How to create timeless content : 5 powerful strategies

How to Create Compelling Content

Let’s admit this. A business cannot operate without content.

Content is the endocrine system that decides the fate of your business. No exaggeration. Content is what makes your company a brand.

Pick any big name and you know about it because of the reach the company has had. This kind of outreach is a product of spectacular content the brand has managed to create.

But creating compelling content isn’t an easy affair. It is a lot of hard work. And if you are looking to create content for your business or for your client, follow these 5 essential strategies to make your content evergreen.

5 Essential Strategies to create timeless content
  1. Create content that can never be replicated
  2. Create content that is easy to use
  3. Double check your grammar and spellings
  4. Create content to connect with your readers
  5. Do not deviate from purpose and context

Create content that can never be replicated

Create Timeless Content
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The word “real” instantly makes anything come alive. Generic content is found everywhere. If you want to make your content an experience, it has to be unique and individualized.

To make it unique, use excerpts from your own business interactions. Talk about events that occurred between you and your clients. Narrate de facto episodes and instances in your content.

There is a very high chance of your prospects accepting you because of the real experience you bring to their table – which means better connections leading to higher conversions.

Banking on the not so good things

You can bring your negative experiences and present them as valuable lessons. To show you how –  nobody knows about the ordeals you have had with your past clients/customers. And this often happens because of miscommunication. I am sure you have learned your lessons from this.

By talking about these learnings, you demonstrate your openness. Plus, you are bringing a real story that has lived with you. Real stories are charming because everybody wants to know what happened and who you really are. That’s what it means to show and not just tell.

Help your content with the what happened factor and you succeed in eternalizing it.

Create content that is easy to use

The web is filled with content that beats around the bush. The same thing is said over and over again in a different way employing different patterns in the name of content repurposing or content upcycling. It is a waste of your reader’s precious time if you are telling them what they already know. Right?

Let’s look at an example. You often see blogs that start talking about salt harvest process when the headline clearly is meant to give you a recipe for microwave baking!

In the name of long-form content and comprehensiveness, you might be boring your readers. Don’t do that.

Follow the 3 check rule to make your content consumable:

  1. Clear and concise content
  2. Content with visual support to back your points quickly
  3. Actionable content that inspires to do more

The great overwhelm

Do your readers a favor, save them that unwanted stress! If the gurus tell you to write a minimum of 2000 words and the content you are creating doesn’t stretch that far, then do not write 2000 words just to keep up with a random rule. Write for your readers, not for rules.

Creating flubby-dubby conundrums or writing lengthy unwanted stories, stuffing images unnecessarily, throwing in stats at the drop of a hat makes your content forced and coerced. So, avoid all of this.

People are (enough) stressed with information overload, bring a breath of fresh air with content that lightens them up.

Cultivate your brand with helpful and actionable content that your readers appreciate and look forward to. – Content Primer

Double check your grammar and spellings

Grammar syntax exists for a reason. Bumbling with syntax brings unwanted confusion. Imagine this for a moment. Let’s say that the plural form of a mouse is “mouses”.

Did this just mess with your head? You have been wired to call more than one mouse – mice (Although I don’t agree with the logic here because etymology can sometimes be insane).

You instantly look down upon a piece of writing that might have a mice-mouses error like this one. Moreover, typos can get annoying as silly errors tend to change the meaning of a sentence completely leaving the reader baffled and thwarted.

But, in a quest to obsess over grammar, syntax, and spellings, don’t ignore the big work.

Typos can be forgiven if the content is exceptional. – Adam Connell

Adam Connell, the chief wizard behind Blogging Wizard goes on to say – “We’re only human, so mistakes can and will happen. That said, when people find typos, it can cause them to question the credibility of a website – particularly in sales copy or any page that someone would use to evaluate a buying decision.

Ultimately, how significantly typos impact your results can largely depend on the type of content and exactly who your audience is.”

