One of the biggest blocks to creating any kind of content — blog posts, e-books, white papers, photos, videos, infographics, etc. — comes down to a single question: “What is my subject?”
Here are the five easy steps you need to answer that question:
Why are you creating content? Are you trying to boost the position of your website in search rankings or are you adding value to current and potential customers? When you determine what your goals are in creating content, make sure at least one of them is measurable.
For example, your goal may be to create content to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. The measurement of that may be the number of times your content is shared on a particular social media channel. Having goals will also help you narrow what content is valuable to help you reach those goals.
You have a print brochure, can you turn it into a shareable infographic? You’ve got a white paper, can you break it up into multiple blog posts? Remember that assets can include people too. Employees and customers can be content gold if you ask the right questions. Make sure the assets on your inventory list support your goals.
A great case study, for example, is really just a story. Tell your stories with your goals in mind and support them with data (even better if you can gather exclusive data) and you’ve got a compelling piece of content on your hands.
Remember that a great story isn’t about you, it’s about the frustrations your target audience faces and the creative solutions to alleviate those frustrations. If your content is all about you and the products/services you offer, it’s not amazing.
Give your audience an easy, immediate way to take action to help you meet your goals. It could be something as simple as, “Leave a comment,” or, “Click here for more information.” Ask people to share, ask them to try, ask them to buy, but give them a way to do something before they’re gone.
You created measurable goals for a reason, so make sure to measure them. Make adjustments to your content strategy based on the results you’re seeing. If a landing page isn’t performing the way you need it to, it’s time for tweaking and testing. If no one is listening to your podcast, it might be time for a new focus (or even for a different medium).
You’ve got the techniques, now get out there and start gathering stories to create amazing content to hit your goals.