When it comes to marketing, you want to deliver the best content available. Writing quality content is more than typing words on a digital screen – great content pops!
But the content is only part of what gives your words traction. Are your words visually appealing? Or is there a mismatch (see graphic - get it?!) between what you say and what your readers see first when they turn the page to your article?
That is why successful communications professionals use multimedia in their content marketing strategies. People do judge books by their covers. Making your content visually appealing creates a greater chance of success in being noticed by the public.
Here are some guidelines to making great content:
If the design of your content is bland, you will not win an audience. Use appealing images. Human beings are visual creatures so make the most of your presentation by using imagery to supply your message. Do your visuals match your message?
In choosing to read content or watch a video, today’s tech savvy public will choose video to consume information. It’s one of the reasons why YouTube is so popular. Videos are just far more entertaining and a faster way to gain information. If you use a video as part of your presentation, keep it tight. Watching a 90 seconds video on your sofa when you put together slides is fun. But when you're in a room with 100 people watching it, this can become real torture.
If you have many images that you want to use in your content, adding a slideshow is a great way to communicate a lot of information in a small amount of space. Just don't forget that that YOU should tell the story. Don't just read of the slides. Use Guy Kawasaki's rule.
In a busy world, not everyone has time to sit down and read. Creating an audio presentation, such as a podcast, is another valuable asset in delivering content to your audience. Have you ever thought of using your blog as chapters for a podcast that you can promote?
Think of it as an integrated marketing strategy for your brand. Using multimedia creates multiple avenues to reach your demographic.
Whether you write content for PR, marketing or social media: it matters to be smart, targeted and brief.
We all have access to more information than we can process in a meaningful way. Vast resources can be accessed with the click of a button. How can your brand stand out and be different? How can your marketing be different? You are competing for a reader’s time and attention. Why should they give you their time? How can you be relevant for them and give them the information you want to convey? Answer: be targeted, be useful and be entertaining.
1. Sell people what they need - not what you have
Every marketing person worth their salt can sell an idea or a product. You may reach your immediate goal, but it's not a strategy. Your audience (i.e. customers, reporters) will figure it out. They bought your product or idea because of your good sales pitch, timing, charme or sheer luck. But they will not buy from you again. Be it a product or a story. There are two ways for you to solve this problem and be targeted. You can find the audience that's right for you. Or change your product and what you have to offer, until it fits your audience and addresses their needs. Understand your audience.
2. Speak to "their" problems and give "them" answers
You've just read a great report or article. You know there's a lot of wisdom in it. But how do you apply it? You've just come from a conference. You're back at your desk and you want to apply what you learned. But how? You get this feeling because you know you read/heard great content from smart people. You just need to put it to action. If you share your ideas, you want your audience to take action. Make it easy for them! Tell them three easy ways to apply what you taught them. If you talk about content for social media, give your audience specific examples, e.g.
3 Top Tools for Content Creation You Need to Start Using Today:
3. Be Visual and Entertaining
With a picture, people understand much quicker what you want to say. Think about alternative ways to convey your content. Especially, if you pack a lot of information in a short amount of space/time. Think outside the box. Use eye-catching images and other forms of multimedia to grab your audience’s attention. The right picture can be worth a thousand words and it can capture attention in a manner words cannot. Use infographic templates or free stock photos to enhance your message and be understood.
Successful writers know how to be clear, effective and punchy when it comes to writing successful content. Truly understand what your audience is looking for and how they want it. Be mindful of the time you have to make the biggest impact. It is what separates successful brands from failures.
According to Entrepreneur Magazine, one of the most common types of socialized content is useful content. So how can you make the most of this knowledge in creating and sharing useful content that gets you noticed?
1. Write What You Know
Engaging content begins with knowing your subject matter. Write about the things you know. Share your experience and the tricks you have learned in your field of expertise. People want to hear from experts, not amateurs.
2. Don’t Wait for Perfect
In order to be effective in communicating your ideas you need to practice, and writing is just like any other skill. If you want to get better at it, you have to hone it, and that means writing frequently. Being a writer who doesn’t write is a tragedy; you cannot wait for perfect.
3. Remember Your Audience
Any expert in communications, such as public relations and content marketing, will tell you: in order to remain relevant, you need to deliver the content your audience is seeking. Staying abreast of your demographics’ interests is essential. Keep the conversation focused on what they want to know.
4. Your Headline Matters
Engaging your audience begins here. Your headline carries the most weight when it comes to producing readership; keep it clear.
5. Think Outside the Box
Original content comes from finding new material to talk about. Do not be afraid to look for opportunities that can create topics for conversation.
6. Give Credit
While you might be an expert in your field, you don’t know everything. Having resources that can help support what you discuss in your content lends weight to your credibility as an expert. Providing resources to your audience and citing them often allows you to remain trusted as a professional among your readers.
After you publish your work, tell everyone you know. Don’t be shy about your work – it will not get you a following. Use social media; tell you network of friends, family, and business associates. Be proud.