So, if you do not want to risk your position, it is best to avoid typos and severe grammar errors that question your credibility.

Create content to connect with your readers

We write and create content to communicate what we know and express what we think. This is just one side of the story.

Your readers read your content because they want to learn, know, make aware, be informed and ultimately feel how they want to feel. That is why, it is important to write content that influences, and not just informs.

Sharp writers choose each word with piercing precision. – Henneke Duistermaat

No doubt Henneke is the best of writers. She knows how to evoke your senses. Look at the choice of her words – piercing precision! Isn’t that incredible? Your word selection makes or breaks your content. Likewise, no one enjoys being under the shadow of unimpressive words and flabby stories. More about this in the next section.

Do not deviate from purpose and context

Are stories overdone? We all know that marketing pushes stories like it’s the bloodline of the marketing system. Stories are being pumped into content like never before.

But, what we see today, especially in email newsletters is a bunch of irrelevant, irreverent stories with a connection so weak that it makes me gag.

What should you be doing instead to make your content NOT-boring?

Cut the crap and deliver what is needed. Even if you have to break rules.

When the whole world is drumming about using stories in your content, it is alright to go without it if you do not have a worthy story that connects.

I have seen emails with subject lines like “My mother’s death anniversary + Fast action bonuses”. I find this kind of subject lines obnoxiously careless and insensitive. You too, right?

Capitalizing on your mother’s death and mixing business by writing a story in the email about how loving your mommy was – an absolute NO!

It is a huge turn-off and people unsubscribe. You don’t have to bring your mother’s death anniversary to build context. It is off-putting.

So please, avoid using such click-bait headlines and cheesy marketing tactics. It is 2018! If you promise something in your headline, make sure you keep your promise by delivering what you are supposed to.

Tip: Check how to write promising headlines and also keep​​​​​​​ the promise.

Conclusion

Evergreen content is continuously improvised and nurtured. It is not a one-time task, it is a process. So, to summarize:

Timeless content is – exclusive, consumable, grammatically correct, evoking and in context.

What do you do to make your content evergreen? Do you have anything else to add to this list? Tell me in the comments below.

How to map web content to your marketing goals

You cannot write anything from sewing to coding on your business blog.

Your web content needs a strategy that aligns with your customer’s goals.

Your blog needs a plan that builds the content network to establish authority in your industry. It needs content mapping to build that network.

What is industry authority?

Before I explain industry authority to you, you need to know who you are writing for and what you aim to achieve writing for your audience.

Let me give you an example, I aim to create simple guides that help aspiring writers or online business owners learn to write effective web content.

Who is my audience?

 ► Aspiring Content Writers

 ► Online Business Owners

 ► Freelancers who are DIYers

What do I do for them?

 ► I help them write web copy and content.

 ► I help them write content that elevates their goals.

What is my industry?

 ►I belong to the writing/blogging industry. You can also call it the content industry.

How do you stand out in a competitive industry like this?

 ► By holding the ropes of authority. You have to create content that showcases your expertise. If you are a website designer, your blog should display arrays of articles that solve website woes. For example, you may write posts on installing Google Analytics plugin, fixing the dangling hero on the homepage or enabling clean margin spaces on a web page etc.

By doing this, you are establishing industry authority. This tells your audience that you know your work inside out. Your audience will trust you to solve their problems because they have seen you doing that.

If you are a web design expert and if you write about your favorite pet or your favorite travel destination, it is not going to work.

Establishing authority can help you earn a loyal audience who will trust your work.

What is Content Strategy?

In short, Content Strategy is the master plan behind establishing industry authority through the content on your web. You need to devise a plan that creates a unique content network on your website.

A network cannot have broken links. Likewise, your content plan should connect each piece of content to a smaller goal.

A collection of smaller goals pointing towards a bigger marketing goal is the purpose of your website hosting a business blog.

What are marketing goals and how do you set them?

You set goals because we identify the need to prioritize. If you do not prioritize, your business will be as disorganized as an addict’s backpack. Full of stuff, but nothing vital.

