Current trends in inbound marketing demand that companies step up the quantity and quality of their online content. Keeping up with blog posts, articles and web content can be overwhelming. But don’t let the pressure to produce massive amounts of content lead you to publish ineffective, poorly written copy.
Once you have a topic in mind, you should employ a content strategy that will result in content that your customers actually want to read. The following five steps outline how to create compelling content that speaks to your customers:
- Know the audience: Even if your content could be read by a broad audience, it’s vital to identify the ideal person you want to reach. Then, you can determine:
- What does the target truly care about?
- What are the target’s challenges/problems related to the topic?
- Determine the goals
- Why do I want the target to read the content?
- Is the content designed to inform, educate or motivate?
- What’s the call to action? What do I want the target to do after reading it?
- Prepare the questions for the subject matter expert (SME)
- Review background information and identify data gaps.
- Include strategic content questions that address Step 1 and 2 above, especially if the SME is driving the creation of the content and has insight on audience and goals.
- ALWAYS ask:
- Why would the target want to learn more about the topic?
- What’s the one thing you want the reader to take away from the content?
- What are your personal feelings about the topic?
- Organize questions by section (background, strategy, details, conclusion/call to action, additional info, etc.).
- Conduct the interview
- Write down as many details as possible (record interview, if permitted).
- Ask secondary questions that come to mind while the SME is answering the initial questions.
- Keep your ears open for quote-worthy details, including emotional expressions, vivid language and anecdotes.
- Write the copy
- Use the introduction to grab the reader’s attention by linking the main goal of the content to the target audience’s primary interests and problems.
- Organize the content using concise subheadings.
- Enhance the copy with statistics and quotes. Online research may supplement information provided by the SME.
- End with a strong call to action.
At Copy and Code, we understand exactly what’s needed to create powerful, professional content. We know the right questions to ask and the precise words to use to reach your customers. Contact us today to talk about your next content project.