Everyone will tell you that content is
king queen, but what they don’t tell you is not all content wears a crown.
Making sure your content (words, images and videos) looks as polished as Kate Middleton at Wimbledon, but can still perform like Serena Williams, isn’t as simple as just producing it and sending it live into the world. In today’s media landscape, the stakes are even higher as your content competes with some 2.5 quintillion bytes of data that’s uploaded for the world to digest every single day.
Once uploaded, your content then swims in the sea of 2.5 million Facebook posts, 220,000 Instagram photos and 72 hours’ worth of video content that are uploaded to the internet every minute of the day.
To ensure your content reigns supreme, you should ask yourself these six questions to test if yours is worthy of royal-status before you even press go on distribution.
1. Does your content speak to an audience?
Let’s take a new twist on an old philosophy – if a piece of content is distributed into the online-ether with no audience to hear it, does it make a sound? Not really. At least, it’s not going to make the kind of sound you were hoping for when you went to the trouble of making it.
Before releasing your content-magic into the world, start by getting razor-sharp on who’s meant to digest it. Remember, right place + right time + right audience + right message = marketing success.
If you’re wanting to target young families, it makes sense to feature young families in the content you create and distribute it at a time they are consuming media. Better yet, think of ways you can personalise your content. Just as it’s standard for an eNewsletter to land in your inbox with your first name in the subject field, when you have a clear audience in mind, your content can be personalised too.
2. Does your audience care?
In today’s race for audience-attention space, content is only king when the audience thinks so first. If it’s important to you but not your recipient, your content likely won’t get anywhere near as much media attention as the Queen’s outfits do.
Before creating any content, start with keyword research or qualitative research to find out if your audience is even interested in what you’ve got to say. You don’t need focus groups or big data-documents – a simple SurveyMonkey of a handful of customers or keyword research, like Ubersuggest, will tell you where the customer demand of questions/problems are so that your content can supply the answers.
After all, good content really doesn’t have anything to do with you. It’s all about your customer and when you put them in the spotlight, you’re set up for success.
3. What’s going to motivate your customer?
We humans are predictable. Predictable enough that Google can class our interactions on the internet to four micro-moments that power our decision-making process. These micro-moments see people turning to their mobile phone mostly when they are motivated to learn, go, buy or be entertained. When your content speaks to these moments, it drives change.
Before unleashing any content, you want to make sure it captures the attention of your consumers who are driven by one of the following motivations:
- I want to go – This is when someone is looking for something nearby, generally searching “_________ near me”. This is where you want your content to pop up.
- I want to know – This is when someone is still planning their purchase, their credit card is still in their wallet, but they are in full research-mode. In this case you want your content to have all the answers and eliminate any fears or anxieties about the purchase.
- I want to do – This is when someone is looking for a little DIY support, like “how to make sure my content is king”. Enter your content to provide answers to the questions someone is asking.
- I want to buy – This is when someone is in the mood for shopping but might need a little push to get them across the line. Your words, images or videos should eliminate any last-minute concerns.
By designing your content to respond to one of these micro-moments, you’re speaking to the customer in decision-making mode. And this, friends, is where content and conversion collide.
4. How many ways will your content be distributed?
Have you ever tried to justify an expensive handbag or watch, by using a cost-per-wear argument? If you’re thinking of creating content, you should take the same approach.
Cost-per-view or content efficiencies are everything, especially if you’ve decided to outsource the making of it to a videographer, photographer or professional copywriter so you have more than just a time-cost outlay. For example – can a blog post be carved up into quote tiles for your Instagram channel? Can a long-form piece of video be cut 16:9 to use on Instagram stories? Or can you get still images while on that video shoot?
Making sure your content is seen on more channels than one, automatically doubles its reach, which is a no-brainer when you need your content to stand out from the crowd.
5. Is your content socially relevant?
If your content isn’t timely, you might as well wave goodbye to it wearing the tiara.
One of the best ways to make sure your content is relevant is to make sure your content ties to an activity, trend or movement happening in the world. If other people are talking about a topic relevant to you, find a way to join the conversation.
For example, if it’s International Beer Day, now is a good time to release your beer content. Make a list of key dates and consumer trends/patterns (e.g. school holidays) to make sure you never miss a content opportunity.
6. Does your content follow the content marketing 101 principle of “show don’t tell”?
Heavily-awarded content marketer David Beebe once said “content marketing is like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.”
When designing your content, follow the principle – show people you’re good, don’t tell them you are.
Instead of saying “we’re reliable”, “deliver on time and budget”, “famous for expert service” or other such hyperboles – give your customers examples of the experience and what they can expect. By doing this, your content won’t only stand out, it will help cut through the online clutter of (often) empty brand promises.
Hannah Statham is a Premium member and The Boss at Media Mortar, a content marketing agency that delivers brands content so good, it sells itself. Armed with her mantra show them you’re good, don’t tell them, Hannah regularly wages war on bad content, transforming brands from zero to successful with her approach to storytelling. If you’d like to become a Premium member and have the chance to tell your story, you can join here!