Setting marketing goals becomes a need when you see shortcomings in building your brand. You see shortcomings when you evaluate your work or abilities. Have you identified your immediate business objectives? Do you have a list of tasks that elevate your business?

For freelancers or small businesses, a long to-do list is the biggest productivity killer. The overwhelming list helps you procrastinate and lose the game.

Set short goals. Have goals for the day. Beginning this month, a social media manager’s goals could be to get high paying clients. Wrong.

That is a redundant goal even though that is the ultimate result every business wants.

Make workable goals.

A social media manager should master the art of persuasion (Of course, not in a day!). She is given a limited word count. And that word count is her only opportunity to persuade as many readers she can to click the link she is posting.

So her main goal should be to master persuasive writing. She should know how to make an instant connection with her audience. She should know how to walk her audience and convince them that the link is a valuable resource.

So, the workable goal here is to learn PERSUASIVE WRITING.

Is this goal helping her meet her marketing needs? Of course, she can make use of the same persuasive methods to tell her prospective clients how good she is in her work.

Now do your marketing goals align with your content? Oh yes!

Content Mapping and Marketing Goals
Content Mapping and Marketing Goals

How content mapping boosts your business?

When you own your reader’s problems and turn them into solutions they need, consistently, it means that your strategy is on the right track.

How do you provide solutions?

  1. A high-value blog post that gives a step by step plan your reader needs to meet one of his objectives.
  2. A workflow that helps one of your readers arrive at a solution.
  3. A motivating piece of statistics that will inspire your readers to take action.
  4. An infographic diagram that explains the core subject in bite-sized chunks that is easy to consume.

You succeed in your content marketing goals only when you bring demand based solutions to your blog. Your readers will not want solutions to problems they do not have or are insignificant to them. Do your market research.

What is the best way to know what your customer needs?

There is no way you can read your customer’s mind. You are not Edward Cullen. Even if you are, your customers are many a Bellas. They are emotionless when it comes to your pain points even though you are trying to solve their problems.

When I started out in marketing and began searching for my ideal client, I would crack my head.

How can anybody read their customer’s mind to know what she wants?

I would sit for hours taking guesses. It is a stupid thing to do. Why not just ask them? By asking your customers about their problems, you are surely providing solutions to problems that EXIST.

I attended a marketing event organized by one of the startup hubs in Hyderabad. Business owners introduced themselves and spoke about how they made dollars and there were some who did not. There was one entrepreneur who invested nearly $25000 in his venture and failed. He crawled into debt. The first question the host asked was, “Did you carry out a market research before you built the product?” and the answer was “NO”. He was confused. He built an app that targeted the education community. But before building the app, he did not ask one person from the education community about the necessity of such a product.

Products are not made of ideas. Products are built, reinvented and customized to suits the market’s needs.

So, offer solutions that are needed. You will be left bankrupt if you spend your money on unwanted solutions. That is the position of market research in business.

Mapping content to your marketing goals

Now that you know what the customer wants, aim to build products around their needs. Before you sell your products, build a knowledge base that dissipates bite-sized information that solves your customer’s little problems.

How do you release the bite-sized solutions? Through your business blog, email marketing and promoting this content to the world through social media platforms. Although there are other social platforms, your business blog is the major bridge between your customer and your company that emerges as a true brand community.

Now, devising your content flow is gathering all the input points that land to one central point of focus. The CTA.

It is the CTA that helps you accomplish your goals as a marketer or a small business owner. You can easily call it that tangible element in this virtual world. Is the content leading to CTA compelling enough to catalyze the reader’s action? Has the content brought engagement that builds customer relationships? These are the factors that you need to visit with agility and work till you get there. Content Strategy is not a one-off item on your content marketing checklist. It takes experimentation to beat the odds and focus on the right channel, right method and right type of content that aligns with your goals. The point is, have you set the right goals?