The chances are you already know about the importance of creating content. You’ve probably been told that content is King and that you should write more stuff if you are to stand any chance of poking your head above the crowd in this age of 24/7 information.
It’s true, content can be incredibly powerful in helping to build your business’ reputation and your relationships. But I struggle with the concept of content being King – or Queen for that matter. Good content isn’t about a position of power or taking a top-down approach – that’s a sure-fire way to get people hitting the off switch.
So, what makes people want to read your content? People want answers. There, that’s it. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? In theory it is, but the reality is very different. That’s why many businesses fall into the trap of broadcasting messages about themselves rather than thinking about what their customers really want to know.
For example, what made you open this blog? Was it because I haven’t written in yonks and you’ve been sitting at home eagerly awaiting my next nugget of wisdom? I very much doubt it! More likely, you want to create good content but you are not sure how to do it; or you are already writing blogs, articles and social media posts, but you aren’t seeing the results you had hoped for. You were probably looking for answers.
So here are a few pointers which will hopefully set you in the right direction:
- The fundamental starting point for creating good content is understanding your customers’ needs. That way you can create content that is valuable and relevant.
- Quora.com is a really useful website, as you can search for your keywords and see what sort of questions people are asking. It’s also worth looking at the ‘related searches’ at the bottom of a Google search, to see what else people are looking for.
- A survey is a really useful tool to find out what your customers need. It’s easy to set up online, and a handful of questions can give you valuable insight into where to focus your efforts.
- People like easy-to-digest, shareable, content. There’s a good reason why content formats such as how-to guides, top tips, ten reasons why…etc. are so popular – so this is a good place to start.
- But don’t go too far the other way. There is a tipping point where content loses its authenticity. You know the posts I mean – ‘How you can earn £1 million in a month, using my exact formula’….’Download my template to the perfect life’….you get the picture. If the content feels like it is too good to be true, then you’ll quickly lose readers’ trust.
So, rather than thinking about crafting the next Queen’s Speech, try to think of your content as a way to provide genuine answers to the queries, concerns, challenges, opportunities and hopes of your customers. Results won’t happen overnight, unless you hit gold with a trending topic, but you can build stronger connections over time, and the all-important know-like-trust factor which will help you attract and retain your ideal customers.