Content creation is hard. We’ll admit it. It's hard to find things to write about, and then often, when you do stumble upon that inspiration, you're not quite sure how to tackle it, where to promote it—the list goes on and on. If this sounds like you (we’ve all been there!) you might be making a few mistakes that are costing you effort, money, and most precious of all, time. With these 5 tips, you can learn to create and distribute content that produces results (and keeps you from pulling your hair out).
- If You’re Bored Writing It, Your Readers Will Be Bored Reading It
Producing run of the mill content is the worst thing you can do for your business. Sorry for starting out on such a sour note, but it’s true! It's the exact opposite of what your customers and blog readers want—and really, do you want to be creating pieces that have already been written time and again? We didn't think so. So let's make things interesting! Not every blog needs to be super relevant to your niche. For example, we wrote a series of pieces during Game of Thrones last season. Why? Because it's what people want! Of course, there was a marketing twist and turn here and there, but ultimately, those blogs were about something pretty far out in left field from our norm. And quite frankly: that’s okay.
- Not Understanding, or Avoiding Your Target Audience
Writing for a target audience can be tiresome and at times, even seem boring. But like we said in our first point—that doesn’t have to be the case. Tend to the every need of your target audience and/or customer personas. Trust us, if you look a little more than skin deep, you’ll realize that they’re just as multifaceted as you yourself are! You might consider these questions before starting any singular content piece: what does my customer need? What do they want? Will I be able to give it to them? How?
- Be True to Your Brand
You want your brand to ring true in every facet of your company’s presence—be it on your website, on your social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, and your blog, too. You have to maintain a strong sense of continuity. Being forgettable in a world where everyone is “an expert” will be the nail in your businesses coffin. Don’t believe us? Check out this list from AOL. Their thoughts are that more and more companies these days just aren’t standing up to the test of time. One of the reasons? Bad, or inconsistent branding.
- Failure to Promote
We are busy people. All of us. We work, have families, and try to maintain some semblance of a social life on top of it all. The likelihood that we see a singular offer for something and remember it days, or sometimes even just hours later, is so, so unlikely. We live in a time where there is never too much. There is a massive influx of information that exists online, on TV, and even in print these days (check out any newspaper stand in any major city and you’ll see what we mean). That’s why your material needs to be disseminated on all sorts of levels—any that your business employs, really. If you’re posting on Twitter, post it on Facebook. A new blog goes up? Make sure your Google+ contacts know about it. Because we’re so busy, it might take many of us more than one time to notice what fabulous content is being revealed right before our very eyes!
- Not Paying Attention to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As important as cross promotion is, your content has to be search-optimized. Lee Odden said it best when he wrote, "SEO is the condiment, not the sandwich." What he means by that is this: you can have a sandwich without mustard, mayo—whatever you fancy in that department—but if you don't have mayo, for instance, is the whole meal really as tasty as it could be? The mayo, as Odden explain it, touches every piece of the sandwich. It effects how delicious the rest of it ends up being. Without SEO (the mayo), your social media, blog posts, etc., won't be nearly as appetizing (seen and consumed by customers). Optimizing your content means optimizing your opportunities. It’s that simple.
What’s the verdict? Have you been making any of the mistakes we’ve discussed? If not—well done! Keep on keepin’ on. If you are at fault—no fear. Everything is fixable.
Steer clear of making these mistakes and you’ll be well on your way to creating awesome, inviting, authoritative content.