Content is the endocrine system that creates the image of your company. 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 consistent content marketing efforts the brand has invested in to reap the benfits of consistent lead flow in the long term.
But creating on-brand, value-based, educative content is not an easy affair. It takes months of planning and consistent creative efforts to come up with content your audience revere.
Employ these 5 essential strategies to create timeless content that attracts your best seeker.
5 Essential Strategies to create timeless content
Create content that is hard to copy
Create content that is easy to use
Double check your grammar and spellings
Create content to connect with your readers
Do not deviate from purpose and context
Create content that is hard to copy
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.
The one thing people can’t steal from you is your experience. It’s exclusive to you. Now, how do you apply this idea and use it to your advantage to create content?
Talk about your work process that highlights the direction your prospect is hungry for. When you highlight your work process in a blog or case study or any of your company marketing material, you’re instantly checking off objections in your audience’s minds by:
Feeding their curiosity – by giving the exact steps they’ll be walked through during your work process
Eliminating anxiety – by mapping out clear directions
Establishing authority – clear processes are a result of the experience that comes from the learning you’ve applied from your failures
Content that connects relieves your audience and builds their confidence because they now believe they’ve found the solution they’ve always wanted. It’s like going to meet your audience at a point where they are, instead of asking them for directions.
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 challenges you have faced in coming up with the robust system you have now. I am sure you have learned your lessons from this. Turn this experience into a shareable excerpt that instills trust and confidence in your readers.
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 to your product/event/client meeting at the end. That’s what it means to show and not just tell.
Help your content with the what happened angle and you will be, remembered.
Create content that is easy to use
The web is filled with beaten content. It’s either overused or still greasy.
Starting your headlines with facts and figures used to be a thing where an average writer would stick an unimportant stat in the headline just to make it more believable even though the headline never explained how it was beneficial. And when you do that, you almost never convince your reader to actually click on the headline. All your effort goes in vain.
Easily consumable content is:
Clear and concise
Actionable (not just inspirational)
The great content overwhelm
Let’s talk about the other face of marketing – Content Fatigue
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. Avoid. All of this.
Is grammar and spellings everything?
Although the internet may forgive you for typos, sometimes, bumbling with grammar and syntax can get annoying.
You instantly look down upon a piece of writing that that calls more than one mouse mouses instead of mice. Agree?
Sometimes, typos can get annoying as silly errors tend to change the meaning of a sentence completely leaving the reader baffled and thwarted.
“Their wasn’t a way out” – sounds awfully misleading and confusing. Yes?
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 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. Because there’s no choice – you have to be empathetic when you’re writing. You have to give your audience what they’re searching for. If you promised a solution in your headline, deliver it. If you promised a result in your headline deliver it. That’s how you connect and keep your readers.
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 you begin to hate business emails.
What should you do?
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 2020! 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.
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.
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!
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?
A high-value blog post that gives a step by step plan your reader needs to meet one of his objectives.
A workflow that helps one of your readers arrive at a solution.
A motivating piece of statistics that will inspire your readers to take action.
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?