Writing great content isn’t easy; if it were, then we’d all be doing it, right?
Instead, increasingly, companies all over the world are reaching out for help to communicate their message, generate business, and educate the masses.
Read on to hear some of our top insider tips on how to produce consistently great content that will draw people in, keep them reading, and solve a business purpose.
Who, what, when, where, why?
There are a lot of myths about what it takes to write great content, but ultimately, and with the correct planning, it can be straightforward.
First, let’s define great content.
Great content serves a business purpose, creates value for your readers via education, is transparent, and authoritative.
Great content answers questions, and creates more questions.
Our clients range from teams of 1 or 2 people, up to enterprises where there could be 15 stakeholders involved on a single blog post.
So, how do you produce great content that your entire team is proud of, and can scale?
Then, cover the basics: who, what, when, where and why?
Let’s look at these five elements, step by step:
Identify and document your customer (customer avatar, persona), and then reverse engineer that into your audience.
What problem(s) does your product/service solve?
For example, I run an ecom store that sells and ships bulk orders of tennis balls.
Our customers are 99% tennis clubs who hold tournaments and order 200-300 tennis balls at a time.
Should we write blog posts about how great our tennis balls are, how we have the best bulk prices, why our tennis balls are the best, and/or why our competitors are shit?
Reverse engineer your customer and answer the questions they are asking.
“The best way to structure a large round robin tennis tournament”
“Running a tennis tournament? Here are 13 things you need to do and haven’t thought of yet”
“We asked 100 tennis club members what they want from their club, here are the results”
Another important piece to get right.
Your content needs to be educational, engaging, add value (educational again), be transparent, and authoritative.
But how do you come up with this week after week or day after day?
Here is a great little tip we use for this blog:
In the okwrite sales CRM, we keep a field for ‘questions’.
Anytime a customer/prospect asks an interesting question our sales team adds it into the customer file in the CRM.
Once a week, those questions then get added to an ‘ideas’ spreadsheet.
If ONE customer/prospect has that question, then maybe ALL of our customers have that question… and if ALL of our customers have that question, maybe all of our POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS have that question.
Might be worth answering.
Here are 2 current ideas in the spreadsheet that jump out to me right now:
“Does using stock photos affect SEO?”
“How much should we pay our new salesperson?”
We sell content creation and content marketing services and a segment of our customer are in their growth phase.
Customers in their growth phase may be looking to hire their first sales person….
Happy to help with some free education!
How often should you be publishing blog posts?
Take a look at our content frequency post for an in-depth analysis.
Very short answer: at least once a week but more if possible.
How will your content be distributed?
What’s the purpose? Social engagement? Lead nurturing? Lead generation? Existing client education?
Does the content match your objectives?
If your content serves as lead generation, is it properly written and designed for SERPs? Is it educational and authoritative?
If you’re creating an ebook for your existing customers, is it on brand? Does it match with the information passed in your sales process?
If your success is measured by social engagement, how clickable is your title? Again, how educational is the content?
I love asking this question:
“Why are you/we writing this?”
Bad answer: “Well it’s Wednesday and we need something.”
Great answer: “We’ve identified several questions we can answer as an authority and educate our prospects”
What do you want to achieve?
Are you hoping to influence debate (social engagement)? Drive up sales?
Think about your why – it’s crucial in order to shape your content into something with a business purpose.
Once you’ve established your ‘why?’, make sure you’re including a clear call to action path into the business funnel.