking of being part of your customer’s journey, the story you tell is as (if not more) important than the service you offer. Humans are emotional creatures, which means we want connection with the world around us. Stories engage more of our brain than simple data or facts, which is why having a solid story will cause your brand to stay with customers longer. Know your why, and craft a personality and story around it that people can relate to.
Three words: mission, goals, audience
When you’re crafting content, it should be grounded in three things: who you are, where you’re going, and who you’re serving. If the content you’re creating doesn’t support at least one of those three things, it’s safe to say it likely isn’t furthering your business. Time is money; don’t spend yours creating content that isn’t pushing you forward.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Did we borrow that from somewhere? Yes, but it’s safe to say similar concepts apply to your content. After you publish a new blog or launch a campaign, monitor your analytics. If your content isn’t performing the way you’d hoped, take another look and see if you can tweak it:
- Reduce content that isn’t performing well by paying attention to bounce rates and time spent on each page. Consider restructuring a post so the relevant information is easier to read or appears toward the top of the page.
- Reuse content that has performed well by linking it to new or underperforming content, posting it to your social media again, or giving it a facelift with new visuals.
- Recycle ideas that haven’t performed well by realigning it with your mission, goals, and audience. If you’re not seeing the traffic you expect, it’s likely because the content you’ve created doesn’t align with one (or all) of those three things.
One of the great things about living in the digital world is that you can go back and adjust your content as often as you like. That means you don’t always need to start from scratch. What’s old — or underperforming — can be new again!
Strong content gets to the point
Your customers shouldn’t feel like you’re a high schooler trying to meet a word count. If they have to dig through pages of your website to figure out what you’re about, you’ll lose them. Why? Because somebody else will beat you to the punch. It’s a rare product or service that gets people to stick around simply because it’s a fun ride — and the ones that do have spent years crafting the perfect brand. Make your content simple to navigate and easy to digest to keep people interested.
Let it go
We’re not saying build an ice castle and become a hermit. We’re saying let go of the rulebook. Your job is to build a framework and tell a story; if your followers go in an unexpected direction, don’t fight it. Go with them. Remember when we said customers want to know how you’re part of their story? Watch for trends among your followers; what are they sharing, liking, and interacting with? Then see where that fits into your brand. We aren’t saying you have to change in order to fit in — that isn’t likely to result in success. What we are saying is don’t be afraid to indulge in the occasional trend. Try something new, step out of your comfort zone, and meet your customers where they’re at.
Bring it full circle
The most important part of any content strategy? Your why. Why do you do what you do? Is your goal to provide the most memorable tourist experience in the Black Hills? Are you crafting the best spa getaway in Rapid City? Or maybe your goal is to simply be the best possible service provider in your field so your friends and neighbors can live their healthiest lives. Whatever it is, make sure your “why” is the guiding force behind everything you do. Stay true to you, and the rest will follow.
Have questions? Want us to take a look at your content and see if there are things you should try? Let’s talk!