It is easy to write. If you are aware of your market, you probably have all you need to produce fantastic content. But it is also easy to get a little lost when you transition from what you know to what you are writing. Here are some tips that can help you stay on target. These tips will result in you churning out fantastic content marketing for your readers.

  1. Answer Questions Your Audience Is Asking

One of the most counterintuitive things about creating content for marketing is that the concept of coming up with new and creative things is sometimes a mistake, especially if you are only starting on the content marketing strategy. Why? Because you do not need a bit of genius to create fantastic content. In fact, most of your content does not even need to be that unique, it simply needs to answer the most obvious questions that your audience is asking – whether they are clients or customers.

What these questions are will depend on your business and your target market. But if you know your customers fairly well, and you have built some good personas, it should not be too hard to figure out. Business buyers have similar problems in the industry that they are trying to solve. Consumers have common interests that push them forward to a specific industry. Get the people in your company to figure out who your customers are, what they want and the questions they are asking. Have a brainstorming session:

– What are the questions on the audience’s mind?

– What are they searching for online?

– What do they like or comment on when they go on social media?

– What is the knowledge that sets apart noobs from vets?

Then write about these things. Outline some content pieces and answer all the questions you have come up with. That is the content that is going to come up in search results, and it will get shared on social media. It will help noobs from embarrassing themselves any further too!

  1. Use the Language They Are Using

This is a little counter intuitive. After all, should you not show off what you know through new buzzwords or jargon? The answer is no, you should not do that.

In fact, the more you take your language away from the words and phrases that your customers are saying, the more aloof you are becoming, and the less accessible you are making your content. Figure out the words that your target audience is using when they are talking about your industry or products and use them. Use them all the time, in headlines, decks, lead paragraphs, subheads and throughout the articles you post.

Do not use the words and terms in a way that sounds unnatural, because your customers are going to notice. Excessive repetition is bad for SEO and makes your content seem forced to the reader. But if these are words that are all about your business and the industry you are a part of – they are going to flow in your content in a unique way.

The added benefit to this process is that the SEO is boosted too. Search engines get a clear message that your content is all about the keywords that your audience searches for. This is how you can write for real people and write for SEO as well!

  1. Give Them Something to Use Now

Content marketing is a type of trade. You are asking the audience to give you some attention in exchange for this content. But attention is valuable. Think about how much you pay for it through various other channels.

What you need to do is give them something of value through your content. And the value needs to be independent of buying your products and services (unless you are showing them that the products they have already bought have even more value through your content). When you are planning your content, think about this: What is the target audience getting when they spend time reading your content? You have to spell it out! Make sure they know the takeaways and use bullet points to highlight what you are delivering.

  1. Make it Skimmable

People always talk about how “no one is reading anymore,” but it is not entirely true. Most content consumed over the internet is in text form. But people do not read in depth in the way they did maybe 10 or 20 years ago. There is so much more to read and watch and listen to, and so much of that content feels pointless.

Readers know this and they have changed up their reading process accordingly. They will skim over what they are reading to see if it is worth their time. A good headline can get them interested, while good lead paragraphs get them to read more, while subheadings and bullet points further improve the skimming experience. Even if they go past your long blocks of text, they will get a sense for what you are trying to convey.

List articles, which are called listicles, get a bad reputation. But they are very popular because they are so easy to skim and it is easy for the reader to understand what is being conveyed.

Keep in mind the takeaways that we talked about earlier. Those should always be highlighted or bolded or in bullet points in your text. You should have short, obvious paragraphs that illustrate whatever you are trying to convey in a concise manner.

  1. Leave Space for a Conversation

As important as it is to ensure that your content is answering the questions that customers or clients may have, you also need to leave some room for them to breathe afterwards. Do not make your article the last word on something. Readers should end an article feeling as if they have some answers, but some questions should remain. You want them to remain interested in whatever you are writing about.

This means that you should write in a way that will satisfy your readers, but not completely bore them away from a topic. If you want to add more details and make your post twice the originally-intended length, you are making a mistake. One article should answer SOME questions, not ALL of them. Leave your other ideas for a new article. Leave some room for them to breathe so they can converse about what you have written.

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