I was scrolling through Twitter and came across a content marketer who posted that people binge-watching Netflix is proof that content doesn’t need to be short. He concluded people are willing to consume long-form content. Well… perhaps. But also not really. All content isn’t equal. And comparing watching the moving, dancing, singing box for hours to sitting and reading a book for the same amount of time is a false equivalence. What you want is content people love. I’m here to explain what that is and how to get it.
We throw around the word “content” to the point that it’s difficult to understand what someone is talking about when they use it. For our purposes, content is any communication that is part of content marketing. So, for us, content is defined as blog posts, e-mail marketing, lead magnets, video, social media posts, and podcasts. It is the tools you use to communicate with current clients and attract new ones.
What is Content Love?
Content love is just as it sounds. It’s content that people love. Why do they love it? Because they want, need, or enjoy the information. When your content fulfills an audience need, they’ll keep coming back for more. Not only that, but they’ll share it with their friends. When you give people content they love, they’ll spread it.
Getting the Content Love
So how do you create content that people love? That’s the big question! I don’t have a magic formula for you. Anyone who says, “If you do x, y, and z, you’ll go viral” is full of it. But I have some tips that will make your content worthy of others’ love and affection.
Serve the Audience
Don’t sigh. I know every one of these writing tips posts starts with the audience. But there’s a reason for that! Why aren’t people paying attention?
You can’t force people to consume your content. As I wrote above, people will view and share content that does something for them. It provides information. It answers a question they have. It entertains them or makes them feel something. Think about it…no one watches hours of Netflix because they have to or need to.
Creating content isn’t about you. It’s also not really about your business. This is where most people go wrong. It has to focus entirely on your audience and what they want and need. If you don’t truly understand your audience, your content will fall flat every time.
Choose the Right Platform
First, you determine what your audience needs. Then you think about how best to deliver it to them. There are so many platform and format options! Does your audience need step-by-step instructions on how to prevent mold from growing in their home after water damage? Write a detailed blog post. Do they need a demonstration of how your product works? Create a video. Is there an event upcoming that they’ll want a reminder to attend? Post on social.
Think about what your audience needs, the best format for that information, and where they’re already gathered. Deliver the information there first, then branch out to other mediums to reach more tangential groups.
Tell a Story
Have you ever clicked on a link on social media and read through a blog post before you even realized it? What about staying up late because you have to know what happens next in a book? I know you’ve watched that next episode, even though you need to go to bed or get something else done. These are examples of what happens when a story pulls you in.
Everyone loves a good story. They love to learn about people in the same situation or those they aspire to be. Storytelling is critical to content love. It makes people share your content with others and say, “Did you see this?”
I don’t want to belabor this point, but stories also differentiate your content. Heck, we can use this post as an example. It’s likely not the first time you’ve read a list of tips about how to serve your audience with your content. But the framing I choose, the stories I tell, and the unique words I use to teach you make all the difference.
Engage the Customer
Engaging the customer doesn’t mean tacking a question onto the end of your blog or social media post. That’s the easiest thing possible. Engaging the reader is all about keeping them interested. It means your content needs to be quality. You have to attract their attention in the beginning. Then you have to provide information in a style, format, and tone that they relate to. Engaging the reader means talking to them, not at them. It’s the difference in watching a quick video a friend sent you and reading a textbook.
Leave Nothing to Chance
Don’t make your customers think too much about what to do next or work to understand your content. Let me give you a pretty serious example. We write for multiple mental health treatment centers. If there is a person in the throes of addiction who Google searches and finds one of our treatment centers, we don’t want them to wonder how to get in touch with someone or what to do next. We want every post to lead them right to embracing the idea of getting help, feeling supported, and knowing exactly who to contact and how. We want them to be able to talk to someone immediately.
Don’t make your customers wonder what to do next or fill in holes in your content. Even if it seems repetitive, include all the necessary descriptions and definitions and a strong Call-to-Action in every piece of content.
Rinse and repeat these tips. Every piece of content won’t be your best. Some days producing content is challenging. And you won’t get the content love you want with every piece. But every piece moves the needle in the right direction. It provides consistency for your audience, which helps establish your credibility and creates authority.
Content Journey Can Get You the Love
No, we’re not matchmakers, but we are expert content creators. We study your brand and, more importantly, your audience, and follow the advice in this post and more to create consistent, credible, authoritative content in your niche. We’d be thrilled to help you get the content love your brand deserves. Book a no-pressure call today to discuss how we can help your business.