When it comes to developing content that appeals to prospects and is relevant to them, unfortunately, there are countless ways you can screw up and miss the mark. But the good news is that you can substantially increase your odds of writing content that hits their hot buttons, if you ask yourself these 13 key questions:
1. Do you have a sound content strategy?
In a recent Solamar post we said that. “It’s essential to know your company’s “why”(or mission statement) and make it clear in all of your content.” According to entrepreneur.com, “A mission statement…captures, in a few succinct sentences, the essence of your business’s goals and the philosophies underlying them. Equally important, the mission statement signals what your business is all about to your customers, employees, suppliers and the community…Your mission statement should reflect your business’s special niche.” If you content doesn’t stay true to your strategy, there’s no way it will be appropriate for your prospects.
2. Are you targeting the right prospects?
Understanding who your target prospects is another critical point for hitting the mark. Blogger Dave Bascom says that, “You have to know who you are writing for before you can attempt to influence, persuade, or entertain them.” He recommends that you force yourself to write for your customer/prospect personas to stay on track, ensure you’re writing with purpose, and increase the chances you’ll write something that resonates with the people who read your content.
3. Have you told customers and prospects what’s in it for them?
You must engage them. Trackmaven says that people need to know what they gain from your content (as well as from your product or services). “Put yourself in your customer’s shoes,” the blog advises. “Check out your analytics to see what they are searching for. Then, tailor your content to meet those needs and ensure that it is clear how those needs are addressed.”
4. Is your content action oriented?
You need a clear call-to-action that stands out, without any guesswork. You are creating content, not your own version of “Where’s Waldo?” It must be direct and succinct with actionable words. Check out our post on crafting the perfect call-to-action.
5. Does your content sound too vague or fluffy?
To build a reputation of thought leadership, you content needs substance. When you create in-depth content that has some “meat on the bones” you will also improve your search engine results, as well.
6. Are there images in your content?
If your content consists of huge blocks of text with no images, your readers will get bored. “Images are the new black,” says Trackmaven. “Or, to put it another way, visual marketing needs to be a key component of yourcontent marketing strategy.” 43% of people list images as the content they most share on social media. That means if your content marketing is still primarily text based, you will lose a lot of your audience.
7. Are you using video?
Forbes says that, “Most respondents prefer video over white papers, case studies, or even live demos with reps.” You need it to make your content more interesting with the use of videos, without making those videos too serious or sales-y.
8. Does your content suck?
I simply can’t sugarcoat this: Fixing all these things won’t save you if your content is poorly written. For blog posts, you need inviting headlines, engaging subheadings, and body text that makes people take notice. Your entire post needs to tell a clear and compelling story. In all content, you need to pay the same kind of attention to these details.So, don’t write content that sucks, or you will drive customers away in droves. For tips, start with this Solamar blog.
9. Is your content irrelevant?
Poor content is isolated and totally irrelevant. There’s stuff happening in the real world all the time, and if your content fails to leverage topical issues, then it will fail. Make sure your content relates to a trending topic and you will get more attention for it. Fail to do so and it will sink. That’s why you must keep tabs on hot news topics, celebrity mentions, and memes so your content is über-relevant to the audiences you are trying to reach.
10. Is your content mobile-friendly?
Business Insider says that mobile devices havetaken over the world. If your content is not ready for the new-and-growing wave of mobile users, you will fail. Since mobile users are more likely than any others to take quick action on what they find, your content needs to work on mobile devices. Make sure your site and content are mobile friendly…that they load quickly and make it easy for them to take action.
11. Are you focusing your content?
You need a strategic focus to tie all your content together, otherwise it will come off as piecemeal. Set some specific, measurable goals and track the success of your content marketing efforts so you can amend your strategy when necessary.
12. Are you blogging regularly?
In order for your blog (and your content, in general) to gain the likes, shares, and clicks you are looking for, you need to make sure you update it regularly. A good benchmark is to post a new blog at a minimum of once a week…or at least, every other week.
13. Are you trying to do it all yourself?
You’re busy running your business and serving your customers. How can you also be expected to create involving content day-in-and-day-out? If you try to develop all the content yourself as well as run your business, surely your content will get less attention and consideration. Instead, ask us for some help. Give us a shout!