Content marketing is not new. Perhaps what is rather new is some companies taking to the spirit of the statement-“ if you don’t have anything useful to say don’t say it at all!” As companies wrestle with skyrocketing amount of data on the internet, developing an engaging AND useful content is what will set a firm’s content apart from the rest of the noise on digital media. Here are some ways you can plan content that will truly be appreciated by your target audience.
Identify the purpose – Having the team brainstorm content ideas and constantly question the ‘why’ of creating content will ensure that the purpose is aligned to a business objective. Readers ultimately want an answer to the question they have, therefore planning your content, making it less about the ‘content’ and more about “answers” will instantly capture their attention. But occasionally, ideas for great content come outside the boardroom; like the way, Amtrak spontaneously offered a writer a free ride in response to her desire(via a tweet) to ride aboard a train ensconced. What followed was a great article written by the writer that appeared in multiple publications.
Decide who the content is being designed for – use an active voice that addresses the one person your content is aimed at instead of a vague ‘they’ . This will ensure that the focus remains on the target audience. Capture the essence of the buyer’s persona and use tools to personalize content. AARP The Magazine targeted at readers over 50 focuses its articles on issues directly impacting the daily lives of its readers. Having understood its audience well, it expanded its services to cover its audiences’ evolving needs such as guidance on managing new technology, tips to stay healthy and fashion forward
Update content regularly – According to Neal Schaffer, “Reviving your existing articles is the fast track way to building cornerstone content- one that establishes authority and offers a compelling experience to your audience.” Refer analytics to see if any top-rated content needs a refresh. One reason for the insane popularity enjoyed by Buzzfeed is its constant content updates. Micro updates capitalize on the popularity of the original content while providing an update of interest to the followers.
Choose an appropriate format – blog posts, podcasts, case studies, videos or how to articles – spend time on deciding which format is most appropriate for the content. No matter which format is chosen, an audience will appreciate well-organized content with simple to follow language. Monster was on a mission to make job seekers feel empowered and followed it up with posting 15 blogs per week, a newly launched video program, and a monthly podcast. In addition to all these formats, they roped in an industry expert to lend her voice with her own original content. To take it even further on the utility quotient, first time viewers can be provided with an option to access distilled information presented in a consolidated format
A content planning strategy takes time, effort and creativity. Writing in a user-centric manner will ensure that the audience is being wooed by content of high value.