Nobody wants to be just another blogger, video maker, or podcaster who aimlessly creates or repurposes others’ content for a handful of traffic. There are many of these “content creators” who just clutter up the online space. To create a piece of content that your target audience will find relevant or valuable in any way, it needs to have a specific purpose behind it.
You are reading this because your content hasn’t provided much value and gained the traction you expected, leaving you feeling unsure about what content to create or how to do it differently. Some content creators have managed to find a few great solutions (after much trial and error, of course) that will help you keep a constant stream of great content ideas and valuable content flowing.
#1: Invest Extra Time into Picking the Right Topic
With so much content on the Internet being published every day (e.g., about 70 million blog posts to WordPress every month), people have become quite picky about the content they consume. That’s why it’s important to put in some extra effort to get everything right. Also, a topic that looks great to you might not resonate the same way with your audience. To pick a topic that stands out in the infinite sea of content, consider doing the following things:
- Find out how your audience thinks. Check out Q&A websites, such as Yahoo! Answers, Quora, or Reddit, and scan them for questions, complaints, or rants. Look at the problems your readers are struggling with, the questions they’re asking, and solutions they’re after.
- Don’t confuse peers with audience. When we want to create a piece of content we think will be impressive in our industry, we can slip into peer-mode. However, what impresses our industry peers is not necessarily what will impress our target audience. Your content needs to help your audience, not your peers.
- Before you begin creating, check if someone has already done it. It’s difficult to come up with a completely original idea, and authenticity is what we have to be after. Try to avoid creating content that’s interchangeable with something that has already been published. Find ways to improve on what is already being said.
- Use your analytics. Use Google Analytics or any social media analytics tool to find top-performing posts to see what is working and what is not.
#2: Give Your Values, Past Failures, and Opinions to Relate with Them
Since there’s an abundance of generic content, it has changed what people are searching for online. They don’t just want helpful tips and accurate information, but content that’s infused with personality, style, or perspectives they can relate to. What will make your content unique is your background, opinions, and perspective. It won’t make your content appealing to everyone, but that’s not what you want in the first place – you want it to resonate with your ideal reader or consumer. To make it happen, you need to show some vulnerability and open yourself up to a certain degree of push back, but also to a new level of connection.
Facts are everywhere, but what about your story?
#3: Telling a Story
Use the data you have and create a narrative around it. People love stories, and that’s why we keep up with news, watch TV shows and movies, and read books. So, master the art of storytelling because stories are what will help you create something of value for your audience. For example, if you’re writing a blog on vegan food, you can tell a story that happened in a restaurant kitchen or a personal event. That way, your audience will see that you’re knowledgeable and qualified on the topic.
Good stories stimulate emotional responses from us. Just make sure you speak in a way that’s relatable to your target audience and make sure the story advances your goal. Use consistent language to avoid confusing your readers
#4: Stay Focused and On Point
Yes, it is true that the average attention span is becoming shorter and shorter, which is why it is critical to capture your readers’ or viewers’ attention. For example, pick a specific topic for each piece of content and give your best not to drift away. To avoid picking a topic that’s too broad, you can begin by identifying the outcome you want for your target audience after they consume your content. Do you want them to understand something? Learn? Become motivated and inspired? Have that goal in mind while writing, and keep asking yourself whether the next paragraph or bullet point will help you accomplish it. Avoid off-topic side notes, long-winded introductions, and bunny trails.
#5: Help Them Achieve Goals Easily
Valuable content is the one that helps us achieve a mindset shift, a lifestyle change, or any other specific goal. However, it often involves a long process, and starting a new process is what we often resist. To make your audience act on your content, you can make it simple to do so by breaking the process down into smaller, actionable steps. Choosing something that your audience can easily do will help them build momentum toward the goal.
Make it easy for your audience to ask questions and comment (both privately and publicly). You can do it by directing people to your Facebook page or allowing blog comments.
Creating engaging and valuable content is a challenging task, but embracing new challenges is what helps us grow. Still, with these methods, you’ll be able to find the right content ideas, establish a connection with your target audience, separate yourself from the crowd, and provide real value. Your content needs to be actionable and contain information that’s up to date and accurate. Use visuals to enhance your content, tell engaging stories to get their attention, and make them think outside the box. Think of powerful headlines, an interesting introduction, and captivating opening lines to get your readers interested.
The content you create has to be findable, readable, understandable, actionable, and shareable. Creating valuable and high-quality content that will keep your audience coming back for more requires continuous effort, but the results are worth it.
Our upcoming online marketing crash course includes more tips and strategies on how to build your online social content strategy. If you’d like to get early access when the course is available, sign up here!