You’ve probably heard all about content being king. It’s possibly the most overused phrase in marketing today.
We get it, content is more than a tactic to gain a competitive edge—it’s essential in our modern, corporate world. With an unbelievable amount of content being published on the Internet each day, how can writers make their work stand out?
If you’re looking to establish a relationship, gain and convert leads or engage with your customers, it’s imperative to write relevant content. But, let’s face it, not all of us know how to do it. Producing new content can be both challenging and time-consuming, even more so when the piece requires research and drawing power.
So, how do you make your content succeed? By making it relevant. Here are a few reliable approaches to boosting the relevancy of your content.
Remember, It’s About Them
Sometimes I go through my old marketing materials and wonder—what was I thinking when I wrote this?! I’m talking about pieces that detailed product features without mentioning product benefits or the customer at all. Product features are important, but they don’t tell the consumer why the product applies to them. So, the first step in boosting content relevancy is to understand your audience.
To start with, who are your customers? And, more importantly, have you developed any customer personas?
If you don’t know what a customer persona is, they are your ideal fictional buyers. Don’t worry, you don’t need a huge market research department to develop them. Gather up all available customer demographic data you can get your hands on and search for common themes within it. This data will give you a better understanding of your customers’ buying behaviors, motivations, and goals. Basically, it helps you understand who your target audience is and what, when and how they consider purchasing products like yours.
Your demographic data should include the following customer information:
- Job Title
- Relationship Status
Once you have pulled all of this data, you can start understanding your audience, enabling you to build out detailed customer personas. These ideal buyer personas typically include names, photos and all the demographic data in the list above. This allows you to visualize your buyers and makes it easier for you to produce more relevant content to them.
You’ll also want to determine where your buyers look for content and how they engage with it. The different types of content include articles, blog posts, infographics, and videos. With so many types of content on the Internet, it’s difficult to know what will appeal to your target audience. Do a little testing and create more of the most popular types.
Why Should They Care?
Now that you know who your audience is, next consider: why should they care about your product? Remember, this is about them. Just because you think a benefit is important doesn’t mean the consumer will.
Each consumer has varying needs, so examine those newly created personas and identify individual ways your product benefits each of them. You’ll see that one size (benefit) does not fit all.
Consider the following questions when determining customer-focused benefits:
- What problem can this product solve for this persona?
- What value does it provide?
- How is this service better than its competitors?
Remember, for your content to be relevant to the reader, think about who you’re speaking to and write to them.
Back to the Product Features
With so much information accessible on the Internet, customers have become much more demanding about getting quality product information. Since a majority of consumers go from site to site comparing prices, looking at different products and checking reviews, it is important to provide them with quality product information.
This is where compelling, relevant content matters. It helps consumers to make informed buying decisions. So while the benefits tell your customers all those great things they get from purchasing your product, the features are why your product is better and more effective than your competitors. Make sure you tie your product features in with those consumer benefits.
Attention-grabbing marketing is nothing new. We all know the importance of it, but how many marketers actually do it well? Take a look at your current content and see if you find it interesting. If you don’t, it’s probably time to mix things up. This is especially true if you are marketing a dull product.
First off, make sure your headlines are relevant and engaging. In order for your content to be read, it will have to create enough interest for someone to stop what they are doing to read it. With so many marketers trying to grab the same target audience’s attention, you’ll have to work that much harder to stand out.
Here are a few attention-grabbing methods to consider when writing a headline:
- Create a sense of urgency
- Entertain your audience with humor
- Shock your readers
- Add statistics
- Use numbers
Next up, follow through with exciting and relevant content. Take a look at the articles you have found interesting and try to determine why you like them. Definitely don’t plagiarize someone else’s work, but do try to identify what appeals to you and incorporate those ideas in your writing. And remember, make it relevant to your audience! Review your personas and determine what will appeal to them.
Consumers expect businesses to live up to their promises, making it very difficult to believe a company when their content is not relevant (or believable). Make sure you provide clean, clear, and honest product information—especially if your product is available on a site that allows consumer reviews.
Don’t fill your content with fake features and benefits that make generic promises. Customers can typically see right through those false claims. If you look dishonest, you lose your relevance. Relevant content creates a sense of trust with its readers. If the content you post is well-written, honest and relevant, customers are more likely to do business with you.
Let’s Be Clear
You have only a few seconds to catch your audience’s attention. Writing a clean, clear piece is the best way to hold on to that attention.
Make a bullet list or write about one topic per post. That way, your reader won’t have to sift through an article to find the information they are looking for. If you have a lot to say, create a series of articles so that if your reader is looking for specific information, they can access it easily.
Keeping Things Relevant
The best way to keep a customer is to create relevant content, delivered at the perfect time throughout their journey. That means sending relevant content to customers at each stage of the sales funnel. While a majority of companies spend their efforts on "onboarding" customers, many lose them by not maintaining consumer expectations after a product or service is purchased.
If your content isn’t relevant to your audience, how can it be effective? Since content marketing is designed to generate organic traffic through interest, relevant content should help you reach your ideal buyers because you are showcasing information that appeals to their needs. When you attract attention from your ideal audience, you will build more relationships, gain leads, and increase customer engagement.